Tag Archives: The Conversation

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Blood money: pathology cuts can reduce spending without compromising health

In the coming weeks I will be posting articles on the high costs and corporate nature of pathology in Australian. The following article by Stephen Duckett in The Conversation, even though posted in February this year, helps set the scene. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NATALIA NIKOLOVA, ROBYN JOHNS, WALTER JARVIS. We need to change more than pay for executives to do better.

  The pay of executives of a company, whether in salary, bonuses or other types of remuneration, is usually justified as an incentive to improve the financial performance of a company. This has led to ever more complex performance packages … Continue reading

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JULIE WALKER. Australia should compare CEO and average worker pay like the US and UK.

  Australia should follow the lead of the United States in requiring public companies to disclose how much their CEO makes each year directly compared to an “average” rank and file employee. Ballooning executive pay contributes to income inequality and … Continue reading

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DYLAN McCONNELL. Was the SA blackout caused by wind or wind turbines?

  It has everything to do with wind – because that’s what blew over the transmission lines. But it has nothing to do with South Australia’s wind turbines. Transmission lines are large power lines that take electricity from generators to … Continue reading

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PETER WHITEFORD. The $4.8 trillion dollar question: will an ‘investment approach’ to welfare help the most disadvantaged?

  Social Services Minister Christian Porter on Tuesday released a report on the lifetime costs of the social security system for the Australian population, putting it at close to A$4.8 trillion. The report was an initiative of the 2015-16 budget, … Continue reading

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ADELE WEBB. He may have insulted Obama, but Duterte held up a long-hidden looking glass to the US.

This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has … Continue reading

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JOHN QUIGGIN. People have lost faith in privatisation and it’s easy to see why.

From the viewpoint of ordinary Australians, privatisation is a policy that has consistently failed but is remorselessly pushed by the political elite. It is little surprise that voters are turning to populism in response. “Privatisation” is a term that covers … Continue reading

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JULIANNE SCHULTZ. You’ll miss it when it’s gone: why public broadcasting is worth saving.

In an age of global media abundance, the notion that public broadcasting is a mechanism to address “market failure” is beguiling. It is also fundamentally wrong. Public broadcasters have a unique national responsibility to provide a public good to citizens, … Continue reading

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MARIE SEGRAVE. Exploitation of foreign workers.

  On Tuesday night, SBS’ Insight program aired concerns about temporary migrant labour exploitation. These issues tend to come to national attention when a particular case is exposed, but mostly they are not seen as national priorities – and, as … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Immigration, Industrial relations | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Is there a simple way of dealing with national infrastructure issues? Yes, but it is not a simple matter of adopting Infrastructure Australia’s ‘project list’.

The argument Recent pieces offered a seemingly simple way forward to deal with national infrastructure issues. It should be simple. All parties should commit to (Infrastructure Australia’s) “project” list – in part or in full – and then stop spending. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

PHILOMENA MURRAY. Nice attack brings a difficult question into sharp focus: why France?

If you live in France, you enjoy Bastille Day. There is a buzz in the air as you celebrate a day off in the middle of summer with your family and friends. You go to the fireworks. It is good … Continue reading

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TIM HARCOURT. Three reasons free trade has become a political football.

  Surveying democratic election results around the world, it’s clear the high water mark for globalisation has been met. Free trade, always questionable economics, is no longer good politics and in many ways has jumped the shark.

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KATHY CHAPMAN & BRIDGET KELLY. Unhealthy sport sponsorship continues to target kids.

In the final month of the countdown to the Olympic Games, our sports stars are probably not eating and drinking the Games sponsors’ foods. Again, as in previous Olympics, the Olympic Games sponsors are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Cadburys, whose foods … Continue reading

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RAY MOYNIHAN. Drug companies are buying doctors – for as little as a $16 meal.

An important new study in the United States has found doctors who receive just one cheap meal from a drug company tend to prescribe a lot more of that company’s products. The damming findings demonstrate the value of new transparency … 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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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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JULIE COLLINS. How can we achieve reconciliation? Myall Creek offers valuable answers.

