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politics December 23, 2017

Spoiled for Joyce

Malcolm Turnbull was upbeat at the news conference unveiling the latest reshuffle of his ministry this week. “We’ve had a lot of difficult issues to deal with this year,” he said. “You know, and we’ve dealt with them.” He was standing at the same...

education December 23, 2017

Religious school discrimination

We have been a little bewildered by recent lamentations of many of the churches about threats to their lack of religious freedom and their fear of persecution. Particularly as we heard almost nothing from them about such discrimination before the...

immigration December 16, 2017

False Labor and the birth of Manus

Only voters can create accountability for the bipartisan disaster on Manus Island. But that will mean penalising politicians who are popular. For once, on Monday, Peter Dutton was telling the truth. He had started off lying, in fact lying about...

politics December 16, 2017

Political missteps over China

Malcolm Turnbull’s carpet-bombing of Labor’s Sam Dastyari was always desperate politics and it has not served Australia’s national interest well. Saturday’s byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong will define the forced resignation of Dastyari...

politics December 9, 2017

Is Bill Shorten running out of luck?

In the truncated last session of the house of representatives for the year, Malcolm Turnbull adopted the mien of a political headkicker. He bellowed an attack on Bill Shorten so loudly at his Tuesday courtyard news conference he startled journalists...

rural December 9, 2017

Fighting the Santos pipeline

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event. Within minutes,...

politics December 2, 2017

Nationals turn on Turnbull

The theatre of the absurd that was the British TV comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus has a contemporary rival in the Australian parliament, or more precisely the federal Coalition government. But next week few will be laughing as the increasingly...

indigenous affairs December 2, 2017

Date with enmity

The difference this year is that debate didn’t fizzle out in the weeks after January 26. The Change the Date campaign was vocal and successful for the entirety of 2017, which tends to suggest there has been a shift in community attitudes with...

politics November 25, 2017

Queensland MPs threaten revolt

The Turnbull government’s overdraft with the Australian electorate is well and truly spent. And the prime minister’s desperate attempts to keep his creditors at bay have only served to worsen his precarious position. His decision to cancel next week...

law & crime November 25, 2017

The state and the right to die

Wednesday was a momentous day for Victoria. It was a momentous day for Australia. November 22, 2017, will be remembered as the day the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed through the Legislative Council. It will return to the Legislative Assembly...

politics November 18, 2017

Turnbull’s reality check is in the mail

Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t wait to jump on board his RAAF VIP jet and make it back to Australia from Manila for the same-sex marriage survey result. After the eight-hour flight there wasn’t a hint of jet lag as he bounded into the prime ministerial...