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Articles Archive for July 2011

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[30 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on The country within a country | 1,019 views ]

IN Fair Share, Judith Brett, professor of politics at La Trobe University, examines the changing relationship between country and city in contemporary Australia. It is an important essay.

Brett points out the advent of “economic rationalism” in the 1980s saw previously accepted claims that country people contributed mightily to the nation “dismissed by policymakers as so much special pleading”. As a result, “subsidies provided for rural life were whittled away”, leaving many people outside Sydney and Melbourne “feeling abandoned and betrayed”.
Because the 2010 federal election campaign centred …

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[30 Jul 2011 | 3 Comments | 2,150 views ]

THE ghost of “Real Julia” has returned to haunt the Prime Minister, who continues to struggle with her credibility.
If we cast our minds back to last year’s election campaign, the response to the “Real Julia” announcement was that the public wondered whether they had only seen a “Fake Julia” up to that time.
This is the crux of Julia Gillard’s struggle for authority.
This week, the Australian Financial Review claimed, as it now seems wrongly, that when she was deputy prime minister Gillard …

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[25 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on Able seaman’s burning desire | 5,174 views ]

The master mariner was consumed by passion for the sea, his career and far-off lands.
James Cook was a talented, ambitious and sometimes ruthless master of the seas. He dedicated himself to his career in the same way the saints of old dedicated themselves to the propagation of the faith. Indeed, as author Frank McLynn puts it, Cook seems “to have sublimated [his] libido in the lust for glory”.
The then Lieutenant Cook of the Royal Navy returned, at the end of the voyage of the Endeavour, with what the scholarly Felipe …

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[18 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on Fixing Sydney is a national priority that mustn’t be derailed | 961 views ]

SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore has offered a lesson to Australia’s other cities. Her campaign against traffic congestion, climate change and alcohol-fuelled violence is bold and commendable. She might not be popular with everyone, especially those with vested interests such as the big liquor industries, but her aim is true: to create a better-functioning, safer global city that is more attractive to residents, workers, visitors and tourists.
Moore has been rounded on by some media and by the new NSW Government for her outspokenness and for Sydney City Council’s recent decision …

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[17 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on Brought in from the cold | 894 views ]

Gripping accounts are testament to the bravery and determination of an often overshadowed Antarctic explorer.
When explorer Douglas Mawson left Hobart on December 2, 1911, he was feeling optimistic, although he was actually setting out on an expedition that would bring extreme privation in the world’s most extreme environment. Later in his book, The Home of the Blizzard, Mawson evocatively wrote: ”As we proceeded down the river … Hobart looked its best, with the glancing sails of pleasure craft skimming near the foreshores, and backed by the stately, sombre mass of …

Columns »

[16 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on PM seems oblivious to political tsunami heading Labor’s way | 1,438 views ]

THE next federal election may be two years away but Julia Gillard is facing a political cancer that will see either the end of her prime ministership or the end of the federal Labor government.
Political history shows us that when a government is in trouble it needs to take decisive action or its days are numbered.
Too often political parties in trouble develop an inertia and inability to deal with its problems, which ensures its exit from the government benches, usually for more than one term. Where there are internal divisions …

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[4 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on Abbott and Hockey need to bind tightly in scrum | 1,061 views ]

A FORTNIGHT ago, when Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey stood side by side with ex- Wallaby Geoff Didier at a Canberra steel factory, it was only natural that their conversation turned quickly to their love of rugby. All three have a love of the game.
Two of them, Abbott and Hockey, could only dream of playing in the green and gold. But it didn’t stop them both trying. There’s a revealing tale about one of the pair’s first meetings. Abbott as coach of the Sydney University rugby team; Hockey as a …

Columns »

[2 Jul 2011 | One Comment | 1,880 views ]

THE new Australian Party could soon set a Katter among the pigeons. Party founder, the Queensland independent federal MP for Kennedy, Bob Katter Jr, is aiming to influence the cross benches in some states but he’s also after a slice of the traditional conservative vote and a sliver of the Greens vote as well.
While he’s offering voters a mix of rural socialism, nationalism and protectionist economic policy, he’s also wrong-footed not just the National Party but also the Liberal Party by calling for more personal freedom and civil liberties. Bob …