Category Archives: Public Policy

A pandemic letter from an Aussie in the USA (PURSUIT August 14, 2020)

How did one the world’s most inequitable health care systems cope with COVID-19? The short answer is that it provides the starkest of warnings

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Why do LNP Governments hate the arts and universities?

LNP Governments’ vindictive attitudes to the arts are obvious from the widespread cutbacks they have imposed on the sector. Ditto universities which have been forced to rely on overseas students to make up funding shortfalls and are then attacked for … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Media, Education | Leave a comment

Why is Australia’s public health data hidden?

Against the backdrop of Melbourne’s Stage 4 Restrictions, Victoria’s State of Disaster and diminishing personal freedom in other parts of Australia, we need to have a discussion about the lack of public health data in Australia.

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What went wrong with Aged Care?

The definite turning point in the quality and the humanity of Australia’s care of the elderly was the Aged Care Bill 1997 (Cth), introduced as part of the Howard Government’s 1996 Budget measures. It was a huge failure.

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To mask or not to mask? Is that the question?

The debate about wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic has fluctuated, but there now seems to be consensus that it is safer for the public to wear masks to avoid or at least reduce community transmission.

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The New Zealand SAS inquiry: the most serious findings against the NZSAS and NZDF in their history

Five years ago I was approached by a man who played a part in a New Zealand SAS raid in Afghanistan where civilians were killed and injured. He wanted an official inquiry. Two weeks ago that inquiry reported.

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, Public Policy | Leave a comment

Engaging with China about public administration reform

As some politicians and commentators call for containment of China, it is time to put forward the case for engagement instead. It can only assist with our understanding of China’s huge challenges, and maybe  help encourages continuing reform.

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COVID-19 lays bare the US’s deep problems, with some help from Trump

With the COVID-19 pandemic laying waste to the country, and President Trump’s chances of re-election fading,  the United States is at last beginning to look more deeply into its problems.

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University Failures and Canberra parsimony.

Cynical, short-sighted and gutless – everything a proper university should eschew. But perhaps the teachers have been taking lessons from their political masters. If so, both deserve a fail.

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Nurses, COVID-19 and the risks they run for us.

Nurses and other health care workers (HCWs) around the world are serving us well and at great risk to themselves. Many are exhausted but are carrying on. Still others are re-entering the workforce to assist in enabling surge capacity, so … Continue reading

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Fast Tracking a National Care Service

We face the immediate future burdened with an out-of-hospital care workforce that is poorly paid, insufficiently skilled and understaffed to meet the caring needs of vulnerable people throughout the life span from infancy and childhood to old age.

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Indian Australians: supporting Black Lives Matter will make us feel we belong

In The American Bazaar on 20-07-20 Revathi Siva Kumar asks: “Have the people from the land of Mahatma Gandhi done enough for the oppressed African Americans? How many of them stood in solidarity with the protesters against police brutality and … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | Leave a comment

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

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Aged care homes: the weakest COVID-19 link

A pandemic throws a perfect mirror onto a society and shines a light on every crack. There is no better illustration of this than the light that COVID-19 is throwing on aged care homes in Australia and internationally.

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Time for ALL to think about race in Australia

Do Black lives matter in Australia? Race is surely this nation’s primal wound. But the actions of those with most power to lead or inspire this nation are not reassuring.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | Comments Off on Time for ALL to think about race in Australia

The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Australia

Public school systems in Australia have seen an enormous increase in bureaucracy since the turn of the century. So-called school reforms promised less bureaucratic control but have instead intensified bureaucracy at all levels – central and regional offices, schools and … Continue reading

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The hindering of our efforts to control the spread of Covid-19

We face social fatigue and misconceptions about social distancing; irresponsible public behaviour; and a widespread lack of appreciation of the long-term clinical consequences of an encounter with this virus.

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Why studying humanities is more important than ever to counter one-sided debates trend

In the age of science, technology and the obsession with faster living, studying humanities at university continue to decline. However, I believe it’s not the end for this “dying” discipline because critical thinking skills is needed more than ever to … Continue reading

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The elephant in the room – age and inter-generational equity

It is high time for a new inter-generational deal including a shift of decision-making powers as well as policy benefits towards the younger generations.

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Caring for older Australians

Covid has blown the cover on much of what we need to maintain credibility as a humane nation. Care of older Australians is of priority concern.

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The powerless suffer and the powerful carry on amid Covid-19

Covid-19 presents us with an opportunity. A more equal society, more resilient to the challenges ahead, or a society ruled by power imbalances, struggling to cope with both natural and man-made disasters.

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The missing millions that were meant to close gaps

In 2008 the Rudd government launched the Close the Gap Strategy which, among other things, was meant to bring equity in health and wider wellbeing into the lives of Indigenous Australians.

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The Power of Attorney and abuse of the elderly

Australia has a long way to go and COVID is lifting the scab revealing how neglect and absolute indifference have exposed these communities of older people to an end of life nightmare.

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Australia can’t rely on overseas migration anymore Mr. Treasurer

The Government’s July Economic Statement forecasts net overseas migration in 2020-21 will be around 31,000 – the lowest since 1975-76 and a dramatic contrast to the fanciful levels of net overseas migration forecast in the 2019 Budget. 

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on Australia can’t rely on overseas migration anymore Mr. Treasurer

Watching Fox News in the US may kill you

Recent US studies demonstrate that watching Murdoch’s US Fox News increases the likelihood of you believing what’s not true about COVID-19 and – if acting on it – possibly dying.

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Wattle as Nation Brand – Enjoy the glow, love the symbolism

The recently announced Nation Brand, featuring an Aboriginal-inspired golden wattle blossom, is the latest recognition of our national floral emblem. The Nation Brand initiative is an opportunity for our emblem, with its ancient past, to lead us into a confident … Continue reading

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Childcare subsidies. I was wrong – childcare should be subsidised

In a recent post I listed a range of points which had me convinced that childcare should not be subsidised by the community. Christopher Budd (CB) kindly took the time to counter each of my points in turn, and I … Continue reading

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Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

Posted in Economy, Politics, Public Policy | Comments Off on Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

Monthly digest on housing affordability and homelessness – June/July 2020

The following is the latest instalment of a monthly digest of interesting articles, research reports, policy announcements and other material relevant to housing stress/affordability and homelessness – with hypertext links to the relevant source.

Posted in Housing | Comments Off on Monthly digest on housing affordability and homelessness – June/July 2020

Covid Driving Down Onshore Asylum Applications

Closure of international borders has reduced the onshore asylum application rate but we still have almost 87,000 asylum seekers in Australia, the vast bulk of whom are from countries where asylum claims are not likely to be strong.

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Comments Off on Covid Driving Down Onshore Asylum Applications