Author Archives: David Solomon

David Solomon

About David Solomon

David Solomon is a former legal and political correspondent. He has degrees in Arts and Law and a Doctorate of Letters. He was Queensland Integrity Commissioner 2009-2014.

The mechanics of elections to suit the major parties

The Commonwealth Parliament has a very long-standing practice of requiring its Joint Committee on Electoral Matters to conduct a post-mortem after every federal election – not about how it was won or lost (that has already been done in the … Continue reading

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You’ll need a vaccine whether you like it or not

Sixty-plus years ago when, as a student, I was making my first overseas trip, there was more hassle involved in getting the required ‘international certificates of vaccination’ certificate (issued by the Department of Health on behalf of the World Health … Continue reading

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No winners in Clive Palmer’s border war with WA

Clive Palmer had a spectacular loss in his High Court challenge to Western Australia’s border restrictions – but he has probably helped influence the easing of those restrictions, beginning from the middle of this month.

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Queenslanders are different

Annastacia Palaszczuk had an extraordinary victory at the Queensland election. While the (very few) polls suggested Labor might cling on to government for an unlikely third consecutive term, she managed not only to win seats but increase Labor’s primary vote … Continue reading

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Morrison Government is running scared of a federal integrity body

This week’s trials of Gladys Berejiklian only confirm the Morrison Government’s largely unspoken fears that a federal ICAC would do the government a lot more harm than good.

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Morrison governing from the rear

At the end of all the announcements in the budget of tax cuts and give-aways to the private sector to promote an industry-led recovery, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had a somewhat unsettling (though it was not intended as such) rallying call: … Continue reading

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Lobbyland. Fixing corruption risks in lobbying

‘A lot of money can depend on the success or failure of a lobbyist’s representations to Government.’ That statement, in a report by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 1990, was about lobbying by property developers, particularly in … Continue reading

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NSW Nationals self-destructing?

For at least the last 50 years, pundits have been predicting the imminent end of the National Party – or the Country Party as it was half a century ago.

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Planning in the age of the virus

Are we getting to the point where the public simply tunes out when one of our political leaders outlines their latest plan, or road map, or framework for the way the nation or their state will deal with the virus? … Continue reading

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Defending border protections

Diversity – not unity – is what federalism is about. Australia is a federation and that is not going to change.

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Queensland’s election in the shadow of the virus

Queensland faces a full state election on 31 October. Unlike recent state and federal by-elections, this election will be severely effected by the Coronavirus. And as with the virus, just what will happen in 11 weeks time is anybody’s guess.

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Disagreeing with the US over China

The AUSMIN talks are an important first, demonstrating that the Australian government won’t go all the way with Trump’s USA. The next step (if only) would be for the Prime Minister to change his telephone number.

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The Palace Letters show that the Palace effectively encouraged John Kerr to remove the Prime Minister.

The Palace letters provided two crucial elements of the dismissal by Governor-General Sir John Kerr of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975. The first was to stiffen Kerr’s resolve – to give him the backbone – to sack … Continue reading

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National Cabinet fractures

There is a serious split in the national cabinet manifest in the current border wars. It has been apparent for a few weeks now but the decisions by a number of states to deny Victorians (or some of them) access … Continue reading

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David Solomon. Black Lives Matter here, too.

I hate the way we so often slavishly follow whatever fashion is currently gripping the American people. But I make an exception for the protest movement that has taken to the streets prompted by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. How the Queen and Kerr were blind-sided

It was both fortunate and fortuitous. The scheming of the Queen and Sir John Kerr to keep their correspondence secret was defeated not on the merits but by accident and thanks to legislation that came into being long after their … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. They should have said: No Minister

One of the worst aspects of the sports rorts affair is the way elements of the public service turned a deliberate blind eye to what was known, or assumed, to be a failure by the Minister to be bound by … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. The triumph of federalism?

How good is federalism – Australian style? Until the coronavirus crisis struck, the verdict would have been: pretty ordinary, at best. But at the moment it is flourishing. Can this outbreak of good health last?

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DAVID SOLOMON. Privacy should be protected

If I thought my privacy would genuinely be protected, I would have little hesitation in downloading the coronavirus tracing app being developed for the national cabinet.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 5 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Planning for a better future

Its time to think about – and plan for – what will be on the other side of this coronavirus bridge the Prime Minister keeps talking about. It may be 12, 18 or 24 months away, but the thinking and … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. The Government could do better

There’s a simple way for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to assert some real leadership and focus the attention of the nation on how the corona virus pandemic should be confronted: he should sack the two Ministers who have demonstrated most … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. Don’t panic. The economy is fine.

The economy is in good shape. Got that?

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DAVID SOLOMON. Sports rorts – illegal, unconstitutional and shonky

Illegal, unconstitutional and shonky. The sports rorts affair, like climate change, is not fading away. Both raise major political challenges for the government, but in somewhat different ways.

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DAVID SOLOMON. Aliens in a racist Constitution.

Almost all the arguments against constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders went out the window on Tuesday, courtesy of a decision by the High Court (Love v The Commonwealth).

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DAVID SOLOMON. Audit exposes Government’s trust deficit.

Trust is a crucial element of government, in two different but related ways.

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DAVID SOLOMON.- Morrison’s scary words on deployment of troops..

Although you can no longer believe everything Scott Morrison says, its necessary to take everything he says seriously and examine his utterances carefully – just in case in a particular instance he will follow through on what he has said.

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Morrison mis-fires. Leadership or Photo Opportunities!

Since Scott Morrison declared, back in November, that this was not the time to be talking about climate change, people have been talking about nothing else but the fires, and climate change, and Scott Morrison’s attempts to pretend (or pray) … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. Religious freedom.

Just 10 days after the Sydney Morning Herald/Age revealed at the end of last month that the major religious groups had rejected the draft Religious Discrimination Act circulated for public comment by the Morrison Government, the Prime Minister made public … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Taylor’s numbers crunched.

When should a minister ‘stand aside’ (that is, be stood aside); when should a minister resign (be sacked)? Prime Minister Morrison has provided his answer in the case of Angus Taylor, his Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Not now. … Continue reading

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DAVID SOLOMON. The climate strikes.

The political consensus on climate change is changing – has already changed. Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows it, but is in an awful, strangling bind. He knows he has to adopt policies that recognise climate change and will help alleviate … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments