Opinion – Murray Darling debacle shows the failure of federalism

The current standoff over water allocations in the Murray Darlin Basin is as good an example as you could ever find of how Australia’s federal system is broken. The Murray Darling Basin Plan was supposed to be the epitome of how Australia’s states and territories could work with each other and the Federal Government for […]

Public-private disaster unfolding in Britain

It has barely been reported in Australia, but it is big news in Britain. One of that country’s largest beneficiaries of government outsourcing, a company called Carillion, has gone broke. While the Government has refused to bail it out, the British taxpayer will still have to pay the pension liabilities and the continuing wages to […]

Opinion – Hot summer, but no end to climate wars

Record-breaking temperatures across Australia have seen no end to the continued bickering over climate and energy policy in Australia. The release of Keating-era cabinet papers from 1994 show that the Governmnet was struggling with how to address the issue even then. In 1992, Environment Minister Ros Kelly had signed Australia up to the new UN […]

Digital here, digital there – digital everywhere!

We didn’t plan it this way. But every story in Government News this week has to do with government’s use of digital technology. It is a sure sign of the times. In the PC boom of the 1980s and the Internet booms of the 1990s, digital technology began to change our lives. Now, in the […]

All aboard the surveillance express (Opinion)

To nobody’s surprise the special COAG anti-terrorism meeting has endorsed the Federal Government’s plans to vastly increase the apparatus of the surveillance state. The leaders of all Australia’s states and territories have agreed to the establishment of a national facial recognition system, based on the photographs and personal information contained on driver’s licences. They have […]

OPINION: A new amalgamation agenda

By Graham Sansom A visit to Western Australia recently brought the issue of council amalgamations back into sharp focus. This persistent theme in Australian local government just won’t go away, even though the average population of council areas is high by world standards. Arguments continue between those who promote larger (in population) local government areas […]

OPINION: City governments to lead the way on climate change

By Dr Stephen Jones With most of the world’s population now living in urban areas, town and city councils are charged with the responsibility of reducing the impacts of climate change. The United Nation’s human settlement agency, UN-HABITAT, has reported that cities are having a major impact on climate change.  Most of the world’s population […]

OPINION: Challenges and opportunities for Australian federalism

By Stephen Loosely The global response to the collapse of the financial banking system has reinvigorated local debate around Australian federalism and how the system should evolve in a changing global environment. If Australia is to remain an effective player in shaping international policy legislation it must be seen, globally, as a robust and unified […]

OPINION: The Republic of Australia and New Zealand

By Rodney Crisp Amalgamation of our two countries is now approaching the final stages.  The remaining barriers to a complete union are predominately societal: two currencies, two national social security regimes, two national parliamentary systems and administrations.  Even our social security organisations have been obliged to make reciprocal arrangements to follow our increasingly integrated populations.  […]


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