Cause and Effect: The Legacy of Mr Fluffy

  On a winter day, the roar of a motor and rushing air disturbs the cool calm of suburban Canberra. A man on the back of a truck cuts open a hessian sack and plunges his hand in, taking out a clump of loose, grey, fibrous material; dropping it into the beating metal blades of…

A Government Divided

When Malcolm Turnbull came to power, it seemed he had a lot going for him. Only a minority disapproved of his move to topple the unpopular Tony Abbott, and he retained power for the Coalition in the 2016 election. He brought with him strong personal appeal, appeal that notable bridged the major party divide, leading…

The Greens’ disastrous week, and why s 44 needs to change

It has been a bad few days for the Greens. Last Friday, Greens Senator for Western Australia, and co-deputy leader of the Federal party Scott Ludlam resigned, after realising he was still a citizen of New Zealand. Today, prompted by her colleague’s revelation, fellow co-deputy leader and Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters also resigned, realising…

Civil Defence: The Role of Troops in Domestic Threats

The Australian Government has today announced new powers, to clarify and expand the role the Australian Defence Force may play in responding to domestic terrorism threats. The exact details, and how these new powers are to be expressed in legislation, are yet to be revealed. But already they have provoked a strong and varied range…

75 Years – The Fall of Singapore

Singapore was promoted as a fortress, an icon of British influence and prestige in the far east, and a point from which the empire could exercise power over its dominions in the Pacific. The reality of Singapore was quite different. Far from being an icon of British power and prestige, it typified an empire that…

The Media After Trump

These are perilous times for the media. At best media organisations are in a slump, while they search for a new and sustainable business model in a changing world. At worst, they are in a terminal decline as that changing world leaves them behind. Once, those titans who owned the print presses and the broadcast…

Reframing the 18C debate – The One Question

The debate about s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has reemerged. It’s not a debate most Australians asked for, yet a vocal minority of mostly conservative white males have managed to garner it an inordinate amount of attention. For those not familiar with the Act, s 18C and its companion provision 18D were introduced…

Killer Story – A Savage Wombat Tale

In the country of killer crocs, killer snakes, spiders under every toilet seat, and drop bears in every tree, nothing makes for as potent click-bait as a tale of animal versus human. Just look at the NT News. So one can imagine the relish of Canberra Times’ editors when given the opportunity to write this headline:…

Curious Canberra

Why are Canberra’s fire appliances yellow? Emergency vehicles are called on in all conditions night and day, to respond as quickly as possible to incidents. Safety and speed make the visibility of these vehicles vital. Vehicle colour, eye-catching liveries and flashing lights (also called “beacons”) work in conjunction with sound devices like sirens, to make…

Press Freedom Declines

What is happening to journalism? On the one hand the past decade has seen technology permit journalists to capture what is happening in the world in more ways than ever, and to share it faster via more mediums than ever before. It should be a time for vibrancy and diversity in journalism, a time for…

Sukumaran and Chan: No gain, only an ending.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are criminals, they would be the first to admit that. They committed a crime facilitating a scourge in society; trying to export drugs to Australia that are illicit, that fuel crime and that destroy lives. They deserve punishment for their crime, but not death. Some would argue that for trying…

ANZAC Day’s True Meaning

War is nothing to celebrate; it is the product of forgetting a common humanity, represents the very worst aspects of humanity and is responsible for the darkest chapters of our history. ANZAC Day has come to mean many things since its humble beginnings. For many it has become a de-facto national day; a day when…

Katy Gallagher to resign; become ACT Senator

ACT Chief Minister of four years Katy Gallagher has announced she will resign in coming days to pursue one of the ACT’s two Senate seats, to become vacant when incumbent Kate Lundy resigns next year. That Gallagher would run for the Senate was almost a given. A strong performer for the Labor Party in the ACT…