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Donald Trump Is Not Going to Sue Pope Francis, DonkeyHotey, flickr cc.

Election looming?

Speculation is increasing about an early federal election, possibly in July. That would be something of a gamble for the Coalition, as Mr Turnbull’s honeymoon polls have greatly weakened, partly because of apparent dithering by the Government, partly from disarray within Liberal ranks, and partly because the Labor Opposition has been putting forward sensible economic policies and in the polls is looking a serious threat.

Net2Local Survey results wordle GREAT PEOPLE, Elijah van der Giessen, flickr cc.

Our mission: your social justice concerns

We invite your feedback and views

Peter Whiting

Social Policy Connections would very much like to hear what you think, to see how well we are presenting matters of concern to our members, as well as those of interest to our extensive online readership.

We invite you to complete our questionnaire.


homeless sleeping
Homeless, Pedro Ribeiro Simões, flickr cc.

Nowhere to lay their heads: homeless in Melbourne

Jenny Begent

In 2008, the former Federal Government promised to halve homelessness by 2020, and put more than a billion dollars towards it. Yet the 2011 Census showed that, every night in Australia, 105,000 people are still without a place to call home. Numbers of homeless have increased significantly since then. Many of them are living in inadequate and unsafe conditions; many more are on the street, in laneways, parks, under bridges, and in doorways. Record numbers of homeless people have been counted living on the streets of Melbourne, and services are wilting under the demand created by external economic and social forces.

zapatista mural
Zapatista mural, Garrett Ziegler, flickr cc.

Pope Francis supports social revolution among the Zapatistas in Mexico

Bruce Duncan

Western media largely missed the significance of Pope Francis’s visit to the ‘Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas’ in the south of Mexico, on the border with Guatemala in February 2016. He not only reiterated the message he bore elsewhere in Mexico about the Church’s support for a social and cultural revolution in favour of increased equality, social justice, and human rights.

Francis singled out the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, which on 1 January 1994 had erupted in a short-lived rebellion against the Mexican government’s attempt to privatise communally-owned land; this was the very day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect. The issues of indigenous peoples and land rights are extremely sensitive in Mexico, yet by visiting Chiapas, Francis was determined to highlight the problems and encourage solutions.

tax avoidance
Taxes, Images Money, flickr cc.

Multinationals’ tax humbug?

Tony French

Governments everywhere are alarmed at the lack of adequate tax revenue to pay their bills, and are looking closely at why many multinationals pay so little tax in many countries in which they operate. Tony French considers the tax issues for multinationals, arguing for increased resolve from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

“Showing such resolve has the unintended advantage, too, of prompting large companies into dialogue with the ATO, an illustration perhaps of the infamous line: ‘shoot one and terrify a thousand’.  Allegedly, the effect has been to encourage multinationals to open their books to ATO audit, and coincidentally to leave an increased proportion of their profits here as tax.”

syrian trail
Massive influx of Syrian Kurdish refugees into Turkey, European Commission DG ECHO, flickr cc.

Regional cooperation on refugees, Bali, and a
Track II Dialogue

John Menadue

John Menadue attended the Track II Dialogue in Bangkok in February 2016 which made recommendations to the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group on improving regional cooperation to manage and assist displaced people. He reports:

“There is quite a way to go in the Bali Process to build a framework of cooperation. It is very clear for Australia and for other regional countries that we cannot manage this problem on our own. There must be shared responsibility and burden-sharing. We need to build trust and a structure that will provide dignity and protection for vulnerable and displaced people.”

welcome refugees
Walk Together, Refugee Week, Melbourne, Tali C, flickr cc.

Palm Sunday Walk 2016
Justice for Refugees

Close Manus. Close Nauru.

Sunday 20 March 2pm

State Library
Corner Swanston and Latrobe Streets Melbourne







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