Category Archives: Federal Election 2016

LINDA SIMON. Do the Parties really care about vocational education and training (VET) these elections?

  National TAFE Day was celebrated on June 16 this year, a little over two weeks before the Federal elections. Both Labor and the Greens took the opportunity to restate their support for TAFE and launch further policies. However the … Continue reading

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National Foundation of Australian Women. What are they saying to women? Election 2016

  In the link below, NFAW analyses the party policies that are being presented at this election which are of interest and concern to women.  http://www.nfaw.org/what-are-they-saying-to-women-election-2016/

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. A treaty with indigenous Australians.

  The idea of a country negotiating a treaty with its indigenous inhabitants is hardly novel. Three of our closest friends and allies (New Zealand, Canada and the United States) have all done so successfully, and none of their nations … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Infrastructure summit – reported highlights

Is there such a thing as bad or wasteful infrastructure or is it like motherhood, all noble and good?

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IAN McAULEY. Bill Shorten Is Right: Malcolm Turnbull Is A Major Threat To Medicare

Labor appears to have rediscovered old values, while the Liberals don’t appear changed one bit. Ian McAuley explains the mire that is the fresh debate on the future of Medicare. “Medicare is the community standard, it’s the gold standard, it … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Privatisation and the hollowing out of Medicare

Malcolm Turnbull says that the Coalition will ‘never, ever, privatise Medicare’. Given the wide public support for Medicare and Malcolm Turnbull’s way with words his attempted rebuttal is not surprising. But the Coalition has been eroding Medicare from within for … Continue reading

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JOHN THOMPSON. The regional health “plan”.

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, advises that, as Member for Farrer, she represents some of Australia’s most remote and disadvantaged communities and therefore understands that access to health services, as well as people’s priorities, can differ significantly to those … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Looking forward to a national health policy and not ignoring the community.

  Health policies presented as part of the election campaign should address our expectations for prompt, courteous and effective high-quality care when we need it and not be a random collection of thought balloons – from a child’s birthday? – … Continue reading

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BRUCE BAER ARNOLD. How Pathology Australia advocates for ‘patient care’ to achieve big corporate profits.

Each time we go for a blood test to investigate or keep track of an illness, or have a tissue sample from a Pap test or suspicious mole sent off for analysis, the wheels of the pathology industry are put … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. High speed rail – where to? Competing with airlines or cars?

This article proposes a change in focus for the high speed rail debate. Rather than seeking to compete with airlines, rail should contribute to settlement that eases pressures on capital cities. This change of focus does not require ego stoking … Continue reading

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GREG WOOD. FTA’s and Australian democracy and future governance.

Andrew Robb’s response to concerns that Australia’s recent spate of free trade agreements were being negotiated in secret was to claim that trade negotiations have always been conducted that way. That comment contains a splinter of truth but a plank … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Broadband: It’s buggered in the bush

Last week’s Broadband for the Bush conference held in the rarefied atmosphere of Brisbane’s State Library revealed just how disillusioned people living in rural, regional and remote Australia have become with the state of their telecommunications services. Chief among the … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. A Royal Commission into banking and the private health insurance industry.

In this election campaign the issue that triggered a double dissolution – restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission – has hardly scored a mention. That contrasts with the 1974 double dissolution election, called by the Whitlam Government in … Continue reading

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MARK GREGORY. Labor’s NBN plan shows it listened to critics of the current broadband rollout.

Labor’s broadband plan includes few surprises and fulfils Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s commitment to responsibly increase the construction of fibre to the premises (FTTP). At the same time, it would ensure the completion of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. The difference in the economic policies of the major parties.

In the din of distractions about political trivia, many in the media have lost sight of, or fail to understand, fundamental differences in the economic policies of the two main parties. That is their approach to distribution, or redistribution. Although … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. In the general election, do you think the government’s and the ALP’s foreign policies are sound?

This was a question asked of me by the Australian Institute of International Affairs. My answer is ‘No’ for the following reasons.

