AUSTRALIA


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'War on business' rhetoric echoes '07 union bashing

14 Comments
26 June 2016 | Brendan Byrne

Still from the fake tradie adWhether or not the person in the now notorious 'fake tradie' ad is or isn't a 'real' tradie is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is a primary example of the co-option of the language of class struggle and economic justice that has so thoroughly poisoned economic debate in the industrialised West. Implicit within it is a patronising view of the working class that dismisses them as gullible dupes who can be made to entrench the privilege of the few in return for the paltry crumbs of consumer hedonism.


No 'one size fits all' solutions to youth unemployment

9 Comments
26 June 2016 | Julie Edwards

Map of Sydney shows areas of disadvantageBoth major parties offer 'one size fits all' approaches to youth unemployment. This ignores the huge difference in experiences - and employability - between different categories of young person. Not all have completed high school and live at home in a supportive environment. For young people at risk of homelessness, those experiencing mental illness or substance abuse problems, or those who have had contact with the criminal justice system, the initiatives of both parties simply won't be effective.


There's nothing fair about Australia's tax on sickness

6 Comments
23 June 2016 | Tim Woodruff

Doctor and patientMy patients who earn $36,000 a year pay $36 for most prescriptions. My patients who earn $360,000 pay the same, and those on $3 billion pay the same. Usually, these prescriptions are for conditions which can't be avoided - it's just bad luck. This government imposed co-payment is a tax on illness. It is not noticed by those on $360,000 but for those struggling on $36,000, it does affect their small disposable incomes. It is a regressive tax, and its effect on patient behaviour is well documented.


I'm not falling for Turnbull's diabetes bribe

5 Comments
23 June 2016 | Catherine Marshall

Insulin injectionFacing his first election as leader of the Coalition, Turnbull announced that, if reelected, his party would spend $54 million on continuous glucose monitors for up to 4000 Type 1 diabetics under the age of 21. This impressive promise was a lightning rod to the children and small number of adults diagnosed each year with Type 1 diabetes. But it comes too late for Donna Meads-Barlow, who has campaigned tirelessly for government funding for CGMs, and upon whose efforts the government has finally taken action.


Shorten's treaty talk reflects impact of Indigenous activism

8 Comments
21 June 2016 | Celeste Liddle

Invasion Day rally MelbourneFor the first time ever, I got the sense that political views on the importance of Indigenous issues had shifted. It was not due to an increase in Indigenous voices in the political discussions nor was it because either of the major parties announced a policy which I found remotely inspiring. Rather it was because, under the glare of the camera, the leaders of the two major parties both attempted to show a greater understanding of the Indigenous political agenda than they have before.


White Australia is alive and well in our parliament

11 Comments
20 June 2016 | Jarni Blakkarly

Wesa Chau campaign posterAcross the political spectrum, Australia's major and minor parties are failing to reflect the multicultural Australia of the 21st century. We have fallen far behind similar nations like Canada, who elected 19 Indian-Canadians alone, and ten indigenous parliamentarians, at their last election. Who we elect to our parliament is not just about the gesture, it is also a reflection of where power lies within our society, and whose voices are given the space to be heard to represent the community.


A tale of two refugees

2 Comments
19 June 2016 | Kerry Murphy

Refugee week logoMustafa speaks very good English, and his professional skills are going to help him get work in Australia. He is not going to take an 'Australian's job' - he will work and contribute to the economy, as we all try to do. Ali's situation is far less certain. He came on a boat after being approved as a refugee by the UNHCR in Indonesia. He saw no movement in resettlement from Indonesia so he came to Australia. He is one of the thousands who, if they can prove their refugee case, only get a temporary visa.


Legal grey area hinders Aboriginal repatriation

3 Comments
16 June 2016 | Kate Galloway

Elders and school children gather at Mount Margaret Mission in the WA's northern Goldfields for the repatriation of Aboriginal remainsUntil the 1940s, bodies of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were sent to museum, scientific, and private collections around the world. The remains of more than 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians continue to be held overseas in collections. Indigenous Australians have worked tirelessly towards repatriation, and there has been some success in recent decades. Unfortunately, the remains tend to fall into a grey area of Australian law.


Elder abuse thrives on silence

12 Comments
15 June 2016 | Andrew Hamilton

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayWe all know elderly people who are healthy, active, and blessed with loving families. But the image represents only part of the reality of old age. Many elderly people are ill, have lost their partners, live alone with little connection to their families, suffer from incipient dementia, and are dependent on others for the daily business of living. If they appear at all in the media, it is usually in bad news stories. They are seen as people different from us. A significant minority of older people, too, suffer from abuse.


Prognosis negative as election health debate stagnates

6 Comments
13 June 2016 | Melissa Sweet

#healthelection16When politicians and journalists speak about 'health' in an election context, they invariably are referring to healthcare, and usually hospitals at that. However, the health of individuals and communities is the result of many factors, of which access to healthcare is just one determinant. Climate change - the defining issue for public health this century, according to the World Health Organization's outgoing director general Dr Margaret Chan - barely figures in election health debate.


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