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Pressure is growing on Apple to pay more tax in Australia. Justin Lane/EPA/AAP

Without US support, multinational tax crackdowns will fail

It’s no secret that companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Ikea seem to pay less than their fair share of tax in Australia. Despite booking huge revenues from sales to Australian customers…
Detained asylum seekers on Manus Island are searching for ways to communicate and be heard beyond the faceless inhumane bureaucracy. AAP/Refugee Action Collective

Manus Island hunger strikes are a call to Australia’s conscience

Reports continue to emanate of escalating hunger strikes among asylum seekers at the Manus Island detention centre in protest at the length of their detention and their conditions. The Australian government…
In Darkness and Light, the long tradition of organ music is combined with a visual world created by Australian artist Lynette Wallworth. Sydney Festival

Evoking the sacred: Darkness and Light at the Sydney Festival

The dramatic, temperamental sound of the organ joined with the lush visuals of contemporary video is not an obvious combination. They are brought together in Darkness and Light, a work by two collaborators…
French comedian Dieudonné has just been charged as an ‘apologist for terrorism’ for his Facebook posting ‘Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly’ (I feel I am Charlie Coulibaly). EPA/Didier Jouret

Speech in France is not so free as Section 18C critics would have it

Recent commentary about the so-called “French” idea of free speech is fuelling confusion and misinformation in the debate about Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in Australia. Human Rights…
Australia’s mid year budget figures reveal an even deeper reliance on China than has been thought. AAP/EPA/WU HONG

Why China remains our best hope to repair budget woes

Wayne Swan couldn’t do it. Joe Hockey has tried and failed. Getting the budget back in black is proving to be mission impossible. But it could be a whole lot worse. The Commonwealth Government’s bottom…
Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has argued for Australia’s racial discrimination laws to be revisited in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France. AAP/Alan Porritt

Repealing 18C would leave Jews exposed as Muslims already are

Let’s be clear about one thing as the loony right once more revisits with slavering lips their thwarted desire to allow racial vilification to run untrammelled through Australian society. Nothing that…
Hopes are high that Australia’s home advantage can help it win this month’s Asian Cup. AAP Image/Nikki Short

Socceroos have a host-nation advantage in the Asian Cup

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup is the biggest football tournament ever held in Australia, so what bearing does the host status have on the Socceroos’ chances of success? A lot more than you might think. When econometricians…
In 2004, the Indigenous population of Redfern finally struck back at perceived endless police oppression and violence. AAP/Sam Mooy

The nine race riots that made Australia – for better and worse

The aftermath of the 1934 Kalgoorlie riots, with their death toll of an “Aussie” and a “Slav”, the mass destruction of the homes of the Dings at Dingbat Flat and the rising horror in the town at how the…
Could social stock exchanges become as commonly used by investors as our financial markets? AAP/EPA/Justin Lane

Social stock exchanges – do we need them?

Public interest in the development of global impact investing received a significant boost last year, due to an international campaign to divest in fossil fuels by superannuation, pension, and university…
Howard-era Human Rights Commissioner Sev Ozdowski is the new chairman of the revamped Australian Multicultural Council. AAP/Matthias Engesser

New Multicultural Council signals a broader shift to the right

Late in December, I took a phone call from a young woman working for the Department of Social Services. She had called, she said, because the department was checking its database of contacts, so that the…
The government has foreshadowed they’ll announce a “families package” next year, what form should it take? AAP

What do Australians need in a ‘families package’?

There are a lot of babies around, and the numbers are increasing. However, Australia does not have coherent policies that recognise the effect of parenting on workforce participation and vice versa. Parenting…
Two days late, but the Lima talks have finally reached their conclusion. Ian McGregor

Lima climate agreement – experts react

After running long past its scheduled finish time, the United Nations Lima climate talks finally delivered an agreement on Sunday that should see all countries, not just developed ones, pledge to cut their…
Mick Gooda has urged policymakers to learn from their mistakes and adopt a consultative and inclusive approach to Indigenous policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

‘Work with us not for us’ to end the Indigenous policy chaos

Deep funding cuts and uncertainty about government plans have created one of the largest-scale upheavals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. That is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander…
Scott Morrison has repeatedly characterised the Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour as being necessary to protect the Australian community. AAP/Alan Porritt

Asylum seeker code is a rhetorical tool – with severe consequences

Recently, it was reported that asylum seekers are “staying indoors”, fearful of breaching the Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour. All unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) who are granted bridging visas are…
Australia’s love affair with China is grounded on more than proximity and fascination. William West/AFP/AAP

China-Australia doomsayers overlook strong fundamentals

Pop quiz: in 2014 the quantity of Australian iron ore demanded by China has: a) fallen sharply, b) fallen modestly, c) remained the same, d) increased modestly, e) increased sharply? The answer in just…
Julie Bishop will need to fight to rescue Australia’s standing after a dire first week at the Lima climate talks. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Julie Bishop arrives at climate talks amid ignominy for Australia

Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop will have a lot of explaining to do when she arrives here in Lima, Peru, ahead of her address to the UN climate summit tomorrow. It will take all of her diplomatic…
David Murray and Treasurer Joe Hockey have released the final report of the Financial System Inquiry. AAP/Britta Campion

A call for capital: Murray report pushes for higher banking standards

To increase the resilience of the Australian financial system the Big Four banks will be asked to carry larger capital buffers under recommendations made in the final report of the Financial System Inquiry…
A key feature of casual employment is the lack of leave entitlements – including holiday pay. Craig Sunter (Thanx a Million !)

We’re all going on a summer holiday – well, some of us …

The idea of the “summer break” is part of the Australian psyche. But as you hurtle towards the holidays, with the thought of a well-earned rest sustaining you through the frenzy of end-of-year deadlines…
Australia has the second-highest number of immigrants – in relative terms – among OECD countries, according to a new report. AAP/Dan Peled

Report marks Australia’s shift from settler to temporary migrant nation

Immigration is a political hot potato. On the day the OECD published its latest annual survey of global migration, Swiss voters rejected a referendum to reduce annual migration numbers. A few days earlier…

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