While governments continue to spruik the supposed economic benefits of urban car racing events such as the Grand Prix and Supercars 500, the lack of transparency simply highlights an endemic culture of cronyism. Christine Everingham and Patricia Johnson investigate.
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The resources industry donated $136.8 million over two decades to Australian political parties. Donations buy a lot of influence, with research showing that for every US$1 spent, the return on investment can be as high as US$220. In return, public policy is moulded to suit the interests of the highest corporate bidders and their lobbyists. Adam Lucas investigates.
Despite huge government subsidies of more than $8 billion a year for child care, parents still pay an arm and a leg for this essential service. And the women who mostly do the caring and educating receive pittance wages while the landlords, developers and investors make a mint. Lisa Bryant reports.
A report on media diversity in Australia relies on statistics that the Human Rights Commission has now walked away from. Yet it’s a different story from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which refused to give detailed answers about its dubious handling of those government statistics, writes Tim Palmer
Despite their long history of putting profit ahead of the interests of their unemployed clients, the private job service agencies tasked with getting people back into work are set to reap more than half a billion dollars in the next six months simply for signing people up. Sam Brennan reports.
Michael Sainsbury looks at the sector’s tendency to mimic corporate Australia’s “male, pale and stale” Jurassic attitudes towards sexual harassment while continuing to sign off on corporate salaries for its all-powerful vice-chancellors.
“If we roll the deceased body, that expels the coronavirus-infected air from the lungs, it clearly extends the risk to my staff and my family,” says frontline worker in Victorian aged care crisis.
Australia’s universities: bosses reel in $1m-plus salaries, $1bn profit on back of staff underpayment
The rampant commercialisation of Australia’s public universities has been laid bare with behaviour more expected of multinationals than learned institutions. While huge numbers of teaching staff have been reportedly underpaid, the sector is reporting bumper profits and eyewatering corporate salaries. Michael Sainsbury runs the numbers.
The charity sector is struggling in the face of unprecedented demand from those the Coalition refuses to help. Fears are growing that many charities won’t survive. But if they go down, so will Australia’s social safety net and thousands of jobs. Julie Macken reports.
The numerous inquiries, reviews and consultations over the years have provided mounds of evidence of negligence, neglect and abuse in residential aged care homes. Yet the recommendations have mostly been ignored. Now we watch in horror as the number of elderly residents who have died from Covid-19 continues to climb. The government is going to have to explain how this predictable tragedy occurred on its watch.
The general manager of Gina Rinehart’s mining operations in Ecuador has been caught with a cache of illegal weapons. The arrest has stunned the expat community in the capital Quito where the likes of BHP, Newcrest, Hancock Prospecting and a slew of junior miners are enjoying a millennial “gold rush” as bullion prices hit records and drill results bode for enormously rich deposits of copper, gold, cobalt and other minerals. Michael West reports.
The deaths of 80 elderly people are imminent as a result of COVID-19 spreading through private aged care homes. Aged care behemoths were granted an extra $200m to cope with the pandemic but refuse to provide critical paid pandemic leave to an overwhelmingly casualised workforce, saying it’s the government’s responsibility.
Australia’s youth have been hit hardest by the unemployment crisis and are bankrolling the financial advantages enjoyed by older generations yet are told the pandemic is a good opportunity to grow and develop coping mechanisms. Michael Tanner reports on a new form of victim blaming.
The nation’s flawed dietary guidelines have much to answer for, with more than 5000 people losing their lives “unnecessarily” from Type 2 diabetes in the past three months. With evidence showing diet can improve underlying health conditions, in a time of rising COVID-19 infections it is more important than ever to revise the dietary guidelines, writes Maryanne Demasi.
Australia’s university vice-chancellors last year spent many hundreds of millions of dollars on “professional services”. Now that the over-reliance on overseas student has exposed the university sector and put thousands of academic jobs at risk
The role of medical journals is again in the spotlight after The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine retracted studies that raised alarms about the safety of experimental Covid-19 treatments. Dr Maryanne Demasi reports.
The alcohol industry’s peak lobby group Alcohol Beverages Australia has a powerful ally in the chairman of the ministerial forum on food regulation. Liberal MP Richard Colbeck has put forward similar arguments to the ABA to delay the adoption of stronger health warnings. Food ministers are due to vote next week on the issue, writes Luke Stacey.
The Andrews Labor government pumped $27.5 million into the long-failing, high-end wheel maker to help it limp across the line to an ASX listing last year. The float was a bonanza for it and a handful of other “existing investors” including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. But the stock exchange was so concerned about the vast gains being made that it placed a freeze over all 5.4 million shares the state government ended up with after the float, writes Anthony Klan in Part II of his investigation into Carbon Revolution. Read Part I here.
The Government has grovelled to its billionaire donors yet again, killing a Senate amendment to force the richest Australians to disclose their financial statements. Michael West reports on the crusade by independent senator Rex Patrick to hold the Morrison Government and its corporate mates such as the Packers, Murdochs and Lowys while putting property giant LendLease to the sword over its JobKeeper rorts.
Political donations, a policy of hiring former politicians and a proportion of the population addicted to gambling. It’s an insidious mix and hard to counter, as campaigners for transparency and accountability in gaming policy continually butt heads against the powerful and well-connected. Luke Stacey reports.
As the Government lavishes stimulus on home renovators, the pandemic has revealed Australia’s economy to be fragile, with an export profile more akin to a developing nation, and a huge trade deficit in high-end manufactures. “We have to start making things again,” writes Peter Roberts of our narrow manufacturing base.
Scott Morrison’s JobMaker plan unveiled to the National Press Club this week, was high on catchy slogans but won’t fix Australia’s “ideologically damaged” Vocational Education Training (VET) system, writes Mackenzie ResearchInstitute’s Bruce Mackenzie.
Australian taxpayers will fork out close to $1 billion for the Woomera Range Complex upgrade, used by the ADF, the US and UK. With revelations that the US military denies Australia access to computer source code needed to operate key components in our war-fighting equipment, Michelle Fahy investigates the real beneficiaries of this secret testing range.
The Murdochs and Packers have got their fingers in the taxpayer honeypot again, this time nabbing nearly $6 million from the Government without a tender for their website Mable. Michael West reports on the latest in corporate welfare.
As the Virgin administrators assess the bids for the failed airline, they will also grapple with the question of when air travel resumes. Domestic interstate travel may open in a few months, there is talk of a New Zealand travel “bubble”, too. Beyond that is anybody’s...
Rolling in cash, Mirvac has just confirmed plans to build Australia’s tallest building while leaning on taxpayers for the JobKeeper subsidy. Who else is rorting JobKeeper?