July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

Australia’s democracy isn’t perfect, but many of you just changed the country

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

The democracy sausage has become the symbol of Australians’ trust and enthusiasm for our free and fair elections, but we have much more to celebrate than sausage sizzles (which, I will point out, are needed to help P&Cs fundraise for our underfunded public school system). Think about the thousands of people across the country who

Scott Morrison’s attacks on ICAC have gone too far

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

“Intolerance of corruption is essential to the survival of our representative democracy and way of life,” said the late David Ipp QC, former commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Australian voters certainly appear to agree. New Australia Institute research shows that three-quarters of Australians (76 per cent) say integrity issues are more or

With falling real incomes and rising prices many people don’t believe the story of prosperity Scott Morrison is preaching

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

While it makes economic and political sense to suggest, as Anthony Albanese has, that the minimum wage, and indeed most wages, rise inline with the rate of inflation Scott Morrison has suggested such a move would be ‘reckless and dangerous’. What’s far more dangerous and reckless is letting real wages and consumer spending fall just

Why commentary that wages growing in line with inflation will drive up inflation is completely misguided

by Greg Jericho

Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real

April 2022

It is time to talk about truth in political advertising

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Before a vote has been cast, one election verdict has already been delivered. The campaign has been too light on policy and too heavy on misleading scare tactics. Our democracy is suffering for it. In just the first weeks of the election campaign, we have seen heated accusations of misleading claims from all sides. Waleed

Canberra is increasingly outsourcing its national role. That needs to stop

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

In the final days before the federal election was called, the new South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas came to Canberra to deliver a blistering National Press Club address. One seasoned journalist described the speech as Obama-esque. While Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese criss-crossed the country visiting the states to make local announcements in the then

Coalition’s federal budget prioritises re-election over good of Australians

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Economists are fond of saying that Budgets reveal a government’s priorities and this year’s federal budget reveals the Morrison government’s number one priority is getting re-elected. In one way, that’s understandable- all governments want to be re-elected. But as the Treasurer’s speech outlined, these are uncertain times. Australia is facing some very real problems like

March 2022

Morrison’s economic lies

by Richard Denniss in The Saturday Paper

Scott Morrison lies about the economy all the time. He can’t help himself. He tells big lies about transitioning away from fossil fuels and small lies about the role of his office in the way grants are directed to marginal seats. He tells strategic lies about the union movement engaging in “a campaign of extortion”

All of us pay for natural disasters like Qld and NSW floods

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s no doubt well-meaning attempt to raise money for Queensland flood victims though a GoFundMe appeal this week revealed two concerning disconnects from reality. One was the Government’s failure to grasp the scope of the new era of climate disasters we now face. The second was a failure to meet expectations for

February 2022

Senate should flex its muscles to strengthen democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Australians are confused about the Senate. That is the unmistakable conclusion of the Australia Institute’s national poll of Australians on their knowledge of and attitudes towards the upper house, the largest and most comprehensive poll of its kind. However, that does not mean the Senate is not important in the public’s democratic engagement. In fact,

Largest coal plant to close early, but where is the national roadmap to manage the rest?

by Richie Merzian in The New Daily

Australia’s largest power station is shutting down in 2025, seven years early. Origin Energy, having bought the power station from the New South Wales government less than 10 years ago, now wants to retire its last remaining coal asset. Upon announcement, the Origin Energy CEO stated “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations

Josh Frydenberg’s ‘Great Reshuffle’ another sign Coalition is out of touch with reality

by Alison Pennington in The New Daily

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s recent declaration – that wage-restrained workers need simply participate in the so-called “Great Reshuffle” to find better-paid jobs – underscores just how disconnected the federal government is from the harsh realities facing many Australian workers. With shades of former treasurer Joe Hockey advising youth priced out of housing to “get a good job that pays good

Tax-deductible RATs deliver nothing to the lowest-paid. How very Morrison government

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The recent decision to make Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) tax deductible rather than free will deliver nothing to low paid essential workers and big savings to high income earners. How very Morrison Government. While a part-time cleaner working in the aged care sector will likely receive zero benefit from tax deductible RATs, someone earning $200,000

January 2022

Australia can learn from Asean when it comes to Russia-Ukraine stand-off

by Allan Behm in the South China Morning Post

Make no mistake: the heightened risk of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine has serious implications for Europe, especially the Nato members, as it does for the rest of the world. But most importantly, it has massive strategic consequences for the US. And that’s where it matters for Australia. To judge from much western media

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