DAVID SHEARMAN and PHIL SHEARMAN; Anguished Scientists and the Collapse of Democracy

In the clouded eyes of government, scientific facts, which have guided our technologically advanced civilisation are now simply an opinion which can be discarded in favour of their own. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 5 Comments

NICK DEANE. The climate crisis and the need for peace.

The climate crisis increases the likelihood of war and refugee flows. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Environment and climate, International Affairs | 5 Comments

HANNAH AULBY. Strangling Accountability.

The Centre for Public Integrity invites you to the inaugural National Integrity Forum: “Strangling Accountability”. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JONATHAN PAUL MARSHALL. Barnaby Joyce and fantasies of Climate Technology

Fantasies about improved technologies, often seem to inhibit effective responses to climate change. This is illustrated through a brief commentary on Barnaby Joyce’s comments on climate policy after his closely failed challenge for leadership of the National Party. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN TAN. Australia joins the RCEP: Challenges and opportunities ahead.

Australia has joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will come into being in 2020; 15 countries just to the north; a huge potential market of nearly half the world’s population and over a quarter of the world’s GDP. Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. THE Nats. and Barnaby

Barnaby Joyce is focussed and determined to the point of egomania, and utterly ruthless in the process. That is what makes him dangerous. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. The sports rorts will taint the Canberra air for a long time.

We need an inquiry into how public service stewards provide dubious alibis for ministers Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN TAN. Is Australia prepared? The next virus outbreak could be bioterrorism.

Technology to create a synthetic virus like the China new coronavirus is well established. It is widely available to some governments, private firms, and individuals. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Health, Politics | 5 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. The Data Retention Act. How not to introduce complex legislation.

Appearing before a Parliamentary inquiry into the Data Retention Act the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe revealed that law enforcement agencies have obtained individuals’ web browsing history without a warrant. Continue reading

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PAUL MALONE. Australia’s American view of the world

The Australian media’s view of the world is dictated by the US Continue reading

Posted in Media | 5 Comments

JOHN CARLIN. Brexit Has Happened: Good Night and Good Luck

The divorce has gone through, and now begin the negotiations as to who gets the house, the car and the kids. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

EDWARD ALDEN. Smaller countries lose in the US–China trade deal(EAF 9.2.2020)

Weakening rules put smaller economies — such as Canada, Australia, the ASEAN nations and Latin America — in an increasingly vulnerable position.

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Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JENNIFER DOGGETT. Even with massive taxpayer hand outs private health insurance is in a death spiral.(Croakey 7.2.2020)

If private health care has a future within the Australian health system we need to find a better funding mechanism than PHI.  This means one that is sustainable, fair and efficient and designed to meet the needs of today’s health care consumers with chronic and complex conditions. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

DAVID WILLIAMSON. The Trump Card of the Right.

The political parties of the Left often still hold to the Enlightenment belief that we are rational creatures – that the person who has the best evidence based argument will win the debate. Sadly, as long as they do they’ll keep losing. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 16 Comments

PROFESSOR JENNY HOCKING The ‘Palace letters’ case at the High Court

Echoes of the Governor-General Sir John Kerr’s vice-regal dismissal of the Whitlam government reverberated across the High Court this week, as the long-running Palace letters case came before the full bench on appeal. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The Gaetjens Report: a footnote

The Government has refused to release the Gaetjens report which purportedly exonerates the former Minister, Bridget McKenzie, and thereby the Government from charges of political bias in the distribution of the Community Sport Infrastructure grants. But why this refusal to release the report – the only obvious answer is because the report cannot stand-up to public scrutiny. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

CHAS SAVAGE. The summer of our discontents

The only outcome that matters is the extent to which humanity manages to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. Any talk about meeting or not meeting targets that is not grounded on this outcome is trickery and sleight of hand. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The Culture Wars continue

Turnbull’s legacy may not be one he will boast about, but it will certainly be remembered. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

DENIS MULLER. Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and downright dangerous.(The Conversation 31.1.2020)

In September 2019, the editor of The Conversation, Misha Ketchell, declared The Conversation’s editorial team in Australia was henceforth taking what he called a “zero-tolerance” approach to climate change deniers and sceptics. Their comments would be blocked and their accounts locked. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Bali Nine ‘Black Sheep’ pleads for mercy

The media curtain-raisers for Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to Australia focused on trade and visas. Human rights activists were hoping the agenda might include the fate of the five surviving Bali Nine.  One is Martin Stephens. Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 9 February 2020

If we’d started the transition 30 years ago, gas might (might!) have been a viable transition fuel but it’s certainly not in 2020 despite what the PM and his gassy friends say. Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments


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

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

GEOFF RABY. Australia-China:The year ahead (UTS/ACRI Forum5.2.2020)

Civil emergencies have marked the start of the New Year for both Canberra and Beijing. Each in its own way is likely to have some implications for foreign policy and how the bilateral relationship is managed. Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Disadvantaged Schools in Australia Are Far Less Resourced than Advantaged Schools

Data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018 show that Australia allocates more and better quality teacher and physical resources to high socio-economic status (SES) secondary schools than to low SES schools. The gaps are amongst the largest in the OECD. The highest performing OECD countries generally allocate resources more equitably between low and high SES secondary schools than Australia does. Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

HANNAH PIERCE & MADDIE DAY. State and territory governments are taking on alcohol marketing

NSW and Tasmania are lagging behind the other states and territories in restricting outdoor alcohol advertising but no jurisdiction is taking action to restrict alcohol advertising in sports stadiums. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics, Sport | 1 Comment

MAX HAYTON. New Zealand campaign for September Election Day intensifies.

New Zealand’s Labour Government announced an election will be held on September 19 and almost immediately revealed its plans for massive investment in infrastructure. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD WHITINGTON. Dies, mensis, annus….for the superstitious numerologists.

With Valentine’s Day, 14 February, not far off, I was starting to think about…….then it struck me! Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. A critique of SEA1000 from the outside

When critiquing government’s strategic policy, the ‘things were better in my day’ syndrome needs to be avoided. That these decisions and the supporting background strategic analysis and assessments are always hidden from wider view by secrecy classifications and need-to-know protocols must be accepted as must the reality that pragmatic consideration will be given to other important matters like alliance and industry policy. Still, how did SEA1000 happen?

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Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE    What is a health service for?  

A health service should be run in the  interests of the public.Unfortunately any worthwhile reforms of our health sector to benefit the public are usually vetoed by providers with their special interests. Continue reading

Posted in Health | 5 Comments

KISHORE MAHBUBANI. The Year Ahead 2020(Project Syndicate 26.12.2019)

The international order has lagged dangerously behind shifting global power dynamics. If leaders do not start addressing the contradictions soon, the most likely result is crisis – or even conflict – and even more dangerous contradictions. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments