Articles on Australian politics

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The remaining A$3.5 billion needed to fully fund the NDIS will still need to be found from other sources. Image from shutterstock.com

Coalition support for levy just a step along the road to an NDIS

The announcement that opposition leader Tony Abbott will support a 0.5% increase to the Medicare Levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) takes the politics out of about half the additional…
Certainty of funding is important and that’s why an income tax levy or premium is the way to go. Image from shutterstock.com

Increasing income tax the right choice for a sustainable NDIS

While an income tax increase may be hard to sell to some people in the community in the lead-up to a federal election, it’s the right choice for a sustainable National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS…
Soon after revealing his plans to build a replica Titanic, Clive Palmer has set his sights on becoming Australian Prime Minister. EPA/Jason Szenes

Titanic ambitions: Palmer’s federal push shouldn’t be lightly dismissed

Queensland has a habit of raising the eyebrows of our southern cousins when it comes to politics “our way”. Visits to friends and family down south always have required explanations about Joh Bjelke-Petersen…
British PM Margaret Thatcher meets with her Australian counterpart Malcolm Fraser in 1979 - what was her lasting effect on politics here? AAP/National Archives

Both left and right: Thatcher’s undeniable influence on Australian politics

Margaret Thatcher’s years as British prime minister from 1979 to 1990 coincided with an era of political upheaval in Australia. The exhaustion of Malcolm Fraser’s “Menziesian” liberalism was followed by…
Julian Assange needs to consider his Australian senate run as more than just a ticket out of the Ecuadorian embassy. EPA/Kerim Okten

Senate run must be more than a get-out-of-jail card for Assange

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party is gathering momentum ahead of this year’s federal election. Prominent barrister and political figure Greg Barns has been announced as the party’s national campaign director…
The sensible thing for Tony Abbott to do would be make himself as small a target as possible as the election draws near - but sooner or later he will need to put forward some detailed policies. AAP/Lukas Coch

Never mind the leadership, what about the Opposition?

When Tony Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party by just one vote in December 2009 he saved the Liberal Party and non-Labor cause nationally from annihilation. Kevin Rudd as prime minister was riding…
No blood was spilt today in parliament, but we still had a leadership spill. Spill image from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: how does a leadership spill work?

After a harrowing day in parliament, the Labor party saw a leadership spill and Prime Minister Gillard was returned as leader. The only thing was… no one contested the top spot and Julia Gillard’s name…
Julia Gillard emerges triumphant after challenging Kevin Rudd for the leadership in 2010. She has survived two subsequent threats to her leadership since. Is this the new normal for Australian politics? AAP/Alan Porritt

Julia Gillard may have won the vote, but the ALP remains desperately dysfunctional

Julia Gillard lives to fight another day, having being reelected unopposed at this afternoon’s caucus meeting. While Rudd declared he would not nominate for the leadership this time, the destablisation…
Julia Gillard’s tour of the western suburbs of Sydney is a shining example of politics and media merging into “stunt”. AAP/Paul Miller

Mug punters: the people and their relationship with politics and the media

We live in an era of expanded media and accelerated news cycles, in which citizens have access to more information, and more opportunities to participate in the public sphere, than ever before in human…
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s media reforms have been called an attack on freedom of speech, but is the criticism deserved? AAP/Lukas Coch

Media reform: hysterical attacks on weak Conroy suggestions tell the real story

The ongoing criticism in the major news media of Communication Minister Stephen Conroy’s very soft and watery proposed media reforms is predictable but still breathtaking. Conroy’s proposals go nowhere…
Former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu’s resignation could trigger a constitutional crisis for the state government. Julian Smith/AAP

Baillieu: Victorian uncertainty may lead to constitutional confusion

The dramatic resignation of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu may have surprised many but cannot be considered altogether unexpected. A year that began poorly for the now ex-Premier yesterday completely overwhelmed…
Adam Bandt celebrating his 2010 election success as the federal member for Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

In Conversation: Douglas Hilton and Adam Bandt MP

Adam Bandt is the first Australian Greens MP to win a seat in the House of Representatives at a federal election. And while the seat of Melbourne, which takes in the inner suburbs and CBD of the nation’s…
Adam Bandt is the first Australian Greens MP to win a seat in the House of Representatives at a federal election. Alan Porritt/AAP

Adam Bandt and Doug Hilton In Conversation - full transcript

Doug Hilton: I’m the director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and I have with me today Adam Bandt, the Greens’ member for Melbourne. Why don’t you start by outlining your background…
Julia Gillard should make her diary of appointments and visits public according to the Information Commissioner. AAP/Dave Hunt

Gillard’s diaries are a matter of public interest

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been encouraged to be more open and accountable to the Australian public by releasing her official meeting diary. Although Gillard is not legally required to, Freedom of…
Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne called for an end to the ALP and Greens alliance during a National Press Club speech. Alan Porritt/AAP

The end of the ALP/Green alliance is all sound and fury

The termination of the ALP/Green alliance has been characterised by some sections of the media and the commentariat as a “divorce”. The language is interesting because it implies that there was genuine…
Happier times: prime minister Julia Gillard and former Greens leader Bob Brown’s agreement has largely been upheld. Alan Porritt/AAP

Government didn’t walk away from the Greens, but Milne needed to ditch Labor

Greens leader Christine Milne’s announcement yesterday that the alliance between the Greens and Labor was over had more symbolic than practical implications for Australian politics. Senator Milne vowed…
Julia Gillard’s early announcement of the election date has sparked a debate on fixed terms. AAP/Julian Smith

It’s time for a debate on federal fixed terms

When prime minister Julia Gillard announced last month the nation would go to the polls on September 14, she made political history and caught the nation off guard. She also sparked renewed debate about…

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