Home » Archive

Articles Archive for June 2012

Columns »

[30 Jun 2012 | No Comment | 1,027 views ]

QUEENSLAND politics has always had larger than life personalities.
From the National Party’s Joh Bjelke-Petersen to Labor’s Peter Beattie, the state has produced characters who have given its politics a national reputation for seldom being dull.
Now it is a one-time supporter of the “Joh for PM” campaign, which derailed a bid by John Howard to become prime minister, who is causing more than a ripple and embarrassing Tony Abbott and Queensland Liberal National Party Premier Campbell Newman.

The latest public outbursts of billionaire Clive Palmer have enlivened politics with a vigorous campaign …

Columns »

[23 Jun 2012 | 2 Comments | 2,561 views ]

FEDERAL elections usually come down to a struggle for the hearts, minds and votes of Australians living in marginal seats.
The demographics of many of these seats are remarkably similar, located in the outer suburbs of our main cities or inland regional or coastal areas.
The issues that concern voters in marginal seats are also remarkably similar. Concerns about employment are paramount, followed by housing affordability, mortgage pressures and the cost of living: electricity, groceries, healthcare, childcare and education. It is no accident that federal political parties focus primarily on the hip …

Reviews »

[19 Jun 2012 | No Comment | 1,803 views ]

GINA Rinehart, the daughter of mining magnate Lang Hancock who now runs Hancock Prospecting, is, at 58, the wealthiest woman in the world. According to the latest BRW Rich 200 List, Rinehart’s personal wealth stands at $29.17 billion, putting her ahead of Christy Walton, widow of Wal-Mart heir John Walton, who has $26bn.
Yet although she owns an almost 13 per cent share in Fairfax Media, the struggling company last month deemed her not worthy of being appointed to its board.
About the same time, federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen approved the …

Columns »

[16 Jun 2012 | One Comment | 1,201 views ]

COPING with a hung parliament is increasingly an unenjoyable experience for the federal government but it did not need to be so. The Prime Minister’s bleak prospects stand in sharp contrast to what happened under her great Labor predecessor, John Curtin, when he was in the same situation. The wartime parliament of 1940 to 1943, in which no one party had a majority, saw him gain office and wield power magnificently.
One point of contrast, in particular, is quite eerie. It is not widely known that Curtin’s task in removing Australia’s …

Reviews »

[9 Jun 2012 | No Comment | 28,677 views ]

LUDWIG Leichhardt’s interior life throws up clues to his fatal fascination with inland exploration.
Fortunately for assiduous biographer John Bailey, the great scientist and explorer ”Dr” Ludwig Leichhardt left behind him an abundance of letters, diaries and field books, as well as his detailed Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia, published in London in 1847. Bailey is not the first historian or biographer to use this material but he brings a fresh approach to the life and times of Leichhardt, a courageous yet deeply flawed human.
Bailey’s writing style is passionate …

Columns »

[9 Jun 2012 | 2 Comments | 3,039 views ]

IN their wisdom, the organisers of last week’s World No Tobacco Day decided to devote the main thrust of their message to the evil tobacco companies and their interference in the politics of people quitting smoking cigarettes.
The WNTD posters show a dark, malevolent man who looks like a badly dressed Mossad agent, defacing a No Smoking sign.
The word “Intimidation” is written big and red across the top of the page. Apart from the fact the message behind the image is not at all clear on first viewing, negative campaigns like …

Columns »

[4 Jun 2012 | 2 Comments | 2,334 views ]

THREE years down the track after being unceremoniously ejected from the Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, the community of St. Mary’s in Exile (SMX) has more than survived. It continues to attract people who are disillusioned by the doctrines and dogmas and liturgical practices of institutional religion. Indeed, each week up to a thousand attend SMX.
Fathers Peter Kennedy and Terry Fitzpatrick took most of their community with them, just down the road from St Mary’s Church to the Trades and Labour Council building in South Brisbane. Kennedy …