Category Archives: Politics

MICHAEL WEST.  Big Four audit firm bust-up (Michael West, 18 May 2018)

“Is it possible to amend the rules to stop giving (government) work to tax haven connections?” MP Julian Hill posing a question to public service chiefs at a parliamentary hearing into the cost of government. This post by Michael West … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Gambling stench hits nostrils.

Shock, horror – there is a suspicion that Australia’s biggest and most profitable casinos may not be squeaky clean. And by the way, there have been reports that the pope is a catholic and that two plus two makes four.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 4 August 2019

With apologies for the anthropomorphism, Sydney’s newly-hatched Sea-Eagles would like this week’s round up as it focuses on their future habitats: land and marine environments (with good news about soil carbon and regenerative farming and not good news about deforestation … Continue reading

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ELIZABETH and BORIS

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DAVID SOLOMON. Lobbying? Check the definition.

Let us be clear about this nonsense ban on lobbying contained in the Prime Ministers ministerial guidelines. Its pretty meaningless. The fact is, as the Code of Conduct for lobbyists explains, the only people who are considered to be lobbyists, … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. Unfunded Empathy

We have become accustomed, in Australia, through long adherence to a shared system of values, to governments which would always put ‘the people’ first. We Australians, it was understood, would always adhere to international norms and standards, and we would … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER-Fake News, Alternative Facts and now Alternative Intelligence

Trump has terminated the supremo of US intelligence, John Coats, and has nominated as the new Director of National Intelligence, Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe. His unstinting commitment to all things Trump and, his inexperience in intelligence and foreign affairs, would … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS -Religious Discrimination

The Attorney General and Prime Minister are working on religious discrimination legislation that is unnecessary and dangerous. The Attorney is being lobbied by religious extremists who will never be satisfied. This is a classic “race to the bottom” of a … Continue reading

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FRANCES RUSH. No Protection – No Hope

A 39 year old man from Iran arrived by boat in 2013. He was not permitted to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa until 2017. For six years he has lived in fear and struggled with mental trauma. He has … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. When loyalty and duty are in conflict

How the new AFP chief juggled his role during an investigation that compromised his own superior Reece Kershaw, the new Australian Federal Police Commissioner deserved to get the appointment via an open and independent appeal process. He might well have … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. How good is Scott Morrison?

By any standard, Scott Morrison’s Government has a very threadbare policy agenda. Furthermore, the Government seems resistant to new ideas, whether they are from its backbench or the public service. According to Scott Morrison the role of the public service … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Labor accepts ritual humiliation.

One, two, three, four Keeping faith’s a dreadful bore. Five, six, seven, eight Tap the mat, capitulate. This, it appears, is Labor’s new tribal chant. And needless to say, it is less of a battle cry than a muted whimper.

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Speaking out loud for the silenced

Scott M. has a new group of faves. It used to be that “hard working Australians” were top of his pops, along with those who benefit from the hard work of others through tax, negative gearing,“canny investments” and superannuation perks. … Continue reading

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PETER DAVIDSON. Multiplication’s the name of the game: infrastructure and Newstart trump tax cuts as an economic stimulus

When growth is slowing and interest rates are falling, the evidence indicates that a timely investment in social housing and an increase in Newstart are more likely to boost growth in jobs and incomes and provide better value than tax … Continue reading

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DAVID POPE on ‘The Freudenberg’. (Canberra Times 27.7.2019)

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MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Cultural warriors caught in conflict of loathing.

Once again, the cultural warriors of the right are caught in a conflict of loathing. They would love to see Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne embarrassed and humiliated – they were supporters of the arch fiend Turnbull, renegades from the … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER -Failed regulation in health.

When I was much younger I often dipped into Ripley’s “Believe it or not” for a laugh, amazement and even enlightenment. I had a look at their website recently as I prepared to tell you a story that would fit … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 28 July 2019

Hunger is on the increase again and the world will need yet more food over the next three decades. How can we properly feed 10 billion people and save the planet? Do the solutions lie in technology, behaviour change or … Continue reading

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THE HON BOB CARR. Tribute to Graham Freudenberg.

The speech arrived on the Premier’s desk already clipped into the black leather folder. Did my staff realise that coming from the pen of the master and being a speech of welcome to a US President I would be disinclined … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Vale Graham Freudenberg

A dear friend and colleague, Graham Freudenberg, died this morning at the Redcliffe Hospital.  He was admired and will be mourned by many people who knew him personally and a great number of people who knew him in public recognition … Continue reading

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CAROL SUMMERHAYES. Vale Graham Freudenberg.

Graham revealed in his memoir that he wrote his first speech in Brisbane in May 1945, aged 10, at the time of VE Day, and delivered it to his mother. In 1946 he scored a job with ABC Radio reading … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. Vale Graham Freudenberg.

Anyone who has heard of Graham Freudenberg, and most aware Australians have, think of him not so much as an individual , but in association with  the great men, the massive political personalities whom he served.

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ERIC WALSH. Vale Graham Freudenberg .

The family of Graham Freudenberg, his influential political contacts, his many friends and admirers, the Australian Labor Party and Australia itself are diminished by his passing after a long illness.

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Joko Widodo is no Lee Kuan Yew

Even read in English it’s a stirring speech with hints of John F Kennedy’s inaugural address: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country’.  By the standards of Indonesian President … Continue reading

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GEOFF EBBS Interminable Conversations: Rolling up our progressive sleeves

Progressives are unsuccessfully pleading with voters to logically approach the major challenges of our time. The problem, though, is not a lack of understanding, it is a lack of actionable alternatives.

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Ministers and public servants

Geoff Gallop offers up eleven theses on Australian politics to provide public servants with a ‘nuanced understanding of politics’. His theses are more than a little condescending and simplistic. The theses seem directed at middle level or junior public servants, … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS Britannia Quo Vadis ?

Boris Johnson could hardly have chosen a more inauspicious moment to take over the reins in London with Whitehall in the death throes of a Prime Minister, the seemingly inevitable surge to a “no deal” Brexit plus the disrobing of … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Aquariums, indigenous achievement and climate denialism

Cairns in Far North Queensland is a remarkable place where remarkable things – excellent, good, bad and odd – occur.

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JOHN MENADUE. Taxpayer subsidised Private Health Insurance is a political scam.

Stephen Duckett of the Grattan Institute has highlighted the growing and  serious plight of PHI as more and more  young people decide not to waste their money and are opting out of PHI. In response the CEO of NIB  in … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB. Age of Darkness: the plan to lobotomise Australia

Centuries from now, future historians will be able to assign a date to the start of the Australian Dark Age: it began in July of 2019. That was the date the nation turned its back on the enlightenment of reason, … Continue reading

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