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July Articles have moved to the Archives

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August 2014

Read in 94 Countries

30 August 2014
by Peter Brent


ACCOUNTS of Senate budget shenanigans tend to cast the Greens in a minor role. It’s generally Clive Palmer reckons this, or Jacqui Lambie says that, or the odd David Leyonhjelm utterance.
That’s because the Greens have taken themselves out of consideration by putting on the record their unequivocal opposition to so many of the government’s measures.
Yet unlike the Palmer United Party, the Greens have sufficient Senate numbers to guarantee passage of any piece of government legislation. [Read More...]

30 August 2014
by Peter Brent


THE Abbott government is one year old next week. According to Niki Savva, Monday’s cabinet meeting saw a “consensus, as summed up by the Prime Minister ... that the government was in a good position and had probably done as well as the Howard government had in its first year (which, by the way, was shattered by travel rorts)”. Doing “well” is a slippery, subjective concept, but that government 17 years ago was certainly travelling better in the opinion polls and was much better-regarded in the electorate. It had brought down the most most-embraced budget in nine years, one that boasts the third-highest “good for the economy” rating since Newspoll began measuring them in 1986. The Abbott government has delivered the second-least popular, after the Keating government’s detested 1993 try-on. [Read More...]

30 August 2014

CCC throws out Palmer claims

Clive Palmer.

Watchdog won’t investigate claims he tried to corruptly influence the Qld Govt.

Queensland’s corruption watchdog will not investigate claims made by the Deputy Premier against Federal MP Clive Palmer.

Jeff Seeney alleged Mr Palmer had tried to corruptly influence him while seeking approval for a developmental proposal in the Galilee Basin, including a rail corridor and port facilities at Abbot Point. [Read More...]

30 August 2014

$12m to keep refugees offshore ‘outrageous’

A child among a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers sent back by Australia.

Keeping 157 Sri Lankans from setting foot in Australia proved very expensive.

The federal government’s failed bid to return 157 asylum seekers to India cost taxpayers more than $12 million, as passengers were held at sea for nearly a month before being brought to the Australian mainland, it’s been reported. [Read More...]

28 August 2014
by David Swanton

Time for euthanasia to be regulated

Euthanasia Campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke

In recent weeks, Australia's most outspoken voluntary euthanasia campaigner, Philip Nitschke, has been subjected to harsh criticism from some euthanasia supporters, including the ACT's Mary Porter and the chairman of beyondblue, Jeff Kennett.

Given that this criticism is based around actions concerning a recent case of 'rational suicide', an issue that has been raised before with barely any public criticism, I suspect these commentaries are part of a broader campaign to undermine Dr Nitschke, the director of Exit International. [Read More...]

28 August 2014
by Damian Smith

An open letter to Tony Abbott

Independent journalists are finding it difficult to keep up with the supply of stupidity this government has been feeding us. If Tony Abbott could only keep himself and his Ministers away from a microphone – even for only a day or two – we could all draw breath. [Read More...]

28 August 2014

Taxis beware: Road-testing Uber in Adelaide

ADELAIDE | After using the services of an Uber chauffeur last night – to call him a driver would be to undersell it – I have no doubt that the Uber experience is simply better than the taxi experience.

Above all, the Uber app means speed and knowledge – both qualities that can be lacking in the standard Adelaide taxi experience.

As soon as you tap on the map and summon one of those black luxury sedans to your location you know: [Read More...]

28 August 2014

ICAC body count reaches double digits

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett is the latest ICAC casualty.

NSW MP Bart Bassett is the latest Liberal casualty after being named at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The state’s illegal donations scandal has claimed yet another NSW Liberal Party scalp, with Bart Bassett stepping aside from the party. [Read More...]

28 August 2014
by Ebony Bowden

Gillard to front inquiry

former PM Julia Gillard

Former PM to give evidence to royal commission over role in union ‘slush fund’.

The royal commission into union corruption has called on former prime minister Julia Gillard to give evidence over a union ‘slush fund’ she helped establish. [Read More...]

28 August 2014
by Andrew Leigh

Collaborative consumption challenges compettion code

Today, the disruptive services in many service industries come from 'collaborative consumption' facilities that use the internet to link people together. Apps such as AirBnB and Uber are changing how people buy and sell services. Rather than paying hundreds of dollars for a fancy hotel room, AirBnB puts us in touch with ordinary people who have a room or apartment going spare. Instead of hunting for a scarce taxi on a rainy Friday afternoon, Uber lets us catch a ride with someone else who is going our way. Sure, dollars are exchanged for these services, but that transaction happens between individuals via an app rather than through established commercial providers. [Read More...]

27 August 2014

A Most Uncomfortable Handshake

Putin and Poroshenko

“The fate of Ukraine and the fate of Europe are being decided in Minsk today.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met face-to-face in Minsk, Belarus, on Tuesday, the pair’s first bi-lateral meeting to discuss the bloody fighting in eastern Ukraine that has gripped the region since June. [Read More...]

27 August 2014
by Jennifer Marohasy

This could be the year's biggest story...

Who’s going to be sacked for making-up global warming at Rutherglen?

Heads need to start rolling at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The senior management have tried to cover-up serious tampering that has occurred with the temperatures at an experimental farm near Rutherglen in Victoria. Retired scientist Dr Bill Johnston used to run experiments there. He, and many others, can vouch for the fact that the weather station at Rutherglen, providing data to the Bureau of Meteorology since November 1912, has never been moved.

Senior management at the Bureau are claiming the weather station could have been moved in 1966 and/or 1974 and that this could be a justification for artificially dropping the temperatures by 1.8 degree Celsius back in 1913. [Read More...]

26 August 2014

Risky subprime mortgages staging comeback in Australia

Audio News Story

26 August 2014

Greg Hunt explodes over solar industry's anti-LNP marginal seat campaign

Environment Minister Greg Hunt is furious about the Australian Solar Council launching a marginal seat campaign against the Government over its attacks on the renewables industry.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has launched an extraordinary attack on the head of the Australian Solar Council (ASC), John Grimes, after comments the ASC chief made on ABC radio, criticising the Coalition’s “broken promises” on support for renewable energy. [Read More...]

26 August 2014
by John Passant

How about increasing taxes on the rich?

Finance Minister Matthias Cormann has suggested if the government can’t get the rest of its Budget attacks on the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and workers through the Senate, it will consider tax increases. [Read More...]

26 August 2014

Former Sydney Ferries boss and navy rear admiral jailed for $200,000 fraud

Rear admiral Geoffrey Smith

Geoffrey Smith, former deputy chief of the Australian navy, given 18 month sentence for using his Sydney Ferries CEO credit card to fund lavish lifestyle

Former deputy chief of the Australian navy Geoffrey Smith has been jailed for at least 18 months after defrauding Sydney Ferries of more than $200,000. [Read More...]

26 August 2014 by Kaye Lee

Nothing is free? Depends who you are.

“[The budget] will do for people what they cannot do for themselves, but no more. Nothing is free. Someone always pays.”

A common refrain from Tony Abbott and his band of miserly men is that the taxpayer is footing the bill for all those “leaners” and that people should take more personal responsibility for themselves. User pays seems to be the pervading Coalition strategy in most areas – education, health, fuel excise, road tolls, GST.

It is somewhat ironic that Tony Abbott is leading this spin considering how much he has been given. [Read More...]

26 August 2014
by Letitia McQuade

The world is turning its back on our coal

So what is Abbott’s plan for our future?

The coalition are right about one thing, coal is one of Australia’s top earners. Coal brought in roughly AU $46 Billion in the 2013 fiscal year, and is currently our second biggest export; no matter how much we love renewables no one could argue that a fall off in demand could be very damaging for our nations bottom line. But that is exactly what is happening, our 2013 coal revenue, while still quite robust, was actually down by 3.6% from 2012. And while some may posit that this is just a statistical anomaly, (the 5 year growth trend was up 16% until 2012), not everyone is convinced that what we are seeing isn’t just the first dip on a imminent free fall decline. [Read More...]

25 August 2014

Here we Joh again:

Queensland Police stall investigation into anti-corruption boss

Dictatorial Queensland Premier Campbell Newman in front of a portrait of corrupt former Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen

Queensland Police seems to be stalling an investigation into claims the Premier Campbell Newman's hand-picked acting CCC chair, Ken Levy, deliberately misled Parliament.

One of the reasons the Newman Government gave for the radical surgery it performed on the corruption watchdog was that the old CMC was inefficient and took far too long to investigate complaints. [Read More...]

25 August 2014

No bail for ex-cop Rogerson

Former Police officer Roger Rogerson was arrested at his home in May

Alleged murderer Roger Rogerson has been refused bail at a Sydney court on Monday.

Former NSW detective and accused murderer Roger Rogerson has been refused bail despite offering $1.5 million as security. [Read More...]

25 August 2014

Our internet connection is down due to a Telstra fault.
They (Telstra) have promised it will be fixed by end of business tomorrow 26/8/14.
Apologies for the interuption, and we hope to see you on Tuesday.

25 August 2014
by Mobile Device



In the framework of the 4-country agreement signed on 8 August between Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia, information on the progress and results of the investigation of the disaster will remain classified. [Read More...]

23 August 2014
by Graham Pick

Everything We Have Been Taught About Our Origins Is A Lie

400 million year old hammer

In June 1936 Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk beside a waterfall near to London, Texas, when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. What they found within shocked the archaeological and scientific community. Embedded in the rock was what appeared to be some type of ancient man made hammer. [Read More...]

23 August 2014
by David Marr

ASIO's indefinite detention beyond reason or doubt

Sayed Jaffarie is not a refugee. He did not come by boat. He is not accused of terrorism in any shape or form. At the age of 21 he flew here from Pakistan to join his wife, an Australian citizen. Some time after the arrival of this young Hazara in 2008 he opened a shop in the western suburbs of Sydney and if ASIO is right – who can tell – he began “facilitating and providing support for people-smuggling activities. [Read More...]

23 August 2014
by Mike Seccombe

Inside Story:
How to kill off a lord mayor
the 'Get Clover' plot

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

The major parties are legislating to take over city councils with an attempt to stack votes in their favour.

Robert Borsak just loves to kill things. The bigger the better. You can check out the pictures online of Borsak posing beside various dead birds and mammals, some stuffed, some still bleeding. Proudest of all are the images of him beside a couple of the elephants he slaughtered during a trip to Zimbabwe in 2009. [Read More...]

23 August 2014
by Jennifer Marohasy

Heat is on over weather bureau ‘homogenising temperature records’

Earlier this year Tim Flannery said “the pause” in global warming was a myth, leading medical scientists called for stronger action on climate change, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology declared 2013 the hottest year on record. All of this was reported without any discussion of the actual temperature data. It has been assumed that there is basically one temperature series and that it’s genuine. [Read More...]

22 August 2014
by Margaret McKenzie

What is and isn’t a ‘sovereign risk’

Widespread violent protests in Greece in response to austerity measures showed the world what a real sovereign risk looks like.

The use of the term “sovereign risk” by Trade Minister Andrew Robb to describe the federal budget stalling in the senate shows just how fast and loosely the term has come to be used.
But to whom is the risk? Who would bear the cost of the downside? What caused the risk? How big is the risk in the context of the overall costs and benefits of the action? [Read More...]

22 August 2014
by Kaye Lee

A sociopathic lack of empathy

One thing I have tried to teach my children is that, when you make a mistake, tell the truth, apologise, do what you can to make up for it, and learn from the experience.

The example being set by our nation’s leaders makes it hard to reinforce that message. [Read More...]

22 August 2014

IPA/News Corp's bogus claims of ABC anti-fossil fuel bias

The IPA and The Australian have commenced a spurious attack against the ABC over its coverage of the fossil fuel versus renewables debate

It’s tempting to view The Australian’s latest broadside at the ABC as just another salvo fired between our nation’s two biggest media organisations. [Read More...]

22 August 2014

by Bob Ellis

Captain Abbott's Epic Team Failure

Though the competition is large, Abbott's 'Team Australia' is probably the most idiotic thing he’s said in a fortnight, writes Bob Ellis.

What Abbott has been attempting lately is what might be called a daily scramble to change the subject.
Operation Bringing Them Home. Threatening Putin. Denouncing an independent Scotland. Praising the cross-benchers. Denouncing Clive Palmer. Declaring there is no Budget emergency after all.
His latest wheeze is Team Australia; and how, as George W. Bush might have put it, you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists. [Read More...]

22 August 2014

by Adam Blanch

Vigilante justice: feminism's latest attack on human rights

There is a simple reason that we place the responsibility of conviction and punishment in the hands of the courts, to prevent the word 'justice' becoming synonymous with 'vengeance' or even worse, false prosecution. It is the responsibility of the court, professionals trained in the matter, to determine that an individual is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and to determine a just and proportional punishment. [Read More...]

