Author Archives: Peter Menadue

CAVAN HOGUE. Reflections on the ASEAN-Australian Summit.

The ASEAN-Australian summit provided an opportunity for Australia to get close to countries and leaders important to us and to make a public statement to that effect. The media coverage in Australia tended to focus on human rights in Cambodia … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Leave a comment

JIM COOMBS. MEMO to Kenneth Hayne: the ‘four pillars’ of the system you are reviewing are NOT set in stone. As they crumble it is worth looking at what went before.

The present four pillars of the banking system are not a necessary evil or inevitable. History tells us why.

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

ANNE HURLEY. Former Internet Australia directors support NSW Business Council call for a National Broadband Service Guarantee

Last year the NSW Business Chamber conducted a statewide survey of members. It has since called for changes it believes will help save business an average $9000 per year resulting from problems related to the NBN rollout. Four former directors … Continue reading

Posted in Media, NBN | Leave a comment

PAUL BARRATT. Time for a new Royal Commission into the Australian Public Service

On 7 March Pearls and Irritations published my Are all those consultancies really necessary? This dealt with the $129 billion spent by the Commonwealth over the last five years on services the content of which no doubt include a great … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLENNAN ET AL. Housing: New Reapolitik Needs a New Real Economics

Managing the pressured housing markets of cities such as Sydney and Melbourne poses a major challenge to governments at both state and Federal levels. As has become increasingly clear, such trajectories are wreaking serious damage for younger aspiring homebuyers and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Peter Dutton is an embarrassment for all of us.

Peter Dutton failed as Health Minister.  His track record since then is even worse. 

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The Nuclear Ban Treaty Embeds the Nuclear Taboo

The non-use of nuclear weapons since 1945 is largely explained by the strong moral taboo. There have been many occasions when they could have been used without fear of retaliation but were not, even at the price of defeat on … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

BRIAN TOOHEY. Teresa May’s rush to judgment on nerve agents

The British Prime Minister Teresa May failed to produce any evidence that the Russian state used a nerve agent called Novichok before she announced measures to punish the Kremlin.  At least Tony Blair famously produced a “dodgy dossier” claiming Saddam … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

MARCUS SPILLER. Immigration is not the cause of our urban challenge.

Our biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are growing at around 100,000 people a year causing a bevvy of commentators including, Four Corners and the Grattan Institute, to question whether Australia is in a position to sustain its historically high immigration … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Batman conquered

So far so good. To the surprise of many – including, one suspects, Bill Shorten himself – the Batman by-election is done and dusted and it appeared that the confected furore over the great dividend imputation refund had little, if … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

CAROL NIKAKIS and REBECCA BUNN. The impact of failed drug policies on our criminal justice system cannot be ignored

There is now indisputable evidence that the criminalisation of drug use causes significant harm to people who use drugs, their families and the wider community. Even the United Nations has conceded that the ‘War on Drugs’ has failed to curb … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JENNY HOCKING. Snub over ‘palace letters’ underlines why Australia should ditch the Queen

On Friday the federal court handed down its judgment in my action against the National Archives of Australia seeking the release of the “palace letters” between the Queen and the governor general, Sir John Kerr, regarding the Whitlam dismissal. In … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Happy Anniversary Iraq

If there are any Australians who think we have anything to celebrate on the 15th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq and the start of our longest war, they must know something the rest of us don’t. In fact, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 5 Comments

MICK PALMER. Drugs policy – there has to be a better way.

Australia 21, a respected, independent, public policy, research and ‘think tank’ focused, organisation   is hosting its fourth roundtable forum on the issue of Australia’s illicit drugs policy, on 21 March 2018 at Victoria’s Parliament House.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

LUKE FRASER. Australia is not “full” but lazy infrastructure policy strengthens the notion

The “Australia is full” immigration argument suggests we have our infrastructure planning and investment settings quite wrong. Debate is now re-emerging about the need for Australia to consider new cities.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

STEVAN WONG,TRI NUKE PUDJIASTUTI, SRIPRAPHA PETCHARAMESREE and TRAVERS McLEOD Dialogue on Forced Migration ;Co-Chairs call for ongoing, coordinated action on Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) concluded its sixth meeting in Sydney, Australia, this week ahead of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. The meeting focused on the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar; efforts to address human trafficking, forced labour … Continue reading

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Remember Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Pentagon Papers?  Peter Hannan, Environment Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald has written a review of his new book The DoomsDay Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Ellsberg recounts the occasions during the … Continue reading

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TIM LINDSEY and DAVE MCCRAE. Australian-Indonesia: strangers next door

At the weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet with President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on the margins of the Australia-ASEAN Special Summit. Although Turnbull seems to have built the positive personal relationship with Jokowi that eluded Tony Abbott, managing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

NANDINI PANDEY. Rome’s “Empire Without End” and the “Endless” U.S. War on Terror (Replaying the Roman Civil Wars in Reverse Since 9/11)

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

BOB BIRRELL Australia’s Skilled Migration Program is not delivering Scarce Skills

As vexations flowing from record high net overseas migration mount, supporters of the permanent entry program have had to dig deeper to defend it.These supporters include the Treasury and the Reserve Bank as well as business and property interests. They … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. South Australia’s renewable energy future hangs by a thread.

It’s an election that is impossible to call. And too important to ignore.

Posted in Environment and climate | 2 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Is gambling reform possible?

Gambling reform has been in the headlines lately – perhaps more than at any time since the Wilkie-Gillard agreement was shot down by ClubsNSW between 2010 and 2012.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

MOTOKO RICH. Japan Fears Being Left Behind by Trump’s Talks With Kim Jong-un

As recently as last fall, it was Seoul that appeared sidelined by Washington in its approach to North Korea, as President Trump made fiery threats and accused South Korea of “appeasement” for advocating dialogue. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, was … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR and LYNDSAY CONNORS A school funding horror story: special deals are back

Almost a year ago we thought that peace had been declared in the school funding wars. True, the Turnbull government’s ‘Gonski’ school funding changes fall well short on many fronts but the government did try to bury the special deals … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Who is to blame for the housing crisis and how to fix it

There aren’t many material aspirations Australians hold dearer than owning their own home – but dear is the word. There are few greater areas of policy failure.

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

CASSANDRA GOLDIE. The tax cut war and why everyone must pay for essential services, including wealthy shareholders

Labor’s policy on tax refunds for shareholders released on 13 March 2018 is a stark reminder that policies addressing the huge gaps in Australia’s revenue base are necessary.This is a media release by Cassandra Goldie

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea: What now?”

President Trump’s positive response to Kim Jong-un’s invitation to direct talks naturally has created a swirl of media commentary and speculation.  It has served Trump’s interest to promote a sense of surprise though it probably also reflects a considerable amount … Continue reading

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Trump Is Smart to Talk to Kim Jong Un

The problem is, the United States is nowhere near ready for this kind of high-stakes diplomacy.   SUZANNE DIMAGGIO and JOEL WIT point out the risks

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Welcome Down Under, Mr President Widodo : An open letter

Later this week Indonesian leader Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is expected in Sydney with other heads of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for a ‘special summit’. The President recently told his ambassadors that while working overseas they should lift their … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Compassionate policy planning as the antidote to populism

The Italian election has shown, very clearly, that ordinary voters are deeply angry with mainstream politicians and political parties. What is true of Italy is also true of Australia. The political class sneeringly dismisses voter anger as “populism”, blindly believe … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments