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Russell Broadbent launches critique of Australian refugee policies

Bruce Duncan

At the 21 September launch of Bridging Troubled Waters: Australia & Asylum Seekers by Dr Tony Ward, Liberal member for McMillan in Gippsland, Russell Broadbent, challenged his own political party sharply, as well as Australia’s detention policies for refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, saying that Australians were finding it quite ‘unacceptable’ that we treat refugees so badly, keeping them in prison-like conditions in harsh, remote, and at times dangerous conditions. Australia’s reputation for decency and upholding human rights was badly damaged internationally.

Earth Care People Care Fair Share Melbourne World Environment Day 2011. Takver. flickr cc.

Can we adjust our moral compass so economics truly serves wellbeing for everyone?

Michael Yore

A response to Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement Everyone’s business: developing an inclusive & sustainable economy

Using the human face of poverty and hardship as their starting point, the Bishops call for a redefinition of what constitutes progress and development, based around the twin imperatives of inclusion and sustainability. They are proposing that the present economic system is unfit for purpose, that its malfunctions are so significant that it is, in effect, a flawed economic model leading directly to injustice.

They do not propose an alternative economic model, but they do propose clearly articulated moral principles which should guide the development of an inclusive and sustainable way of managing the economy to benefit all , not just the privileged few.

Lunchtime forum

Catholic Social Services (CSSV)

50 years of integral human development

Thursday 19 October 12-2pm
Cardinal Knox Centre East Melbourne

Discussion leaders
Professor Paul Smyth and Bruce Duncan CSsR, who both helped draft the Australian Bishops’ 2017 Social Justice Statement, Everyone’s Business: Developing an Inclusive & Sustainable Economy.

Join us for an interactive forum on integral human development in Catholic social thinking, looking back to 1967, to Pope Paul VI’s landmark Development of Peoples, and forward in Australia today, in light of the new Social Justice Statement.

IMG_7426-the-age-of-entitlement-is-over. Takver. flickr cc.

Bishops challenge inequality & exclusion in Australia

Peter Whiting

The new Social Justice Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops, Everyone’s business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy, is a timely statement, adding an influential voice to many others calling for the return to an inclusive Australia in which markets work for the benefit of everyone. The Bishops call for a new approach. If the approach is new, the call is not. Successive Popes since Leo XIII, in his 1891 landmark encyclical Rerum Novarum, have called for an economic system that would benefit everyone, not just wealthy elites.

Refugee children from Syria at a clinic in Ramtha, northern Jordan. DFID UK Department for International Development. flickr cc.

Bridging troubled waters: Australia & asylum seekers

Reviewed by Tony French

If, like me, you want to put the current ‘refugee crisis’ into some kind of historical perspective, then I recommend Tony Ward’s recent publication, Bridging Troubled Waters: Australia & Asylum Seekers. This is a well-researched and readable review of Australia’s response to refugees arriving here by boat since the 1990s.



Migrant Workers, Blackwater, VA. Bread for the World. flickr cc.

Foreign contract workers, ABNs, and the deregulation of our labour market by stealth

Michael West

One source said: “The ABN system has become a giant hole in the side of the Australian taxation system, allowing billions to escape taxation to the benefit of unethical employers, criminals, and other assorted tax evaders”.

It’s hard to tell whether the tax gap from this ABN rort is in the ‘billions’ or $1 billion. The Tax Office doesn’t calculate the number. or, if it does, it’s not saying. But the figure must be large.

Coal Fired Power Station. UniversityBlogSpot. flickr cc.

Keeping global warming to
1.5 degrees: really hard, but
not impossible

Dave Frame & H Damon Matthews

Our research suggests that a 1.5℃ world, dismissed in some quarters as a pipe dream, remains physically possible.

Whether it is politically possible depends on the interplay between technology, economics, and politics. For the world to achieve its most ambitious climate aspiration, countries need to set strong climate pledges for 2030, and then keep making deep emission cuts for decades.

No one is saying it will be easy. But our calculations suggest that it can be done.

US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1953. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. flickr cc.

Cool the rhetoric over
North Korea

Brian Johnstone

US President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea can be taken to mean totally destroy the North Korean government, writes Greg Sheridan in the Australian on 21 September. Is this what Trump really meant? How could a nuclear attack be so precisely targeted that it would destroy only the North Korean government, and not kill thousands or probably millions of innocent people?

SPC Video Selection

Dr Tony Ward on his new book Bridging Troubled Waters: Australia & Asylum Seekers





Russell Broadbent MP : Nauri detention facility at tipping point





Russell Broadbent MP : Visa overstayers vs asylum seekers





Russell Broadbent MP : The legacy of Nauru





Russell Broadbent MP : The need for church unity on the issue of refugees




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