22 August 2014

Melbourne police seizing begging bowls, say social workers


Begging is illegal in Victoria and police say beggars are charged but deny confiscating money

Outreach workers say Melbourne police are cracking down on homeless people begging for money and are increasingly seizing their begging cups. [Read More...]

21 August 2014

Chief Justice Carmody and the “merit principle”

What are we looking for in judges, and particularly in a chief justice? The controversy over the Queensland government’s appointment of Tim Carmody QC helps clarify the issues [Read More...]

20 August 2014

by Mike.B

The Love Of Money Is The Root Of All Evil
$US v The World

From an Australian point of view, should more be read into what Clive Palmer said on Q&A on Monday 18th August 2014? Or are those words the rantings of a person punch drunk with power.
There is no doubt Palmer and his PUP party are in an unprecedented position in Australian politics. The power that he wields has seemingly surfaced at the perfect time for a battler. [Read More...]

19 August 2014

Claims of Australia's biggest oil discovery in 30 years

Apache claims to have found the largest Australian oil deposit in decades offshore in WA's Canning Basin.

US oil and player Apache has made what is being feted by some as potentially Australia’s largest oil discovery in the last 30 years, fuelling hopes of a new oil province located off the north-west coast. [Read More...]

19 August 2014

The Abbott Gafferment

Has there ever been a government like Australia’s? One more prone to gaffes and stumbles, mind melts and the utterance of utter inanities and idiocies; one more arrogant, asinine and absurd?

I don’t think so. [Read More...]

19 August 2014

After so much corruption, where can NSW politics go?

This week's revelations about electoral corruption, focussing on three Liberal MPs from the Hunter region, made me wonder how the party system will respond. So far the ICAC inquiry has removed the Liberal Premier, two of his Ministers, and six MPs. Two of the last three have resigned from the NSW Parliament, and by-elections will be held for their seats. [Read More...]

18 August 2014

The $500-a-day service charge designed to kill solar

Queensland businesses are being hit with daily service charges of more than $500 a day on their electricity bills, in a move the solar industry says is designed to kill the roll-out of commercial-scale rooftop solar across the state [Read More...]

17 August 2014


News Corp has in effect named Bill Shorten in The Australian newspaper on Saturday (16/8/14) as the suspect in the Victoria police rape investigation regarding a senior ALP member. The rape investigation was always going to end Bill Shorten’s political career at some point given the way he has handled it with complete silence and the story in The Australian may expedite it ending [Read More...]

17 August 2014

Scotland’s leader brands Australian PM’s remarks on independence ‘foolish’

Alex Salmond, the First Minister for Scotland, has said that comments by Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minster, that the world would not “be helped by an independent Scotland” are “foolish, hypocritical and offensive”. [Read More...]

16 August 2014

by John Lord

Giving Abbott a Serve

Since bringing down the budget a consensus has developed that even includes right wing journalists, with all agreeing that Tony Abbott has been an abject disaster as Prime Minister. [Read More...]

16 August 2014

by Kaye Lee

The fair go is going….going….gone?

457 Visas, affordable housing, egalitarian society, employment, minimum wage, National Rental Affordability Scheme, Penalty rates

In 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt said that he knew of no other free country where “what is produced by the community is more fairly and evenly distributed among the community” than it was in Australia.
The pillars of egalitarianism in Australia were high wages, high home ownership and low unemployment. [Read More...]

16 August 2014

by Sophie Morris

Abbott's piss and wind power on renewable energy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with a solar hot water system installer in Canberra.

Irrespective of the Warburton review’s findings, the uncertainty Tony Abbott has created is killing the green energy sector.

Forget inner-city sophisticates. The next battle over environmental policy will be played out in the outer ’burbs, where a person’s home is their castle and rooftop solar cells the very expression of their sovereignty. [Read More...]

16 August 2014

by John Ray

Ignorance is crippling Australia

A sure sign of ignorance, racism is rife in Australia

An apathetic and uninformed citizenry, electing clueless second-rate politicians to govern us, is sending Australia to the dogs, writes uni student John Ray, who says we must reform our faux democracy.
Ignorance is slowly killing our country. Ignorance has landed us with the government and prime minister dubbed ‘Australia’s George Bush’ [Read More...]

16 August 2014

2nd jihadist suspect leaves Australia using brother’s passport

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott conceded on Friday that a second suspected jihadist had flown out of the country to the Middle East using his brother’s passport [Read More...]

15 August 2014

As the blunders grow in number, can anyone actually challenge Abbott?

