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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Medevac, May Election, 3m missing voters

If one believes that the Australian government will delay holding a Federal election until the last possible date (May 18) that’s just 92 sleeps away. Given the Morrison government’s historic defeat (75/74) when Parliament passed the so-called Medevac Bill, this week, I can’t see ScoMO heading up the hill to the Governor-General’s whare* for an early election. The electorate is clearly polarised and there is a high degree of suspicion about what both major parties…

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Get the kids off Nauru, maybe

We’ve been learning a protest song for our choir’s Christmas concert. Actually it is a plea for peace, the musical equivalent of a street march – “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now.” John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Happy Xmas/War is Over starts by asking the universal question so many of us end up asking ourselves: “And so it is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, a new…

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