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House prices may have finally peaked, at least in Melbourne and Sydney. But a slight cooling in some overheated cities makes little difference to overall housing affordability in Australia, which has declined significantly over the past two decades.We need a new, nationally coordinated approach to housing policy in order to ensure that the vast majority of Australians have access to the suitable, affordable and secure housing they deserve.
In the debate about selective schools personal stories and beliefs can drown out evidence, especially when that evidence challenges the status quo. So we hear plenty of anecdotes about the successes of selective school students, but relatively few about the students and schools they leave behind. Continue reading
ANCILE Avocats French law firm filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the use of an army of mercenaries trained in the UAE and sent to participate in the ongoing war in Yemen. Continue reading
We can easily highjack the parable of the Good Samaritan, says Sister Patty Fawkner, if we don’t see it within the context of the overarching message of the Bible. Continue reading
I continue to be concerned by the public positions taken by various Catholic Arch-Bishops (Prowse, Canberra Times, June 7, 2018; Coleridge Canberra Times, 11 July, 2018) with regards the Catholic confessional and the mandatory reporting of child abuse. The Church’s position against such laws is based on the arguments that:
- people basically don’t confess such sins anymore so there is no issue
- that children would not be safer
- the priest has taken a holy vow to keep confidential what is heard in the confessional, and that
- the practice of confession is a religious freedom and as such, that what occurs within the practise of religion is somehow outside the law of the land.
In what is perhaps a fantasy endeavour – to find Trump’s objectives in recent travel and assess outcomes – I suggest three. And in this essay, I look further into global and perceptual actions and needs… and the lack of decent vision in Australia. Continue reading
The US president is hostile to the core values the country used to stand for. Continue reading
I meant “wouldn’t” denuclearize. Continue reading
Trump has shown little political savvy and even less powers of analysis. However, it is hard to see the USA as having the moral high ground to justify the hysterical moral outrage generated by Trump’s incompetence when it has done exactly the same thing many times in many places. Syria is a case of double standards. Great powers always promote their own interests irrespective of their domestic arrangements. Americans don’t care about MH17 because lots of Americans were not involved so Trump was not going to raise that with Putin – if he was even aware of it. Australia would be well advised to keep out of this but we won’t because MH17 is important to us. Continue reading
Aggregate demand is being hit by the concentration of income growth among the top earners and is now a drag on economic growth. Continue reading
Given the unexpected pace of events in recent weeks, the end of Syria’s seven-year agony appears to be very near. It is now all but certain that Bashar al-Assad’s government will win its long war against Sunni jihadists and their foreign supporters. The focus in Syria is already turning from conflict, casualty counts, and displacement to reconciliation, resettlement, and reconstruction. Continue reading
Hamlet was depressed about the law’s delay. To this day, legal processes take a notoriously long time, and international ones take even longer. International lawyers, and the world, have been waiting at least since 1998 for the crime of aggression to be activated. Continue reading
On 7th April 2018 an incident occurred in the Syrian city of Douma, 10 km North east of the capital Damascus. It was alleged, initially by the jihadi extremists occupying the city that a nerve gas attack had been carried out by Syrian government forces. Continue reading
“King coal to rule for 20 more years” screamed the front page lead headline in The Australian, following the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 20-year blueprint for the future of energy, known as its Integrated System Plan. Continue reading
Pope Francis has struck a more welcoming tone, but the church still needs tangible institutionalized reform. Continue reading
In a most unusual Trump/Putin media conference in Helsinki it seemed that the notably absent participant was Robert Mueller. Continue reading
This was a most unusual summit, preceded and followed by a torrent of mostly negative Western MSM comment on the theme that ‘Putin will win this, and Western interests will lose’. Continue reading
Members of the Australian Parliament are rich. All of them – from the $200m Prime Minister down to the backbencher earning $203 020 a year and regardless of political affiliation – are in the top 0.5% of the richest people in the world. Although Senator Lucy Gichuhi believes her annual income is “not a lot of money” it’s still four times Australia’s median salary ($55 063) – which means that 50% of Australian adults live off less than a quarter of the Senator’s earnings. She’s not doing it tough. Continue reading
In 2018, Australia still does not have appropriate measures in place to maintain research integrity. And recent changes to our code of research conduct have weakened our already inadequate position. Continue reading
Simon Birmingham recently announced the government will invest an additional A$11.8 million in a successful preschool language learning program.
Some 300 languages are spoken in Australia. In the Greater Sydney area alone, nearly 40% of households speak a language other than English and many children of these households attend weekend community language learning.
But, in New South Wales for example, less than 10% of secondary students make it through to a final end of secondary school examination (Higher School Certificate) in an additional language. A report of Chinese learning shows of all the learners who start Chinese study 96% have dropped out by senior secondary level.
The additional funding for pre-secondary school language education is a step in the right direction to making Australia a more bilingual country. Starting early is the key to making sure students continue with their language education. Continue reading
President Xi Jinping has promised more than $23 billion in loans and aid to Arab states, as Beijing ramps up ties with the Middle East; this includes aid for Palestine; Beijing foresees importing a whopping $8 trillion from Arab states up to 2025. Continue reading
The Australian Special Forces are again in the firing line for alleged misconduct in combat, in relation to which the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force is expected to hand down a report in the near future. The number of alleged incidents are more than previously believed, though relatively small overall. Continue reading
Just when you might have thought you were getting a grip on the tin full of worms masquerading as the government’s energy policy, along comes yet another authoritative report. Continue reading
I am delighted to have been asked to open this conference [the China Economists’ Conference] which is occurring on the 40th Anniversary of the launching of China’s reforms and open-door policies, policies that have changed China and the world. Continue reading
The ACCC report is a mishmash of cognitive dissonance and half-baked suggestions for fixing the unfixable. Continue reading
Stephen FitzGerald (right) and former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam meet Chairman Mao Zedong on Nov 2, 1973, in Beijing.
Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China reflects on decades of transformation
Editor’s note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of China’s reform and opening-up policy. China Daily talks to some people from overseas who have experienced or witnessed the important drive. Continue reading
“God is dead, God is Dead!”
A new Enlightenment has dawned.
Bow to its three pillars: Reason, Science, Humanism. Continue reading
Our older readers – the really old ones – may remember The Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Moe. Continue reading
The talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un give some reason for a glimmer of hope for the Korean Peninsula, but given Donald Trump’s predilection for middle of the night tweets, that could come unstuck at any moment. The international situation continues to be uncertain, with China and the US still facing off over the South China Sea and war in Syria continuing. US power is waning and there is an urgent need for Australia to rethink our security strategy for the future. I think it’s timely to revisit the concept of armed neutrality. Continue reading
A flood (by my modest standards) of social media comments to my recent post – We have to talk (about) Turkey – was a poignant reminder that so many believe that democracy is mainly about free elections. The way many local commentators (and politicians) respond to President Trump’s actions also indicate the same misapprehension among those that should know better. Democracy is a system of government designed to protect and uphold the rights of the people. And to protect the people from government. In that sense, the case of the ‘Canberra Two’ is both scary and illuminating. Continue reading