The Abbott government has become defined by gaffes of its own creation. What will the rest of his term look like, and can anyone seriously challenge him?

Who supports Tony Abbott now? [Read More...]

14 August 2014

Melbourne hospital sends out hundreds of death notices for living patients

Austin hospital mistakenly faxed more than 200 death notices to patients’ GPs

Daniel Andrews

Daniel Andrews:

‘It’s symptomatic of a health system that is in crisis.’

A Melbourne hospital has erroneously sent out death notices for hundreds of its living patients. [Read More...]

14 August 2014

Why Are The Clowns So Provocative?

Moscow considers Australia’s placing the blame for the events in Ukraine on Russia is unacceptable, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Australia Gets A Clip Behing The Ears

“Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs deems unacceptable the recent allegations made by Australia that place the blame in the tragic events in Ukraine, including the crash of the Malaysian airliner on Russia,” the statement reads. [Read More...]

14 August 2014

Desperate times as big business starts spruiking Hockey's hated Budget

Michael Chaney on ABC Lateline (12/8/14)

You know things are pretty grim in the Coalition bunker when even their corporate sponsors start coming down from their ivory towers to soil their silky smooth hands spruiking unpopular policies.

But so it came to pass last night, when the grey, owlish features of softly spoken banker Michael Chaney appeared on ABC Lateline to, ostensibly, discuss Treasurer Joe Hockey's latest whine that big business should be doing more to sell his unfair and unloved Budget. [Read More...]

14 August 2014

Adelaide: The Sad Sad Truth

From the land of third rate politicians, to diabolically dodgy recruitment practices; from a state government that spent $73 million building a one way freeway and then 14 years later, built the return lane at a cost of $400 million; from the understaffed age care facilities to some of the highest energy bills in the world; from kamikaze car drivers in the land time forgot, to sewerage fees set to the market valuation of the owner's property.
I bring you Adelaide.
With an opening like that, I've already lost half the SA readership. [Read More...]

14 August 2014

Joe Hockey gets it (c)ars(e) about

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey ‘defending’ his proposed increase in the excise on fuel

Australian Teasurer Joe Hockey says poor people won’t be badly affected by his proposed regualr CPI increase in fuel excise on petrol because they don’t drive, or if they do, they don’t drive very far. [Read More...]

13 August 2014

by Bob Ellis

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday

Abbott said he was in a Cold War with the country that had not shot down MH 17, though it was at war with the country that had. He would ‘bring the murderer to justice,’ Abbott swore, provided he was not Ukrainian. He then vowed he would not join America’s new war in Iraq, but restrict himself to ‘humanitarian aid’. This aid did not, however, include accepting any Christian refugees fleeing crucifixion, beheading and being buried alive. [Read More...]

13 August 2014

Iceland's On-going Revolution

An Italian radio program's story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here's why [Read More...]

13 August 2014

The meaning of work for the dole

For every advertised job vacancy in Australia, there are around eight people looking for work, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Roy Morgan Research.

Yet all we seem to hear from the government are arguments about the need to restrict the number of people receiving the dole and to make them work harder to keep it once they get it – more appointments with the private “job services providers”, often ridiculous educational modules, more job applications, obligatory “training” and the now expanding work for the dole scheme. [Read More...]

13 August 2014

Australia, US sign deal to deepen defence ties

Australia and US sign new military agreement to clear the way for increased US military presence in the Northern Territory.

John Kerry and Julie Bishop sign the Force Posture Agreement.

A new military agreement signed by Australia and the United States will allow for more US marines and aircraft in the Northern Territory and closer co-operation on missile defence. [Read More...]

12 August 2014

The Dole Bludger's Revenge

The Coalition want job seekers on welfare to apply for 40 jobs each month. A new app will let them do that in minutes, plus have a laugh at the expense of a highly paid MP.
A new app allowing users to spam parliamentarians with job applications has been launched, so voters can dish out a small fraction of the suffering they endure onto any politician who votes for the tough welfare measures. [Read More...]

12 August 2014

The Farce of Israel's impunity

It is an irony of history that an entity, which claims to be innocent and the victim of the Holocaust, has been itself committing the most heinous crimes in contemporary history. From July 1946 to August 2014, Israel has committed at least 28 cases of violent crimes against the Palestinian people major examples of which include the massacres of Palestinian civilians in Deir Yassin (1948), Golan region (1948), Kafr Qasim (1956), Khan Yunis (1956), Sabra and Shatila refugee camps (1982), the Jenin refugee camp (2002), Qana (2006), the previous invasion of Gaza (2008), and the latest onslaught of Israeli army against the blockaded Gaza Strip (2014). [Read More...]

