Detention Insanity

There is a well known definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  The current humanitarian disaster unfolding in Australia’s immigration detention centres is a classic – and disgraceful example. If there was one unequivocal, indisputable fact that arose from government policy and management of detention […]

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Improving our country’s Constitution

The moves to recognise Australia’s First Peoples in our nation’s Constitution are starting to gather pace.  The federal government has pledged to hold a referendum on this by the time of the next election – that is, within 2 years – which is not a lot of time to build community awareness and understanding of […]

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Time to remove mandatory sentencing of ‘people smugglers’

The groups of people who have suffered most from Australia’s long-standing absurdly politicised, disproportionate and irrational debate around asylum seekers are the asylum seekers themselves. But another group who have been subjected to disproportionate and unjustified punishment who get very little attention are the hundreds of impoverished Indonesian fishermen who are subjected to mandatory jail […]

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Burma: How to help?

I usually complain that the Australian media (and Australians in general) pay little attention to elections and other political events in nations nearby to us in the south-east Asian region.  It is somewhat ironic that the ‘election’ which seems to be getting a lot of coverage is one which is so unfair and rigged as to […]

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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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Wild Rivers

Contention over Queensland’s  Wild Rivers legislation has been bubbling along for quite a while now. Unfortunately, as with many issues which become polarised, each “side” is focused on defending their position, which has meant that some important underlying issues are not getting the attention they deserve. I’ve just had a piece on this topic published […]

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A weekend of campaigning

It’s a fair while since it was announced that I was contesting the House of Reps seat of Brisbane for the Greens at the upcoming federal election.  Since then, I’ve spent a fair bit of time preparing the foundations for that campaign, as well as working within the party on our overall campaign in Queensland. […]

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New book on Palm Island’s history

The latest inquest into the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in police custody on Palm Island – now well over five years ago – has concluded.  Once again Mulrunji’s family and the wider community will wait for findings to be published – just as they still await the publication of the report by the Crime and […]

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The debate on Bill of Rights continues

Last week I participated in a debate on the Bill of Rights at the University of Queensland.  It was the first in a series of http://www.facebook.com/pages/Politics-in-the-Pub-UQ/333455933896?ref=ts  Politics in the Pub’ style events being held out at the University’s St Lucia campus (although it is really in a club, rather than a pub). I’ve never made […]

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Palm Island Inquest Resumes (again)

It is well over five years since Mulrunji Doomagee died in police custody on Palm Island, his ribs broken and his liver nearly sliced in two.  Previous coronial inquests and trials have wound a tortuous path, with various assertions about the cause of death ranging from the consequences of a “complicated fall” to suggestions Mulrunji’s […]

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It was 20 years ago today.

It was 20 years ago today. On 20 November 1989, the international Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) was formally adopted.  According http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/11/18/us-ratify-children-s-treaty?tr=y&auid=5614841 to Human Rights Watch, the Convention became “the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history.  Twenty years on, only two countries have failed to ratify the Convention […]

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Good and bad ways to reduce boat arrivals

Peter Mares is a long time follower of refugee issues and critic of the problems inherent in the former government’s approach to asylum seekers in boats.  He wrote a piece in The Age which emphasised a point about the Howard’s government asylum policies which does not get highlighted enough. former treasurer Peter Costello wrote in […]

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Wednesday night politics in Brisbane

Wednesday night politics in Brisbane Two forums are being held in Brisbane tomorrow night which may be of interest to some. One is a forum to debate Integrity & Accountability in Queensland. It is being held at the Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St  from  6pm.  Speakers include former state Attorney-General, Linda Lavarch, journalist Tony Koch, […]

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