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A Shorten government could shift the country on important issues, and show a little spunk.

Frank Bongiorno, Australian National University. This is part of a major series, called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. What will a Shorten government be like? It’s hazardous to predict how […]

March 5th, 2019 | Posted in Economic issues,Feature,Politics | Read More »

What has Captain Cook ever done for us?

Ian Robinson. The Prime Minister is intent on making a big fuss about James Cook. He is even promoting, at great expense, a circumnavigation of the continent by a replica of Cook’s ship Endeavour. This is an insult to Matthew Flinders, who actually did circumnavigate the continent, who made a much greater contribution to our […]

February 7th, 2019 | Posted in Feature,Politics | Read More »

Australia Day & our ‘culture wars’.

Peter Whiting. Until recently, for the last 20 years or so, I have celebrated Australia Day at my home with a group of my friends. As part of the entertainment, I would compile a short quiz on a particular Australian theme: bushrangers, prime ministers, Australian poets, prominent Australians, place names, and so on. Intentionally, I […]

February 5th, 2019 | Posted in Feature,Indigenous Issues,Politics | Read More »

Australia Day reminds us that we can overcome the fear of foreigners & ‘boats’.

John Menadue. The Australia of today is vastly different from the Australia of my childhood. With its widespread racism and sectarianism, it was socially suffocating. For those changes, I am very grateful. There is a lot of which we can be proud. No country has integrated newcomers as well as we have. But there have […]

February 3rd, 2019 | Posted in Asylum seekers,Feature,Politics | Read More »

In the post-APEC scramble to lavish funds on PNG, here’s what the country really needs …

In the post-APEC scramble to lavish funds on PNG, here’s what the country really needs …

Mark Moran The University of Queensland. If you set out by dinghy from the northern-most inhabited part of Australia, you will make landfall fairly soon in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Boigu Island, part of Queensland, is the most northerly island in the Torres Strait. With its own Australia Post outlet, it is less than ten […]

December 6th, 2018 | Posted in Global poverty,Politics | Read More »

Why are hundreds of thousands of Australian children struggling in poverty, even with a parent working full-time?

Why are hundreds of thousands of Australian children struggling in poverty, even with a parent working full-time?

Editorial. Australia has made little progress in recent decades to alleviate childhood poverty, according to Brian Lawrence, speaking on 17 October at an Anti-Poverty Week event, sponsored by Catholic Social Services Victoria. He said wages for many people were too low to lift children out of poverty. Mr Lawrence has drafted submissions and appeared at […]

October 23rd, 2018 | Posted in Church and Social Justice,Economic issues,Feature,Politics | Read More »

Murdoch & Stokes.

Murdoch & Stokes.

Rod Tiffin. If the Liberal leadership upheaval was a Muppet show, as Scott Morrison described it, Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes have been revealed as its Statler and Waldorf. Muppets fans will remember the two cantankerous old men who heckled from the sidelines. The media moguls did not heckle publicly, but their behind-the-scenes barracking was […]

September 19th, 2018 | Posted in Feature,Politics | Read More »

Scott Morrison, the ‘Prosperity Gospel’, and neoliberalism.

Scott Morrison, the ‘Prosperity Gospel’, and neoliberalism.

Bruce Duncan. Sounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country, for every Australian, and that this set the value base for his own thinking and presumably for policies of his government. No one in Albury objected to the ideal of love […]

September 13th, 2018 | Posted in Feature,Politics | Read More »

‘Liveability’ for whom?

‘Liveability’ for whom?

Peter Whiting. With the Victorian elections due in November, the timing of the recent announcement of a “visionary’ $50 billion underground rail loop for Melbourne is not entirely surprising. It follows a similar ‘visionary’ proposal for a city-to-airport link at an envisaged cost of $15 billion. It is a sad reality that infrastructure spending on […]

August 31st, 2018 | Posted in Feature,Politics,Recent articles by SPC members | Read More »

First Confession: A sort of memoir by Chris Patten.

First Confession: A sort of memoir by Chris Patten.

Reviewed by Bill Frilay. Chris Patten has written a very interesting memoir on his multi-faceted life in politics, coupled with observations on his contemporaries and the issues of the day. Indeed, a full life. Brought up Catholic (of Irish descent on his father’s side) middle class in West London and educated in the Catholic school […]

August 14th, 2018 | Posted in Book Reviews,Feature,Politics | Read More »