12 August 2014

Palmer United party appoints new Queensland leader after MP quits

Clive Palmer declares his faith in Carl Judge, the party’s only remaining parliamentarian in the state

Carl Judge

Carl Judge has a strong commitment to Queensland, according to Clive Palmer. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP Clive Palmer has declared his faith in his party’s remaining Queensland parliamentarian following the sudden resignation of MP Alex Douglas.

The Palmer United party announced on Monday via a statement that its executive had appointed its remaining Queensland MP, Carl Judge, as the party’s new state leader. [Read More...]

12 August 2014

NT's move to relax 457 visas 'an attack on young unemployed'

Greens and unions condemn concessions on visa requirements amid labour shortage created by giant gas project

A computer-generated image of the Ichthys project, now under construction in Darwin

Employers in the Northern Territory are to be given concessions for employing foreign workers to fill a labour gap created by the $34bn Ichthys gas project but the Greens and trade unions have labelled it an attack on young unemployed Australians. [Read More...]

12 August 2014

Military Coup In Iraq

Prime Minister Maliki Refuses To Step Down; Security Forces On Alert, Encircle Presidential Palace

Just days after the US launched a campaign that implicitly aides the current regime headed by the supposedly outgoing PM, al-Maliki, it appears that latest US intervention has already led to "unexpected" consequences, this time with the prime minister appearing to have just staged a coup overthrowing Iraq's president President Fouad Massoum moments ago. [Read More...]

10 August 2014

Sir Humphrey Appleby on 'META' data

George Brandis, is introducing even more draconian data laws to spy on citizens. He made a complete fool of himself on national TV trying to explain metadata.
The situation was so desperate that Abbott had to send out the one adult in his Cabinet, leadership rival Malcolm Turnbull, to calm the horses and explain what metadata was and what Brandis’s new security laws were actually about.

I thought Sir Humphrey Appleby did a pretty good job explaining meta to the world, at least compared to Brandis. [Read More...]

10 August 2014

Rio Tinto profit more than doubles

Surely some can be set aside for Social Programs

Rio Tinto has more than doubled its half year profit to $US4.4 billion.

Rio Tinto has more than doubled its half year net profit to $US4.4 billion ($A4.76 billion).
The world’s second largest miner’s profit was below consensus analyst expectations of $US4.57 billion.
The result was an improvement on a $US1.7 billion net profit in the first half of 2013. [Read More...]

10 August 2014

Julie Bishop a 'complete fool', says Chinese paper

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop: Outspoken about China.

Australia was once an outpost of “rascals and outlaws” but will soon adjust to the shifting realities of power, says a Chinese state-owned newspaper, which also has called Foreign Minister Julie Bishop a "complete fool". [Read More...]

08 August 2014

By Kellie Tranter

Will Your Lawyers' MetaData Be Retained?

The announcement this week that Federal Cabinet has given in principle support to the retention of customer data by telecommunications companies for up to two years - so that government agencies can access it without a warrant - suggests that government representatives just don't understand the consequences of retaining everyone's metadata and giving spy agencies access to it. The Australian population generally, and lawyers and journalists in particular, should be deeply concerned. [Read More...]

08 August 2014

By Matthew Lincoln

Managing our forests for their true value

Unsustainable logging practices are destroying Victoria's native forests. They are being mismanaged because the importance of the natural environment is drastically undervalued. We need to re-establish the way we manage our native forests to account for the important ecosystem services they provide. [Read More...]

08 August 2014

Unholy alliance: the World Congress of Families and Australia’s Far Right politicians

Why is it always members of the Far Right who are the anti-abortionists and climate crazies? The World Congress of Families is coming to Melbourne this month and they’re receiving a lot of support from various federal and state Liberal Party members. [Read More...]

08 August 2014

Go-ahead for mega-coal mine threatens the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Artesian Basin

World Heritage protected Great Barrier Reef

The go-ahead for Australia's largest and most controversial coal mine without adequate staff to monitor the environment conditions, is blatant greenwashing.

The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt's approval of the new Carmichael coal mine in western Queensland is already being referred to as a “mega mine”, with every justification. [Read More...]

