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Articles in the Columns Category

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[22 Sep 2016 | 2 Comments | 27 views ]

Ever since having seen my late mother suffer so much when all she wanted was to slip away peacefully, I have been a strong public advocate, for others and for myself, of Dying with Dignity.
After a long struggle in the 1990s with a series of hospital physicians, my mother, Edna Fitzgerald (nee Beecher) of 41 Charles Street, East Brighton, in suburban Melbourne, eventually died in her mid-80s.
A few years before her death, due to a combination of glaucoma and cataracts, my mother went blind. She was then hospitalised in Melbourne …

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[15 Sep 2016 | 2 Comments | 20 views ]

The best Malcolm Turnbull could say of his first anniversary as prime minister was “so far so good”. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement. So far, his only real achievement is not quite losing the election to Bill Shorten. And this week, for the first time, the Labor leader’s net Newspoll unpopularity was better than the Prime Minister’s.
Along the Parliament House corridors, Labor MPs are now displaying in their office windows caricatures of a glum Malcolm Turnbull with the caption “fizza”. As a gay-marriage, climate change and republic-supporting man of …

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[3 Sep 2016 | 2 Comments | 40 views ]

When Robert Menzies lost power in 1941 after having headed an ineffective federal government for just two years, no one gave him a chance of again being prime minister. Yet in 1949 Menzies was not only re-elected, but remained in power for 18 years – a record term.
Bearing this in mind, what are the odds of a comeback by Tony Abbott?
If Liberal MPs weren’t loyal to a leader who won eight seats from Labor at his first election and a further 17 seats at his second, they’re quite capable of …

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[24 Aug 2016 | One Comment | 47 views ]

Malcolm Turnbull’s friends and supporters thought that once he was prime minister in his own right, all would be well. The dithering and the waffling would stop and he’d be the leader everyone hoped for when he seized the prime ministership from Tony Abbott.
Maybe the narrowest of wins has shattered Turnbull’s self-confidence. One Liberal campaign insider is now describing him to confidants as a “broken man”. Effective leaders learn from setbacks; they’re not overwhelmed by them. But, on the evidence so far, our country is in for three years …

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[11 Aug 2016 | No Comment | 14 views ]

Australia could learn a lot from the fact that a number of American cities are successfully reducing the role of criminalisation in their drug policies.
This is something that should be addressed at the Drug Summit in Sydney today.
This cross-party summit, to be held at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, will consider the context of the illicit drug policy and evaluate its efficacy. In particular, the summit will debate the merits of harm-minimisation and highlight new strategies to deal with the scourge of drug misuse and addiction.
Seattle and King County in …

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[2 Aug 2016 | One Comment | 23 views ]

There were three items for the first meeting of the new Turnbull cabinet: the cliff-hanger federal election, the response to Four Corners’ teenage detention revelations, and Kevin Rudd. And so the Coalition government has started as it seems doomed to continue: reacting badly to events and to other people’s agendas.
It’s increasingly obvious that Malcolm Turnbull’s desperation to be prime minister was not matched by any particular vision for the country. After deposing his predecessor, he spent nine months raising subjects before ruling them out; and the “economic plan” he referred …

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[23 Jul 2016 | 2 Comments | 48 views ]

The tragic situation of Harriet Wran, daughter of the late NSW Labor premier, Neville Wran, recently received saturation media coverage. Spiralling problems with ice ended with Ms Wran pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of murder and robbery in company.
In the sentence hearings in court, Harriet Wran revealed the personal demons she has been fighting for many years. She will not be the last person to turn to alcohol and other drugs to get relief from personal demons only to find heaven in the short term and hell in …

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[12 Jul 2016 | 2 Comments | 27 views ]

You don’t politically execute prime ministers and not pay a price – as Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd , and now Malcolm Turnbull have all discovered. There is not the slightest doubt that the drop in the Liberal National coalition’s primary vote and the spike in support for conservative micro-parties owes much to dismay at what the Liberal Party did to the person who had led them into government.
“He was elected by the people and should have been judged by the people,” was Tony Abbott’s lethal response to Rudd’s political …

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[2 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 54 views ]

Celebrity independents and a ­hostile crossbench are poised to stymie Malcolm Turnbull’s key election promises to cut company tax and restore the building industry watchdog if he wins today’s election, thwarting the Prime Minister’s intention of the double- dissolution election.
As voters abandon the major parties for indepe­ndents, voting reforms appear unlikely to end the horsetrading and chaos in the Senate, which could cruel the ­Coalition’s chances of passing its centrepiece promises.
As Mr Turnbull used his last day of campaigning to call again for stability and a vote for the …

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[30 Jun 2016 | No Comment | 77 views ]

OPINION by ROSS FITZGERALD
As this federal election campaign grinds boringly to an end, more and more citizens are becoming alienated from the major parties. Is it any wonder that ordinary punters regard both the federal coalition and the ALP as being both a double disillusion and doubly dissolute?
So don’t be surprised if, after July 2, one or two minor parties are elected to the Senate in a number of states. And this despite the hypocrisy of the Greens (once a minor party themselves) having teamed up with the Turnbull government …

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[24 Jun 2016 | No Comment | 36 views ]

The 2016 Federal Election – The Australian Sex Party
by Ross Fitzgerald
Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM is the Australian Sex Party’s lead Senate candidate in NSW. He is the author of 39 books, most recently of ‘Going Out Backwards’ – a sexual/political satire in which his alter ego Senator Professor Dr Grafton Everest holds the balance of power in the Upper House! On Tuesday 7 June 2016, Ross Fitzgerald joined Rev Hon Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party in New South Wales, at The Sydney Institute, to discuss their respective …