|| Home || Books || About ||



Links

News & Current Affairs

Pickering Post
Russia Today | World News
Blacklisted News
The Guardian UK
Huffington Post
Newmatilda
Daily Mail | Science
Inside Story
Voice of Russia | World News
Reuters | Breaking News
Psylords
New Scientist



Human Interest

The Crowhouse | Not AFL
Singularity Hub
Divine Cosmos
Wake Up World
Next Nature
Truth Now
Business Insider | SAI
Pure Energy Systems
True Tube | No Censorship

Sheeple




February Articles have moved to the Archives

Click here to see them

March 2014

Read in 78 Countries


31 March 2014

Monetary policy stuff-ups

Monetary policy should be conducted with clear focus and without surprises that confuse people in the financial system or more generally.


Consider the current RBA's recent three-stage approach to currency management. Read More...

Mobile


29 March 2014

Abomination at Barangaroo

Fire on Lend Lease site at Barangaroo.

The NSW government is pushing ahead with the handover of a mammoth 22 hectares of public land for the private development of Barangaroo.

Nobody asked the people of Sydney what they would like done with this large tract of harbourside space. Every aspect of this project, from the dodgy deals with developers to working conditions on site and even the name Barangaroo itself, is a disgrace; commercial interests are winning out every time. Read More...

Mobile


29 March 2014

Who wins from Big Gambling in Australia?

Crown Limited, the casino empire majority owned by James Packer, earned $490 million in profit in the last financial year, no wonder he's laughing


The growth of Big Gambling in Australia is an ongoing class project. It is one that has transferred, with industrial efficiency, billions of dollars from the pay packets of the working classes to the bank accounts of a super-rich elite. Read More...

Mobile


29 March 2014

Joe Hockey wants States to sell off public assets

Joe Hockey: 'We need to fill an infrastructure hole in the economy and we need to do it fast.

States agree to in-principle deal to sell off public assets and direct profits into 'productive infrastructure' projects


Treasurer Joe Hockey has achieved a handshake agreement with the states that would see Canberra offer new incentive payments for the productive "recycling" of public assets. Read More...

Mobile


28 March 2014

Convergence

Ukraine: Unraveling the Planned Chaos

In a perverse way, the more aggressive the posturing by Russia, the more likely it is that the West will stump up the cash needed to prevent Ukraine's economy from spiraling into a crisis, observed Neil Shearing, chief emerging-markets economist for the London-based consultancy Capital Economics. Essentially, Shearing continued, if the geopolitical tug of war becomes more polarized, and Putin becomes more bellicose, the more likely it is that the West will answer by coming to the rescue of Ukraine. Read More...

Mobile


28 March 2014

Ugly fight over speaker's bias

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop dispatches manager of opposition business Tony Burke

Parliament is in danger of descending into brutishness as Labor and Bronwyn Bishop take the gloves off.


The ugly fight over Speaker Bronwyn Bishop's impartiality, which both sides seemed anxious to have, matters.
The only good thing about the eruption is that parliament now goes into recess for six weeks. Read More...

Mobile


28 March 2014

The Murdoch succession

Lachlan Murdoch now looks likely to succeed Rupert as head of News Corporation, with younger brother James still in the mix.


So, Rupert Murdoch has finally solved the problem of family succession.

Elder son Lachlan will be his right hand man. His left hand will be the younger James, who made such a fool of himself in London last year. Read More...

Mobile


27 March 2014

Did Pyne's meddling cost the Liberals victory in S.A?

While the state Liberal Party bemoans the way the numbers fell on March 15, it might want to re-visit the way it did its own numbers in pre-selecting a candidate in Colton, the seat that ultimately cost it government. Read More...

Mobile


27 March 2014

Big Gas and its political lackeys: Attacking Australians' rights

U.S. anti-CSG activist John Fenton


While the Abbott Government defends the rights of racists and bigots, the gas industry is given open slather to attack Australian's fundamental rights to property, water, health and even life, among others. Read More...

Mobile


27 March 2014

by Wixxy

Stand By Your Man - Corruption, the plague on both Parties

But I had a bad neck!!!

The word on everybody's lips at the moment is corruption.


The corruption scandal involving the likes of Eddie Obeid, Joe Tripodi, Tony Kelly, and Ian MacDonald was an anchor wrapped around the ankles of the NSW Labor Party during the last state election campaign, and it also helped pull down the last Federal Election campaign under its enormous weight. Read More...

Mobile


27 March 2014

Strike! Estonian footballers' tenpin bowling celebration stuns crowd

Loading the player...


