Category Archives: Public Policy
Australia’s Covid-19 quarantining – an abrogation of federal responsibilities! There is no national plan
Perhaps the most contentious issue of our Covid year is who is in charge of quarantining? With continuing outbreaks of Covid-19 linked to incoming travellers, Australians have reacted with astonishment that quarantining issues were not foreseen and planned for years … Continue reading
While cats provide much-needed companionship, they are also genetically programmed killers. Cats have devastating effects on biodiversity, which is vital for food security. .. Estimates are that domestic cats kill 61 million birds a year and those becoming feral kill more … Continue reading
Donald Trump and Boris Johnson stand condemned as incompetent, bloody-minded buffoons, but they didn’t get there all by themselves. They were aided and abetted by craven ministers and dangerously partisan media companies.
Part 1 discussed the role of law-makers (parliamentarians) and law-implementers (public servants). Part 2 discusses the role of law-interpreters (judges) and law-enforcers, including a non-regulating regulator, Comcare.
James Murdoch has castigated the US media for the ‘‘toxic politics’’ threatening American democracy, saying proprietors are as culpable as politicians who ‘‘know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies’’.
The widely held myth that private schools deliver better results than public schools has taken another blow. A new study of NAPLAN results shows that public schools do as well as private schools despite the large resource advantage of private … Continue reading
The choreography was about reassurance. A well-masked Indonesian President Joko Widodo sitting before a large red sign saying AMAN dan HALAL – meaning safe and approved for Muslims. Alongside stood Palace doctor Professor Abdul Muthalib ready to show 270 million … Continue reading
The rule of law ‘system’ is not an amorphous single entity – government – but involves law-makers (such as prime ministers and other ministers), law-implementers, law-interpreters, and law enforcers. Their work has left unprotected several million vulnerable people. How? This … Continue reading
Some good and some bad news about climate change from 2020, with a focus on the rapidly warming Arctic. Different starting points and scopes for two plans to keep warming under 1.5oC but their strategies share many commonalities. Three-quarters of … Continue reading
My granddaughter Naomi’s husband, Matt Fisher, died of an aggressive sarcoma cancer earlier this month. He was aged 39. The sarcoma was diagnosed in February last year. A research fund has been established to promote research at the Garvan Institute. … Continue reading
The Uluru Statement’s heart-rending plea, “In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard” highlights its umbilical connection to the 1967 Referendum. However, this doesn’t guarantee similar success for the call for a First Nations Voice to … Continue reading
Spruiking the Coalition’s 2020 tax cuts; Australians’ ‘$200 billion’ war chest; Google’s experiments; free speech; and even a Liberal Party self-congratulatory piece on the NBN.
It is important that any arrangements made for Facebook/Google/Twitter to pay media companies for content are made transparently and equally available to ALL online media publishers who meet (a very low) bar and wish to participate.No government should ever facilitate … Continue reading
Media in the Asian Century. An Australian anti-China hawk helped draft US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific
“In many ways (Australians) were ahead of the curve in understanding influence operations and interference in domestic systems,” one senior US official told me. “They were pioneers and we have to give a lot of credit to Australia.” The official … Continue reading
Climate change sceptics and doubters might be beyond persuasion but the Bureau of Meteorology has a plain bar chart that shows how our climate has changed
Preparing for a 3°C warmer future: the ideological shift and institutional response Australia will need.
Three things are obvious. The collective emission reduction efforts of nations will not avoid 3oC global warming by the century’s end. Therefore, national adaptation actions will need prepare for the worse than expected scale and impact from the effects of … Continue reading
Last year Shore’s income was $87.54 million. It is a rich school for kids of rich parents. It is also a charity. Yes, just like Habitat Australia, in Mount Street, North Sydney, just down the road from the school, Shore … Continue reading
With a recent report titled “Projections of Future Coral Bleaching Conditions,” published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in November, Leticia Carvalho—head of the Marine and Freshwater Branch of UNEP—said on December 21 that coral reefs are the “canary in the … Continue reading
Attached is a collection of articles on drug policy reform, which were published as a series on Pearls and Irritations between 6 and 11 August 2018. This series is designed to draw attention to this important issue, and to the … Continue reading
With climate change and biodiversity losses continuing, Australia’s Environmental-Economic Accounts channel fresh ideas on our stewardship of the land, testing our success or failure.
For the last decade it seems, employers, most unknowingly, have not been able to take for granted that a degree, even from the most highly ranked universities, ensures that the holder of that degree actually studied and passed the courses … Continue reading
The planned introduction of independent assessments for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will further disadvantage those with complex and not obviously manifest disabilities. For marginalised people with disabilities there are questions.
An important issue we worked on in the Department (of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs) was foreign language learning. We set the pace in the early 1980s, with not many supporters. I felt quite lonely.
There is a David and Goliath battle being waged in the Northern Territory as health and social welfare organisations and Indigenous leaders battle business behemoths and the Territory Government over the issuance of new liquor licences.
The Retirement Income Review (Callaghan) Report concluded that the Australian retirement income system is effective, sound and its costs are broadly sustainable.
‘Yes, if you think the op’s necessary, Doc, of course I’ll have it. Just so I know, are there any risks? And how long will I be in hospital? Thanks, see you in theatre. Oh, by the way, you won’t … Continue reading
It is foolhardy, indeed downright irresponsible, to have spectators at cricket and tennis matches this summer
The basic imperative for controlling an epidemic wherein the inhalation of aerosolised viral particles can cause much illness and death, is to stay away from each other.
A collection of recent articles about the dismissal of the key role of nurses by the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. The doctor dominated Taskforce is determined not to understand that nurses hold the health system together
WeChat is predominantly used by Mandarin speakers both within and outside China. Although this social media platform is owned by a Chinese company and is subject to China’s censorship and scrutiny, it nevertheless has the potential to enable social activism … Continue reading