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Analysis and Comment (13)

Will new Victorian land clearing rules clear up confusion, or just create more? Will new Victorian land clearing rules clear up confusion, or just create more? www.shutterstock.com/123250027

Hidden flaws in Victoria’s new native vegetation clearing rules

The Victorian government is overhauling its rules on native vegetation clearing, the first major change in this area for more than a decade. Vegetation management policy rarely makes it into the news…
Broadcaster Derryn Hinch has been found guilty of breaching court suppression orders in the past. Does justice need to be seen in order to be truly done? Broadcaster Derryn Hinch has been found guilty of breaching court suppression orders in the past. Does justice need to be seen in order to be truly done? AAP/Julian Smith

Seen to be done: opening access to justice in Victoria

The Victorian state parliament is currently considering the Open Courts Bill (2013) after questions have been raised about just how much transparency is needed in the justice system. The bill, proposed…
A change in Premier should be Victoria’s chance to re-embrace wind power. A change in Premier should be Victoria’s chance to re-embrace wind power. Instinia/Flickr

Napthine should revisit Victoria’s wind farm planning laws

Earlier this month, Victorians woke to the news that they had a new premier: Dennis Napthine, member for the South-West Coast District, would take over from Ted Baillieu to lead the state. As climate change…
The announcement this week of funding for Victorian TAFEs won’t make up for previous cuts. The announcement this week of funding for Victorian TAFEs won’t make up for previous cuts. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Napthine falls short: TAFE needs more than a bandaid

There might be a new premier in Victoria, but it seems there’s still no good news for TAFEs. The $200 million in structural adjustment funding announced this week is certainly welcome, but it is simply…
External economic pressures, including a high Australian dollar, will pose challenges for the Napthine government. External economic pressures, including a high Australian dollar, will pose challenges for the Napthine government. AAP

Flat economy will continue to challenge the Victorian government

The last two years for Victorians and the Baillieu government have been challenging, with a flat economy and tight budget constraints. The next few years for the Napthine government are likely to involve…
Former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu’s resignation could trigger a constitutional crisis for the state government. 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…
We need to reduce waste and inefficiency in the health system. We need to reduce waste and inefficiency in the health system. Image from shutterstock.com

Forget the blame game, let’s focus on making health dollars go further

The latest round of the health blame game is in full swing, with service cuts to Victorian hospitals, and neither the state nor federal government taking responsibility. Commonwealth and Victorian health…
The Commonwealth and Victorian governments blame each other for hospital budget cuts. The Commonwealth and Victorian governments blame each other for hospital budget cuts. Image from shutterstock.com

Blame game: cutting through the spin on Victoria’s hospital funding cuts

As Victorian hospitals have announced bed closures, job losses and elective surgery delays over the past six weeks, cuts to health service budgets look set to significantly affect patient care in the state…
Victoria’s planning laws pose a barrier to achieving national renewable energy goals. Victoria’s planning laws pose a barrier to achieving national renewable energy goals. Hepburn Wind

Victorian wind farm laws: a blow to Australia’s clean energy future?

It’s been just over one year since the Baillieu government introduced the second part of its far-reaching planning law reforms to restrict the development of wind farms in Victoria. The results are an…
Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner in Sydney in 2009. A Victorian court has ruled people do have a right to protest his support for the Israel armed forces. Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner in Sydney in 2009. A Victorian court has ruled people do have a right to protest his support for the Israel armed forces. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Is the Max Brenner protestors' court victory an Australian legal watershed?

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is controversial on at least two levels. First, it targets businesses, which some (including the Victorian Government) see as an illegitimate…
ALP candidate Jennifer Kanis (pictured) has won a narrow victory over favoured Greens candidate Cathy Oke. ALP candidate Jennifer Kanis (pictured) has won a narrow victory over favoured Greens candidate Cathy Oke. AAP/David Crosling

ALP claims victory in Melbourne, is it time to make nice with the Greens?

The outcome of the Melbourne by-election, in which Labor has claimed a narrow victory, reflected a disappointing performance from the Greens. At the 2010 state election Labor’s victory was dependent on…
The Victorian government’s TAFE cuts have shown other states exactly what not to do. The Victorian government’s TAFE cuts have shown other states exactly what not to do. Flickr/Takver

Victorian TAFE chaos: a lesson in how not to reform vocational education

For years, those concerned with vocational education and training have worried about how to lift the public profile of TAFEs. But what has taken many years for some – without much success – the Baillieu…
Parlous states: despite staring down the barrel of recession, Victoria is set to deliver a budget surplus. But is this the right move for a stagnant economy? Parlous states: despite staring down the barrel of recession, Victoria is set to deliver a budget surplus. But is this the right move for a stagnant economy? AAP

Is surplus the key to lifting Victoria out of its parlous state?

The Victorian government is set to hand down its budget this week. Premier Ted Baillieu is committed to returning Victoria back into the black, after it spent the first six months of this year in a $341…