This weekend, hundreds of people will make the pilgrimage to the small town of Bingara on the NSW North West slopes and plains, for the annual commemoration of the Myall Creek Massacre. The memorial site, just out on the Delungra … Continue reading

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DAVID PEETZ. The penalty rates time-bomb is ticking.

A looming decision on weekend penalty rates presents problems for both major parties in the lead-up to Australia’s federal election. The Fair Work Commission seems likely to hand down its decision in the controversial case soon after the federal election. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Federal Election 2016, Industrial relations, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

CHRISTIAN DOWNIE, HOWARD BAMSEY. Election 2016: do we need to re-establish a department of climate change?

With a federal election looming, Australia’s top mandarins will once again be turning their minds to the incoming government briefs, the so-called blue book if the Coalition is returned and the red book if Labor is elected. High on the … Continue reading

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TRAVERS McLEOD, PETER HUGHES, SRIPRAPHA PETCHARAMESREE, STEVEN WONG, TRI NUKE PUDJIASTUTI: Rohingya refugees and building a regional framework to manage refugee flows.

Part 1.  The Andaman Sea refugee crisis a year on:  what happened and how did the region respond? The Andaman Sea crisis a year ago catalysed important policy developments on forced migration in Southeast Asia. Part one recaps what happened, … Continue reading

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JOHN KEANE. Money, Capitalism and the Slow Death of Social Democracy.

In this article, John Keane speaks of the slow death of social democracy but suggests that there may be possibilities that social democracy could embrace Green movements, intellectuals and parties that have common interests. See extracts from article below and … Continue reading

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JAMES MORLEY. The idea that conservatives are better economic managers simply does not stand up.

Conventional wisdom holds that conservative politicians are more prudent stewards of the economy. These politicians are often happy to reinforce this view by citing their business acumen and denigrating the experience – or lack thereof – of their opponents. Think … Continue reading

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David Peetz. Having a say at work.

There’s a phrase you sometimes hear about the workplace: “leave your brains at the gate”. Workers use it to summarise the dismissive view their bosses have about the contribution employees can make – and about how much say workers have … Continue reading

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Mark Beeson. Australia still hasn’t had the debate on why we even need new submarines.

Australia is about to make its biggest-ever investment in military hardware. Although we don’t know yet whether Germany, France or Japan will be awarded the contract to build our 12 new submarines, it is possible to make a few confident … Continue reading

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Lara Moroko & Sarah Duffy. Thrashing the brand: ANZ and CBA could pay a high price for choosing profit over people.

The recent CBA and ANZ scandals show that the big banks fail to understand the long-term pay off from investing in their relationships with people over short-term profit. ANZ stands accused of unconscionable conduct and manipulating the bank bill swap … Continue reading

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Bryce Barker. Of course Australia was invaded – massacres happened here less than 90 years ago.

Much has been made in the last few days of the University of New South Wales’ “diversity toolkit” offering teachers guidelines on Indigenous terminology. The most controversial directive was a line about using the term “invasion” to describe Captain Cook’s … Continue reading

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James Morley. The idea that conservatives are better economic managers simply does not stand up.

Conventional wisdom holds that conservative politicians are more prudent stewards of the economy. These politicians are often happy to reinforce this view by citing their business acumen and denigrating the experience – or lack thereof – of their opponents. Think … Continue reading

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Jonathan Karnon. No-one should get dud hospital care.

In 2013-14, Australian governments spent A$105 billion on health; A$44 billion of that was on public hospitals. The Commonwealth government is increasingly concerned with the size of the health budget and has acted to reduce the inappropriate use of Medicare … Continue reading

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Greg Barton. Out of the ashes of Afghanistan and Iraq: the rise and rise of Islamic State.

Since announcing its arrival as a global force in June 2014 with the declaration of a caliphate on territory captured in Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group Islamic State has shocked the world with its brutality. Its seemingly sudden prominence … Continue reading

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