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Articles Archive for April 2012

Columns »

[30 Apr 2012 | 3 Comments | 2,144 views ]

THE issue of gambling addiction is still a political hot potato that no one seems too keen to handle. The issue is wider than just poker machines and the ponies, however, and we should also look at the addiction to alcohol, which seems to have been largely forgotten. Smokers are pariahs and problem gamblers objects of pity while the drinkers drink on. Meanwhile the alcoholic or compulsive gambler (often these two problems are combined) still receive little help in Australia. So, too, their families.
Recently Christopher Lawford Kennedy, the only son …

Reviews »

[28 Apr 2012 | No Comment | 2,948 views ]

AUSTRALIA hasn’t traditionally been a country where dynasties have held much sway. Taken to extremes dynastic succession can be problematic – look at North Korea.
This is not to say we don’t have them and one of the best known, particularly if you’re a Victorian, is the Baillieu family. They are obviously cognisant of their own place in the scheme of things because they commissioned this fascinating biography, by Peter Yule, of the person who founded what Yule regards as Australia’s greatest and most diversified business empire.
Born at Queenscliffe, Victoria, in …

Columns »

[28 Apr 2012 | No Comment | 775 views ]

WHILE most government members were trumpeting the Peter Slipper defection at the end of last year as a triumph for Julia Gillard, I recall one Labor frontbencher privately likening the situation to the Prime Minister knowingly lighting up an exploding cigar.
Designed to deliver a two-vote turnaround in the House of Representatives, with the former speaker Harry Jenkins returning to the government benches and the Coalition losing Slipper to the Speaker’s chair, it was a political fix destined to blow up in the PM’s face.
But despite intense media speculation surrounding the …

Columns »

[21 Apr 2012 | No Comment | 971 views ]

Scrutinise MPs’ networks as well as their wallets
Parliamentarians don’t take interest declarations seriously, ROSS FITZGERALD writes

When the Australian Sex Party’s president, Fiona Patten, called for a register of religious interests to be set up for federal MPs a couple of weeks ago, it piqued my interest. She claimed that within the register of members’ interests, section 13 required them to list their involvement with religious organisations. As the federal government gives millions of dollars to religious organisations every year, she argued that religious affiliation had the potential to cause a …

Columns »

[13 Apr 2012 | One Comment | 3,226 views ]

IN a desperate bid, Heather Beattie has entered the fray. How the ALP handles its defeat in NSW, Victoria and Queensland will determine the length of time it spends in opposition. In NSW and Victoria the party still has time to rebuild but in Queensland the ALP is facing another crucial electoral test with national ramifications.
In Queensland, Labor finished with a meagre seven out of 89 seats at the March 24 election; the worst result of the three states. But the next test for the Labor party is not three …

Columns »

[7 Apr 2012 | No Comment | 3,425 views ]

BY ignoring the opinion pollsters and seeing off Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard might have believed she had finally bought the time she needed to reconstruct her reputation and, more importantly, her government’s re-election hopes.
Labor’s Queensland massacre – where a maxi cab would be more than sufficient to carry what’s left of the entire state party – only brings the daunting challenge ahead into sharper focus.
The Prime Minister needs to push back her own election date to as late as possible next year, to give her the time and space to …