Author: Sandi Keane

Telstra’s doomed Asian venture

Will Telstra’s adventures abroad plug its leaks back home? Little Red Blog editor, Michael Sainsbury, reports on Telstra’s doomed Asian venture. In Jakarta two weeks ago, Telstra’s unnervingly bouncy chief executive Andy Penn was talking his usual upbeat game at the rather ironically named Indonesia-Australia Digital Forum. The sight of yet another Telstra chief venturing into Asia and talking up the company’s “global” prospects in the technology sector should have given any shareholder cause to jump right back into bed and pull the blankets over their heads. In its attempted moves into both Asia and the tech sector in general,...

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Revolving Doors: how the fossil fuel lobby has governments ensnared

The polls are compelling. The wind has been sniffed. Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten is finally making noises about pulling Labor support for Adani’s Carmichael coal project. Even surpassing the environmental madness of building the world’s biggest new thermal coal mine, the project is unbankable. It does not stack up financially. The price of generating renewable energy has plunged 50 per cent in two years and is now cheaper to deliver than new coal. Shorten is on firm ground electorally. How did it even get this far? That such a white elephant is still staggering about, not quite dead...

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Has Labor lost its nerve on private health insurance?

In his Press Club address last week, Bill Shorten made some unflattering remarks about private health insurance. But every indication is that an incoming Labor government will maintain, or perhaps even strengthen, support for private health insurance. An opportunity to reform health care by phasing out private health insurance and by redirecting its $10 billion annual subsidy will be wasted. Ian McAuley reports. “I’m fed up with the Private Health Insurance industry treating Australians like mugs, gouging people on the basis of a con.” That’s an extract from Bill Shorten’s Press Club speech last Tuesday. There was a time when such a...

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The revolving door at the infrastructure club

The revolving door of politics represents a particularly difficult problem for modern democracies. And when senior public servants leave their positions to work as lobbyists for the infrastructure industry – an industry that takes a lion’s share of government spending, and is afforded substantive protection from scrutiny by “commercial confidentiality” – that problem grows substantially. George Rennie from the University of Melbourne reports. A recent Fairfax story on Adrian Dwyer’s move to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) again demonstrates the significant turnover of senior public servants moving to the private sector. Dwyer was the director of policy and research at Infrastructure Australia,...

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The truth about political donations: what we don’t know

The big story about the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual release of political donations disclosures is how little they really tell us. Over the last decade, the major parties have routinely only transparently disclosed 10-20 per cent of their incomes as donations. Dr Lindy Edwards from the UNSW reports. There is another 20-35 per cent of party incomes that falls into a grey area, where accounting enables them to conceal the source of the money. Then there is another 50-70 per cent of party incomes the public knows absolutely nothing about. The precise splits for 2016-17 are: This situation is able to happen...

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New Michael West Podcast

Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.

Listen to THE ENERGY TRUTH on the PodcastOne website

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