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[18 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 5 views ]

Too-clever Shorten has given his political rivals a potential election-winning issueby Ross Fitzgerald Bill Shorten was too clever by half last week, and in more ways than people have yet noticed. By giving doctors the right to order boatpeople to Australia for medical assessment, he’s watered down Australia’s tough border protection regime, made deaths at sea more likely and drawn attention to an issue that’s the Coalition’s strength and Labor’s weakness.He’s put national security at risk just to win a vote on the floor of the federal parliament and embarrass the government. …

Columns »

[14 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 8 views ]

             ROSS FITZGERALD

The seat of Warringah, on Sydney’s northern beaches, has
never been marginal and has always been held for the conservative side of
politics. Nevertheless, it’s likely to be one of the most watched seats in the
coming federal campaign because the Labor Party, the Greens, and, it seems, a
handful of Liberals want to discredit the local MP, former PM Tony Abbott, by
driving him out of federal parliament.

  Late last year, the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported union sources saying that they’d spend hundreds of …

Reviews »

[2 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 10 views ]

The Squatters

Barry Stone

Allen&Unwin

2019, pp. 245, $29.99

By ROSS FITZGERALD

It’s tricky writing about the European
settlement of Australia. One has to keep in mind the fact that the
successes of settlement were predicated on the damage inflicted on the
peoples who lived here first.

Barry Stone’s The Squatters is a fine piece of carefully
researched popular history. And there’s no doubt that the story of Australia’s
pastoral pioneers is fascinating.

Stone tells the epic tale of those mainly British settlers and
selectors who spread across Australia claiming land,
constructing windmills and fence-lines, dry-stone walls and storehouses,
livestock yards and droving routes, a number of which are still etched …