Time is right to make mining wealth common wealth
Australia has avoided the worst effects of the Global Financial Crisis largely because of China’s continuing high demand for our minerals and the Rudd Labor Government’s $42 billion stimulus package.
The resource rich areas of our country are doing well, while other parts of the economy and many Australians are still hurting.
Under our federation, the more populous and wealthier States, New South Wales and Victoria, have generally subsidised the other [...]
Guest blog – Graeme Wedderburn
I’ve seen hundreds of political advertisements and worked on more than I can remember.
But just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another one that goes right off the scale for quirky, weird, funny, odd, or at times, straight out dangerous.
There’s no political contest bigger than the one to claim the Presidency of the United States of America.
Respect the right to protest
The O’Farrell Government was wrong to remove protesters from Sydney’s Martin Place in the early hours of Sunday morning. After all, these Australians were simply exercising their rights to protest peacefully.
Those gathered under the banner of Occupy Sydney were not genuinely a risk to public health or safety. [...]
Mike Rann retires: go well and good luck
By Bruce Hawker and Graeme Wedderburn
Today, one of Labor’s modern titans, Mike Rann steps down as Premier of South Australia.
By any fair assessment, he has achieved a great deal for South Australia, including a decade of steady economic growth, more jobs and investment.
The full list of his government’s achievements in health, education, transport, arts and culture, social inclusion and across all other portfolios exceeds [...]
Accountability and Infrastructure NSW
When Premier Barry O’Farrell named the Board members of Infrastructure NSW (INSW) in July this year, I wondered how the government proposed to deal with conflict of interest perceptions.
Given its charter, the Board of INSW was to comprise people with private sector [...]
One-sided election funding reforms
A few weeks ago, Premier Barry O’Farrell introduced legislation to the NSW Parliament to restrict election funding expenditure.
The Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2011, will prohibit political donations from corporations or other entities.
If the Bill becomes law, only [...]
Labor can pull back from the brink
Reliance on core Labor values and policies with more appeal to middle Australia will see Federal Labor rise again. See my article in The Australian today.
Federal Labor's present troubles have encouraged a spate of articles predicting the Gillard government's almost certain demise.
What is most galling about them, [...]
Campbell Newman and the pecuniary interests trap
I grew up in Queensland and watched the Bjelke-Petersen era end in disgrace. The Fitzgerald Royal Commission did important investigative work and a range of measures were introduced to restore public confidence in the integrity of government.
Among them was a public register of pecuniary interests for the Members of the Queensland Parliament - legislated in 1989. Pecuniary interest declaration requirements now apply to the entire public sector - including local government.