stockmenIN 1964, Hans Pearson – an Aboriginal man with a wife, Anna, and eight children – was granted an exemption from the legislative scheme under which wages earned by Indigenous people (mainly stockmen) in Queensland were paid into a state-run fund. [click to continue…]

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When think tanks shine over democracy

by Crispin Hull on November 26, 2016

04_james_madisonTHE dysfunction in our democracy has been no better exemplified than this week’s publication of two very sound tax policies by the independent public-interest organisation the Grattan Institute. They were on the case for a tax on sugary drinks and an end to tax concessions for people over 65. They come after a Grattan reports earlier this year on capital-gains tax, negative gearing and superannuation. [click to continue…]

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Fairness trumps money in voters’ eyes

by Crispin Hull on November 18, 2016

ultimatumTHE principle that humans will act “rationally” was part of the bedrock of economics, at least until the 1980s when behavioural psychology started to infiltrate the dismal science. [click to continue…]

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Trump victory shows hate speech should be unlawful

by Crispin Hull on November 12, 2016

trumpWHEN the parliamentary Human Rights Committee inquires into Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act it should recall the quote from President-elect Donald Trump about Mexicans. [click to continue…]

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Disqualification clause gets its Day in court

by Crispin Hull on November 4, 2016

bob-day-senate-960x600TWENTY years ago the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs began inquiring into the section of the Constitution under which two senators are now facing disqualification. [click to continue…]

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Federal demand push causes housing crisis

by Crispin Hull on October 29, 2016

housesTREASURER Scott Morrison’s address to Urban Development Institute of Australia this week highlights much of what is has been wrong with Australian politics in the 21 st century. Having identified a “housing affordability” problem (wow!), Morrison did what every federal politician has done since the 1990s – refused to acknowledge the nasty political conundrum by resorting to opaque language; ignored the obvious; and blamed someone else. [click to continue…]

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Prosecute Four Corners to prove a point

by Crispin Hull on October 21, 2016

nauruLET’S hope ABC Four Corners journalist Debbie Whitmont and teachers Tracey Donehue and Gabby Sutherland are prosecuted under the 2015 Australian Border Protection Act which provides for up to two years jail for disclosing “protected” information about Australian immigration detention centres. [click to continue…]

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Mainstream media finishes newsworthy Trump

by Crispin Hull on October 14, 2016

washpostDON’T do it, I tell family and friends. Don’t do it, I told my students for a decade or so. On media sites, do not click on bizarre or celebrity articles. “Gorillas bring up baby.” “Angelina’s new heartache.” And so on. All it does is encourage editors to run more of this junk at the expense of concentrating on importance material of consequence as they see these stories top “most hit” lists. [click to continue…]

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The warning signs are there for us to ignore

by Crispin Hull on October 6, 2016

loweWe humans can be very stupid at not heeding warnings. And I am one of them. The warning sign was quite clear – a slow, small but relentless water leak on the yacht. [click to continue…]

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The importance of religious tolerance

by Crispin Hull on September 29, 2016

clarkDONALD Trump and Pauline Hanson both fail the tests of logic and history when they call for bans on Muslim immigration because of its “threat” to American/Australian or the American/Australian way of life.
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