Australia’s current public-policy space is too small to grapple with the huge geopolitical and environmental shifts underway.
Australia needs a clear bipartisan vision of its role in the world and a strategic agenda for the long-term national interest.
Former prime minister John Howard says he doesn’t retreat from his decision on Iraq.
Former prime minister John Howard has stood by his decision to commit troops to the war in Iraq.
Some Coalition’s policies have been seen as a fundamental assault on Medicare principles of bulk billing and universality.
Scare campaigns only work if there is some anxiety to build on. Labor’s Medicare campaign plugged into a long history of Coalition ambivalence – or open hostility – towards Medicare.
It’s quiet out there, too quiet.
Outback image from wwww.shutterstock.com
There's been a deafening silence in recent Australian elections over the environment. But it hasn't always been the case.
A scene from Heathers the Musical based on the 1988 film.
Eighties culture is big, from nostalgic TV dramas to tours by ageing pop stars. But it's time for a clear-eyed assessment of the decade, which prized excess and economic rationalism along with synth pop and big hair.
The journey to detention on Manus Island (pictured) and Nauru has its origins in 1990 cabinet discussions of asylum seeker policy.
The logic of the policy changes initiated by the Hawke government in mid-1990 has underpinned asylum-seeker policy for much of the quarter-century since.
Hawke said his government passed more legislation in 1990 and 1991 than any other since federation.
National Archives of Australia
While the press at the time focused on what Keating called “the Punch and Judy show”, cabinet papers reveal that the fourth Hawke government was working at an astonishing pace at reforms still felt today.
In a new book, former prime minister Paul Keating makes it clear that, from a young age, he was interested in power and the gaining of it.
Kerry O'Brien has provided the platform for Paul Keating to define his political career, explain what drove his reform agenda and cement his position as one of Australia's greatest leaders.
Leadership struggles are between ostensible allies.
In leadership contests in particular, the media’s role is often markedly different from the competition between parties.
Ros Kelly was the first in a long line of federal ministers to address themselves to the question of Australia’s emissions target.
AAP Image/Lee Besford
When Australia's government first pledged to set an emission-reduction target, Jon Bon Jovi was riding high in the charts. The progress made in the 25 years since has hardly been a blaze of glory.
Abbott isn’t the first leader to be toppled amid questions over his approach to climate change.
AAP Mick Tsikas
From Hawke-Keating to Rudd-Gillard, climate policy has an uncanny ability to cost Australian political leaders their jobs. And it was a key element in the rivalry between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
The revolution of the past three decades has not been kind to the people who have experienced the destruction of their industries, jobs and communities.
Something similar to E.P. Thompson’s story of England in the first three decades of the 1800s has happened in Australia between the mid-1980s and today.
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of Anzac.
There is a complicated story involving the Anzac legend and the left between the 1920s and the 1960s which historians have barely begun to untangle.
Since its 2010-13 ‘partnership’ with the Greens, any failure by Labor to mark its independence has been punished by the electorate.
A political party that isn’t sure what it stands for isn’t really a party.
Journalist George Megalogenis takes an affectionate journey through the milieu of Australia’s economic reform in a new ABC documentary, Making Australia Great.
A line-up of former prime ministers stake their rival claims to making Australia great, in a new series by journalist George Megalogenis.
The cross-bench senators may call to mind Paul Keating’s charge of ‘unrepresentative swill’, but they also reflect and respond to the 21st-century world in ways that the major parties can’t.
The Senate is not a root cause, but part of a long list of symptoms that indicate Australia's political system is increasingly unfit for purpose in the 21st century.
John Howard sealed his fate by going too far with WorkChoices, but he got the balance right and succeeded with the GST reform.
The distinction between the global and the local is collapsing under the pressure of climate change, economic restructuring, global migration and jihadism on the one hand and the populist and information…
Mercurial, visionary: Paul Keating was by far the most industrious treasurer Australia has ever had.
National Archives of Australia: A6180, 15/2/93/25
A recent public poll showed that of Australia’s recent federal treasurers, Peter Costello and even John Howard were rated higher than Paul Keating. Joe Hockey was rated the worst. Today’s release of the…
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory.
In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…
Twenty years on, Paul Keating’s Creative Nation remains a vital reference point in the history of Australian cultural policy.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
Today marks 20 years since the publication of Creative Nation. An ambitious and expansive project by Paul Keating’s Labor Government, it was the first Commonwealth cultural policy document in Australia’s…