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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Sexualisation of children report

The Senate Committee report into the sexualisation of children was tabled last week. It doesn’t seem to have pleased some of the children’s advocacy groups, or Family First for that matter. Clive Hamilton, who has campaigned on the issue for some time, is also pretty peeved, if his piece in Crikey is anything to go by –…

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Report into housing affordability tabled

I’ve written a few earlier posts about the Senate Inquiry into Housing Affordability that was set up earlier this year. The Committee brought down its report yesterday – you can access it by clicking here. Whilst both I and the Greens’ Senator Rachel Siewert added some additional comments, the report has 32 recommendations which had…

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Euthanasia Bill hearing in Darwin

I’m in Darwin at the moment for Committee hearings into two separate private Senators’ Bills. One, introduced by Bob Brown, is aimed at restoring the right of the Northern Territory Parliament to legislate in areas relating to euthanasia. The other was introduced by me and is aimed at instituting a national system for providing compensation…

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Housing Inquiry – Campbelltown to Karratha

I’ve been at public hearings over the last three days for the Senate Committee inquiry into Housing Affordability. I won’t give running commentaries on all the evidence presented here. Anyone wanting to engage in some online discussion on some policy specifics might want to visit Possum Pollytics, which has a few posts on the topic. One…

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Housing Affordability inquiry starts hearings

Public hearings for the Senate Inquiry into housing affordability got underway in Canberra today. The Inquiry is due to report by June 16.  The first day of hearings included evidence from people such as the newly expanded Housing section in the Department of Families, the Master Builders’ Association, the Planning Institute, the Urban Development Institute,…

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Senate Committee examining NT laws not hearing from authors of Little Children are Sacred report

The Liberal government has used its control of the Senate to force two Committees to hold just single day hearings tomorrow (Friday) into (1) the entire pack of legislation relating the Northern Territory Aboriginal intervention and other welfare quarantining measures, and (2) the Water Bill, implementing the government’s contentious Murray-Darling Basin measures. In both cases,…

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Advertising a law that doesn’t exist

Senate Estimates have provided many opportunities for Senators to try to establish the cost and nature of taxpayer funded advertising across a range of departments, finding that “the total media spend on current Government ads is $111 million.” However, the big focus is still on the (not)Workchoices advertising campaign. This is partly because it is…

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Estimates

I’m in Canberra this week for Estimates Committee hearings, which are always held soon after the Budget. You can read a short briefing paper on the Senate Estimates process at this link (from which the graphic at the bottom of this post is taken). As the Budget has become used more as an opportunity for…

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