Articles on Australian politics

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The government’s targeting of welfare marks a significant policy shift. AAP

How this budget put welfare to work

Apart from the reassuring signals to financial markets about the deficit reduction, the longer term significance of this year’s budget is about restructuring the relationship between welfare and work…
The Federal Budget hoopla is largely a symbolic gesture. AAP

Reading Swan’s budget symbolism

Federal Budget night has become widely held as the most crucial event in Australia’s political calendar. After all, any statement of how more than $300 billion is going to be raised and a similar amount…
What problems? Wayne Swan meets British Chancellor George Osborne and Belgium’s Finance Minister Didier Reynders at April’s IMF meeting. AAP

Why Wayne Swan is the envy of the world right now

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says he is set to deliver a tough budget. Julia Gillard remains committed to bringing government back to surplus by 2013. Budget day is an appropriate moment to ask how the…
Invest early for the best employment outcomes. AAP

Four ways to get people back into work

Tonight’s budget will bring major policy announcements directed at improving labour market outcomes for unemployed persons and welfare recipients. In her speech at the Sydney Institute on April 13, Julia…
First Minister Alex Salmond has promised to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. AAP

How Scottish elections could deliver an Australian republic

Australian republicans should watch the Scots. In the Scottish Parliamentary election held on 5 May, the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured an overall majority. Formerly in minority government in Scotland…
PM Julia Gillard says there’s only way the surplus should go. AAP

Federal Budget 2011: Do we need a budget surplus?

“The right thing to do with an economy that is moving towards full capacity and full strength is to deliver a budget surplus.” - Prime Minister Julia Gillard In collaboration with The Drum, The Conversation…
Women are most likely to depend Centrelink payments. AAP

How the surplus drains the gender balance

FEDERAL BUDGET 2011: In recent decades, the budget surplus has become a goal in itself and an obsession for governments. In the process, we have lost some perspective on what kind of social and economic…
“And then children, we returned the budget to surplus…” AAP

Why Wayne and Julia are hooked on ‘deficit fetishism’

If pre-budget statements by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan are an accurate guide, this year’s Federal Budget is shaping up as marking a change in the direction of Commonwealth taxing and spending priorities…
Our relationship with China has been marked by misunderstandings and spats. AAP

When it comes to China, we don’t get it

Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned from her visit to China last month having locked down a series of cooperation agreements between countries - including a $600 million iron ore deal - which many hope…
Julias Gillard has raised the issue of human rights with the Chinese. AAP

Australia’s B+ human rights record: good but must improve

Can Prime Minister Julia Gillard lecture China on its human rights record given the many failings observers see in Australia’s own treatment of vulnerable groups? Australia generally has a good human rights…
Could Kevin Rudd be Prime Minister again? AAP

The comeback Kevin Rudd

Recent polls have shown a rise in public support for former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd returning to The Lodge. After an appearance on the ABC’s Q&A television show widely seen as possibly preparing…
Mentally ill Australians need help to return to the workforce.

Tony Abbott’s head start in mental health

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today announced $430 million in to boost support mentally ill Australians in the workforce with employment services, research and professional development. It’s an…
Many jobs can be bad for your health. It’s important for the quality of work to improve before it can be seen as a universal good. Rafael Cavalcante/Flickr

A philosopher’s view: the benefits and dignity of work

In a recent speech presented at the Sydney Institute, Julia Gillard reaffirmed her commitment to welfare reform aimed at full employment. This was justified not by the need for the government to cut its…
Public disclosure on benefits of major infrastructure needs to be improved. AAP

Revealing true costs of public projects not so simple

Proposals by Opposition leader Tony Abbott and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell for greater rigour in evaluating major projects are a step in the right direction when it comes to policy-making on infrastructure…
hi vis gillard. AAP

Gender, unemployment and unpaid work

In her paean to the virtues and benefits of paid work, Prime Minister Julia Gillard fails to acknowledge the complex intersections of paid and unpaid work in social and individual well being. Good jobs…

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