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Planting the idea: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opposes a carbon tax. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Australia should delay a carbon tax until the rest of the world acts

The big question about the carbon tax is not whether it’s a good or a bad idea in theory. The major issue is whether it makes sense for Australia to implement it at a time of great uncertainty, both in…
The benefits of lifting the import ban on bananas outweigh the risks. Maxey

As the apple import ban crumbles, is it time to go bananas?

The ban on importing apples from New Zealand was lifted earlier this month, bringing to an end a restriction established in 1921. With this long history of protection from imports, it is not unexpected…
The law treats animals as merely “property” – but is this out of step with community expectations? AAP

When it comes to live animal exports, the law is a strange beast

Last week’s resounding defeat of two private members bills seeking to end live animal exports demonstrates the myopic vision Australian politicians have for the country’s agricultural industry. This is…
As a new global financial crisis looms, Australia shouldn’t overestimate its dependence on China. AAP

Is Australia’s economic stability really made in China?

Amidst the widening global financial turmoil, a strong Chinese economy is certainly one positive for the Australian economy. But should we believe it is only factor that will save the day? The answer is…
Despite the clear benefits, Japan’s agricultural sector seems resistent to an FTA with Australia. AAP

After the disasters, can we revive a free trade agreement with Japan?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was one of the first world leaders to visit Japan after the nation was stricken on 3 March by the earthquake-tsunami-radiation triple disaster. But the Australian government…
So-called “humane” industry slaughter practices need to be investigated more carefully. AAP

Our food industry practices don’t add up

One of the more welcome results from the furore around Australia’s involvement in live animal exports is that some Australians appear to have started rethinking their food choices. Last month, The Age…
Livestock may also face mistreatment without leaving Australian shores. AAP

Live animal export problems begin in our own paddock

Throughout the heated debate around live animal exports over the past week, there has been an implicit assumption that the mistreatment of Australian cattle only ever begins after the animals have left…
Before blaming Indonesia, we must reform the way we fund livestock industry research. AFP Photo/SUTANTA

Animal exports: how the industry controls research to shut down debate

Now that the Federal Government has finally succumbed to public pressure and suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia, it is worth considering why we were so caught off guard by the shocking revelations…
Indonesian abattoirs should agree to stun cows before they’re slaughtered. AAP

Live animal export ban doesn’t go far enough

The Federal Government’s move to ban live cattle exports to a handful of Indonesian abattoirs will not, in the long term, end the inhumane slaughtering practices revealed in Monday’s Four Corners report…
China can easily rouse its banks, but awakening its consumers will be tougher. AAP

Questioning Rudd’s version of ‘China 2.0’

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s bold claim on Friday that his state was looking “over the horizon” past Canberra to forge stronger links with China capped off a few weeks of strong rhetoric from…

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