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[28 Jan 2023 | No Comment | 92 views ]

Grog bans don’t work but the laissez faire is killing us
A former alcoholic looks at possible solutions for Alice Springs’ devastating surge in violence
The longstanding problems resulting from high-risk drinking by a significant minority of First Nations Australians is now not only extremely important but very urgent. But, as debates about the current acute alcohol problems in crime-ridden Alice Springs and elsewhere in the Northern Territory make clear, it’s also very complex.

People often use mood-altering drugs, including alcohol, to dull the terrible pain of childhood memories or current awful …

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[24 Jan 2023 | No Comment | 84 views ]


After months of delay, NSW Opposition leader, Chris Minns, has finally taken some action on pokies reform.
It is welcome news that the ALP in NSW will ban donations to political parties from all clubs in the state that have poker machines.
Although donations from gambling companies are banned, NSW clubs are currently exempt. This is because they are currently classified as not-for-profit entities.
Minns’ other pokie proposals are very weak, demonstrating the power the gambling industry in Australia has over Labor.
For example, it is clear that, unlike Liberal Premier Dominic Perrottet, …

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[21 Jan 2023 | No Comment | 102 views ]

Despite some opposition to the move in Liberal circles, given the current political situation Tony Abbott would be an excellent replacement for the much-lamented Jim Molan in the Senate.

Previously a fine major general in the Australian Army, Molan was an extremely capable and straight-shooting conservative Liberal senator for NSW.
Molan’s untimely death has created a five-year upper house vacancy for the Liberals in NSW, which has to be filled by a current member of the Liberal Party.
This important political position will be decided by the 750-member Liberal Party state council.
This …

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[19 Jan 2023 | No Comment | 282 views ]

ROSS FITZGERALD. Professor and author.
For decades, it was an entrenched position of most academics that theAustralian Labor Party was the repository of reformand the Liberals and Nationals a source of reaction.
But in Australia, vital reforms often come from the conservative side of politics.
Think John oward and gun control, and Robert Menzies substantially widening the access to higher education via Commonwealth Scholarships.
Now, we have two Liberal premiers promising to introduce pathbreaking reform.
In Tasmania, Liberal premierJeremy Rockliff led all other states in committing to introduce a mandatory cashless gambling card for every club, …

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[5 Jan 2023 | No Comment | 60 views ]

High-risk gambling and high-risk drinking overlap greatly.
  The distribution of consumption is very similar, with a minority of consumers accounting for most of the demand.Plusthere is a huge over-representation of vulnerable groups in those addicted to gambling and to alcohol.
 The enormous social costs of gambling in Australia are still not fully understood.
 But many studies accurately demonstrate that gambling imposes a heavy burden, especially on low-income groups and some ethnic populations. They and their families not only lose loved ones from suicide but many families and relationships are destroyed by …

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[6 Dec 2022 | No Comment | 57 views ]

The First Labor Government in the World proved a week was a long time in politics
Queensland has had many political firsts. These include the fact that Australia’s only Communist Party MP, Frederick Woolnough (“Fred”) Paterson, was a two-term member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

Widely known throughout Queensland as “The People’s Champion”, Paterson represented the state seat of Bowen for the Communist Party of Australia from 1944 to 1950. This was until his electorate was gerrymandered out of existence by the state Labor government.
On St Patrick’s Day 1948, during …

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[24 Nov 2022 | No Comment | 34 views ]

Unrepresentative Victorian swill
Preference trading corrupts Victorian politics
The Victorian election promises to deliver one of the most bizarre legislatures that Australia has ever seen. This is due to an electoral system in the Upper House that is so easily manipulated.
Victoria is the only state that persists with a Group Voting Ticket (GVT) – a list of written preferences that parties instruct the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to adhere to when distributing votes. This system enables micro parties to be elected with less than a few hundred votes. At the …

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[15 Oct 2022 | No Comment | 44 views ]

Judicial complexities 
Regarding “ ‘No body, no parole laws’ a win for family” (14/10), on the face of it the law passed in NSW parliament on Thursday for convicted murderers who don’t co-operate with authorities in finding their victims’ bodies to never be granted parole might seem to be a very good idea. 
But without any reference to a specific case, what if a convicted murderer is innocent? As someone who was a long-time community member of the Queensland Parole Board and then of the NSW State Parole Authority, I wonder: what …

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[3 Oct 2022 | No Comment | 74 views ]

A tragic yet sometimes darkly comic story of a lifelong alcoholic and addict, and the people who loved him enough to help save his life.
My last drink of alcohol was at the same place as where, when I was barely fourteen, I had my first one. This was at Her Majesty’s Hotel in South Yarra. Commonly called Maisies, it was very close to Melbourne Boys High School at which, in 1958, I’d just began Third Form.
My first alcoholic drink was about eleven in the morning, after I’d had …

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[4 May 2022 | No Comment | 77 views ]

Ross Fitzgerald

The well-funded Monique Ryan who is standing against Josh Frydenberg in the Melbourne seat of Kooyong is an utterly fake Independent. Despite securing more than $1 million in funding primarily from Climate 200 supremo Simon Holmes a Court, Dr Ryan is clearly a hard left candidate. She certainly has much more in common with the Labor Party and the Greens than the Liberals. Dr Ryan has every right to be so aligned but she shouldn’t be angry or embarrassed when she’s called out on this important fact. As it …

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[27 Apr 2022 | No Comment | 79 views ]

Ross Fitzgerald 
Where I regularly find solace is at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, which even though I’m now 52 years sober (i.e. free of alcohol and other drugs),  I still attend two or three times a week.

It is especially at my home AA group at South Sydney, where I am known as ‘Redfern Ross’, that I feel a sense of peace and serenity and usefulness. As I often say, ‘You don’t have to like me, but I’m a remarkable example of how AA can transform a person who was so damaged …