Australasia

‘Rallying cry’: Mining giant BHP renews calls for carbon price

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Mining giant BHP Billiton has renewed calls for a price on carbon to drive emissions reductions in Australia, despite the Morrison government rejecting the need to overhaul climate policies before the… Nick Toscano WAtoday As the Coalition faces the likely loss of the seat of Wentworth, where a voter backlash over climate change policy is considered to be a contributing factor, BHP on Monday… Fiona Wild, BHP’s head of sustainability and climate change, said Australia and the world must act ... Read More »

Should Australia be turning its rubbish into electricity?

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Harry van Moorst is a veteran community activist. In the 1960s, he protested against the Vietnam War. In the ’70s and early ’80s, he was active in the anti-uranium movement. In the ’90s, he helped lead a… Jewel Topsfield The Sydney Morning Herald Van Moorst is exactly the sort of local warrior whom the proponents of a waste to energy plant feared could be a thorn in their side. But instead he is a cautious supporter of the proposed plant. ... Read More »

The Morrison government’s biggest economic problem? Climate change denial

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Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Judith Brett The Conversation Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was “jobs and growth”, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except ... Read More »

There’s a solution to the refugee crisis – but no one will like it

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The Pacific Solution is septicaemic and threatening the political life of the Coalition Legitimate refugees and failed asylum seekers languish on Manus and Nauru desperately waiting for resettlement. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times The much-vaunted US deal is turning slowly with the anticipated uplift of 1250 refugees failing to reach even half of that target. The level of mental ill-health among both refugees and asylum seekers has reached an appalling state. It’s time to get them off Manus and Nauru. There ... Read More »

Most Australians would not act if they saw sexism

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Only 14 per cent of Australians are likely to do something if they identify a woman being targeted with sexism or disrespectful treatment, research has found. Wendy Tuohy The Canberra Times Forty-seven per cent said they could recognise disrespect but would be “unlikely to do something”, and 39 per cent said they would struggle to recognise it at all. The national agency for the prevention of violence against women, Our Watch, which did research on 2000 people around the country, ... Read More »

Asylum seeker families leave Nauru

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Multiple asylum seeker families have left Nauru and flown to Australia for medical treatment as pressure builds on Scott Morrison to get children off the island. Angus Livingston msn aap Refugee advocates confirmed three families left the Pacific nation on Monday, while another three families left on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday. The prime minister has been under pressure from his own backbench to get asylum seekers off Nauru, as doctors say they are mentally “shattered” after years in ... Read More »

Australia’s chief medical officer on Nauru deported amid health policy crisis

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The chief medical officer contracted by the Australian government to look after the health of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru is being deported from the island. Michael Koziol with Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Fairfax Media has confirmed with government sources that senior doctor Nicole Montana will be placed on a flight to Australia later on Wednesday and replaced. Other sources suggested Dr Montana was arrested by Nauruan authorities on Tuesday but it was not clear why. In ... Read More »

‘It’s OK to be white’ is not a joke, it’s careless politicians helping the far right

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The far right lies, sows confusion, and hides its intentions in order to mainstream its messages Jason Wilson The Guardian The Australian Senate almost passed a motion affirming that “it’s OK to be white”. This probably sounds innocuous enough to the casual or incurious observer — and that’s exactly what the white supremacists who devised the slogan intended. To understand how and why the slogan came to be voted on by the Senate, you need first to engage with the ... Read More »

More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals

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Peak welfare body calls for overhaul of employment services and at least two days a week of subsidised early childhood care Gareth Hutchens The Guardian Poverty has become a consistent feature of Australian life, with millions still living below the breadline despite 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Australian Council of Social Service says. A vital circuit-breaker is needed, including a complete overhaul of Australia’s employment services, a commitment to “full employment” and a guarantee of at least two days ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

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It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

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The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

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It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

‘Australia is in trouble’: The plan to fix Australia’s tax system

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Australia has more than 125 taxes at a state and federal level, but 90 per cent of revenue is raised through just 10 of them. The pressure is now on to tear up the system and start again. Eryk Bagshaw WAtoday The tax-free threshold would be scrapped, tax rates would increase for every $1000 of income earned, and savings would be targeted by the tax office under one of the most ambitious blueprints for… The proposal has been unveiled as ... Read More »

Four fundamental principles for upholding freedom of speech on campus

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It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. Adrienne Stone The Conversation As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many Vice Chancellors (and a former Chief Justice of the High Court) take it so seriously. This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies about on campus. Bettina Arndt’s campus tour ... Read More »

‘I feel like an empty shell’: the patients left behind when MSF had to quit Nauru

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MSF says five years of ‘indefinite limbo’ endured by refugees and asylum seekers has led to a radical deterioration in mental health Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian On Thursday Médecins Sans Frontières took a rare step in front of the microphone and publicly criticised the Australian government, demanding an end to its offshore processing policy. Six days earlier its team of mental health workers had been forced by the Nauru government to abruptly stop work and leave the ... Read More »

Inside torture and trauma counselling sessions on Christmas Island

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For three years from 2011, social worker Poh Lin Lee worked as a trauma counsellor for the Christmas Island Torture and Trauma Service. RN – By Teresa Tan ABC She offered therapy and support to detained asylum seekers referred from the nearby detention centre, which closed this month. At her lowest, most conflicted moments she wondered who she was providing the care for. “It might be enough for someone to get through the next week or the next day, but for ... Read More »