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JOHN AUSTEN. Australian freight policy: after the chainsaw? Part 3

A recent report on freight and supply chains leads Governments astray. This is the last of three articles seeking to put them back on course. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Coalition legacies.

There are six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing budget deficits and debt increases, the threat of climate change and increased carbon pollution,  the NBN debacle, hostility to refugees and asylum seekers, and problems with foreign influence and political donations which are producing an anti-Chinese sentiment.    Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 4 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON: NATO 2018 and Communique Dread

Dread and angst must be haunting the corridors of Europe’s foreign and defence ministries. The NATO Heads of State and Government will meet over 11 to 12 July 2018 in Brussels and the question of the communique will already be weighing heavy on ministers, advisers and officials. NATO is a consensus decision-making body but the prospects of an agreed communique seem slight at this stage. NATO has been the spine of the Western alliance and the liberal international order. Discord among its members can only benefit states interested in weakening the bonds holding the current order in place.  Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Leave a comment

MUNGO MACALLUM. An apology to the victims of sexual abuse

Malcolm Turnbull has always regarded John Howard as some sort of political mentor.  But Howard refused to apologise to the stolen generation Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ISHAAN THAROOR. Is Trump gaslighting the world on North Korea.

Critics of President Trump routinely accuse him of “gaslighting” — that is, of deliberately repeating misinformation to the extent that the public starts doubting verifiable facts and believing in Trump’s self-serving talking points. Trump told us after the Singapore Summit that ‘I may stand before you in six months and say “hey, I was wrong”. I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that,but I’ll find some kind of an excuse’ Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JENNIFER DOGGETT and LOUISA GORDON Out-of-pocket costs for healthcare are a problem for all Australians

Editor: Jennifer DoggettAuthor: Louisa Gordon (introduction by Jennifer Doggett)on: June 13, 2018In: Co-payments, health financing and costs, Healthcare and health reform

Out-of-pocket health costs (OOPs) are a major challenge facing the Australian health system.  Australians pay for a higher proportion of total health care in OOPs than do citizens of almost all OECD countries. In fact, OOPs are the third largest funder of health care in Australia, after Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments.

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Posted in Health | Leave a comment

JOHN DWYER. Health care reform – Part 1.

Without acceptance of a ten year plan and the creation of an instrument to implement that plan, we will not be able to engineer the evidence-based structural reforms to our health care system that will improve quality, equity and cost effectiveness.  Continue reading

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

German chancellor’s tense standoff with hardline interior minister “endangers existence of gvernment as substantially as the stability of the country”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing strong pressure to tighten her country’s refugee policies to avoid the collapse of her coalition government as the heated row over the handling of migration intensifies. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

KEN MOAK. US-led naval operation will not change China’s posture.

At the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue, the defense ministers of France and the UK announced that their governments will send warships to join those of the US in challenging China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea  (Naval Today, April 6). However, they did not specify how many ships the two European powers will commit to the US-led FNOPs  (freedom of navigation operations) or whether they will sail within the 19-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ), suggesting that neither country wants to irk China. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BUTLER. Singapore: Sound and Lights  

Trump told us that, in Singapore, he would make it up as he went along. It appears that he kept his word on that. Afterwards he told the world that if it all tanks, he will “make up an excuse for it”. His central motive for the Summit was domestic distraction and, the usual addiction to self- aggrandizement. A potentially heavy price was paid in Singapore, by all affected by DPRK policies and, the US domestic distraction was not achieved.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

STEVE RINTOUL AND STEVEN CHOWN. Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years. Time is running out for the frozen continent.

Antarctica lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, according to a new analysis of satellite observations. In vulnerable West Antarctica, the annual rate of ice loss has tripled during that period, reaching 159 billion tonnes a year. Overall, enough ice has been lost from Antarctica over the past quarter-century to raise global seas by 8 millimetres Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. America’s frightened allies.

Donald Trump has spent the last three years scaring the crap out of his allies, but suddenly it has become serious.  His predilection for ruthless dictators, traditionally anathema to America and its allies, has now got to the point where those same allies are disposable.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 3 Comments

RANALD MACDONALD. The threat to public broadcasting in this country becomes more menacing by the day.

Those who say that the ABC will be around for years to come have their heads truly in a world of denial.

On top of the Government’s huge cuts to funding, with 1000 less employed today than four years ago, continual harassment and criticism, now the Federal Liberal Council meeting in Sydney (June 16) has, on a 2 to 1 vote, sought the selling off of the ABC.   Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 2 Comments

GEOFF MILLER. Trump-Kim Summit: What happens after a “day from a science fiction movie”?

Kim Jong Un was reported to have said that his meeting with Trump was like scenes from a science fiction movie.  At times the TV coverage—all those banners—did seem rather like that, but what happens next?  I think that at least the medium-term outcome could be much more like the Chinese and Russian prescription of “twin freezes” than the “complete, verifiable, irrevocable” nuclear disarmament of North Korea sought by the United States. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ANDREW LEIGH. Rising to the challenge of inequality.

