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Articles Archive for August 2011

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[31 Aug 2011 | One Comment | 4,601 views ]

Fool’s Paradise, an extract

Historian and author Ross Fitzgerald has written a new novel, Fool’s Paradise. Picture: Renee Nowytarger Source: The Australian

GRAFTON Everest is Professor of LifeSkills and Hospitality at Mangoland University and unwilling biographer of the state’s former premier Sir Otis Hoogstraden. Grafton’s day job as is under threat from the economically and sexually rapacious vice-chancellor Deirdre Morrow. And …

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[27 Aug 2011 | Comments Off on How an industry got fleeced | 1,698 views ]

THE decline and fall of the wool industry is a sad story, a riches-to-rags tale of an economic powerhouse that was also a part of Australian culture and folklore. This thoroughly researched and well-illustrated book canvasses the terrible reality of that slide, from the 1950s to the present.
As Charles Massy explains, from the 1840s wool was the backbone of the national economy. Indeed in the mid-20th century, Australia boasted the greatest wool industry the world had seen. Yet towards the end of last century, the industry self-destructed, culminating in the …

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[27 Aug 2011 | Comments Off on Our legal system needs to evolve | 741 views ]

IN the 2000 Boyer Lectures, then chief justice of Australia Murray Gleeson QC said: “The essential purpose of the criminal law is to keep the peace, so people can lead their lives, and go about their affairs, in reasonable security.”
If that is so, then is it not the case that, in so far as children and other vulnerable people (such as those who are cognitively impaired) are concerned, the aim of the criminal law should be to ensure that their security is absolute?
Yet these people are often the least protected …

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[25 Aug 2011 | Comments Off on Not easy to be jester in court gone mad | 783 views ]

Not easy to be jester in court gone mad

IT’S getting harder and harder to write satire. Those of us trying to think up wildly absurd ideas are constantly being undermined and gazumped by reality.

The “real” world has become so absurd. Conservative gays forming the Gay Shooters Party? Look up the Pink Pistols in Wikipedia. Cane toad leather goods? Check out eBay. What about a rock opera based on Milton’s Paradise Lost? Improbable? Well, it has recently been …

Columns »

[25 Aug 2011 | Comments Off on Peter Beattie a good choice for resources champion | 2,364 views ]

IT may only be a part-time position but appointing former Queensland premier Peter Beattie to the newly created position of resource sector supplier envoy is a smart move by the federal government.
Beattie has a strong history in resources and value adding. He changed Queensland’s energy policy in 2000 by requiring 13 per cent of Queensland’s generated energy to come from gas leading to the state’s billion-dollar coal-seam gas industry. Another 2 per cent of generation had to come from renewables. It was a …

Columns »

[13 Aug 2011 | One Comment | 1,852 views ]

AUSTRALIA has long been considered a safe and attractive place to do business. We have a transparent rule of law, strong public institutions and democratically elected governments.

Add to this a record of stable and generally sound policy-making, and we have enjoyed an environment where businesses have a high degree of certainty that their investments will not be subject to inconsistent and bad government decision-making.
Put simply, government, or sovereign, risk in Australia has generally been low.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Under …

Books »

[8 Aug 2011 | 11 Comments | 12,687 views ]
Fools’ Paradise: Life in an Altered State

“Wake up, Australia,” Grafton Everest exhorts viewers every morning on Australia-wide breakfast television.
This doesn’t please those he attacks like wily former premier Hoogstraden, whose biography Grafton is forced into writing.
Grafton’s day job as Professor of LifeSkills and Hospitality is under threat from the economically and sexually rapacious Vice-Chancellor Deirdre Morrow.

And Lee Horton, head of Australia’s newly privatised Secret Service (trading as SpyForce Australia) is worried too. He knows that Grafton has trouble lying.
And nothing is more dangerous than a man who habitually tells the truth.
Grafton Everest is a wonderful creation …

Reviews »

[5 Aug 2011 | Comments Off on Chris Mitchell | 882 views ]

Chris Mitchell
 

The United States of Chris Mitchell: The Power of Rupert Murdoch and the Australian’s Editor-in-Chief
Sally Neighbour |  August 2011 | The Monthly Essays

A very complex person. That much is for sure. One colleague calls him “the United States of Mitchell, alluding to the American sitcom about a lovable, psychotic housewife with multiple personalities and a dysfunctional family. His looks , the alarming hair, the physical bulk , are deceiving. “You look at him and think he’s a thug, but he’s not. He’s actually super well-read …