High Court holds nose but allows vicious laws through

by Crispin Hull on November 21, 2014

IF YOU or I had been in the same place at the same time as Stefan Kuczborski we would not be facing a minimum six-month jail sentence for just being there. Unfortunately for Kuczborski, he is a member of the Hell’s Angels bikie gang. And he was in the company of two other members of the same gang in public in Queensland. And that gang is one of 26 “declared criminal organisation” by the Queensland Attorney-General under the Criminal Organisations Disruption Act. [click to continue…]

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Big Pharma keeps on ‘ever-greening’

by Crispin Hull on November 15, 2014

LAST week’s High Court decision in Alphapharm Pty Ltd v H Lundbeck A/S highlights yet again how Australia is being poorly served by patent law to the benefit of international pharmaceutical companies. [click to continue…]


On the nature of progress and values

by Crispin Hull on November 8, 2014

THAT’S progress. I was reflecting on this phrase – often uttered sarcastically – as the Apple iPhone 5 refused to charge on the same day as Noel Pearson listed in his Whitlam memorial speech the impressive list of that government’s achievements. [click to continue…]


Debate must be mature and included GST

by Crispin Hull on November 6, 2014

THE GST haunts Australian politicians. But they continue to talk about it. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was at it again this week seeking a “mature” debate about the federation, of which the GST must be a part. [click to continue…]


Govt should invest more in Tax Office

by Crispin Hull on October 18, 2014

IT SHOULD not need a Senate committee investigation to expose Australia’s corporate tax avoiders. That is why you have an Australian Taxation Office. But over the past few years the ATO has come under a lot of strain with foolish staff cuts. [click to continue…]


Make subs in Australia or forget the whole project

by Crispin Hull on October 11, 2014

THE news this week that Indonesia is to buy submarines from South Korea with a view to eventually importing enough technology to start building their own in the near future must be quite depressing for the Australian Defence Force. [click to continue…]

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Hockey caught by Honest John Howard’s law

by Crispin Hull on October 4, 2014

TREASURER Joe Hockey has been caught out – by John Howard no less. In 1998 the Howard Government passed the Charter of Budget Honesty Act. It required the Department of Finance to publish a “Final Budget Outcome” by 30 September each year. [click to continue…]

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Abbott joins wrong international effort

by Crispin Hull on September 27, 2014

THERE’S nothing like an external threat to ginger up support for a government. It happened this week after Tony Abbott’s speech to Parliament and the United Nations. His approval rating shot up six points. The voters, of course, are irrational. But smart politicians recognise voters’ irrationality and you can hardly blame them for playing the national security card. But do not mistake it for leadership. [click to continue…]

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High Court says no to indefinite refugee detention

by Crispin Hull on September 20, 2014

THE High Court has put a bit of a dent in John Howard’s 2001 election slogan: “We decide who comes here, and the circumstances in which they come.” Last week, the court overturned action of the Minister for Immigration which would have blocked a stateless refugee’s chance at applying for a visa. [click to continue…]

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Scaremongers on Scottish independence meet match

by Crispin Hull on September 13, 2014

I WONDER if the Prime Minister of an independent Scotland will be as witty as former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert “Piggy” Muldoon when bands of Scottish unemployed move across the border to pick up higher unemployment benefits in a more prosperous England. [click to continue…]