An holistic approach to tackling housing affordability

Federal Labor’s proposal announced recently to help address the crisis in housing affordability is as strong an indication as any that the housing issue is finally having a political impact. We have suffered through years of worsening statistics and pleas for political action from the groups who work daily with those under extreme housing stress,…

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Australia’s oversized footprint

For a country of just 21 million, Australia has a huge impact on the global ecosphere. Domestically, the CSIRO have just estimated that our less than one third of a per cent of the world’s population produces 1.43 per cent of its CO2 (more than 4 times our share proportionally) and there is much we…

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Out of sight, out of mind?

Two weeks ago I attended a hearing of the Parliament’s Migration Committee which heard clear evidence that Australian businesses in many areas are still finding it difficult to find available workers, for unskilled as well as skilled and semi-skilled work. This situation not only inhibits earnings for those businesses, it costs all Australians by keeping…

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Hard choices on the future of the land

It is uncertain how long the current drought will continue, but both climate change and a global economy are with us for the long term. It is past time for us, as a country, to start making some hard choices about the future of the bush. First, we must recognise that the drought hurts many…

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The Democrats core values transcend individuals

Sundays announcement that Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja will not be recontesting her seat in next year’s federal election has once again brought the doomsayers out in force predicting the demise of the Democrats. It is a bit hard to see how this announcement really could be the fatal blow for the Democrats, given that…

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Breaking the disability deprivation cycle

The problems experienced by Australians with disabilities have been years in the making and things are set to get worse if governments of all levels do not act urgently to tackle the deprivation experienced by this relatively powerless section of our community. The Institute of Health and Welfare recently announced findings that Australia is looking…

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Vale Don Chipp

Don Chipp, founder of the Australian Democrats, has passed away after a long battle with Parkinsons disease. Although he had been experiencing deteriorating health in recent years, he still maintained an active public profile, recently celebrating his 81st birthday. News of his passing came as a tremendous shock for members of the Australian Democrats and…

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A crisis in housing affordability

In a 1993 Industry Commission Report, housing was described as a basic human need: I would go further and argue that it is basic human right. I also believe that it is a right which is consistently overlooked, when it should in fact be the starting point in any consideration of housing policy. It is…

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Out of sight, out of mind?

Two weeks ago I attended a hearing of the Parliament’s Migration Committee which heard clear evidence that Australian businesses in many areas are still finding it difficult to find available workers, for unskilled as well as skilled and semi-skilled work. This situation not only inhibits earnings for those businesses, it costs all Australians by keeping…

Continue reading →