Home » Archive

Articles Archive for November 2009

Columns »

[21 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 1,425 views ]

THE timing of the departure of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s highly talented chief of staff Mike Kaiser last Friday could not have been worse. Kaiser’s announcement that he will join the federal government’s national broadband network from December 1, as head of government relations, came only a day after the scrapping of the controversial Traveston dam by federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
Brisbane’s Courier-Mail reported that the day before his retirement announcement, Bligh’s office had denied Kaiser had quit.
Kaiser’s retirement and its timing sent a message that the Queensland Labor government …

Columns »

[19 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 1,263 views ]

NEXT week’s ETS debate will reveal whether Malcolm Turnbull has made the transition from gifted amateur to professional politician, argues Ross Fitzgerald.
Malcolm Turnbull believes in an emissions trading scheme. He was the Howard government minister who brought a proposal for one to cabinet and he has never wavered in his view that it’s the best way to impose a price on carbon. But governments and oppositions have different roles. The government has to run the country. The opposition has to hold the government to account. It normally does so by …

Columns »

[15 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 1,838 views ]

THERE has to be a political afterlife that is acceptable to the people of Australia.
Given our national antipathy toward ex-ministers taking corporate jobs while drawing a pension, we must find a better way to put their experience to good use, says Ross Fitzgerald.
For years I have been observing the public debate over what politicians should do after they leave or are defeated in parliamentary politics, and I know there is no perfect answer. Some ex-pollies stay in the political game, others set out to make money as consultants and corporate …

Columns »

[7 Nov 2009 | 2 Comments | 8,078 views ]

IN Brisbane’s southern suburbs, among decidedly Anglo-Australian suburb names,  such as Loganholme and Meadowbrook, the name Tanah Merah stands out.
Few of its residents know that their suburb’s name means “red earth in Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of our most populous neighbour, and was named after a notorious prison camp in Dutch West New Guinea.
Given our current, closer, relationship with the Republic of Indonesia, it is timely to reflect on the contribution to Australian and Indonesian history made by the 500 internees and their families from Tanah Merah who were …

Columns »

[7 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 1,218 views ]

DON’T be surprised if the Bradfield and Higgins by-elections on December 5 throw up some unexpected outcomes.
There have already been a few shock moves. Labor’s failure to nominate a candidate for either electorate was just too smart for words. It smacked of the same poor judgment that inspired it to hand a preference deal and the last Senate seat in Victoria to Steve Fielding in 2007.
The newly formed Australian Sex Party has nominated a 26-year-old lesbian pole dancer and human rights lawyer, Zahra Stardust, for Bradfield. In Higgins it has …