Turnbull’s seat by no means completely safe

by Crispin Hull on June 25, 2016

BE SURPRISED but not totally gob-smacked if Malcolm Turnbull loses his seat of Wentworth at next Saturday’s election – even if the Coalition wins. Look at this way. One of the main reasons for the dramatic fall-off in Coalition support since the heady days of its huge winning margin shortly after Turnbull assumed the prime ministership has been the large disappointment in Turnbull himself. [click to continue…]

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Anglophone experience says use power well or lose it

by Crispin Hull on June 18, 2016

US political scientist Francis Fukuyama wonders why it didn’t happen a whole lot sooner. He was referring to the rise of the protest candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Fukuyama argues that the people who support these two are disaffected with mainstream politics. Trump supporters, who are mainly white, middle-aged, male and less well-off, are disaffected by what they see as a political elite that has sold out American jobs with free trade agreements. [click to continue…]

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LEADERS and former leaders of major parties have been attacking the minor parties and independents almost as forcefully as each other this election, especially in the past week. The Coalition has been especially vociferous against Nick Xenophon’s party. [click to continue…]

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Without action, solar disarray looms

by Crispin Hull on June 8, 2016

WITHOUT action, Australia could be heading for solar disarray. Each state and territory has a different solar-power regime. The mainly state-owned monopoly owners of the poles and wires are not especially interested in the environment or efficiency unless it sounds in extra cash. And the limited competition among suppliers is made more difficult for consumers to exploit because charging regimes all differ. [click to continue…]

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If only the NBN were the Snowy Mountains Scheme

by Crispin Hull on May 28, 2016

A LOT of the NBN issue has probably gone right over the heads of most voters in the past week. The timing of the AFP raids on two Labor Party locations last week was perfect for the Coalition. The simple popular view is that if you are raided by the Australian Federal Police you must have done something wrong. [click to continue…]

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Immigration, not just refugees, cost, Mr Dutton

by Crispin Hull on May 22, 2016

IMMIGRATION Minister Peter Dutton at least has highlighted one point: it costs a lot to bring people to Australia. He restricted his remarks to refugees, but there is a cost in bringing family-reunion and economic migrants to Australia as well. The difference, though, is that we have a moral duty to help with the world’s refugee problem, but we do not have any moral duty to take economic migrants who just like the idea of living and working in Australia. [click to continue…]

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They are nutters, not climate sceptics

by Crispin Hull on May 14, 2016

WE MUST stop calling them “climate sceptics” and start calling them “climate nutters”. I was thinking this while listening to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Dr Roger Beedon – a real scientist – address a public meeting in Port Douglas this week on coral bleaching. [click to continue…]

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Senate election to be a major v minor event

by Crispin Hull on May 7, 2016

WHENEVER the Parliament looks at electoral matters you will find ideology and principle frequently trumped by the formation of temporary alliances of convenient self-interest. [click to continue…]

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Subs deal shows Australia’s defence over-spend

by Crispin Hull on April 29, 2016

WE ASKED the wrong question. We asked: should we get the French, the Germans or the Japanese to help us build new submarines? The fourth option and fifth options were not canvassed – for short-term political reasons. The fourth and fifth options were: why build any submarines at all, and if we must have some submarines why not build nuclear-powered submarines with US help. [click to continue…]

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Reef bleaching a big warning sign

by Crispin Hull on April 22, 2016

A COUPLE of weeks ago we spent a few days on St Crispin’s Reef. We went to that reef a couple of times last year, but this was demonstrably different. The reef is part of the outer Great Barrier Reef, about 15km long and a six-hour sail from Port Douglas – about 50km off shore. [click to continue…]

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