27 March 2014

Medibank Private sale to go ahead as government announces share float

Minister for finance Mathias Cormann speaking to the media

Finance minister, Mathias Cormann, rejects claims that the sale will lead to higher health insurance premiums


The Abbott government has confirmed it will push ahead with the sale of Medibank Private through a sharemarket float next financial year, rejecting claims it could put upward pressure on health insurance premiums. Read More...

Mobile


27 March 2014

FROM AFRICA TO CANADA: DEADLY EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK GETS MOBILE

The local Health Ministry in Canada's Saskatchewan province said a man had been put in solitary confinement, with the test results expected on Tuesday. The patient's family also remains in quarantine.

Dr. Denise Werker, the province's deputy chief medical officer, declined to say how long the man had been in Africa but said he only fell ill after returning to Canada. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

Repeal day an exercise in deregulation smoke and mirrors

Repeal Day: liberating business, or pure politics?

Repeal day, a political stunt copied from David Cameron's government in the UK, will go ahead in Australia today.

The very fact the government plans to repeal some 10,000 regulations suggests past governments have failed to undertake inventories of their legislation and regulations, or systematically review which ones should remain. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

Coalition has 'blown out' debt forecasts to discredit Labor, says Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen accused the Coalition of painting a distorted picture to justify its own agenda

Opposition cites independent analysis showing gross debt in 2023-24 would be about $270bn less than predicted in outlook.


Labor is seeking to fight back in the political battle over its economic legacy by releasing analysis that contradicts the government's debt and deficit projections. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

by Mike.B

Is South Australia a basket case?

In a report published by The Centre for Independant Studies, and written by Robert Carling entitled Target30 Reducing the Burden for Future Generations:'States of Debt', Carling issues a dire prognosis for South Australia. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

Gmail foils the 'G' man

Google to encrypt Gmail, thwart snooping

Google is competing in evermore innovative ways.

Google says its popular Gmail service will use encryption to thwart snooping, in the latest move by the tech sector reassuring customers following revelations about US surveillance programs. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

The Liberals after Brock

Protesters against the Abbott Government at the Gold Coast March in March demonstration last weekend

With the polls turning decisively against them, cracks appearing daily and the South Australian election result denying them a blue continent, the Wolves are being turned away from the door.


It's always different when it actually happens. Read More...

Mobile


26 March 2014

Kim Dotcom's Mega to get listing at New Zealand stock exchange

Local investment company TRS said in a statement that it reached a conditional agreement to buy Mega through a share issue to Mega's shareholders. This will result in them holding 99 percent of TRS.

The plan is expected to be concluded by the end of May and would see 700 million new TRS shares issued at 30 NZ cents each. This would mean that TRS's current 1.1 billion shares would be reduced to about 7 million. Read More...

Mobile


25 March 2014

ALP (54.5%) biggest lead over L-NP (45.5%) since losing the Election

If a Federal Election were held today it would result in a clear ALP victory - two-party preferred support is ALP 54.5% (up 1% since the Morgan Poll of March 1/2 & 8/9, 2014) cf. L-NP 45.5% (down 1%) according to the Morgan Poll. This multi-mode Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted over the last two weekends (March 15/16 & 22/23, 2014) with an Australia-wide cross-section of 2,909 Australian electors aged 18+. Read More...

Mobile


25 March 2014

Paul Howes Quits AWU And Other Political Positions; Disavows Parliamentary Aspirations (For Now)

Paul Howes, the 32-year-old National Secretary of the Australian Workers' Union, has announced his resignation and indicated he will also relinquish his other political positions in the labour movement and the ALP. Read More...

Mobile


25 March 2014

Social injustice in international sport

Where once an event like the Olympics or the World Cup may have been seen as a triumph of corporate and athletic enterprise, today's world counts the cost of games much more carefully. Previous events have left countries with decaying venues and huge bills that take years to pay off. Local communities are increasingly unhappy that a large portion of their government's funds are directed towards events that might line the pockets of corporations, but do little to support local industry. Read More...

Mobile


24 March 2014

Cutting red tape or lining the pockets of the rich and powerful?

Former Assistant Treasurer, 'he's just resting' Arthur Sinodinos, is in hot water for links to the famous Labor Party plutocracy, the Obeid family, through Australian Water Holdings and its machinations.

Being paid $200000 a year for 100 hours work for your political connections is also pretty nice work, if you can get it. You and I can't get work, let alone at $2000 an hour.

In fact, the real crime for which Sinodinos should be hung out to dry is the Abbott government's red tape offensive.

