immigration August 11, 2018

Pushing the limits of acceptable debate

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory, many people sought to persuade themselves it wasn’t as dramatic a result as it seemed. If only a few thousand votes in a few forgettable states had gone the other way, they posited,...

environment July 7, 2018

Tony Abbott’s latest demolition job

Last Tuesday night, Tony Abbott was in his element. Surrounded by climate change sceptics and deniers he set about destroying Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy. And he did so with panache, his opening line more a battle cry: “It takes...

environment November 11, 2017

The precedent against Adani

As the Stop Adani campaign grows, and the heat around Adani’s coalmine continues to haunt the Queensland premier, it might seem ironic that at this year’s Queensland Literary Awards the premier’s award for a work of state significance went to a book...

environment June 2, 2018

Barnaby Joyce wreaks havoc again

The exasperation in the government is palpable. “The only thing anyone is talking about this week is the Barnaby Joyce soap opera,” was the reaction of one fed-up backbencher. But it is not only the distraction that is the issue; it is the spectre...

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...

immigration July 8, 2017

Tony Abbott keeps up the fight

Malcolm Turnbull is in full international statesman mode, representing Australia’s interests on the world stage. He’s rubbing shoulders with heavy hitters at the G20 in Germany and he is on his way to London to see the Queen. Never has it been truer...

indigenous affairs July 1, 2017

Adani, native title and risky strategies

Adrian Burragubba is the key litigant against the Carmichael mine in Central Queensland right now. He has a right to be a litigant, but during the past decade he has in my opinion put at risk the native title rights of the majority of the...

religion June 10, 2017

Playing the blame game on terror attacks

The sheer magnitude of the terror atrocities in London and Manchester has spawned a dark mood in the community. Our politicians are sensing it but the reactions of some are increasingly dangerous to our survival as a liberal democratic society. At...

environment June 3, 2017

Frydenberg’s carbon capture pipe dream

Back in 2008 under the perennially polluted grey skies of Beijing, then prime minister Kevin Rudd took a busload of press gallery journalists to the 800 megawatt coal-fired power station in the suburb of Gaobeidian. The purpose: to see a functioning...

environment April 15, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull, Gautam Adani and the Carmichael mine

As a public transport tragic and technology nerd, Malcolm Turnbull looked as though he was in seventh heaven. There he was on the brand-new Delhi Metro alongside his Indian host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking selfies. As he reviewed his...

environment December 17, 2016

Australia leads way in fossil fuel divestment

Australians are taking effective climate action on a scale not seen anywhere else on the planet.