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues have used new data to track inequality and sharpen the choices we face.  Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Human Rights | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Australian freight policy: where is my chainsaw . Part2.

A recent report on freight and supply chains leads Governments astray.  This is the second of three articles seeking to put them back on course.

Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics, an Interview with Byung-Ho Chung

The following is an interview of Byung-Ho Chung Professor at Hanyang University and President of the Korean Society for Cultural Anthropology, conducted by AAA Executive Director Ed Liebow. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Leave a comment

MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Bangladesh wake-up call on sexual abuse for Asia’s bishops.

The case of Father Walter Rozario bears all the hallmarks of denial, cover-up and silencing victims seen in the West.  Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea – managing Donald !

Amid the avalanche of reporting and commentary of the Singapore Summit one needs to step back to assess just how the Trump’s much vaunted (by him) negotiating style so far has played out . This is not just an academic exercise. It is vital for countries like Australia whose future has become so entwined within the United States geopolitical view of the world . We must have a more informed understanding of the way Trump operates if only to minimise the risk of being blindsided like other close US allies such as the Republic of Korea and Japan have just suffered . We need to analyse not only how successful the Trump “deal” approach has been but also how he has been forced to modify it since beginning to negotiate in public with the North Koreans. At the same time we also need to note some diminution of the influence of the US defence/security establishment within the current administration.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The Kim–Trump Summit: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Australian Outlook. 15/6/2018)

Despite praise for Tuesday’s “unprecedented” meeting, there were good reasons why previous US administrations had refused multiple requests from North Korean leaders to meet. The results of the Kim–Trump summit so far can be divided into the good, the bad and the ugly.

The words ‘historic’ and ‘unprecedented’ to describe the meeting between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un are literally true. But there were good reasons why previous US administrations had refused multiple requests from North Korean leaders to meet with the president. Against the historical and strategic backdrop, the results of the Kim–Trump summit so far can be divided into the good, the bad and the ugly.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ANDREW JAKUBOWICZ. A peace treaty to end the low-intensity guerilla campaign against the indigenous population.

Australia is a nation and a state established on grounds belonging to Indigenous owners, through a war which has never ended. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 3 Comments

JOHN MOLONY. A review of Race Mathews, Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891–1966

Many years ago, I tried to review Ronald Knox’s lifelong study of the numerous minor sects or branches of post-Reformation Christianity. He named it Enthusiasm. Despite my own enthusiasm for the treasures amassed in the book, I was unable to write a review. The riches were so abundant and differed so much that ten reviews would not have done justice to its totality. Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | Leave a comment

ANDREW HAMILTON. Triggs champions common compassion (Eureka Street 12/6/2018)

Common compassion is an aspiration more widely praised as a gift of Western Civilisation than accepted and practiced. But once government trash it with impunity we are all the losers.   Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s Government must guard against foreign interference, but not by curbing our rights.

Authoritarian governments around the world use broadly drafted national security laws to silence human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, and critics of the government. Australia should not join them by passing a revised espionage and foreign interference law that excludes safeguards for legitimate disclosures in the public interest. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

KARL HOWARD. The importance of community .

Communities are a fundamental requirement for the human condition; they consist of a group of people with shared interests, similar attitudes – often with aligned social values -resulting in delegated responsibilities. A community is a product of independent actors joining together, operating in a specific habitat, whether a neighbourhood, a gym, a workplace, or a place of worship. The single key tenet is that collective identity enriches the experience of each and every person, the members of that community. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 2 Comments

ROSEMARY O’GRADY. Meanings of War.

As war memoirs go, the horrors of the conflict concluded by the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648, have long stood in a class of their own. They are also the subject of the autobiographical, first novel of the German language. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | Leave a comment

HANS ZOLLER SJ. Protecting children in the Catholic Church

The issue of sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy is constantly returning to the forefront of media attention.  Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

ALISSA J. RUBIN. An era of French strikes is ending (AFR 13/6/2018)

Nowadays, we have people who are too rich,” he said. “In the United States you do not care so much about equality, but we care about it,” says Bodiou, a retired civil engineer.“It does not mean we all have to have the same amount of money, but we all should get the same respect.” But, he adds, summing up a feeling that seems to be shared by many on the street around him: “Macron does not speak to those who are poor, who sleep on the ground; he speaks to the people in the digital world, to the entrepreneurs, to the educated.”   

Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. Looking down from the Trump/Kim summit: a geopolitical view

Of the risks attendant on the summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jung-un, the most grave is that the geopolitical consequences will be ignored. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

JOAN STAPLES. Foreign interference bills threaten civil society freedoms.

The government’s urgent pursuit of foreign interference bills prior to the July by-elections aims to wedge Labor for short term electoral gain.  However as Labor agrees to support the bills, yet more of our political freedoms are being destroyed at great loss to our democracy. Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 2 Comments