Offensive it certainly is. It is a disguised attack on low paid cleaners and in the main low paid working class Australians seeking financial advice. Read More...

Mobile


24 March 2014

Whiney Pyney's fury at 'illegitimate' SA government smacks of sore loser

Christopher Pyne refuses to be swayed by the facts

Minister denounces Jay Weatherill's winning alliance with an independent, even though it's a well-worn Liberal tactic


Christopher Pyne, clearly deeply unhappy with independent Geoff Brock's decision to back Labor to form a government in his home state, has declared that South Australian premier Jay Weatherill leads an illegitimate government and added, threateningly, he will be treated that way. Read More...

Mobile


23 March 2014

Labor to form government in South Australia

Premier Jay Weatherill announces the independent MP Geoff Brock has given his support and will receive a ministry

Jay Weatherill, the Labor premier, will return to government in South Australia with the support of Geoff Brock, an independent MP.


Labor will return to government in South Australia with the support of Geoff Brock, an independent MP. Read More...

Mobile


23 March 2014

by Steven Strong

The Ancient Compass Carving in the Middle of Nowhere

The first time I spoke to Mark Bates on the phone, he provided some details of an engraving he had found at a site in NSW that he felt had some resemblance to a compass. According to Mark the diameter of the outer circle remains exactly the same throughout, and the inner markings included some perfectly straight lines and some perfectly curved. I remember asking for some clarification as to what he meant by 'perfectly curved', and his answer left me more than a touch dubious. It all sounded either to good to be true or the claims of an overzealous amateur geologist whose eye sight is failing. Read More...

Mobile


22 March 2014

Australian navy unable to keep 'continuous' track of all its vessels

(L-R) Rear Admiral Michael Noonan, Michael Pezzullo, Martin Bowles and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell.

Operation Sovereign Borders officials make admission during Senate inquiry into controversial incursions by Australian navy


Australia is unable to continuously track all its naval vessels, the commanding officer of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) has told a Senate inquiry into six 'inadvertent' incursions into Indonesian waters. Read More...

Mobile


22 March 2014

The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle suggests that people will tend to be promoted until they reach their position of incompetence, and that is exactly what we are seeing with this Coalition government. They had six years in Opposition to develop their policies, and access to the Parliamentary Budgetary Office to cost them, but when it came to the crunch the cupboard was bare. Read More...

Mobile


21 March 2014

by John Passant

Let he who is without sin-odinos cast the first stone

I tutored for two hours this week. Where's my $200,000 Arfur?

My pay per hour of tutoring (which covers one hour of preparation - it actually takes much much longer - and one for student availability and admninistration) is $116, or $232 per week for the two hours. My calculation in terms of real preparation time, availability, student contact etc is I am paid about $25 an hour. If I did this 2 hour tutoring each week of the year I'd earn almost $12000 a year. Read More...

Mobile


21 March 2014

Gina's Giant Gamble

Gina Rinehart has secured backing from a group of global banks and export credit agencies for a new $US10 billion ($A11.0bn) iron-ore mine that can feed Asian steel demand, just as miners like BHP Billiton scale back investments amid a broad decline in commodity prices. Read More...

Mobile


21 March 2014

Bronwyn Bishop - Call me Madam

But in this chair, I will act impartially. That is the responsibility that goes back to 1377. - Bronwyn Bishop

Read More...

Mobile



21 March 2014

Dumping on the Reef: The Abbot Point disaster

The minister for Making a Lot of Money Out of Coal, Greg Hunt, has decreed that it is perfectly reasonable to dump three million tonnes of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

What lead to this raging piece of lunatic eco-bastardry?

Well here is a tale of woe that could have been inserted into a Yes, Minister or The Hollowmen script without changing a word. Read More...

Mobile


20 March 2014

The latest looney idea from Obama

Obama Bypasses Congress to Foist 'Imperialist' Tax Plot on World

As part of a fiendish effort known as FATCA supposedly aimed at extracting an extra billion or so dollars from U.S. taxpayers each year, the Obama administration is bypassing Congress to impose a far-reaching new tax regime on the world, and domestically on the United States. Experts and analysts say the scheme could destabilize the U.S. financial system and potentially even spark another economic crisis due partly to executive-branch mandates on American banks; yet the IRS and the U.S. Treasury are moving full-speed ahead in spite of major concerns raised by lawmakers and others over their authority to do so. Critics are referring to the whole plot as 'fiscal imperialism'. Read More...

