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Articles Archive for April 2014

Columns »

[26 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]

Rather than being pilloried, federal Attorney-General George Brandis deserves praise for attempting to protect and enhance free speech and freedom of public discussion, including the expression of unpopular and un­palatable ideas.
Releasing his draft proposals, Brandis said that the current section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act had the effect of stifling public discussion: “Those three words — offend, insult, humiliate — describe what has sometimes been called hurt feelings.
Brandis is surely right in arguing that it is not the role of government to ban speech merely because it might hurt …

Columns »

[19 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]

THE Abbott government’s economically crucial deregulation agenda, which came together in the federal parliament’s first repeal day last month, has so far been extremely successful.
As well as the Prime Minister, the key driver of the Coalition’s deregulation strategy, which will cut $1 billion in red and green tape each year, is Tony Abbott’s hardworking parliamentary secretary, Josh Frydenberg, who soon may be elevated to the ministry.
Federal Labor has been left flat-footed, realising on the one hand that deregulation is highly popular with business and the population at large, while on …

Speeches »

[9 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]

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 keynote speaker at the NSW Alcohol Summit.
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 alcohol-related violence is clearly on the increase, especially among the young.
One disturbing trend seems to be an exponential increase, among Australians aged …