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Canberra’s School Welfare Officers under the axe in chaplaincy row

LABOR Senator Kate Lundy says new Government documents show that the welfare officers of 25 schools across Canberra are facing unemployment as a result of the Abbott Government’s decision to only fund religious chaplains. In June this year the High Court ruled that it was constitutionally invalid for payments to be made directly to schools […]

Grattan / Clive Palmer to Chinese: I’m sorry

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra PUP leader Clive Palmer has made a grovelling apology to the Chinese for his extraordinary outburst on television, in which he referred to them as “bastards” and “mongrels”. In a letter to the Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, Palmer said: “I most sincerely apologise for any insult to Chinese people […]

sussan ley

The Commonwealth wants your thoughts on child care

THE Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley is taking an interest in childcare in Canberra and calling on our community to make submissions to the Productivity Commission’s review. ACT residents are being encouraged to have their say about making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible as new analysis shows the ACT had the […]

Grattan / Better leaders could shore up Australia’s eroding political culture

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra HIGHLY respected journalist and historian Paul Kelly, whose Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation is published on Tuesday, argues that there is an “Australian Crisis” – a major debilitating erosion of the nation’s political culture. Kelly writes: “The deepest lesson of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd era is […]

Grattan on Friday: Shorten bombshell puts Labor in uncharted terrority

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra BILL Shorten had little practical alternative but to name himself as the person police had been investigating in relation to an alleged rape in the 1980s. The opposition leader told reporters that the “easy option would have been to say nothing”. But that would not have been a sustainable […]

Grattan on Friday / In Conversation with ASIO chief David Irvine

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra DAVID Irvine retires next month after five years as Director-General of Security, heading ASIO; before that he was head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, which spies abroad. He’s spent more than a decade in what he describes as the gamekeeper and poacher business. Last week the government had […]

Shane tries to keep the Commonwealth interested in the Canberra environment

SHANE Rattenbury said the ACT Government will not be walking way from a Parliamentary Agreement item to maintain an ongoing approvals role for the Federal Government in environment protection matters. “It is extremely important that the Federal Government maintains a role in approving proposals within the ACT that may affect matters of national environmental significance,” […]

Joy Burch’s hope of securing pre-school funding

THE Assembly has voted unanimously in favour of a motion calling on the Abbott Government to commit to continuing funding for preschools in the ACT next year. “The ACT Government has been providing 15 hours of free preschool a week under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education,” Joy Burch said. […]

Grattan / Tell us more about policy overseas, Turnbull exhorts media

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra COMMUNICATIONS Minister Malcolm Turnbull has criticised the Australian media’s lack of interest in how other countries tackle the big policy challenges that are faced here. “The Australian media rarely reports how different countries have approached what are usually shared and very familiar issues that are topical in our own […]

Grattan / Government retreats on weakening race act; advances on toughening terror laws

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government has dropped its planned weakening of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) as it announces a tough set of anti-terrorism measures that will cost $630 million over four years. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said changing the RDA – which had brought a storm of criticism from ethnic communities […]

Zed’s heroes? Abbott, Thatcher, and Reagan?

Walking down Bunda Street one can’t help but admire Liberal Senator Zed Seselja’s enormous head covering the exterior of his electoral office. But glancing through the door one is struck by the little shrine of photographs of great conservative leaders. Tony Abbott, a black and white of Margaret Thatcher, and resplendent afore the stars and […]