Mobile


20 March 2014

by Lyndon Morley

A Letter to Andrew Bolt and 'RESIGN, DICKHEAD'

'RESIGN, DICKHEAD' was one of the most popular signs at the Melbourne March in March last weekend, attracting the ire of Andrew Bolt. Banner creator Lyndon Morley sets the record straight.


Mr Bolt,


In your article 'Barbarians march in March', 16 March 2014, I am one of the creators and carriers of the 'RESIGN, DICKHEAD' banner; one of the protesters, in your words, whose:

'political discourse is conducted in the language of hatred and vilification.'

I must say how flattered I am to have been insulted by the most vociferous, bigoted sycophant in the country.

But first, I'd like to put my banner in perspective. Read More...

Mobile


19 March 2014

First Peanuts Teaser Released


Click Image to Watch

Watch on Mobile


19 March 2014

by Craig Murray

The Wrong Saviour


I am not opposed to self determination for the people of Crimea; Nobody can seriously argue there has been a chance for a campaign in which different viewpoints can be freely argued, with some equality of media access and freedom from fear and intimidation. Read More...

Mobile


19 March 2014

Russia Puzzled Over Malaysia Airlines Capture By US Navy

A new report circulating in the Kremlin today prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU) states that Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO) experts remain puzzled as to why the United States Navy captured and then diverted a Malaysia Airlines civilian aircraft from its intended flight-path to their vast and highly-secretive Indian Ocean base located on the Diego Garcia atoll.

According to this report, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (also marketed as China Southern Airlines flight 748 through a codeshare) was a scheduled passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, when on 8 March this Boeing 777-200ER aircraft disappeared" in flight with 227 passengers on board from 15 countries, most of whom were Chinese, and 12 crew members. Read More...

Mobile


18 March 2014

Marches in March show there is hope

Over 100000 Australians marched in March over the weekend and today, with the biggest demonstration against the Abbott government's policies in Melbourne. There 25,000 people turned out to protest against the economic and social policies of this conservative government.

The smug Abbott feels safe in his conviction that this is just a whingeing minority and so he can insult them with comments about St Patrick's Day marches. Read More...

Mobile


18 March 2014

Australia's asylum seeker synonym

Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust, died recently in London aged 110. Her survival is a herculean feat in itself. Her optimism and gratitude for her life is even more remarkable. Read More...

Mobile


17 March 2014

The Forgotten Australian Coup

How the Godfather Rules from Canberra to Kiev

Washington's role in the fascist putsch against an elected government in Ukraine will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore the historical record. Since 1945, dozens of governments, many of them democracies, have met a similar fate, usually with bloodshed.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries on earth with fewer people than Wales, yet under the reformist Sandinistas in the 1980s it was regarded in Washington as a "strategic threat". The logic was simple; if the weakest slipped the leash, setting an example, who else would try their luck?

The great game of dominance offers no immunity for even the most loyal US "ally". This is demonstrated by perhaps the least known of Washington's coups - in Australia. The story of this forgotten coup is a salutary lesson for those governments that believe a "Ukraine" or a "Chile" could never happen to them. Read More...

Mobile


17 March 2014

Washington Has Set The World On A Path To War

Why is Washington so opposed to Crimean self-determination? The answer is that one of the main purposes of Washington's coup in Kiev was to have the new puppet government evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base in Crimea. Washington cannot use the government Washington has installed in Ukraine for that purpose if Crimea is no longer part of Ukraine.


What Washington has made completely obvious is that self-determination is a weapon used by Washington on behalf of its agenda. If self-determination advances Washington's agenda, Washington is for it. If self-determination does not advance Washington's agenda, Washington is against it. Read More...

Mobile


13 March 2014

In Japan They Do It Different

Click Image to Watch

The Japanese have always been a force unto themselves. They always will be.

In a message to the world saying Fukashima is Fission Fusion, BabyMetal is, is, well I guess you have to make up your own mind about what sort of fusion BabyMetal is....



13 March 2014

Five ways NZ is smarter than Australia on broadband

In Australia, poking fun at our New Zealand cousins has become more than just a hobby over the years; these days it enjoys the status of a national sport. However, when it becomes to broadband, the situation has been turned on its head: New Zealand is doing everything right that we are doing wrong. Here's five ways the Kiwis are smarter than us in this critical area. Read More...

Mobile


13 March 2014

Tunisia's New Constitution

This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.


Here's just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties: Read More...

Mobile


13 March 2014

The Liberal Party's nuclear dreams

The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite

Why were Ignite Energy so desparate to dissociate their director Dr John White from both the nuclear industry and the Liberal Party?


