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malcolm turnbull
MalcolmTurnbull, Veni, flickr cc.

Trick or treat: budget
neglects struggle street
.

Bruce Duncan

With an election looming, Mr Morrison’s budget has tried to avoid antagonising voters, but has disappointed commentators with its failure to chart a path back to growth. It ended some excessive generosity to wealthy superannuants, but made further cuts to social services, shirked addressing the unfairness in capital gains tax and negative gearing, and did little for people under financial stress.


scott morrison
Multiple, sometimes conflicting, objectives. AAP/Sam Mooy.

Budget repair, climate risks, & global concerns all ignored in this conflicted effort

John Hewson

Australian National University

With most major tax reform possibilities taken off the table, the tax changes in the budget are mostly tinkering, rather than broad-based reform. The budget will be seen as ‘unfair’, since those earning less than $80,000 – some 75% of taxpayers – receive no tax cut, while some of the old cuts are carried forward, (welfare and family benefits, higher education, and vocational training). Promised childcare benefits have also been delayed.


photo love is not abuse
K aiserslautern Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Herald Post, flickr cc.

Victoria’s response to family violence. A view from the Salvation Army.

Kate Mecham

The Andrews Government deserves recognition for its steadfast commitment to the extensive list of recommendations of the Royal Commission into family violence.  However, the potential for this Royal Commission to be the promised groundbreaking paradigm shift now lies with those who are tasked with implementing those recommendations.


manus island det ctre
Manus Island Detention Centre, Greens MPs, flickr cc.

Manus & Nauru: time for the government to be creative

Peter Hughes

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Supreme Court decision and the announcement by the PNG Prime Minister that Manus will be closed only bring forward the inevitable – the Australian government has to find a way to get the current caseload of refugees and asylum seekers out of PNG and Nauru. Realistically, the only option is Australia and New Zealand.


photo tax collage
UK Budget 2010: Chancellor’s statement as a wordle, Peter Coombe, flickr cc.

Budgeting for an election
(a preview)

Tony French

So, politics must triumph over budget reforms. This Budget will not engage seriously with needed tax reform. That’s too controversial, and anyway no government has ever been elected on the platform of tax reform (ie your paying more tax). Yet necessary nation-building projects in education, health, and infrastructure require more than current account or overdraft financing.


Flood-affected people in Sindh, Pakistan, recipients of UK humanitarian aid in response to the 2010 floods.
Providing clean water and flood-resistant shelter, DFID – UK Department for International Development, flickr cc.

Australia’s overseas aid shrinking

Bruce Duncan

In the view of Paul O’Callaghan, CEO of Caritas Australia, Australia has “given up its shared leadership role in combatting poverty”, despite being one of the wealthiest OECD countries. Cuts to our aid have damaged Australia’s reputation internationally, and set back efforts to create an equitable and sustainable world in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The Detention Center on the west side of Christmas Island, Australia, accommodates asylum seekers to Australia. The facility opened in 2006 after a wave of boat arrivals from Asia.
Australian Detention Center, David Stanley, flickr cc.

Manus: “The Worst Angels
of our Nature”

Arja Keski-Nummi

The PNG Supreme Court decision has again thrown into stark relief the bankrupt nature of Australia’s asylum policy and the disingenuous way both sides justify their cynical and inhumane policies with trite slogans such as “saving lives” and “not starting up the people smuggling business”.


Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across. Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device-NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. Flying over 700 km above the Earth onboard the Terra satellite, MODIS provides an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of these images are based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the sensor’s view of the surface on any single day. Two different types of ocean data were used in these images: shallow water true color data, and global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data. Topographic shading is based on the GTOPO 30 elevation dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica ma
NASA Good Space Flight, flickr cc.

Pope Francis, poverty, & climate change

A YTU unit, Equity & Sustainability

With Lecturer Dr Bruce Duncan

The United Nations has led global efforts to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty, but crises in our economic systems and global warming have set back world development. With his 2015 document, Laudato Si’, Pope  Francis has emerged as a new moral voice, mobilising opinion about urgently building a just world in which everyone can have reasonable life opportunities. He is urging collaboration among all peoples to address extreme inequality and care for the planet in a sustainable way.

Within the University of Divinity, Yarra Theological Union offers a 12-week unit relating the efforts of Pope Francis and other religious leaders to the ongoing initiatives to lift living standards in developing countries, reform global economic systems, and protect the environment to ensure a sustainable future.

For information, see the YTU handbook, or contact the Registrar
03 9890 3711, registrar@ytu.edu.au. See the flyer on this unit.


 

 

 

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