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Articles Archive for March 2014

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[29 Mar 2014 | No Comment | 192 views ]

POLITICIANS, public servants and judges have dominated Queensland’s top gongs in the century they have been dished out.
The knighthoods which are supposed to recognise the state’s great and good, have been hijacked by the political establishment, handed out to more politicians than any other group.
An analysis of the more than 200 Queensland identities who have received the top Australian and Royal honours exposes the boys club dominating the top awards , more than a fifth have been handed out as the ultimate pollies’ perk, while public servants received 16 per …

Reviews »

[29 Mar 2014 | No Comment | 352 views ]

‘Jacks and Jokers’
Matthew Condon
University of Queensland Press, $29.95
Brisbane author and journalist Matthew Condon has produced a highly readable, well-researched and multi-layered expose of police and political malfeasance in the Sunshine State. Following on from the widely praised ‘Three Crooked Kings’, ‘Jacks and Jokers’ begins in mid-1976. Exiled in the dusty western Queensland town of Charleville, Inspector Terence (”Terry”) Lewis is soon to be controversially appointed by the Bjelke-Petersen government as deputy commissioner, and then rapidly as commissioner of police.
As Condon makes clear, Lewis was aided and encouraged in his ascendancy …

Columns »

[29 Mar 2014 | One Comment | 165 views ]

It wasn’t all that long ago that a great many sports fans loved the Swans. In Sydney, despite most having a rusted-on allegiance to rugby league, if you didn’t love the Swans at least you respected them. In the AFL heartland of Melbourne, as long as the Swans didn’t keep winning, most footy fans admired their no-fuss brand of tough, contested football.
How times have changed.
Tonight at ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park, two of the AFL’s most despised teams will go head to head in what is an utterly crucial …

Columns »

[15 Mar 2014 | No Comment | 578 views ]

WINNING a federal election from opposition was often described by Tony Abbott as a challenge akin to climbing Mount Everest.
While that may have seemed true for the man who is now Prime Minister, a greater challenge for many of his ministers is to deal with the sudden and massive workload that comes with the demands of government.
Some federal Coalition ministers have made the transition from opposition more successfully than others, most notably Joe Hockey, Attorney-General George Brandis and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Others, including the Assistant Minister for Health and …

Columns »

[8 Mar 2014 | One Comment | 237 views ]

IT may be an inconvenient truth but the fact is that, in terms of its harm, alcohol is by far Australia’s most dangerous drug.
I pointed this out way back in 2003, when I was a keynote speaker at the NSW Alcohol Summit organised by the hugely talented, but sometimes flawed, ALP state minister John Della Bosca.
Della Bosca was committed to alcohol reform, but since I gave my blunt assessment about the dire situation with regard to alcohol in Australia, little seems to have changed. Indeed alcohol abuse is rife and …

Columns »

[3 Mar 2014 | No Comment | 176 views ]

PETER RYAN – Narcissists Abroad
In the ‘Weekend Australian’ of December 14-15, Ross Fitzgerald’s article was headed: “Bilateral Relations with Asia Have Liberal Roots. He says that Australians today tend to believe that their geo-political relationship to Asia was more or less recently discovered by the Labor Party, and that Labor and the Left deserve the credit for establishing active and fruitful relationships with our neighbours to the north. I agree with Fitzgerald about the prevalence of such beliefs, and agree with him also that they are false. Labor can claim …