07 August 2014

My ex killed Jim Morrison: Faithfull

English singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull claims her former lover, Jean de Breteuil, known as the heroin dealer to the stars, killed Jim Morrison. [Read More...]

07 August 2014

Russia Sanctions Australia

Wishin' and Hopin'

On top of today's unflattering jobs report comes the news that amongst other Countries, Russia is sanctioning imports from Australia.

Bilateral relationship
Contact between Australia and Russia began in 1807, when the Russian naval vessel Neva arrived in Sydney. Consular relations began in 1857 and diplomatic relations in 1942. Australia has had an Embassy in Moscow since 1943 and has Consulates in Vladivostok and St Petersburg. The Russian Federation has an Embassy in Canberra, a Consulate-General in Sydney and Consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Approximately 74,000 Australians claim Russian ancestry, according to the 2011 Census. [Read More...]

07 August 2014

More bad news on jobs

In June, the jobless figures on every State rose. One wonders if the boffins in charge of the country are actually doing anything more than shuffling the policy units of every department. The Government seems to be more worried about what may happen rather than what is happening.

ADELAIDE | South Australia’s trend unemployment rate has risen above 7 per cent for the first time in more than 12 years. [Read More...]

07 August 2014

By Lisa Singh

Renewable energy hitting the target

There are now more Australians employed in our solar industry than in our coal-fired power stations, while jobs in the Australian renewable energy sector have tripled in recent years to almost 30,000.
There are no new jobs in coal power available or even promised for Australians. Our last coal-fired power station started operating in 2007, and in fact since then a number of power stations have been shut down. [Read More...]

07 August 2014

Multiple Ministers Scoring ‘Own Goals’

Over the past week or so we have witnessed examples of possibly the most mistake prone bunch of ministerial amateurs we have seen in the past 60 years. Each in their own way would qualify as a contender for the title, “Own Goal of the Year” award, should such a title ever become a reality.


Joe Hockey is claiming that Australia’s gold plated credit rating will be at risk if parliament fails to approve a path back to surplus. [Read More...]

06 August 2014

Interest in MH17 Fades as Sanctions & War Edge Closer

It is abundantly clear that a truthful resolution to the tragedy of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was never the goal of Washington, London, and Brussels. Citing baseless accusations surrounding the tragedy, the West has leveled a series of incrementally expansive sanctions against Russia while using the tragedy to justify increased military support for Kiev’s military forces even as they wage total war against their own population including the use of ballistic missiles, airstrikes, artillery barrages, and tanks. Clearly the goal then was to exploit the air disaster as long as possible before the truth began to emerge – and when that truth did emerge, to ensure the subject of MH17 altogether faded from the collective consciousness of the general public. [Read More...]

05 August 2014

Govt ‘aware of unfair budget’

Federal government knew poorer households would bear brunt of budget: Freedom of Information papers suggest.

The federal government reportedly delivered May’s budget in the knowledge its spending cuts would have a much harder impact on poor households. [Read More...]

05 August 2014

by Mike.B

Will This Happen In Aus?

On numerous occasions I have written about the severity of the LNP's proposed amendments to welfare in Australia, and the way in which Tony Abbott follows the extreme right wing ideology of Cameron's UK tories.

It has now come to light in the UK's 'The Guardian' newspaper of the death of a 59 year old man there, after being sanctioned (cut off) from his welfare payments. Will the same happen here? [Read More...]

04 August 2014

Royal Commission makes final call for evidence regarding HSU

Anyone who has ever spent any time in prison will tell you that it isn’t a pleasant place to spend your time.

Ask anyone who has ever fought the great legal fight to stay out of prison or save themselves from civil claims and they will tell you there are two things long legal battles ain’t. They ain’t fun, and they certainly ain’t cheap.

Our jails and bankruptcy courts are full of people with the same old sad story that starts with “well in hindsight…” [Read More...]

03 August 2014

Tomorrow 4th August 2014

Is the centennial of all today's troubles

Great Britain and the British Empire entered the conflict on August 4, 1914. World War One was the great tragedy of the twentieth century, for two reasons. Firstly, it was unnecessary. Secondly, it was the cause of all the terrible events that followed: the Great Depression, Nazis, Communists, World War Two, the Holocaust, the Cold War, Zionism, the Zionist-Palestinian conflict, terrorism. [Read More...]

