Australasia

Hecs loans repayment threshold should drop to $42,000, report says

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Grattan Institute recommends dropping threshold from $54,000 to $42,000 to save budget $500m, and finds ‘unscrupulous providers’ contribute to $10bn debt. Default rates on government education loans have increased after a massive uptake of loans for vocational education and training, including courses pushed by “unscrupulous… Source: Hecs loans repayment threshold should drop to $42,000, report says | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

Australia’s 2016 Defense White Paper expresses concern over “friction” in the South China Sea (SCS) arising from U.S.-Chinese naval interactions, and it worries that territorial disputes have created “uncertainty and tension.” Those statements, which show Canberra (like the rest of the states in the Indo-Pacific region) is slowly coming around to the gathering threat posed […] Source: Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea – USNI News Read More »

Economy rests on Christian foundations

I can’t think why, but Easter always reminds me of Christianity. Not, of course, that Christianity has anything to do with the grubby, materialist world of economics. Or does it? Australia is the most unbelieving it has ever been, with the most recent census saying that only 61 per cent people identify themselves as even nominally Christian… Source: Economy rests on Christian foundations Read More »

Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent. Whether or not you are a practising Christian, Easter is a time to think about religious traditions. The ongoing proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual… Source: Religion’s tax break is a cross we shouldn’t have to bear Read More »

We welcomed refugees in 1945. We can’t abandon them today – video

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Harry Leslie Smith saw the full potential of human cruelty while he was serving Britain during the second world war. But, he says, his country showed huge compassion by settling 200,000 Polish refugees in 1945. Harry Leslie Smith, Bruno Rinvolucri and Leah Green The Guardian Today, however, he believes politicians are turning their backs on humanity by rejecting refugees fleeing war. Smith will be speaking at the Bradford Literary Festival on 23 May His book, Harry’s Last Stand, is available ... Read More »

Ask the Bigot: Who is Katy Faust and why is the daughter of lesbian parents against gay marriage?

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American Katy Faust was raised by her lesbian mother and her partner and she now runs a blog called asktheBigot, which is fiercely opposed to gay marriage. ABC She became a Christian in high school and was concerned by the plight of children. She is in Canberra to lobby the Federal Government against gay marriage and she told Lateline why. These are her key points: 1. She loves her lesbian mother and her partner: “While my mother was a fantastic ... Read More »

Towards a true democracy with the Apolitical Party

Democracy - IA

With the aim of injecting true representative democracy into Australia’s flawed political system, IA announces the launch of its True Democracy Project and calls for interest in its proposed ‘Apolitical Party’. Oliver de Nicolai Independent Australia Project coordinator Oliver de Nicolai and managing editor David Donovan explain what’s going on. Australia has a… Towards a true… Read More »

Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui La

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Dear Ms Lambie, I believe you may be having some difficulties with the meaning of Sharia law. Let me see if I can help… Jamila Hussain The Sydney Morning Herald The word Sharia in Arabic means a path or a way and is basically a pathway for Muslims to follow to live their lives in accordance with… It is broader than the usual Western concept of law as it includes religious duties such as prayer and… Sharia 101: a… Read More »

Scientist debunks nomadic Aborigine ‘myth’

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Before white settlers arrived, Australia’s indigenous peoples lived in houses and villages, and used surprisingly sophisticated architecture and design methods to build their shelters, new research has found. Barbara McMahon, Sydney Dwellings were constructed in various styles, depending on the climate. Most common were dome-like structures made of cane reeds with roofs… Source: Scientist debunks nomadic Aborigine ‘myth’ | World news | The Guardian Read More »