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…

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…

Telling Our Story: History, Orthodoxy and Ideology

On an autumn day, in a church in The Rocks, an Aboriginal farmhand from the Shoalhaven married the daughter of a Yorkshireman. Such a union is hardly controversial by today’s standards, but in 1864, a time when prejudice relegated Aboriginal people to a status afforded little recognition and few rights, it was enough to attract…

The Queen’s Republic

On September 4 1939, the front pages led with news of Prime Minister Menzies’ melancholy announcement the night before, that Britain was at war and so too was Australia. Menzies’ words would attain an epochal resonance in Australian history. Yet it wasn’t until an hour after he spoke that Australia actually declared war; when Governor-General…

Higher Education Cuts: It’s Now That Counts

The headlines were stark; $2.3 billion is be stripped from higher education to help fund the Commonwealth’s school funding reforms. $900 million will be taken from universities directly via an efficiency dividend, while the remainder will come from changes to the Student Start-up Scholarship and abolition of the HECS upfront contribution discount. Student groups wasted…

The Coalition: A Question of Strategy

There’s a question lawyers must ask, when deciding whether or not to pursue a matter… is there a reasonable prospect of success? If the weight of the argument to be made doesn’t offer that prospect, they must not proceed. To do so vexatiously; to harass and injure, would be as Lord Blackburn warned, an abuse…

You can’t change history when you’re the opposition

When Kevin Rudd was deposed in June 2010, two questions were at the forefront of people’s minds, how did it happen and why? Now two years later, people are still wondering. They’re wondering why time has done little to settle the ruminations about Labor’s leadership? Why despite Rudd’s failed bid to retake the leadership in…