Refugee Day Rally & Refugee Week

This Sunday marks the start of Refugee Week, with plenty of events around the country to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution refugees have made and continue to make to our society, culture and economy. I’m speaking at a rally being held in Brisbane Square this Sunday from 1pm to mark World Refugee Day. I have […]

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The Hunger Summit

I’ve posted a piece over at The Stump about the links between global hunger and climate change, and the unfortunate parallels between the less than successful climate change summit in Copenhagen and an even more dismal outcome at the recent Hunger Summit in Rome, which received far less attention.

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Writings and doings

Writings and doings The asylum seeker debate is causing a lot of political and media flurry at the moment.  In one way that’s good, because it’s an important and complex issue with some crucial principles at stake.  But for years I have found it frustrating that an excessive focus on a very small number of […]

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Why our Parliaments don’t work as well as they should (or our governments get away with too much)

If you are only going to read one thing about how Australia’s federal Parliament works – and more importantly how it doesn’t work – read this fabulous piece by the long-standing Clerk of the Senate, Harry Evans. Among many things, he highlights the fact that the supposed ‘Westminster system’ we are repeatedly told Australia has, is […]

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Malaysia and refugees

The political responses to asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat is starting to focus more and more on other countries in our region.  Until recently this has mostly involved Indonesia, but Malaysia is now being mentioned more frequently.  I recently wrote a piece for Crikey and also had a letter published in The Australian […]

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Online public consultations

There is less than a week to go for people to put in personal submissions for the national human rights consultations, with the general cut off date this coming Monday, 15 June.  If you were planning on having your say on how best to protect and promote human rights and responsibilities, now is the time […]

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Boat People tragedy & another war of words

The tragic explosion on a boatload filled with refugees from Afghanistan has generated another war of words over asylum seeker policies in Australia.  Ive written a piece on this over at Crikey, which you can read by clicking here.  We’ve had enough debate on this site about asylum seeker issues lately, so I’ll leave comments […]

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Blogs try to counter censorship in Fiji

In May 2007, months after Fiji had suffered its latest coup, I noted reports that the military was trying to prevent access to anti-government blogs. Now the transition to a military dictatorship is complete, the censorship crackdown on the local media has been redoubled, leaving local blogs and other websites as a crucial source of uncensored […]

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What’s COAG doing about housing?

All of the attention on this weekend’s COAG meeting between federal and state governments has focused on funding agreements for health and education. The equally important area of housing seems to have fallen off the public radar.  Click here to read a piece I’ve written at Crikey on this matter.

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Give Petro a go!

I’ve been pondering the possible makeup of the Malcolm Turnbull’s shadow ministry, likely to be announced tomorrow. With 45 positions from 101 MPs, you think there’d be little trouble getting all the really talented people a spot. But it never works that easily of course. The need to minimise internal unrest probably means there won’t be […]

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