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A series of remarks or observations made by someone with authority to speak and be heard on the subject, for example, a journalist writing a column on a political or social issue.

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Commentary

Commentary

17 Nov 2017

It is time to accept that Section 44 of the Australian Constitution is irretrievably broken. In its current form, it is creating chaos that is consuming our politicians. This presents a rare opportunity for constitutional change. A referendum could address not only the citizenship issue but the...

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16 Nov 2017

To many, Productivity Commission reports epitomise the harsh, economically dry prescriptions that often prove unpalatable to governments. So here’s a surprise.

In its recent report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the commission’s...

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13 Nov 2017

It’s been just over a fortnight since the High Court opted for what it admitted was a “harsh” reading of section 44(i) of the Constitution, because the nicer alternatives “would be inimical to the stability of representative government.” Since then, potentially ineligible MPs have emerged at a...

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12 Nov 2017

Back in October 2005, Australia confronted a looming humanitarian emergency not too different from the one the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, says is unfolding on Manus Island now. A group of asylum seekers had been held for roughly the same four-year-plus period on...

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10 Nov 2017

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released this week as part of the Personal Safety Study (PSS) reveals 16% of Australian women have...

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07 Nov 2017

The Panama Papers, released in April 2016, were another quantum leap in size. Where the cables released by WikiLeaks had filled 1.7 gigabytes, the Panama Papers were 2.6 terabytes, or roughly 1500 times the size. They opened an unprecedented — and unprecedentedly detailed — window into how...

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06 Nov 2017

In her first meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on 5 November, NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, behaved with admirable tact and diplomacy. She offered the Australian government a partial way out of its self-made disaster on Manus Island, and when her proposal was instantly put on ice by Mr Turnbull...

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03 Nov 2017

The sudden exit from parliament of Senate President, Stephen Parry, has turned into a toxic blame game, in a further sign of a government crumbling into chaos.

Malcolm Turnbull and deputy Senate leader, Mathias Cormann, lashed out at Parry for not publicly revealing earlier his probable...

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30 Oct 2017

The Productivity Commission’s latest report on Australia’s economy-wide productivity performance, will hearten those who want governments to play the policy-leadership role that Coalition MPs often seem uncomfortable with. In its discussion of...

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26 Oct 2017

Australia is increasingly linked to a fast-growing global population. The populations of Sydney and Melbourne are both expected to exceed 8.5 million by 2061. What will Australia’s cities look like then? Will they still be among the world’s lowest-density cities?

Such sprawling cities...

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26 Oct 2017

The destruction of Tasmania’s pristine wilderness areas, first by dams and then by logging, has been a focus for environmental protests at least since the flooding of Lake Pedder in 1972. Bob Brown, the founding leader of the Greens, has been a central figure in much of that history, as he was...

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24 Oct 2017

In early 2015, not long after the formation of the unprecedented national unity government between Timor-Leste’s two largest parties, the CNRT and Fretilin, senior CNRT minister Agio Pereira remarked on the country’s remarkable transition from “belligerent democracy” to consensus democracy....

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19 Oct 2017

A recent High Court decision surrounding the adequacy of a sentence handed down in an incest case has sparked debate over whether Victoria’s sentencing regime is too lenient.

The state’s Victims of Crime Commissioner, Greg Davies, argued the decision confirmed sentencing in Victoria had “...

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16 Oct 2017

Vital Signs is a report series that gathers good-quality data about a city from reputable sources to provide a snapshot of its community. Vital Signs...

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16 Oct 2017

Last week Radio National’s Background Briefing aired the extraordinary allegation that the seventy-seven alleged Chinese criminals deported from Fiji in August were mainly teenage girls brought to the Pacific as sex workers. All the evidence suggests that the arrests were designed to reassure a...

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13 Oct 2017

The BBC charter is up for renewal, and members of senior and middle management have been co-opted into a working group “to identify what the BBC does best and find more ways of doing less of it better.” Actually, that’s fake news — or news fiction. It’s a summary of the first episode in the...

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10 Oct 2017

A Senate committee has finally handed down a report on the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates for workers in a range of service industries.

The report recommends that the government bring in legislation to overturn...

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05 Oct 2017

When news broke two months ago that seventy-seven Chinese nationals had been deported from Fiji on a China Southern aircraft, the pictures seemed to tell the whole story. The criminals, said to be involved in a massive telecommunications fraud targeting people all over China, were marched onto...

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04 Oct 2017

Globalisation, the digital age and promises of democratic reform once inspired hope that a fresh era of press freedom was about to dawn across Southeast Asia. But two decades after the arrival of the internet those hopes have dwindled amid deteriorating standards.

Underscoring this trend...

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29 Sep 2017

The 140-character message limit has defined Twitter. But the company is now experimenting with its format, doubling the length of some users’ tweets to 280 characters. Why are they taking such an enormous risk, playing with the characteristic that defines and differentiates the service?

...

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