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Queensland Labor under Annastacia Palaszczuk has claimed a lead in the polls ahead of next year’s state election. AAP/Dan Peled

One down, two to go? Labor revival puts incumbents on edge

The rule of thumb in Australian politics has been that voters are reluctant to throw out governments after a single term. And if they do, it’s during a major crisis. Perhaps that’s a measure of Australians…
Detroit has emerged from bankruptcy, but the process has been sharply criticized, which could impair its success. Reuters

What are the costs of Detroit’s rise from bankruptcy?

Earlier this month, we learned that the biggest municipal bankruptcy in history would also be among the swiftest. The emergency manager for Detroit filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013 without a…
The government is hoping asset recycling will lead to major infrastructure investments, but its success could lie elsewhere. Stefan Postles/AAP

Asset recycling no dream for Hockey, but efficiency boost likely

UPDATE: This piece originally said the Asset Recycling Initiative had been passed by the Senate. Subsequent to publication, the amended legislation was rejected by the House of Representatives. The piece…
The latest report into Australian education shows some positives and some negatives. School image from www.shutterstock.com

COAG education reports show early childhood and Year 12 are key

Educational outcomes in Australia are showing signs of improvement, particularly in the early years and in Year 12 attainment…
The writing may be on the wall for Labor’s carbon policy, but that doesn’t mean the states should give up. Flickr/bk2204

States of decay: complementing the federal carbon policy

In a survey last year of 22,812 people across 22 countries (including Australia), the polling organisation GlobeScan found that environmental concerns had fallen worldwide since 2009, and fewer than one…
The ACT election result has produced another hung parliament. ALP leader Kate Gallagher is waiting to find out if she’ll lead it. AAP/Alan Porritt

ACT election swing no killer blow for the Greens

As numbers from polling booths across the ACT started to go up on the big screen in the tally room on Saturday night the first and most obvious trend was a huge swing to the Liberals and a correlative…
State governments are looking at changing the way they deliver education. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The policy and politics of education cuts

At a time when the Commonwealth sponsored Gonski Review of School Funding is recommending an increase of $5 billion a year plus for schools around Australia, it may seem odd that some state governments…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the National Press Club yesterday signalled serious changes to the states' role in education. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The real agenda behind Gillard’s Gonski response

After the government’s response to the Gonski report on schools funding, it’s worth looking at not only what was in the announcement but what wasn’t. Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered no indication…
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…
Mike Rann waves goodbye on his last day in office at Parliament House in Adelaide. AAP/James Baker

Mike Rann’s legacy in South Australia

Mike Rann has handed the South Australian Premiership to Jay Weatherill, after nine years in the State’s top job. Labor Party power brokers tapped the man who had led their party for 17 years on the shoulder…

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