Is the nuclear fantasy that has taken hold in South Australia poised to slip under Victoria's 'no nukes' radar?

More to the point, is the iconic Ninety Mile Beach region of Gippsland being eyed off as a future source of thorium, uranium's young sister - the substance hailed by nuclear proponents as the green energy source of the future? Read More...

Mobile


13 March 2014

More Freedom Lost Under Libs

Victorian anti-protest laws passed amid outcry from public gallery

Critics have said the amendment is designed to shut down protest over long-running issues such as Melbourne's East West Link.


Four people removed from Legislative Council after act amendment broadens police powers to remove protesters


A contentious new law that gives police enhanced powers to move on protesters passed the upper house of the Victorian parliament on Tuesday night, amid protest from the public gallery. Read More...

Mobile


12 March 2014

Table tennis star 'goes head-to-head with high-speed robot'

Click Image to Watch Video

A high-speed robot is purported to go head-to-head with former world number one table tennis star Timo Boll. In a PR video filmed and edited for Kuka Robotics, which specialises in high-end industrial robots, the sportsman is said to be shown losing 6-0 in a fast and furious game until he eventually goes on to win the match by smashing the ball over the top of his opponent



12 March 2014

Get 'em onside

In sport we quickly learn to play to the ref. All Black Richie McCaw is a master at it. If the ref isn't penalising offside then why stay behind the last feet in the ruck? Netball umpires have individual interpretations of how much contact is allowed in striving for the ball or how far three feet is. Some cricket umps seem loathe to give an lbw decision. And their decisions can affect the outcome of the game as Manly Sea Eagles fans will tell you about last year's grand final, that pass was forward! Read More...

Mobile


12 March 2014

March In March And why I support it.

What is that incites normal everyday citizens to protest? To rally as a grass roots organisation and March across the nation saying: Let disgust be your compass.

After all it is estimated that only 15% of Australians have ever protested. Has the Abbott Government been so poor so harmful as to merit a grass roots uprising. Read More...

Mobile


12 March 2014

Clive Palmer ready to be jailed 'like Gandhi' over disputed political advert

Mining magnate says he would go to prison on principle, but doesn't believe it will come to that, he has legal advice that a high court decision on free speech would override Tasmania's Electoral Act.


The Palmer United Party (PUP) is being investigated for an alleged breach of the Act, which prohibits the publication of the name or photo of a political opponent in election material without their permission. Read More...

Mobile


12 March 2014

The Murdoch payback

Rupert Murdoch has many plans in place around the world to cement his grip on power. Here in Australia, one of them is about to recoup its reward.


The Rupert Murdoch saga is far from over.


Some of us who grew up with Rupert in Australia believed that the hacking scandal in England would bring him down to earth. But his obsession with power and political influence have been too strong. Read More...

Mobile


11 March 2014

A 50-cent microscope that folds like origami


Click image to watch

Perhaps you've punched out a paper doll or folded an origami swan? TED Fellow Manu Prakash and his team have created a microscope made of paper that's just as easy to fold and use. A sparkling demo that shows how this invention could revolutionize healthcare in developing countries, and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment.



11 March 2014

'Crowding out' and the fallacy of fiscal austerity

In the lead-up to the federal government's budget in May, we've been told to expect deep cuts in government spending. Such a policy is said to contribute to a short run decline in Australia's economic activity, but will lead in the longer term to a greater sustained expansion as the private sector grows and blooms like flowers in spring.

This argument is a fallacy - grounded in a false economic theory. I'll explain why. Read More...

Mobile


11 March 2014

The Hazelwood mine fire: privatising disaster

The establishment consensus is that markets do everything better. Resource allocation, social welfare, wealth creation, you name it. Power generation is just one counter-example to such garbage. Read More...

Mobile


11 March 2014

The one-trick pony will drop dead without care

Australia's miracle economy is not as complex as it appears. It only has three moving parts, really, and if you understand that then you've gone a long way to gaining insight into where it's headed at any given time. Read More...

Mobile


10 March 2014

Tony Abbott avoids question on changes to seniors health cards

Tony Abbott said he was still studying the recommendations in the audit commission's interim report

The Abbott government is facing fresh calls to release its audit commission's advice after suggestions the team looking for budget savings has targeted the commonwealth seniors health card. Read More...

Mobile


10 March 2014

Queensland Government's crusade challenges right to work

In the important area of the right to work including the right to gain a living by carrying out one's chosen form of occupation, the Queensland Parliament has departed from the central principles of human rights law. Read More...

Mobile


09 March 2014

Solar Optimism Beating the Government

Click Image to Enlarge

Despite the best efforts of the Abbott government, developments in renewable energy, particularly solar power, will inevitably become part of Australia's energy mix.


I will admit to moments, even days, of despondency since September, watching the Abbott government destroy the suite of painstakingly prepared climate change policies and programs. But one thing has kept my spirits up and offers a light at the end of what might only be a three-year tunnel. Read More...

Mobile


09 March 2014

Roy Morgan: In February in total an estimated 2.641 million Australians (20.8% of the workforce) were unemployed or under-employed, the highest ever recorded.

Unemployment jumps in February (up 1% to 12.3%); highest for 20 years since February 1994 (also 12.3%). Unemployment amongst 18-24yr olds rises to 28.0% (up 6.8%)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia's unemployment and 'under-employed'* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 367,452 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 - February 2014 and includes 3,820 to-face interviews in February 2014. Read More...

Mobile


09 March 2014

BBC Now Admits: Armed Nazis Led 'Revolution' in Kiev, Ukraine

Like the West's support of sectarian terrorists across the Middle East, including Al Qaeda, it has found the most despicable elements in Ukrainian society to lead revolution for the sociopolitical reordering of Eastern Europe. As the dust settles and the West's proxy regime finds itself safely entrenched in Kiev, Ukraine, the Western media can now finally recuperate some of its lost legitimacy after months of denying the obvious, that armed Neo-Nazis led the so-called Euromaidan uprising. Read More...

Mobile


08 March 2014

Resource development and landholders' rights: a quick guide


5 March 2014

Dr Alexander St John

Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section

Introduction

The debate over the development of coal seam gas (CSG) in Australia has frequently visited the issue of whether landholders can (or should) control the access of resource developers to the CSG that sits under their land. In Australia, CSG resources of commercial potential are frequently co-located with productive agricultural land, in a thin band along the eastern coast. This co-location can lead to land-use conflict between pastoral and resource interests. On 9 December 2013, Senator Larissa Waters introduced the Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013, which would give landholders an absolute veto over exploration or production of coal or unconventional gas on their land. (The Bill is substantially similar to Senator Waters' previous private member's Bill that lapsed in the 43rd Parliament, except that the previous Bill was restricted to coal seam gas mining activity.) This Quick Guide will examine the current Bill and provide information on the status quo. Read More...

Mobile


08 March 2014

Abbott is half right: our national parks are good but not perfect

Lake Judd, in Tasmania's Southwest National Park

Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week told a timber industry dinner that he doesn't think national parks should be a growth industry:

We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.

Is he right? How much forest should be in conservation reserves, and does Australia really have too many? Read More...

Mobile


08 March 2014

Australia considers sanctions for Russia to counter aggression against Ukraine

Here we go again with Tony Abbotts's 'Might is Right' rhetoric. It sounds a lot like John Howard to me.


The prime minister was asked on Friday whether Australia would follow the lead of the United States in imposing sanctions on some Russian people and travel restrictions. Read More...

Mobile


08 March 2014


07 March 2014

SA Election: Weatherill And Marshall Meet In Forum

With the South Australian state election just a few days away, the party leaders have met in a forum.

The one-hour encounter between Labor Premier Jay Weatherill and Liberal Opposition Leader Steven Marshall was shown on Sky News and moderated by Kieran Gilbert. The leaders took questions from an audience of purportedly undecided voters chosen by a polling company. Read More...

Mobile


07 March 2014

The public interest in public broadcasting

ABC managing director Mark Scott responds to questions at a Senate committee hearing

The accountability of the ABC and SBS should be a two-way street. A pattern of erratic government scrutiny fails the public-interest test


Accountability is the price of statutory independence, and the price is considerable, especially for the kind of editorial and creative independence exercised by the ABC and SBS. As the Australian National Audit Office once observed dryly of the ABC, a national public broadcaster is subject to more diverse expectations of accountability than a private sector operator driven principally by the need to achieve a commercial profit. Having offered this self-evident truth about the national broadcasters, the Audit Office was silent on the reciprocal accountability of government. Read More...

Mobile


07 March 2014

Is March In March An ALP Front?

It proclaims itself to be an independent group of concerned citizens campaigning against the Conservative Abbott government. Just a group of concerned folk, going about their business, who just so happen to be so concerned they decided to have a little get together in every capital city on the same day to protest against Tony Abbott. They call themselves 'March In March', and use the tidy little bromide 'Not In My Name, Mr Abbott.'

They proclaim that they are 'not aligned in any way to any political organisation.' Read More...

Mobile


07 March 2014


07 March 2014

Ukraine has not experienced a genuine revolution, merely a change of elites

Pro-Russian Cossacks gather near a war monument outside the Crimean parliament building

The new rulers in Kiev, with links to the right, will never tackle the root cause of corruption in Ukraine: poverty and inequality


Two popular labels are being ascribed to events in Ukraine: it was either a democratic - or even social - revolution, or it was a rightwing - or even neo-Nazi - coup. In fact, both characterisations are wrong. What we have have seen is a mass rebellion, overwhelmingly supported in western and central Ukraine without majority support in the eastern and southern regions, leading to a change of political elites. But there are no prospects for democratic, radical change, at least under the new government. Read More...

Mobile


06 March 2014

Narrabri farmer goes in to bat for coalmine protesters

One of the bat protesters

Long-time resident of the Narrabri shire, farmer Clifford Wallace, 63, said he was only doing the right thing by allowing activists protesting at the nearby Boggabri coalmine to camp on his property. Now the local council is telling him to boot them out.

It's a kick in the guts. I'm a model citizen, Wallace said. I wasn't expecting to see that. But I was expecting to see some form of retaliation for supporting these fellas. Read More...

Mobile


06 March 2014

Taking Care Of Business: Abbott's performance vs Abbott's words

A donkey's ass and Tony Abbott: Can you spot the difference?

It seems like an eternity ago, but it was only a few months back on September 7th 2013 that Tony Abbott declared Australia was now 'Open For Business' after Labor were defeated in the Federal election.

Finally Australia was going to be put on track, because the Liberal Party understood business, and furthermore there was the promise of the creation of 1 Million jobs, 2 Million within a decade from the incoming Prime Minister. Read More...

Mobile


06 March 2014

Tony Abbott has that rare ability to be incredibly stupid

Tony Abbott keeps raising the bar of stupidity

His speech on Tuesday night at a timber industry dinner lauding timber workers as 'the ultimate conservationists' brings home the gold medal. Read More...

Mobile


06 March 2014

Peter Greste calls on Tony Abbott to speak out for imprisoned journalists

Al-Jazeera producer Baher Mohamed, left, and correspondent Peter Greste, centre, in the defendants' cage in a Cairo courtroom on Wednesday

Everybody from the White House down has given their support to us: We haven't heard from the prime minister,' says reporter

The Australian journalist Peter Greste has spoken out on the second day of his trial in Egypt, calling on the prime minister, Tony Abbott, to declare his public support for the imprisoned journalists. Read More...

Mobile


05 March 2014

Low-income staff make voting system susceptible to corruption: Mick Keelty

Mick Keelty speaks during a public hearing in Canberra on Wednesday

Head of inquiry into missing ballots in Western Australian cites attitude problems and lax procedures in electoral commission

Australia's Senate voting system, particularly in Western Australia, is susceptible to corruption in part because of the 'low-income earners' who work on the counting, according to the head of the inquiry into the state's lost ballot papers.

Mick Keelty appeared before a joint committee on the lost ballot papers on Wednesday after handing in his report on the matter in December. Read More...

Mobile


05 March 2014

WA Senator Slams Abbott: Welcome to WA

In advance of the half Senate by-election in WA, Senator Scott Ludlam delivers some searing truths about his home state to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Tonight I rise to invite Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit the beautiful state of Western Australia.


I do this in good faith, because we are only a matter of weeks away from a historic by-election that will not just determine the final makeup of this chamber after July but also will decide much more of consequence to the people of Western Australia, whether they are thinking of voting for the Greens or not. Prime Minister, you are welcome out west, but this is a respectful invitation to think carefully about what baggage you pack when you make your next flying campaign stopover. Read More...

Mobile


05 March 2014

This is the ending of the Age of Entitlement . . . for some

This decision says something significant about this government. We do not believe in government by chequebook . . . We don't believe in any normal circumstances that government should be playing favourites between private businesses.


When Tony Abbott made this statement yesterday I thought to myself hang on . . . Read More...

Mobile


05 March 2014

The TPP explained: Why Abbott and Robb will happily sign away our rights

Despite the Trans Pacific Partnership almost certainly being against Australia's interests, Tony Abbott will still sign it just for an ego trip photo opportunity

Why would any politician sign Australia up to an agreement that undermines our sovereignty, exposes taxpayers to expensive law suits and generally locks in for good the processes of industrial decline that are already in train?

No other government was prepared to accept the worst element of the TPP: Investor State Dispute Settlement. Even Howard rejected this in the Australia-USA free trade agreement. Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

Goldman Sachs is looking to scoop up bond traders in Australia

Is Goldman going to make a fixed income comeback?

Goldman Sachs is chasing fixed-income business Down Under by snapping up the best bond traders in Australia. Bloomberg reports that the firm is in talks with about 10 potential hires as it seeks to expand from trading to capital markets. Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

Government announces a boost to pension payments

Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews

The increase to pension payments will come into effect on March 20 and is aimed at helping pensioners keep up with rises in cost of living expenses, the federal government says.

Federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said the payment rise had been driven by the consumer price index increase of 1.9 per cent for the first six months to December 2013. Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

Last month, a world-wide telephone survey was conducted by the UN

The only question asked was:-

"Would you please give your honest opinion about possible solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

The extinction of Australian manufacturing

Here is the what February's capex data says about the prospects for Australian manufacturing

The red dot and line is the investment prospect for 2014/15 and it includes an uplift from a decent realisation ratio. It is at 1992 depths of the recession levels and that's in unadjusted dollar terms. In real terms it is far lower.


I know I poke the media quite a bit for ineptitude, but the silence around this is staggering. Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

The rorts are all we have

I must say, I have to chuckle as I read the growing rhetorical movement in support of cutting back Budget excesses. John Freebairn and his highly admirable advice on how to fix the budget is an example: Read More...

Mobile


04 March 2014

Endangered rhinos may be moved to Australia as 'insurance'

More than 1,000 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa last year

Dozens of South African rhinos could be moved to Australia in a last-ditch bid to save them from rampant poaching and create an 'insurance' population for the species.

Businessmen Ray Dearlove and Allan Davies, founders of the Australian Rhino Project, are in discussions with Taronga Zoo to support the increasingly desperate fight to save the species from extinction. Read More...

Mobile


03 March 2014

Abbott's green army will be paid poverty wages

Do you remember when Tony Abbott said before the election his 15000 green army of the unemployed 'to fix the environment' would be paid half the minimum wage? Me neither. Read More...

Mobile


03 March 2014

Poof Parade with Pollies: in Pics

aka: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

View More

View More on Mobile


03 March 2014

by Mike.B

At Political Chess - Putin is a Grand Master

Over the last 15 years or so in Australia, we have watched and been involved in many aggressive acts by Uncle Sam, the good 'ole USA.

The dessimation of so many middle eastern countries, the drone strikes on innocent people, the use of dirty bombs, the illegal use of telco's for spying (even on their allies), the illegal use of economic sanctions on countries simply not wanting to succumb to their will, the torture of political prisoners. The list goes on and on.

And then, when an incursion, commenced at their own hand, but perilously close to a potential adversary provokes a response, they call foul. Read More...

Mobile


02 March 2014

What makes a good leader?

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Read More...

Mobile


02 March 2014

The Liberals Worst week - Since the Last One

One does not have to go much further than Alan Joyce's bizarre decision to cancel seventy flights to the Melbourne Cup to see why Qantas lost a good few travellers to Virgin in the following year.

Yesterday, when two Qantas wing-tips collided in broad daylight in Los Angeles, mere hours after he announced 5,000 job cuts but couldn't say whose they were, he will lose a few more.

Why five thousand, precisely? Read More...

Mobile


01 March 2014

Julie Bishop axes funding earmarked to save endangered Sumatran rhinoceros

Beware a Woman/Government Scorned

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has cancelled funding to help save the Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction, despite receiving advice advocating for the program, it was revealed in Senate estimates on Thursday.

Last year, then foreign minister Bob Carr announce the government would provide $3m over three years to fund existing projects that are already demonstrating results in protecting the Sumatran rhino. Read More...

Mobile


01 March 2014

Cadbury tales: Nash, Furnival and Abbott's sticky fingers

The sticky tale of Fiona Nash, her food lobbyist staffer and Abbott's generous Cadbury subsidy has an unmistakable whiff about it.

Some say any publicity is good publicity, but I'm not so sure Cadbury's parent company, Mondelez is thinking that right now.

The Abbott governments pledge to Cadbury, which at the time, came out of nowhere, is coming back to bite it him in the backside. Read More...

Mobile


01 March 2014

The Ides of March

On the 15th of March 44BC Julius Caesar was murdered, in an act reminiscent of the ritual slaughter of a sheep made to the god Jupiter during the Ides of March.


In 2014 on the Ides of March, Tasmania and South Australia are up for a state election. As is expected by the renowned Australian tradition for voting governments out, rather than voting them in, and by most indicators both the progressive Labor governments are set to be sacrificial Pharmakos. Read More...

Mobile