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politics September 23, 2017

Abbott’s all-out assault over energy

American baseball legend Yogi Berra was famous for malapropisms that somehow found their way into common usage. With Tony Abbott’s latest interventions, one of his most famous phrases comes instantly to mind: “It’s deja vu all over again.” We’ve...

religion September 23, 2017

Correcting the debate on gender identity

Two weeks in, I find myself punch-drunk and utterly perplexed. As a transgender advocate who has spent more than 25 years working to expand the legal and cultural recognition of universal human rights and to demystify gender diversity more generally...

politics September 16, 2017

Women’s entrappings of high office

The popular chant at Donald Trump’s election rallies was, invariably, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” So popular, in fact, it continues at his post-election rallies, now that he is United States president. The woman they want to lock up, of course, is...

politics September 16, 2017

Turnbull turns Chifley on energy

In a sure sign the Turnbull government is thrashing about in its death throes, this week it resembled the Labor Party of Ben Chifley in 1949 more than anything else. The late Labor icon was a champion of big government. He favoured intervention and...

politics September 9, 2017

Coalition tensions fuel energy debate

The Liberals’ Ian Macdonald has been around the federal parliament a long time, as he proudly boasts. He is the father of the senate and the parliament – the double due to his 27 years in the place. At this week’s meeting of the government party...

politics September 9, 2017

Australia chases America’s decline

Have you noticed how the term “alarmist” only ever gets applied to climate science, and never economics? Make persistent, incorrect claims about fiscal apocalypse, and that’s just prudential. Government debt? The road to Greece. Reforming negative...

politics September 2, 2017

Turnbull and the greasy poll

Next week is shaping as a watershed for Malcolm Turnbull and his government. The parliament resumes, the latest Newspoll will be published and the High Court will consider two challenges to the voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage. And if...

rural September 2, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull caves in to Tasmanian loggers

Last weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew to Launceston for the Tasmanian Liberals’ yearly conference. Accompanied by Premier Will Hodgman, Turnbull’s first stop was the timber yard of logging company Neville-Smith Forest Products, once a...

politics August 26, 2017

Echoes of Gillard in citizenship fight

A Labor staffer who was part of the wild ride that was the Gillard minority government says there’s more than a whiff of deja vu about what’s happening to the Turnbull operation right now. He says the process goes like this: the prime minister gets...

politics August 26, 2017

Cashless welfare unsuccessful and unwelcome

As I am writing this, with the radio on, Christian Porter, the cabinet minister in charge of welfare, is announcing the local government area of Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales as the first site for his welfare recipient drug trial. This is...

politics August 19, 2017

The mad Katter’s tea party

He may be the “Mad Katter” to friends and foe alike but the idiosyncratic independent MP from Queensland was razor sharp in his diagnosis of this week’s descent into absurdity. Assessing Malcolm Turnbull’s handling of the citizenship crisis...