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Applications from trade unions failed to convince Dyson Heydon to disqualify himself as royal commissioner. AAP/Joel Carrett

Heydon rejects apprehended bias claim, stays on as royal commissioner

Dyson Heydon didn't accept that merely agreeing to give the Sir Garfield Barwick lecture could create an appearance of bias. Judges and royal commissioners are allowed to have political views, he said.
The Great Southern Reef is unique, beautiful and contributes significantly to Australia’s culture and economy. However, few of us realise the magnitude and value of this gem right at our doorstep. T. Wernberg 2002

Australia’s ‘other’ reef is worth more than $10 billion a year - but have you heard of it?

The Great Southern Reef covers 71,000 square km and contributes more than A$10 billion to Australia's economy each year.
The ALP’s national conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend, was Bill Shorten’s first as Labor leader. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

ALP national conference: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to the ALP national conference on matters of asylum seekers, health, education, party reform and more.
Children in particular experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years. MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

Health Check: when are we most likely to catch viral diseases?

Viruses cause all kinds of infections from relatively mild cases of the flu to deadly outbreaks of Ebola. Clearly, not all viruses are equal and one of these differences is when you can infect others.
Voluntary administration has been the widely-used step in efforts to prevent a company being dissolved. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Is it time to reform the cornerstone of Australia’s insolvency regime?

Voluntary administration was considered a state-of-the-art rescue procedure for struggling companies in 1993. But is is time for another wide-ranging review of our insolvency laws?
In calling for people to be ‘ecological citizens’, Pope Francis is asking everyone in the world to think of future generations. EPA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI/AAP Image

Pope Francis wants us to be ‘ecological citizens’, but how?

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment has attracted plenty of attention since it was published last week, and indeed it caused a significant stir even before it was released to the public…
The papal encyclical challenges leaders to take action on climate change. AAP/Fabrizio Belluschi

Pope Francis throws down the gauntlet for Paris climate summit

The immediate importance of the Pope Francis' encyclical comes from its potential to influence world leaders and galvanise the developing world ahead of the Paris Climate Conference this year.
The Abbott government has hid asylum policy behind ‘operational matters’ since it took office – starting with then-immigration minister Scott Morrison in 2013. AAP/Paul Miller

Boats secrecy leads to bad policy without democratic accountability

The withholding of information about government actions in asylum seeker policy undermines its democratic accountability to the Australian people.
Bill Shorten has introduced a bill into parliament to amend the Marriage Act and allow same-sex marriage in Australia. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Explainer: how Australia can legalise same-sex marriage

The legislative reform required to allow same-sex marriage is not complicated. There is relative consensus as to how this can be achieved.

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