NOEL TURNBULL. There’s no doubt Morrison is swimming against a tidal wave Part 3

The Morrison Government is adopting the newest form of doubting climate change by arguing that yes it does exist but that it can all be fixed by some unproven technological developments such as carbon capture or hydrogen both of which may end up looking a bit like nuclear fusion – just around the corner for decades. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Scomo wrote us a letter of apology

I dreamed that Scott Morrison woke up one day, very recently, and was filled with regret. He was so overcome with regret that he wrote a letter of apology to the people of Australia. The gist of his imaginary letter went something like this: Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Scott Morrison’s cooing of doves.

 Morrison has finally built a store of political credit through his deft and lucky handling of the COVID-19 crisis and obviously believes that as long as he keeps moving, there is a fair chance that the punters will forgive him for a few mishaps. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Is population ageing affecting Australia’s economic performance?

A lower fertility rate and lower NOM for the foreseeable future will mean that Australia will age much more rapidly than forecast in the 2015 Intergenerational Report and in the 2019 Budget. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Light From the Southern Cross.A Report on Catholic Church Governance

This confidential 208 page Report ‘promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia’ was commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors to review the Catholic Church’s governance and management structures. This followed the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Posted in Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

MARK J VALENCIA. The US refuses to see China as a military equal.

A recent US Council on Foreign Relations Report advising the US government how it should deal with China in the South China Sea is derivative, defective, dewy eyed and dangerous. It is particularly worrying because the author is a China “expert” that advises the Pentagon. As such, this report cries out for rebuttal. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 7 Comments

CHRIS NYLAND. Perhaps Not a Good Time to Poke the Dragon?

A number of commentators have expressed surprise that Canberra would provoke China at a time when the Australian economy may be desperate to increase exports! Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. The size of the COVID deficit is a political, not an economic choice

We have had an obsession with the balanced budget and with at least the aim of a reduction of government debt, at least since John Howard blew the Budget in 1983-84, then, more than a decade later, discovered a $5 billion “black hole” in the last Keating Budget. Continue reading

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STUART REES. Authoritarian cultures in Hong Kong, the US and Australia.

Authoritarianism as a way to govern has been embraced in democracies and by dictators. It rests on assumptions that leaders know best, dissent should be suppressed, democracy derided, free speech stifled, control made effective by violence and secrecy.
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Posted in Asia, Politics | 8 Comments

NICK DEANE. My fear – a US led war with China?

My fear is that Australia’s warring mind-set and its entanglement in its alliance with the USA will eventually lead the country into a US-led war with China. The possibility of stimulating defence industries to assist with the post pandemic recovery only adds to my trepidation. Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 8 Comments

MICHELLE FAHY. Are Australians paying for secret US weapons tests at Woomera?

Australian taxpayers will fork out close to $1 billion for the Woomera Range Complex upgrade, used by the ADF, the US and UK. With revelations that the US military denies Australia access to computer source code needed to operate key components in our war-fighting equipment, Michelle Fahy investigates the real beneficiaries of the secret test range.

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Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 3 Comments

The New Rite of Baptism?

The Church modernises…

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Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. High Court says ‘Release the Palace Letters’

In an emphatic 6:1 decision the High Court has ruled that the ‘Palace letters’ between the Governor-General and the Queen relating to the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam government are Commonwealth records, ending the Queen’s embargo over them and opening them for public access under the Archives Act. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 22 Comments

CHEK LING. The mutating ‘China question’

What a shemozzle! The cash cow has turned into a contagious apparition! Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACALLUM. Thanks to Jenny Hocking’s indefatigable efforts, national pride has been salvaged.

It has taken more than 40 years, but Australian social democracy has prevailed over British hereditary privilege. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

LINDA SIMON. VET system a dud? I don’t think so.

The VET system has again been criticised by the Government, this time by the Prime Minister in his recent address to the National Press Club, when he referred to it as a ‘dud’ system. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 3 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. More Jakarta, Less Geneva!

It’s become a ritual for every Australian leader for the past half-century.

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Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

DENNIS RICHARDS. Trumpism redefines American exceptionalism

Americans shamelessly believe that their nation and their culture are superior and exceptional. Under Trump America’s reputation around the world is depleted. There is a real danger that his may become permanent should Trump be re-elected in November 2020. Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 7 Comments

JEFF KILDEA. The Irish Elections of 2020 – still no government

Almost four months after the Irish general election on 8 February 2020 Ireland is still without a government. What’s been happening and who is running the shop during the Covid-19 crisis? Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 5 Comments

JOHN BROWN. Three cheers for the working class

I have come to realize even more sharply over the last 12 months the extraordinary and unappreciated contribution that the working class – those much-maligned trade unionists  and workers make to Australian society. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

JAMES LAURENCESON. Reality check on finding new export markets: China’s demand dwarfs the rest (SMH 28.5.20)

It might be conventional wisdom that Australia needs to diversify its trade and reduce dependence on China. There is, however, no magic button that delivers it. No trade delegation to New Delhi or Jakarta is going to pick up a raft of contracts to enable us to cancel guaranteed sales to China.

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Posted in Asia, Economy | 5 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 31 May 2020

It’s not difficult knowing what to do to prevent an environmental and human catastrophe. What’s difficult is making it happen and starting it now, especially in Australia. Today’s articles highlight some recommendations for governments. Finally, a couple of wins in court, and reproduction and Raymond Chandler.

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Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 7 Comments


What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING.. What should we do with the $60 bn left over from JobKeeper?

The discovery of an error of $60 bn in the costing of JobKeeper raises the issue of what should be done with this money? However, as JobKeeper was always incomplete these deficiencies should be the first call on this extra money. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Global Talent Independent Visa: Permanent residence in a week or two

The new Global Talent Independent (GTI) visa provides a direct permanent residence for ‘highly skilled professionals in high growth sectors’. According to the Department of Home Affairs, processing times range between two days and two months with many being decided within a week or two.

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Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

DANG CAM TU.The Virus and Regional Order: Perspectives from Asia and beyond .

A ‘self-help’ state is back, and nationalism, populism, xenophobia, trade, and territorial disputes are on the rise.

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Posted in Asia | 1 Comment

ALEX MITCHELL. NRL power play in NSW

Who governs NSW – Premier Gladys Berejiklian or NRL boss Peter V’landys? One is elected, the other isn’t. One is a blue-stockinged Tory from Sydney’s North Shore, the other is a Labor supporter from working-class Wollongong. Who will prevail? Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

SUE WAREHAM. Roadmaps on the two biggest threats ready to go

Our security lies in our capacity to work together for the common good, rather than in weapons that terrify other humans. Roadmaps to address our two biggest threats, nuclear weapons and climate change, are ready to go. We’re not waiting for a vaccine, but simply for governments, including our own, to learn that increasingly alarming warnings require urgent action. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 6 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. Australia’s two personalities-pandemic and climate change

In recent domestic policy and international engagement Australia is demonstrating two contrasting personalities. One is demonstrated through our response to COVID 19 and the other through our troubled inability to form responsible climate and energy policy. Why do we have two personalities? Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | 6 Comments

ROBIN BOYLE. Beethoven and the ABC Classic 100 Countdown – A not-to-be missed event

On the weekend of the 7 and 8 June, ABC Classic will be conducting its Classic 100 Countdown for 2020. Being the 250th anniversary of his birth, it is devoted to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Media | 12 Comments