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Katy on Gough

CHIEF Minister Gallagher has blogged her speech to the Assembly’s Gough Whitlam condolence motion. Here’s what she had to say: Madam Speaker, the entire Australian nation has been moved this week by the news of Gough Whitlam’s passing. It has brought grief from Gough’s home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, to Indigenous Australians in […]

Abbott’s court is full of flatterers, and it’s a recipe for groupthink

By Ian McAuley, University of Canberra In a democracy governments cop criticism: that’s a rule of politics. Opposition parties and politically-aligned organisations will always exploit opportunities to have a go at the government. But it is particularly irritating for a government when criticism comes from institutions noted for their political independence, and when some of […]


Idiotic Niqab ban in Parliament revoked

A sheepish Department of Parliamentary Services has sent out a circular backing down from the lunatic sideshow of how to deal with the non-existent issue of women with face coverings wanting to watch question time. All visitors entering Parliament House will be required to temporarily remove any coverings that prevent the recognition of facial features. […]

Grattan / Some diplomatic dancing over the Abbott-Putin encounter

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott did not repeat his pledge to “shirt-front” Vladimir Putin when pressed on the subject a day after his initial threat. Now the promise is for a “very, very robust conversation” with the Russian president, assuming he does come to the G20 in Brisbane next month. Abbott said […]

Julia Gillard book cover

Book review / Gillard’s My Story, a defence of her prime ministership

By Natalie Mast, University of Western Australia JULIA Gillard’s autobiography, My Story, presents a comprehensive defence of her prime ministership. Gillard dives straight into the heart of her story, beginning on the day she was sworn in as prime minister. The book is laid out via a series of themes. So rather than having to […]

Grattan / Abbott readies to shirt front Putin as Russian diplomat recalls better times

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra A senior Russian diplomat says Australia-Russia relations are at an “historic low”, as Tony Abbott has pledged to “shirt front” President Vladimir Putin at the G20 next month over the downing of MH17. In a bipartisan attack on the Russian president, Opposition leader Bill Shorten accused the Putin of […]

A new home for the rescue helicopter team

ZED Seselja is celebrating the opening today of a new centre for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare rescue helicopter team. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says today’s opening of the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Training and Administration Centre will improve the medical support provided by the existing helicopter base. “This Centre will play a vital role in […]

Grattan on Friday / Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir would probably be counter-productive – even if it were possible

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FAIRFAX journalist Tony Wright tweeted on Thursday: “In-air bombing operational details against enemy on the bullhorn, on-water operational matters against leaky boats at 6 fathoms.” It’s a pretty accurate summation of the government’s broad approach: maximum publicity for anything considered likely to play positively in political terms, and deep […]

Ian Young explains why ANU is getting out of fossil fuel investments

ANU Vice Chancellor Ian Young has blogged his reasons for divesting ANU’s substantial investment portfolio from companies trading in fossil fuels. His thoughts on climate change are going to be uncomfortable for some in the corridors of power. As well as being Vice-Chancellor of ANU, I am also an active researcher. Climate and changes to […]

Grattan / ASIO history: chasing Russian spies and local communists

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra RECENTLY ASIO has taken on a quite public face in the discussion about fighting terrorism. Its immediate past chief, David Irvine, and its new head, Duncan Lewis, have appeared at ministerial news conferences; the organisation has publicly and strongly defended its push for greater powers. Now the first of […]

Commonwealth dollars for local roads

SENATOR Zed Seselja has welcomed delivery of the Australian Government’s $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery programme, announcing that the ACT will receive $67.2m for local road construction and street repairs. “These funds will make a real difference in building roads, repairing streets and creating better access across our community,” Zed said. “As announced in the […]

GRATTAN / How far can Palmer’s Newman government inquiry probe?

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Senate has set up an extraordinarily broad inquiry into the Queensland government, in another demonstration of Clive Palmer’s power and his determination to pursue state premier Campbell Newman. It is a bad road for the federal parliament to travel but how far it will get down it is […]

GRATTAN / A homeland security super ministry? Perhaps not as good an idea as it sounds

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IT’S difficult to see how Tony Abbott can avoid a summer reshuffle and easy to believe he’s not relishing the prospect. Few around the Coalition believe that Arthur Sinodinos will return to his assistant treasurer post after he performed unimpressively at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings, although ICAC’s […]