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Among key election issues is the state of the economy, with very serious problems in finance and banking sectors warranting the close review which can only be brought by a royal commission. At root is the problem of an economic philosophy which favours the rich and entrenches growing numbers in poverty.
Looking beyond the at-times exaggerated political rhetoric, Bruce Duncan considers that our politicians cannot resolve the appalling treatment of asylum seekers, or implement effective policies to moderate climate change, without considered bi-partisan effort. Despite cutbacks to Indigenous services and organisations, there are initial signs of progress towards making a Treaty with our Indigenous peoples.
Tony French explores the complex debate about negative gearing and capital gains tax, and considers factors influencing the cost of housing, before comparing the policies of the main parties.
Indigenous affairs have largely been overlooked so far in the election campaign, and Jon Altman laments that the Coalition has failed to deliver on many of its promises for Aboriginal advancement. He argues that there needs to be substantial consultation with indigenous communities which need access to significant resources to manage their own development directly.
A specialist in war and peace studies. Brian Johnstone looks at a recent conference in Rome of Pax Christi and the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace, which asked if the just-war theories in Catholic tradition are justifiable in our contemporary world. The conference gave strong support to non-violent means of resistance to unjust aggression.
John Menadue disputes that conservative governments have been the better managers of Australia’s borders, arguing that Labor governments had put in place measures to deter boat arrivals. But the Coalition opposed the Malaysian Agreement in 2011, and triggered an upsurge in boat arrivals. John also finds fault with uncritical reporting and mistaken judgements of some refugee advocates.
in 2015, the refugee crisis in the Andaman Sea cost many lives, as the thousands of Rohingya people fled Myanmar, and others Bangladesh. Travers McLeod and his colleagues trace the reaction of the countries directly affected which have struggled to work out a coordinated regional response.
Pope Francis, poverty, & climate change
A YTU unit, Equity & Sustainability
Lecturer Dr Bruce Duncan CSsR
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 Sí, Pope Francis has emerged as a new moral voice, mobilising opinion about urgently building a just world to address extreme inequality, and to 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 (www.ytu.edu.au), or contact the Registrar 03 9890 3771, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPC video picks