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Much has changed from the first Colombo plan, but Australia’s engagement with Asia should start at home. Asia image from

Colombo II: send students to Asia but don’t ignore the Asian students at home

Now it’s in government, the Coalition says one of its top priorities is international education. Along with policies to encourage international students to study here, Australian students, too, will be…
Tony Abbott has promised not to cut areas such as health, education and payments to the poor and disadvantaged, but a Commission of Audit report traditionally trumps such Liberal National Party promises. AAP

Hidden in plain sight: commission cuts and non-core promises

There has been much, and justified, criticism, of Tony Abbott’s decision to conceal the costings of his policies until two days before the election, when the electronic media blackout will be in place…
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…
Bushfires release CO2, but how much? AAP Image/Kim Foale

Fact check: do bushfires emit more carbon than burning coal?

“Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.” - acting Opposition leader, Warren Truss, January 9, 2013 On Wednesday, leader…
Both political parties are lining up their elections strategies now, even though an election could still be a year away. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Feels like an election year? Here’s why

The former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson famously said a week is a long time in politics. If this is the case, then you have to wonder how long it will feel if the current Parliament runs it full…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is looking to the politics of the United Kingdom for policy inspiration. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The influence of ‘Big Society’: Abbott borrows from UK conservatives

Earlier this month, opposition leader Tony Abbott presented the second instalment of the Liberal and National parties’ “Plan for Stronger Communities”, having already outlined elements of the plan at the…
The Bligh led Labor party’s devastating defeat in Queensland could present difficulties for federal labor seats. AAP/ Dan Peled

The lie of the land for Labor after the Queensland poll

The Queensland election can tell us a lot about Labor’s electoral future. There is no doubt that if the Queensland state election landslide against Labor were extrapolated to federal boundaries, the federal…
Labor leader Anna Bligh is likely to lose the Queensland election, but what are the federal implications? AAP Image/Jack Tran

Queensland election: which seats matter for Labor?

The likely defeat of the Bligh Labor government in this weekend’s Queensland elections may not have the negative implications for the Gillard government that many commentators might expect. The presence…
Queenslanders will get a chance to vote for either Premier Anna Bligh or leader of the LNP, Campbell Newman on March 24. AAP image/John Pryke

Queensland election 2012: a likely win for Newman and the LNP

After much speculation, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has today announced the date of the up-coming state elections. The poll, now to be held on March 24, comes after a difficult year for the Bligh government…

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