Get Fact: were there really 50,000 boat arrivals a year under Labor?


Prime Minister Tony Abbott has consistently said that the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat (or “illegal maritime arrivals”, in the government’s parlance) reached a rate of almost 50,000 a year by midway through last year. But did it? Certainly, if true, these are arresting figures. In fact, the government reported only 17,202 asylum seekers in 2012 and a further 13,108 to the ... Read More »

The Simple Case For Greater Aboriginal Heritage Protection

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Proposed changes to the West Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act will not provide greater protections, writes Nick Herriman. Many Australians see development, including mining, to be important for the economy and our well-being. At the same time, we recognise this needs to be done in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Certain laws have been created to ensure this. However, a ... Read More »

Hard news: the carbon tax shows up cracks in media reporting

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Apocalyptic claims and counter-claims have typified the climate change policy debate in Australia, leaving the public confused and mistrustful. Often, the news media hasn’t always helped clear up that confusion. For instance, in recent years Coalition MPs have claimed that the carbon tax spelled “the annihilation of the domestic coal industry” (then opposition leader Tony Abbott in 2012) and would ... Read More »

Barrie Kosky at the Melbourne Theatre Company

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Yes, he’s still the same rhapsodical explainer, a great torrent of cheek and bluster, but the special rancour director Barrie Kosky once reserved for all things Melbourne-related seems to have faded. A decade-and-half of success in Europe has eased, if not erased the sense of resentment and frustration he once bore for his hometown. Kosky is here for the Melbourne ... Read More »

Catholic homelessness hostel at 120 per cent of capacity

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If St Vincent de Paul’s Samaritan House in Hackett was a luxury hotel, its directors would be laughing all the way to the bank. Every night, 365 days of the year, it is operating at 100 to 120 per cent of its 12-bed capacity. Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse says abuse victims are ‘the new missionaries’ While co-ordinator Rollo Brett says ... Read More »

MH17 disaster: bringing those responsible to justice

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Deliberately or recklessly attacking a passenger jet is a war crime, whether it was committed by separatists, Russian forces, or Ukrainian forces. Here, Ben Saul explains how Australia can seek justice. How can those who destroyed a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine be brought to justice? Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has rightly called for an international investigation. Reports suggest an ... Read More »

Australia’s carbon tax abolition draws international criticism

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Al Gore calls it a ‘disappointing step’ and European Union says world is moving towards carbon pricing initiatives  Jump to comments Australia’s repeal of the carbon price has provoked a largely negative reaction overseas, with former US vice president Al Gore calling it a “disappointing step”. Gore said Thursday’s abolition of the mechanism means that “Australia is falling behind other ... Read More »