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MICHAEL GRACEY. The simmering shame of aboriginal ill-health.

Indigenous people have experienced miserable health outcomes compared with other Australians for decades. Efforts going back to the 1960s brought some improvements but these were not enough to remove the inequalities. The federal government was prompted to try to resolve … Continue reading

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PAUL BUDDE. The more fibre the better.

You can’t turn the clock back and in the case of the NBN that means you can’t undo those parts of the Multi-Technology-Mix (MtM) without immediately destructing billion of dollars. While it is a pity that the original plan – … Continue reading

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WARWICK ELSCHE. Shorten should play to Labor’s strength.

  For more than 60 years, since opinion polling became important in shaping election strategies, there has been for the Australian Labor Party one awkward but stubborn consistency. Rightly or wrongly the Australian Electorate, with very isolated and brief exceptions, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Julie Bishop – Foreign Minister or Senior Consular Officer

Foreign ministers can hide their failures more easily than other ministers because ‘foreign affairs’ has no serious domestic constituency. Appearances on the public and world stage can also hide a lack of substance – for a while. But the failures … Continue reading

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PETER WHITEFORD. Where is social welfare in the election campaign.

  The federal government’s largest single ticket spending item – welfare – has failed to rate a mention in the election campaign. It is the $152 billion elephant in the room. It accounts for around 35 per cent of total … Continue reading

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ROD TUCKER. How do Labor and the Coalition differ on NBN policy?

As hinted in earlier announcements by Shadow Communications Minister, Jason Clare, Labor’s much-anticipated policy for the National Broadband Network released Monday commits the party – if elected – to move away from the Coalition’s fibre to the node (FTTN) network … Continue reading

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GEORGE RENNIE. How interest groups influence politicians and the public to get what they want.

We see their spokespeople quoted in the papers and their ads on TV, but beyond that we know very little about how Australia’s lobby groups get what they want. This is the first article in our series on the strategies, … Continue reading

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EVAN WILLIAMS. Who do the Liberals hate most in this election?

In our brave new world of digital gadgetry, awash with empty slogans and blighted by ever-shrinking attention spans, is there any prospect of rational political debate in this election? A pervading mood of paranoia seems to be the new norm. … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGGETT. Midway through the election campaign, how is health travelling?

It’s half way through the election campaign and both major parties have made some significant health policy announcements with Labor outspending the Coalition on health by over $2 billion (over four years). However, despite the fact that health consistently rates … Continue reading

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A war on women. Protection denied, abuse condoned on Nauru.

the news from Manus and Nauru gets worse by the day.  Inhumanity is imposed in our name. Nauru and Manus are unsustainable. I have yet to meet anyone who will admit that what is happening is right or defensible. See … Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER. Bulk-billing rates are not what they seem.

  A categorical mistake: Is bulk-billing a reliable indicator of access to GPs? Where I work in regional NSW, patients have difficulty finding a GP who is prepared to bulk-bill them for their medical care. The phone call to the … Continue reading

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KAITLIN WALSH. Nick Xenophon are your ears burning? Maybe they should take a leaf from your book (not put a target on your back)

  If once upon a time my enemy’s enemy was my friend, then bizarrely enough it now seems that my friend’s enemy is my friend. Confused? Me too. I think I liked it better the way it was before. Over … Continue reading

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PAUL BUDDE. Can we please cut out the political NBN noise?

  With all the kafuffle around the NBN it is very difficult for most people to see the big picture in all of this. The issue has been so incredibly politicised that it is almost impossible to cut through all … Continue reading

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ANDREW LEIGH. Why the government’s company tax cut is a carnival sideshow.

In the 1890s, Texan cowboy Clark Stanley began marketing a new product at medicine shows. A man who could kill rattlesnakes with his bare hands, Stanley promised people that his rattlesnake extract would bring relief from rheumatism, sprains, swelling, back … Continue reading

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