Global Insights On Neglected Political Issues

There have been issues aplenty for people to mull over ahead of tomorrow’s Federal election, not all of them as obvious as climate change, refugees or the Murray Darling. Chair of Australia21, Paul Barratt, named those issues as his top three in a contribution to John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations newsletter. But he also added 10 neglected political issues. They include inequality, reversing the cuts to research and development, early childhood education and a world-class…

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Refugees settling in despite funding cuts

While refugees and migrants have been welcomed into Australia’s rural communities, successive Budget cuts have made life difficult for refugee support services. Although not attracting too many headlines, a $50 million cut in the 2018-19 Budget, and another $77.9 million over four years in the 2019-20 Budget, means that organisations trying to help refugees with the transition to a new country, a new culture and a new language are left scrambling. The Refugee Council of…

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Three (Political) Billboards Outside Caboolture, Queensland

A week before Easter, I was driving back from Bribie Island when my travelling companion pointed out the first of three political billboards. The first read: “Don’t Vote Labor”. A little further down the road: “If Shorten wins, you lose.” The third billboard featured the face of a minor party leader known for her dubious skill in empathising with those in the community who have a morbid fear of ethnic minorities. “I’ve got the guts…

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Electoral roll closes tomorrow

Election countdown special No 1 This pre-election series will include timely public interest notifications and random observations about polling (the electoral roll closes tomorrow),  leadership and grassroots campaigns. Readers are urged to share this with their young adult children, nephews and nieces and Joe at the bottle-oh. Most urgently, if you are not already on the electoral roll for the 2019 federal election, you need to do it by 8pm tomorrow (April 18).  If you…

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