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Tim Colebatch


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03 Mar 2017

IN OCTOBER 1970, a young Laurie Oakes interviewed an old Sir John McEwen, the legendary leader of the Country Party (now the Nationals), long-time deputy and strong right arm of Sir Robert Menzies. One of the things the old warrior had to tell him was why he admired so much his former adversary...

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24 Feb 2017

NOTHING is more central to Labor’s view of what makes Australia such a great place to live in than our long tradition of having an independent umpire to stop employers exploiting workers. Former Liberal prime minister Sir Robert Menzies shared that view; like others in the centre-left and centre...

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20 Dec 2016

The government still won’t acknowledge why the deficit isn’t going away, but it’s not too late to take some simple steps

THERE was a bit of pride and a bit of resignation in the way treasurer Scott Morrison and finance minister Mathias Cormann reported yet another $10.4...

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18 Nov 2016

If you’re in a gloomy mood, the Bureau of Statistics won’t be helping to pull you out of it. First it told us that wages across Australia grew at their lowest level on record, just 1.9 per cent, in the year to September. Now it tells us that, despite that unprecedented restraint, a net 70,000...

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25 May 2015

The NZ government sees economic as well as social benefits in breaking cycles of poverty and imprisonment. Although the policy has its critics, it’s worth watching, writes Tim Colebatch.

Imagine a country in which a government of the centre-right decided to make it a top...

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03 Jul 2016

What do we know so far about the likely post-election scene? Tim Colebatch has been crunching the latest numbers

MOST of us now know who our new MPs will be. What we don’t know is who will be our prime minister. And we don’t know whether there will be a majority or...

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30 Jun 2016

Europe offers lessons for Australian parties uneasy at the prospect of having to talk to each other

In the same week as Malcolm Turnbull called the 2016 Australian election, another conservative leader on the other side of the world did what his Australian counterpart has...

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28 May 2016

With the major parties level-pegging, a defeat for the Coalition isn’t out of the question. So what would a Labor government look like?

THE conventional wisdom is that there won’t be a Shorten Labor government. The opinion polls say it, the commentators say it, and the...

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05 Apr 2016

Governments are in denial about population growth and its impact on Australia’s major cities. It’s time to take up the challenge

SOMETIME over the next three months, Sydney’s population will reach five million. If Melbourne keeps growing at its current pace, by 2020 it...

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25 Feb 2016

It’s not too late for Malcolm Turnbull to regain some of the ground he’s lost on tax. Labor’s plan shows why he can’t afford to dodge it

THE LAST fortnight has been a bitter one for many Australians who wanted to see Malcolm Turnbull succeed as prime minister. His first...

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