03 August 2014

Why the Ceasefire Broke Down

There is a concerted media ploy to change the narrative on the massacre of hundreds of women and children in Gaza, on the grounds that it is Hamas’ fault for breaking the ceasefire. The Israeli account of the ceasefire breakdown is parroted relentlessly. [Read More...]

03 August 2014

by Mike.B

Suppression Orders on Suppression Orders

Silencing the Press and Bloggers

In recent days WikiLeaks published details of a suppression order issued in regards to a case which the court thought involved the 'National Security of Australia'. Undoubtedly the actions of Wikileaks will be dealt with. In what manner nobody knows at this stage. The unusual action of the court in this matter is the fact that it put a suppression order on the suppression order. [Read More...]

02 August 2014

US, EU Push Russia Toward War

American and European governments are saying that they are not seeking to confront Russia militarily. But what else can you make of their latest broadside of sanctions aimed at the heart of the Russian economy?

To threaten a country's vital interests in the way that the US and the European Union are doing against Russia has to be seen as an implicit declaration of war. [Read More...]

02 August 2014

Nationals urge tougher tactics as Clive Palmer plays centre

With Clive Palmer and a handful of backroom advisers calling the senate shots, some Nationals have decided it’s time to ‘muscle up’.

Clive Palmer with his PUP senators: (from left) Dio Wang, Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus. It was Ron Boswell’s parting wish. The veteran Nationals senator spent his final weeks in parliament warning of the dangers of the Palmer United Party and urging his colleagues to stand up to them. [Read More...]

02 August 2014

Brandis ties NGO funding to non-advocacy

Attorney-General George Brandis.

The Abbott government is using money and law to close down criticism and gag the community’s most trusted voices.

There was something missing from the revised service agreements under which the federal government provides funding to community legal centres around Australia, recently sent out to 140-odd such organisations.

The old clause five was gone. That was the one that began: “The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that its agreements do not contain provisions that could be used to stifle legitimate debate or prevent organisations engaging in advocacy activities. [Read More...]

02 August 2014

Tony Abbott 'doesn't rule out' expanding income management

But prime minister stops short of endorsing mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s far-reaching welfare proposal

Tony Abbott has left the door open to expanding welfare quarantining, but in a more limited form than proposed by the mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who wants almost all government benefits to be paid into income-management accounts. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

by Bob Ellis

The Worst Three Hundred Deeds Of The Loathesome Criminal Scott Morrison

He sent children to their deaths in Sri Lanka. He drove two young men to burn themselves to death, and another to attempt to. He caused a riot on Manus in which sixty young men were brutally injured, one with a cut throat, one with a bashed head who died of it. He covered up this murder, and let one of the four murderers escape. He continued to employ the other three, and did not ask any questions of any witnesses. He continued to employ, or to allow his agents to employ, the other twenty or twenty-five head-bashing thugs. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

Attorney general to decide who is charged under national security plans

Coalition proposes package of national security reforms to head off a homegrown Manning and Snowden

The director general of security, David Irvine, and attorney general, George Brandis.

The attorney general, George Brandis, would decide who would be prosecuted under a controversial new provision in national security legislation designed to head off a homegrown Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

CSIRO takes axe to education and children's outreach work to meet cuts

More than 50 education jobs to go in move that science lobby group says ‘turns off the tap on aspiring young scientists’

The national science agency is scrambling to find savings following a $114m funding cut in the federal budget.
The CSIRO has cut its education and outreach budget by nearly a third, shedding more than 50 science education jobs and disbanding Double Helix, its children’s science club. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

Job hunting is a full-time gig: Prime Minister

The government defends tough new measures for job-seekers and restrictions on welfare.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says looking for a job should be a full-time job. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

No mini-budget, we have a mandate: Abbott

Senate must respect the mandate to get the budget under control.

Credit and debit cardholders will have to use their four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) when making in-store purchases from Friday in an attempt to clamp down on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of card fraud each year.
The government probably wishes getting the budget through a hostile Senate was as simple as punching in a few numbers.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott has no intention of calling for a double dissolution election or holding a mini-budget as demanded by the leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, who says the government’s budget strategy has failed. [Read More...]

01 August 2014

Ebola virus unlikely to reach Australia but authorities prepared if it does

Chief medical officer says Australia has ‘sophisticated, high-end capability’ for handling and outbreak

It is highly unlikely that the deadly Ebola virus would reach Australia, but if it did the country would be well prepared to respond, medical experts say. [Read More...]