Author Archives: Peter Menadue

IAN DUNLOP.  Time for the Coal Industry to Face Reality

The first priority of any government is the security of its people. The greatest threat to that security today is human-induced climate change. Because of the refusal of political and corporate leaders over the last two decades to take climate … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for war

Scott Morrison is not too keen on history.When it comes to politics – or at least the politics of the Liberal Party, which to him is all that matters – history began with his election as Prime Minister. Everything that … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 13 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Broken government: it’s the engine as well as the drivers

Ministers and bureaucrats seem only able to manage spot fires, not policy review beyond three-word-slogans. Ken Hayne, the former High Court judge who conducted the banking royal commission is quite right in suggesting that the political and bureaucratic system is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Indigenous leaders draw line in sand

In the far north east of Arnhem land, a line has been drawn in the sand. As part of the great Garma festival, two of the most important and revered leaders of Indigenous Australia have made it clear that  the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

ANTHONY PUN. Let Hong Kong people decide their own fate with China

If we want to see Hong Kong survive the One Country Two System and retain its form of democracy, then we must not interfere with their process.  External influence and funding have been reported but these activities only serve to … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Tugging our forelock again and again to our dangerous ally. An update

The US has coming calling again. Not an Admiral  this time but  the Pentecostalist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . He is whistling us up as a faithful dog to join with the US in tackling the problems which Donald … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 23 Comments

GREG BAILEY. Lobbyists, corruption and neoliberalism

The revelations surrounding the fast tracking of visas for Chinese high rollers coming to Crown Casino and betting gargantuan amounts of money have been extensively covered over the last week in the media.  Corruption there certainly seems to be and … Continue reading

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HOWARD FRENCH. US at war with itself over China (World Politics Review, 31 July 2019)

America’s foreign policy establishment is at war with itself over the shape of the country’s approach toward a steadily rising China. For now, it is only an epistolary war. But as the debate deepens, its outcome will go far toward … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ANDREW PESCE. Patient Gap payments and Out of Pocket Costs. What needs to be done? Part 2

The first of this two article series quantified and explained out of pocket (OOP) cost in the Australian Health system. Some areas of OOP costs are acceptable and there is no need to intervene. OOP costs for non PBS pharmaceuticals, … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Hollow man starts his honeymoon.

Newspoll has emerged from its grotto and ScoMo’s troops are cheering. The honeymoon has kicked in, and how. Their messiah has given them a convincing cushion, one that should maintain them in comfort for many months, if not years. Forget … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

ANDREW PESCE. Explaining Gap Fees and their impact. What you knew and what you may not know Part 1.

There has been recent public and media focus on out of pocket (OOP) costs for Australians receiving health care, usually referred to as Gap fees. Minister Hunt recently announced his intention to establish a Website to publish doctors’ fees. This … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Half-hearted inquiries into casino crime

Where were the former politicians and apparatchiks who became Packer lobbyists when the spotlight focused on Crown?

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

RICHARD TANTER. An Australian pathway through Pine Gap to the nuclear ban treaty

The Pine Gap Relay Ground Station could be closed, with appropriate notice of intent, without genuine disadvantage to US national security.  This would provide a technically and strategically feasible pathway past the most important obstacle posed by Pine Gap to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments


Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. The Crown allegations show the repeated failures of our gambling regulators (the Conversation 30 July 2019)

Regulatory failure has been a hot topic in Australia recently. Royal commissions into the financial and aged care sectors have revealed major regulatory failures. The harm done by these oversights has been significant. Regulation is not just red tape. It … Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. The Crown allegations show the repeated failures of our gambling regulators (the Conversation 30 July 2019)

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

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

JOHN MCCARTHY. Enter, Boris.

Engaging in meetings and over dinner in London recently with British figures observing or involved in the Brexit process brought home that, while Australians follow the Brexit drama, we know little of its detail. We enjoy the sport, but try … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Government Responds to Dutton’s Visa Chaos on Asylum Seekers

The Government has at last responded to the chaos in our visa system. In response to a question from Senator Keneally, Senator Linda Reynolds has suggested the bridging visa backlog is apparently due to an unexpected surge in visa applications … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MICHELLE PINI. Newstart, wage theft and big fat ducks​​​​​​​ (Independent Australia)

“Having a go” just to put food on the table? Unless you’re a well-fed restaurateur or politician, it’s unlikely that you’ll “get a go” from this Government.

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

MICHAEL GRACEY. Closing that Aboriginal Health Gap

The persisting poor health of Aboriginal people over decades is an embarrassing stain on our national reputation and one that seems obstinately difficult to erase. How can this situation be effectively managed?

Posted in Health, Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

GREGORY CLARK. China: A Maritime expansionist?

The call is for Australia to cooperate with the US to counter Beijing’s allegedly expansionist activities in the South China Sea. But was it not the US itself, in its 1951 San Francisco peace treaty with Japan – signed and … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 7 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. Where is Hong Kong going?

Current protests, including violence, present difficult decisions for the PRC and for Xi Jin Ping. The Hong Kong Government does not seem to be able to control things so what will Beijing do? No option provides a simple solution. 

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

GEOFF RABY.  Xi Jinping: much more than just one man (The Interpreter, Lowy Institute, 16 July 2019)

Book Review: Xi Jinping: The Backlash by Richard McGregor (Penguin, Lowy Institute, 2019) Richard McGregor has written a dazzling account of the first six years of the Xi Jinping era and what he sees as the “backlash” to Xi’s increasing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments