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July 2016

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29 July 2016
by Chris Graham

NT Juvenile Detention Abuse Royal Commissioner Needs No Introduction To Black Territorians

The man who will lead the Royal Commission into the abuse of children in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory needs no introduction. At least not to Aboriginal people.

Brian Martin, the former NT Supreme Court Chief Justice, achieved infamy among Aboriginal communities in April 2010 when he described five white youths who bashed an Aboriginal man to death in a racially charged drunken rampage as “of otherwise good character”. [Read More...]

28 July 2016
by Pepe Escobar

The Real Secret of the South China Sea

Chinese Coast Guard ships patrol South China Sea

The South China Sea is and will continue to be the ultimate geopolitical flashpoint of the young 21st century – way ahead of the Middle East or Russia’s western borderlands. No less than the future of Asia – as well as the East-West balance of power – is at stake.

To understand the Big Picture, we need to go back to 1890 when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which de facto started after the Spanish-American war, over a century ago, when the US graduated to Pacific power status by annexing the Philippines, Hawaii and Guam.

Western – American and European — colonialism is strictly responsible for the current, incendiary sovereignty battle in the South China Sea. It’s the West that came up with most land borders – and maritime borders — of these states. [Read More...]

27 July 2016
by Chris Graham

NT Juvenile Prison Abuse: The Most Shocking Part Is That Anyone Is Actually Shocked

A screencap from the July 25 Four Corners program

The revelations overnight from ABC’s Four Corners program must shock Australians into action.

The most shocking thing about last night’s Four Corners expose into juvenile detention in the Northern Territory is that anyone is actually shocked. [Read More...]

26 July 2016
by AAP

Herbert recount: Labor ahead of Coalition after counting error discovered

Bill Shorten and Cathy O’Toole in Townsville during the election campaign.

One Nation preferences mistakenly put in the Liberal National party candidate’s column rather than Labor’s.

Labor has slipped ahead of the Coalition in the final outstanding federal seat of Herbert after a preference counting error was found.

At 4pm, eastern time, on Monday, Labor’s Cathy O’Toole was 31 votes ahead of the sitting Liberal National party MP, Ewen Jones.

The Australian Electoral Commission had Jones 12 votes ahead of O’Toole earlier in the day but it is understood One Nation preferences from the Vincent State School booth were mistakenly put in the LNP candidate’s column rather than Labor’s. The recount is expected to be finalised on Tuesday. [Read More...]

26 July 2016
by Sian Cain

Australian Dropbears defeat US team to win Quidditch World Cup

Australia celebrating their victory in the Quidditch World Cup final in Frankfurt, Germany.

In a magical turn of events, Australia won the Quidditch World Cup – a sport inspired by the game played by Harry Potter – after defeating the US team in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Adapted from the fantasy sport played in JK Rowling’s books, the “muggle” version of quidditch uses elements of rugby, dodgeball and tag. There are seven players on each team, five balls and six goal hoops. Each match begins with the referee shouting “Brooms up!” It ends when the “snitch” has been caught, giving the successful team 30 points. A tiny, flying golden ball in the books, in reality the snitch is a tennis ball attached to a player’s shorts. [Read More...]

25 July 2016
by R & AP

Australia’s Olympic team refuses to move into official Rio quarters

Blocked toilets and exposed wiring: Olympic Village dismays Australian team

The Australia team will not move into the Olympic village for the time being because of problems including “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring”, the head of the country’s delegation, Kitty Chiller, said on Sunday. Chiller said she had raised concerns on a daily basis with the organisers and the International Olympic Committee, and was “pushing hard for a solution”.

Australian Olympic Committee staff had been due to move into the village on 21 July but have instead been living in nearby hotels. Chiller said that for those coming in the next three days alternative accommodation has been arranged. [Read More...]

25 July 2016
by Laura Tingle

Turnbull Government embarks on radical welfare overhaul

The Turnbull government will embark on a radical welfare experiment during the current parliament that aims to use the power of big data to cut the number of people on welfare through targeted interventions in their lives.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter says that while the initiative should bring long-term savings, his immediate task is to get a raft of legislative changes – including budget measures – through the Parliament. He plans to begin talking to Labor and the Senate crossbench about the proposals this week.

To help the ease the passage of some of these measures, the government will be promoting many of its more recent budget cuts to the Senate cross bench– unlike the hangover of the 2014 so-called Zombie cuts [Read More...]

24 July 2016
by David Tyler

Turnbull is a sitting duck

Turnbull addresses his party room

Cabinet maker, nation builder, architect of our future, seer, Malcolm Bligh Turnbull squints into Monday’s winter sunshine in the courtyard where Tony Abbott used to park his bicycle and proclaims a mandate. A depleted Coalition stares back at him in disbelief.

Eric Abetz is scowling.

The bruising eight week ordeal on the hustings is a solid victory, he says. He has a vision, he insists. MPs will ask him in three years about KPIs, (key performance indicators), because “we have set out our plan”. Even Howard would struggle to be this dull. Not even Abbott would be this transparent. [Read More...]

23 July 2016
by ABC


A non-binding international tribunal at The Hague has found Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were complicit in facilitating the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia.

500,000 Indonesians killed in anti-communist purge at height of Cold War Report found Australia continued to back army despite knowing about the killings President Joko Widodo has refused to apologise for historic murders An estimated half a million people perished in what was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century. The killings were triggered by a failed coup that led to the deaths of six army generals, followed by the mass targeting of communists. [Read More...]

23 July 2016
by Katharine Murphy

Bob Katter warns PM not to 'antagonise' him by proceeding with ABCC bill

Bob Katter recently agreed to give the Coalition confidence and supply in the new parliament provided various conditions were met.

MP says he is at a loss to know why Malcolm Turnbull would proceed with legislation on building watchdog given it has no hope of clearing the Senate

Crossbench kingmaker Bob Katter has warned the prime minister not to “antagonise” him by proceeding with legislation to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, which was a trigger for the recent double dissolution election.

Katter recently agreed to give the Coalition confidence and supply in the new parliament provided various conditions were met, including significant infrastructure spending in northern Australia, and no “union bashing”. [Read More...]

23 July 2016
by Myles Gough

Cheap and clean: Australian company creates hydrogen with near-zero emissions

A new process for converting natural gas into hydrogen could be the solution for powering electric vehicles

With hydrogen tipped to become an important clean energy fuel, a new process may be the solution to powering electric vehicles and heating buildings

An Australian company is using “cheap as dirt” iron ore to convert methane in natural gas into hydrogen. Importantly, their process generates near-zero emissions, as the carbon content of the gas is captured in the form of high-quality graphite.

As a clean-burning fuel, hydrogen could play a key role in future energy markets, but production methods are still too energy-intensive and costly. [Read More...]

23 July 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Queensland LNP revolt aimed at Barnaby Joyce

LNP Senator Ian MacDonald

A threat by Queensland federal Nationals to break away and form a third party inside the federal Coalition was aimed more at toppling Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce than Malcolm Turnbull, senior sources have confirmed.

Despite a move to establish the breakaway group being thwarted on Thursday when Mr Joyce and Attorney-General George Brandis flew to Brisbane to help defeat a party motion, those behind it are determined to continue the push.

Queensland Liberal National Party Senator Ian Macdonald said on Friday the LNP had held the line in Queensland at the last election yet went backwards by one member on the frontbench in this year's ministerial reshuffle. [Read More...]

22 July 2016
by Paul Farrell

Government officials of secretive Citizenship Loss Board named

Tony Abbott, the former prime minister, rushed through citizenship laws which were touted as an urgent response to threat of terrorism.

Board which has de facto power to strip dual nationals of citizenship includes senior departmental secretaries and Asio and Asis officers

The identity of officials on one of the most powerful government boards in Australia – which has the effective power to strip Australians of citizenship – has been revealed for the first time.

A freedom of information request for minutes of the Citizenship Loss Board’s first meeting in February shows the panel is made up of senior departmental secretaries from across government. The secretariat of the committee is Hamish Hansford, an assistant secretary of the immigration department. He previously served as the national manager of the intelligence branch of the Australian Crime Commission. [Read More...]

22 July 2016
by Glen Anderson

Turnbull sworn in as PM but election victory remains pyrrhic

During the Pyrrhic War of 280-297 BC King Pyrrhus of Epirus' army suffered horrendous losses at Heraclea and Asculum, despite defeating the Romans. It was a hollow victory.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2016 election victory has much in common with these ancient events.

Rather than being sworn into office as a strong and decisive leader, Turnbull now presides over a diminished government clinging to power by only a one or two seat majority in the House of Representatives. Many Coalition MPs have lost their seats. [Read More...]

22 July 2016
by Peter Martin

Census: The ABS has been quietly holding on to our names for years

David Kalisch says: 'We are now being more transparent about it'.

The Bureau of Statistics has been quietly hanging on to the names it collects with the census to conduct studies, despite a public commitment to destroy them.

Find out why no one will be knocking at your door with census forms this year. Australian statistician David Kalisch told Fairfax Media the Bureau had been keeping the names it collected for up to 18 months.

"They've done it under the guise of: 'this is while we are processing the data'," he said. [Read More...]

22 July 2016
by Fleur Anderson

Frogs spawn farmer's green tape nightmare

Laughing Tree Frog

It was during a post-flood inspection of his 21,689 hectare property on Queensland's Macintyre River with his zoologist neighbour that crop farmer John Norman spotted something in the water that looked like "it had come out of someone's nose".

In fact it was frogs' spawn, and with the increase of frogs came an increase in the local water bird population.

Mr Norman, whose family have farmed in the Goondiwindi area for the past 100 years, saw an opportunity to improve the local environment by adding water between his own farms to the natural water system before the water dried up and the frogs and birds disappeared. [Read More...]

21 July 2016
by David Tyler

Abbott out; Turnbull buys in as Coalition heads toward civil war.

Kevin Andrews father of the house began crackdown on pensioners

Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz fearlessly leads the charge of the right brigade this week into a stoush between his beloved team Abbott and the Pollyanna faction led by tub-thumping, sub-stumping $50 billion dollar man Christopher Pyne. Eric is out to keep the bastards honest.

Abetz takes a pot-shot at the Turnbull’s government’s legitimacy, the issue of the political week if not the forty-fifth parliament’s lifetime, after sub-Marathon Mal’s hamstrung election performance, which saw the PM forced to fund his party’s manifest destiny to the tune of a million dollars. [Read More...]

21 July 2016
by John Menadue

Dangerous allies, outdated treaties and the takeover of Australia's foreign policy

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the U.S. are determining Australia’s foreign policy.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are being sidelined in foreign policy.

The Minister is content to project herself as our chief protocol officer fronting the media when Australians overseas are in trouble. And travel as invited. Only a few days ago, she was off to attend a ministerial meeting of NATO in Warsaw. Why does Australia attend NATO meetings? The last time I looked at an atlas, Australia was not in the North Atlantic. But we do live in South East Asia where Julie Bishop could more fruitfully spend time.

Richard Woolcott, a former senior diplomat, has bluntly drawn attention to concern about military/security supremacy over foreign policy. [Read More...]

21 July 2016
by Aaron Patrick

Rupert Murdoch is losing control of his media empire

A cardinal is going. The end of the pope's reign is in sight.

The still-being-negotiated departure from Fox News of Republican Party puppet master Roger Ailes marks a historic power shift at 21st Century Fox.

Ailes was perhaps the most potent asset in the company other than Rupert Murdoch himself, the founder and executive chairman. Murdoch harnessed Ailes' talent into a giant money-making and political-power-generating machine. [Read More...]

20 July 2016
by Michael West

Gas cartels having a field day on Australian consumers

Australia's energy prices continue to soar while our gas customers ship our gas thousands of miles and still pay less than we do.

In Japan, they pay a lot less for Australian gas than we do in Australia.

Last month, the spot price in Japan was US$4.27 (AU$5.67) per gigajoule (GJ) whereas the average spot price paid in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide in June was US$6.87/GJ.

Australian consumers paid, on average, 60% more for gas produced in Australia than did our customers in Japan.

This is even more bizarre when you consider that, before the gas is shipped 6,000 kilometres to Japan at a cost of US$0.75GJ, it first has to be liquefied at an LNG plant at a cost of US$1.50/GJ. [Read More...]

20 July 2016
by Andrew Clark

China warns of 'serious measures' if Australia ups ante in South China Sea

A senior Chinese Foreign ministry official has warned of "serious measures" if Australia ups the ante in opposing Chinese seizure of islands and coral reefs in the South China Sea.

Mr Cong Peiwu, director general of the Department of North America and Oceania in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Australia's position was "detrimental to the political foundation of our relationship". [Read More...]

20 July 2016
by Angela Macdonald-Smith

Xenophon demands answers on Ausgrid sale to Chinese firm

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has written to federal Treasurer Scott Morrison to raise concerns about the possible sale of NSW electricity distributor Ausgrid to China's largest state-owned utility in a flare-up of security and national interest worries over what is likely to be the country's biggest ever privatisation.

In the letter emailed to Mr Morrison's office on Monday, Senator Xenophon specifically asks whether advice has been sought from security and defence agencies on the possible $10 billion sale by the Baird government of Ausgrid to State Grid Corporation of China, one of two bidders expected to lodge a final offer by the July 25 deadline. [Read More...]

12 July 2016
by Tony Kaye

Scandal-ridden Telstra faces judgement day

The telco’s services are coming under fire almost daily, and the attacks won’t stop.

Australian telecommunications giant Telstra is at war on multiple fronts, and experts predict that market pressure will intensify with the ongoing rollout of the national broadband network (NBN).

After a number of highly publicised network outages in recent months left millions of consumers without services, Telstra was dealt another body blow on Monday when consumer group CHOICE claimed the company was overcharging its customers. [Read More...]

12 July 2016
by Brendan O'Reilly

NSW's illl-considered ban on greyhound racing: the thin end of the wedge

Australians remember the response of former Labor Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, who (in reaction to allegations of cruelty overseas) hastily shut down our northern cattle export industry, costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. NSW Premier Mike Baird is engaging in the same knee-jerk reaction by shutting-down greyhound racing in NSW, and the effects will also be costly.

Both actions were initially driven by exposés made by the Four Corners ABC programme in collusion with animal rights lobbyists. In both cases the TV presentation (funded by our taxes) was more interested in sensationalism than in balance, and, by focussing on a minority of rogue operators, condemned a whole industry. [Read More...]

12 July 2016
by Yolanda Redrup

Cyber sector adamant e-voting is too complex

The cyber security sector is adamant that developing an e-voting system would be too complex

Start-up entrepreneurs, tech industry leaders and politicians are at loggerheads with the cyber security sector, which remains adamant that electronic voting is too costly and complex.

The debate has erupted in response to the recent election saga, where it has taken the Australian Electoral Commission more than a week to finish counting the votes. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten joined the debate on Sunday, both mentioning the need to find an e-voting solution in their victory and concession speeches, respectively. [Read More...]

11 July 2016
by Matthew Knott

Barnaby Joyce wants Coalition agreement to be secret

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says the Nationals will "drive a hard bargain" in the next Parliament, including a likely extra position in cabinet, but that he wants to keep secret the conditions of a written agreement to be signed with the Liberal Party.

When Malcolm Turnbull was elevated to the prime ministership last September he signed a new Coalition agreement with then Nationals leader Warren Truss. [Read More...]

11 July 2016
by Saimi Jeong

AIDS epidemic 'over' in Australia, say peak bodies

Australia's peak AIDS organisations and scientists have announced an end to the AIDS epidemic, as the country joins the few nations in the world to have beaten the syndrome.

The number of annual cases of AIDS diagnoses is now so small, top researchers and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations have declared the public health issue to be over. [Read More...]

11 July 2016
by Matthew Knott

Bill Shorten concedes defeat

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten concedes defeat in Melbourne on Sunday.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has conceded defeat a week after Australians went to the polls and says he accepts that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has a mandate to pursue the policies he took to the election.

Mr Shorten said he had spoken to Mr Turnbull on Sunday to congratulate him on his victory.

Labor is committed to making the 45th parliament work by finding 'common ground' says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. [Read More...]

09 July 2016
by Paul Bongiorno

Mediscare testing

Malcolm Turnbull and his bruised colleagues have spent every day since the election blaming “Labor’s massive lie of the campaign” – the so-called Mediscare – for their poor showing. But in one of their few encounters during the eight-week slog, the prime minister had a different beef with Labor’s Bill Shorten. “Lay off my wealth,” he said to the opposition leader. “I know all about stereotypes,” an unsympathetic Shorten replied. “Your bunch keep branding me a union thug.”

Labor had clearly struck a raw nerve. According to the marketing analytics firm Ebiquity, the party spent more than $2 million on its “Seriously Out of Touch” advertising campaign – more than it forked out for its Medicare ads. For that part of their campaign, they mostly went below the radar of the mainstream media, using targeted material on digital platforms. [Read More...]

09 July 2016
by Sandi Keane

Howard's continued lies about Iraq remind us of his deep dishonesty and poor judgement

John Howard remains unrepentant about the Iraq War

John Howard's continued lies about the reasons for invading Iraq in the face of the scathing Chilcot Report remind us of his deep dishonesty and poor judgement.

Back in 2004, the “who can you trust” slogan was effective. It won Howard the election. Such was George W. Bush’s admiration, he stole the line for his own campaign.

But Howard and trust parted company when we found out Australia had invaded Iraq in 2003 on the basis of a lie. He had exaggerated the threat of Sadam Hussein. There were no weapons of mass destruction. This information was known to the U.S., Britain and Australia almost two years before the Coalition of the Willing's invasion of Iraq (see below). [Read More...]

09 July 2016
by James Massola

Bill Shorten predicts second poll as Cathy McGowan offers Coaltion support

Labor MPs and senators applaud Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Australians are likely to go back to the polls by the end of the year even if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull manages to "scrape over the line", Opposition Leader Bill Shorten predicts.

. In another boost to the Coalition, Victorian independent Cathy McGowan told Mr Turnbull on Friday she would guarantee him confidence and supply on the floor of Parliament in the interests of stability. [Read More...]

09 July 2016
by Lucy Battersby

Telstra cuts hundreds of jobs nationwide

Telstra will axe 140 jobs in Melbourne and close a Perth call centre.

Telstra has sacked hundreds of customer service and management staff from its call centres around the country and will offshore more work to the Philippines.

The telecommunications giant has not publicly announced the redundancies this week, but the Community and Public Sector Union revealed the job losses on Friday after receiving alerts from affected members. The union said 450 workers had received notices that they would lose their jobs in recent days. [Read More...]

08 July 2016
by James Thomson

NSW bans greyhound racing

The NSW decision to ban greyhound racing has sparked a debate in other parts of the country about what to do about the sport.

Greyhound racing in other Australian states appears certain to come under pressure, with the Greens immediately calling for bans in Queensland and Victoria. The ACT chief minister said on Thursday afternoon he would ban racing in the territory. [Read More...]

08 July 2016
by Cam Klose

Cathy McGowan’s Win Shows Positive Politics Is Possible

On a freezing cold night in Wangaratta hundreds of people came from all over the electorate of Indi – from Yackandandah to Yea, Tallangatta to Tungamah – to watch the election results unfold.

The once-sleepy division of Indi was transformed at the last election, when Independent MP Cathy McGowan won the seat from Sophie Mirabella; and last Saturday, Cathy showed once again that Australians want to engage in a politics that is positive and hopeful.

Indi offers an antidote to a national political scene that is increasingly fractured, partisan and apathetic. [Read More...]

08 July 2016
by Sean Hosking

Decades Of Conservative Pressure On The ABC Are Paying Off

Sarah Ferguson hosting 4 Corners

The 2016 election has revealed just how compliant Australia’s media landscape has become. In some cases, it’s hardly a surprise. But the failure of the ABC to challenge narratives run by the Coalition is of serious concern.

As the outcome of the federal election has illustrated, we are currently experiencing a crisis in political governance in Australia from which there is no clear escape. The increasingly adverse social and economic effects of neoliberalism, combined with ballooning government debt and a public whose expectations of government remain wedded to the profligacy of the Howard era has in many respects led to a state of policy gridlock. [Read More...]

07 July 2016
by John Menadue

What the major parties ignored in the election

Important issues in this election were either ignored completely or touched upon so lightly that there was little adult contest of values and ideas.

The election seemed more about avoiding some key issues than a contest of values and ideas.

Because so many key issues such as refugees were avoided, it is not surprising that so many voters, about one third, turned their backs on the major parties. Some issues like the NBN were widely canvassed in social media but largely ignored in the public campaign. [Read More...]

07 July 2016
by Paul McGeough

The mind-boggling incompetence of Bush, Blair and Howard laid bare

Tony Blair and John Howard, key allies in the Iraq invasion, in London.

Britain's former prime minister Tony Blair expresses sorrow and regret over the Iraq war but insists that the world "is a better place" without Saddam Hussein. The former British Prime Minister earns a rare place in history's crosshairs as one of just two on the planet who might have stopped crazy man Bush – the other being Bush's hapless Secretary of State, Colin Powell. By not restraining the US president, each was an enabler in Washington's worst-ever foreign policy blunder.

And the Australian PM? Howard's was a bit part, but it was important – as the patsy from Down Under, his eagerness to sign on made it possible for Bush to dress up his miscalculated need to go after Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, as an imposing "Coalition of the Willing". [Read More...]

07 July 2016
by AFR

We can find you at any 9sqm on earth. Online shopping, anyone?

Easiest address to find on earth

Last year, a brush fire threatened the home of Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, who lives in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar. Instead of giving the fire brigade his address, though, Mr Ganhuyag had to guide them to the blaze by describing a series of landmarks along the way.

That was because, like most buildings in Mongolia, his house does not have an address. Road names and building numbers are so sparse there that fewer than 1 per cent of Mongolians do. But Mr Ganhuyag, who is on the board of the country's post office, Mongol Post, proposes to do something about it. [Read More...]

06 July 2016
by Andrew Warrilow

Is Nick Xenephon the car industry's X factor?

FJ Holden

Australia's automotive industry can be saved and Nick Xenephon might be the man to do it.

Without knowing it, did we just witness the car industry election?

With a hung parliament increasingly likely, Senator Nick Xenophon may be shaping up as the king maker of the next government and the holder of the balance of power in the Senate. [Read More...]

06 July 2016
by Sarah Russell

Reverse the aged care cuts?

Residential aged care in Australia is big business. The Aged Care Financing Authority estimates the residential aged care sector requires $31 billion of investment over the next decade. To attract investors, the Productivity Commission recommends a competitive market with reduced regulation. Private equity firms, new foreign investors, and superannuation and property real estate investment trusts are entering the residential aged care market in large numbers.

The 'Living longer living better aged care reforms have decreased regulation and introduced a consumer-driven market based system. The irony of this move towards a free market system is that providers rely on government subsidies. The government pays approved providers a 'residential care subsidy' for each resident living in an aged care home. [Read More...]

06 July 2016
by Jessica Gardner

AC/DC's founding music label Alberts has sold to BMG

The family-owned music publishing and recording business behind classic acts like AC/DC, John Paul Young and The Easybeats, and contemporary hit makers like Urthboy and the Cat Empire, has sold to German music giant BMG.

Alberts, which Swiss immigrant Jacques Albert set up 131 years ago as J Albert & Son originally as a clock, watch and violin-repair shop in inner Sydney, has passed through five generations. Chief executive David Albert said the company had to adapt amid the onslaught of digital disruption. [Read More...]

05 July 2016
by Sean Ingle

Nick Kyrgios suffers meltdown at the hands of Andy Murray

Australian admits he is not in love with the sport after suffering what Steve Waugh would describe as ‘mental disintegration’ against the British No1

After this most tumultuous and savagely unpredictable of summers it was reassuring to find a national institution on which Britain can rely. This was supposed to be the toughest test of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon so far. Instead it became a dazzling a concerto of his talents, which appear to be widening even as his 30th birthday looms into distant view [Read More...]

05 July 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch may not be around for long

Pauline Hanson's re-emergence as a political force could be shortlived due to a plan to relegate her and other controversial new Senate entrants to a three-year term.

It is understood that both the Coalition and Labor are considering using their combined numbers in the Senate to invoke a never-before used provision to determine who serves full six-year terms and who serves three-year terms following a double dissolution election. [Read More...]

05 July 2016
by Alison Broinowski

What are we willing to fight for?

The first meeting of ANZUS military representatives in 1952 at Pearl Harbour.

Alison Broinowski reviews James Brown's Quarterly Essay 'Firing Line: Australia’s Path to War' and asks if instead of increasing our defence force, would Australia not do better to invest in peaceful coexistence?

AUSTRALIA is at war in Iraq and Syria, which is a serious matter.

Yet neither party seeking government is asked by the media or by other candidates to explain to the electorate why our troops are there, at whose invitation, for what purpose, or what difference it would make if they pulled out — as the Canadians have from Syria. [Read More...]

04 July 2016
by BA


The Jayco Australian Sapphires are gold medallists at the Under-17 FIBA World Championships after defeating Italy 62-38 in the final to finish the tournament undefeated.

Having never finished better than 5th at the Under-17 Worlds, Australia completed the 2016 tournament with an average winning margin of 23 points. [Read More...]

04 July 2016
by Fleur Anderson

Senate changeover signals wild ride for democracy

Ricky Muir and Glenn Lazarus are out, and Pauline Hanson, Derryn Hinch and a clutch of Xenophonites are in. But the extent of the Senate crossbench takeover may not be known for weeks.

The number of crossbenchers is likely to rise from eight to an even more unpredictable nine or 10 and major political parties are glum about their chances of passing significant policies.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, who battled the class of 2013 crossbench senators over his 2014 budget, said the growing influence of balance-of-power senators and move away from the two-party system threatened Australia's future. [Read More...]

03 July 2016
by AAP

Australian Cate Campbell breaks 100m swimming world record

Cate Campbell clocked 52.06 seconds

Australia’s Cate Campbell will be the overwhelming Rio Olympic favourite after setting a stunning 100m freestyle world record at the Brisbane Grand Prix on Saturday night.

The likes of swimming great Dawn Fraser and former Olympic 100m champion Jodie Henry watched in awe pool-side as Campbell clocked a stunning 52.06 seconds.

She eclipsed German Britta Steffen’s old mark by 0.01 of a second set at the 2009 world titles during the now banned supersuit era. [Read More...]

03 July 2016
by AFR

Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon shake up Senate

Nick Xenophon

Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon will play a key role in the new Senate.

Senator Xenophon was on track on Saturday night to pick up three South Australian seats in the upper house.

Ms Hanson, the founder of One Nation and a former Queensland Liberal MP, will take a Queensland Senate seat and could bring with her running-mate Malcolm Roberts. [Read More...]

03 July 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Malcolm Turnbull clings to power

The nation has been plunged into uncertainty after Labor cut a swathe through NSW, Tasmania and beyond and the Nick Xenophon Team grabbed a seat in South Australia.
Australia will have either a hung Parliament or a government with a severely-reduced majority.

With many seats - and the final result - too close to call, it appears Labor will struggle to form government in its own right.

But the Turnbull government will also struggle to keep its absolute majority after losing at least 11 seats and possibly six more.

Malcolm Turnbull has lost many of his supporters in the rout and his leadership cannot be considered safe. [Read More...]

02 July 2016
by Paul Bongiorno

A moment of truth

Today 15.6 million Australians will pass the definitive judgement on Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership coup against Tony Abbott. Turnbull’s personal ambition aside, there was only one purpose in that event – survival of the Coalition government beyond this election. After 30 consecutive negative Newspolls enough Liberals were convinced they were doomed if they stuck with Abbott. He never believed it and still doesn’t.

What’s not to be underestimated is the visceral fear gripping Coalition politicians that the judgement of failure they passed on their own government back in September is about to be visited on them by the electorate. It’s extraordinary when you think on it. A big part of the motivation for the putsch was Liberals thinking that if Tony Abbott could make Bill Shorten look good – indeed, make him the preferred prime minister – then sticking with him was a hopeless cause. Turnbull, on the other hand, polled like a sure thing. [Read More...]

02 July 2016
by Phillip Coorey

Medicare poses late scare as Liberals cling to narrow lead

The federal government's cuts to Medicare have flared in the dying hours of the election campaign, posing a late threat to the Coalition's modest lead which hinges on holding the line in NSW, where a large number of seats remain volatile.

Less than 24 hours before polling booths opened and with the polls tight, Malcolm Turnbull was exposed when letters emerged from doctors informing patients of a new a co-payment for visits because of the government's plans to continue the freeze on the Medicare rebate paid to GPs. [Read More...]

01 July 2016
by Mike Dowson

Australia's economy: Swallowing the austerity lie...

Austerity has crept into our public affairs, disguised as good economic management. We should unmask this imposter

This year's election has become a pantomime.
But it does reveal one important theme, which currently sets the tone for our political discourse.
That theme is scarcity.

It’s not just the major political parties. The media, too, seems to have embraced it. Opinions clash over what to do about it but nearly everyone seems to agree that in Australia today we simply don’t have enough to go around. The pointing finger of doom is provided by the budget deficit. [Read More...]

01 July 2016
by Christian Marx

Mainstream media: Now just a propaganda mill for Big Business?

Mainstream media is hopelessly conflicted these days with an ideology to sell. Bought and paid for by their corporate puppet masters.

A democracy is only as robust as its citizen`s knowledge of social policy, political theory and a completely neutral reportage on local and world events. In order for the populace to be able to make informed and educated decisions, a transparent and objective media is paramount. This is currently a pipe dream.

Commercial media is owned and run for the benefit of big business and its profit driven interests. It does not want an alternative system that would be a barrier to its profit at all costs ideology. For this reason alone, it cannot be trusted to have the communities best interests at heart. It has vested interests that are diametrically in opposition to the wellbeing of the majority. [Read More...]

01 July 2016
by Paul Stevenson

The Day We Stopped Being Australian

I remember the day democracy walked out the door. It was the day we stopped being Australian

Where did we go wrong? Did anybody see it happen? The day democracy walked out the door. The day we lost our freedom of speech. The day we stopped being Australian.

Well, I saw it. It was Wednesday 1 July 2015. I was sitting at the Wilson headquarters briefing table with about 20 other senior officers of Wilson Security on Nauru. I recall a chill went down my spine as I listened to the Australian Border Force Act prepared script being read out to the group: “From this day forward, a term of two years’ imprisonment will apply to any person convicted of speaking out against offshore detention.” [Read More...]