The Turnbull Government is yet to end its love affair with coal. Instead it blames the problems on activists and has directed the government’s export finance agency, Efic, to lend where other financiers fear to tread. This looks like denial, the first stage of grieving for a lost lover. The Australia Institute researchers Tony Shields and Rod Campbell believe the long romance with coal is finally losing its spark. The Turnbull Government loves coal. A lot. But we may have just seen the first sign that this long romance is, at last, losing its spark. Until late last year, the government’s...Read More
Author: Sandi Keane
Bureaucratic efforts to undermine Freedom of Information laws by insisting it prevents “frank and fearless advice” hurts democracy and further estranges the governing class from the electorate. Bernard Keane reports. Attempts by the Public Service to resist the limited transparency provided by the Commonwealth’s already restrictive Freedom of Information laws has reached systemic levels. And the argument that making documents available under FOI would undermine the capacity of public servants to offer the cliched “frank and fearless advice” is becoming the go-t0 excuse for bureaucrats to refuse to reveal documents that are eminently in the public interest and fall...Read More
These comments on the global fate of democracy, the first in a three-part series, Is Democracy Dead or Alive?, are gathered by Democratic Theory and co-published by The Conversation with the Sydney Democracy Network. Several of these comments will feature as full-length articles in a special issue of Democratic Theory. Consider Brexit, the election of US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s referendum, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of state-sanctioned murder and Hungary’s drift towards a new authoritarianism. “Democracy is dead,” say the disheartened. “It’s time to bury democracy,” pounds one Tunisian pro-Sharia party. “Democracy has fallen, we need a new game in town,” argue Vladimir Putin’s populist...Read More
The Seven Network giving airtime to far-right extremists makes the job of security agencies more difficult, at a time of a growing threat from neo-Nazi groups, writes Bernard Keane. The Seven Network’s extraordinary attempt to mainstream Nazi views by giving an uncritical platform to convicted criminal Blair Cottrell, leader of the far-right group United Patriots Front, has prompted concerns about the undermining of national security as intelligence agencies deal with the growing threat of neo-Nazi violence. Seven’s “news” report on Sunday, in which Cottrell was allowed to freely opine about the alleged “African gangs” issue in Melbourne as a legitimate...Read More
Paul Budde, one of the world’s foremost telecommunications management and business consultants has been advocating essential structural changes to the NBN strategy to prevent a 50 per cent write-off. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now joined him. Paul Budde reports. It was interesting to see that the ACCC has now indicated that a different financial structure for the NBN might have to be the next major step in the Australian broadband saga. After it became clear that, following his proper election in 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull didn’t take the opportunity to introduce the essential structural changes...Read More
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.
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