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Costello v the journalists August 15, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, Media, politics.
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Who has more to lose in this?

The journalists need their reputation to be able to do their jobs- a politician doesn’t.

Costello can just keep claiming that he never said it and eventually it will blow over- there may be consequences down the track, or there may not.

It is a grave accusation to say that the journalists are lying- look at what happened at the BBC over the whole David Kelly affair.

The journalists should probably have published two years ago or let sleeping dogs lie but now it is out there, I am more inclined to believe them.


Who needs the Chaser? August 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, Indigenous issues, Media, politics.
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The Chaser had better watch out- Bill Heffernan is threatening to steal their thunder.

He interrupted another press conference today- this time it was Northern Territory Indigenous leaders that he tried to heckle. But they were having none of it and told him so. Like any coward who picks on those weaker than him, it seems he backed down when challenged.

Doesn’t the government have enough problems at the moment without this buffoon trying out his bully boy tactics?

A Hicks by any other name July 27, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, Media, politics.
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The charges against Mohammed Haneef have been dropped this afternoon. Ever since the information about the SIM card came out, it has been looking very dodgy.

It will now be interesting to see what happens with his visa cancellation. The government has to be aware of the fact that Haneef is quickly going to become like David Hicks in the public’s mind- he has been imprisoned on spurious charges and yet they don’t want to back down totally. 

One can’t help but feel sorry for the guy if indeed he only passed on his SIM on the basis that he didn’t need it anymore.

Any predictions? 

NT Indigenous communities June 21, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Australian politics, Indigenous issues, Media, politics.

John Howard has just announced a takeover of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

There are so many issues that come out of this.

Is this setting back Aboriginal self determination decades? I am sure that this is going to be discussed ad nauseum in the days ahead. I think it could have. Communities and the Territory government have lost their ability to govern themselves.

But the key question for me is- have the Indigenous people affected or indeed any Indigenous people been consulted about this move? I haven’t heard that yet. It is pretty difficult to consult when you dismantle the body through which Aboriginal people had a voice. As flawed as ATSIC might have been, it was something.

And the larger issue is what is the long term plan? Where is the government’s plan to address the underlying causes of this dysfunction. I have read about housing reforms and the health checks but the problem goes a lot deeper than that. They have known about these problems for years, if not decades- why now? And what are they going to do to allow Indigenous people to determine the best ways to help their communities. This roughshod approach may only cause more anger and resentment in the end.

And finally, I am sitting here completing an assignment about Indigenous voices in the media- or the lack of. Where are the comments from Indigenous leaders about these plans? SMH and News.com have some Indigenous comments but at the very bottom of their articles. ABC had none as yet in the stories I’ve read. We should be hearing from those who are affected by this the most. They should be the first voices we hear- not the last.

Brisbane vs Sydney May 21, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Observations, politics.
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Sydney: We would never consider driving in to the CBD and trying to get a street park. Meters cost about $6.00 per hour.

Brisbane: We always drive into the CBD and always park on the street. Meters cost $2.40 per hour.

Sydney: We rarely ran into people we knew in Sydney.

Brisbane: Almost every time we are out, we run into someone we know.

Sydney: Our people didn’t usually know other people’s people.

Brisbane: Everyone knows someone that you know, when you didn’t realise there was a connection.

Sydney: The beach was 15km away and often took 45 minutes to get there.

Brisbane: The beach is 85km away and it takes an hour to get there, sometimes less.

Sydney: We could walk to the shops or catch the train.

Brisbane: We have to drive everywhere.

Sydney: We could go out to eat Turkish, Lebanese, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Indian quite close by.

Brisbane: All we seem to eat is Asian (except at Paniyiri last weekend)

Sydney: Three great, affordable Italian pizza shops in the Summer Hill main street.

Brisbane: Haven’t found good, affordable pizza yet.

Sydney: We talked to and knew a lot of our neighbours.

Brisbane: Maybe if we had somewhere to live we would have neighbours.

Sydney: Housing is unaffordable.

Brisbane: Housing is unaffordable.

Kate Ellis March 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, politics.
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Is it a coincidence that perhaps the most attractive member of the Opposition benches is seated so prominently in the House of Representatives?

According to the Guide to Procedures : “… Members have allotted seats. A Member’s request for the allocation of a seat should be made to the Serjeant-at-Arms but any question arising regarding the seats to be occupied by Members is determined by the Speaker (S.O. 24(b)). A Member is entitled to retain the seat occupied at the end of the previous Parliament (S.O. 24(a)) (except when a change of government necessitates a change of sides).”

See a better picture of Kate Ellis here.

And one of her in action here.


Separated at Birth? March 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australian politics, politics.
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rudd2.jpg Kevin Rudd
brains.jpgBrains from Thunderbirds

I am sure it has been done before somewhere but it struck me the other night when I was watching The 7.30 Report

Why teach? February 28, 2007

Posted by Amanda in politics.

Education is one of those issues that is always on the public agenda. Teachers are constantly criticised for their methods and expected to take on more of the tasks of raising the citizens of the future. Despite the criticisms, most teachers work hard to provide a good education for their students. And yet, is there a job that is more undervalued?

Teachers have never been particularly well paid. Graduates get above the average for a graduate employee across the fields, but the relative salary quickly drops down the list and after ten years,  if a teacher wants to stay in the classroom, there are no more pay rises. However, the situation in Queensland non government schools is especially bad.

Chris has just been offered a job as a teacher in a Queensland Catholic school.  According to my readings of the award, if he were to take this job, his salary would be $9000 less per annum than if he worked in a state school and at least $13000 less than if we had stayed in New South Wales.

I think this is appalling. No wonder most education graduates get out of teaching as soon as they can. The salary combined with the everyday difficulties of classroom management means that there is no incentive to make a career in teaching.

Perhaps when all the baby boomer teachers retire and there are 50 kids in a class, someone will wake up and pay teachers what they are worth. Until then, education graduates will continue to seek employment elsewhere.

Major Michael Mori February 20, 2007

Posted by Amanda in politics.
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How great is Major Michael Mori? It was perfectly possible that the military lawyer appointed by the US to defend David Hicks could have done his job without being as sincerely committed to the case as Major Mori appears to be.

I have just finished watching Insight on SBS and it has confirmed again that this officer of the US Marine Corps is doing his job commendably, perhaps in the face of opposition from those with whom he works. One can’t imagine that it would be easy to be going against your country and your employer in defending an alleged terrorist.

The Insight program was well worth watching and can be seen online from tomorrow at the link above. Philip Ruddock’s justifications for why David Hicks has not been brought home were not at all credible.

My prediction is that David Hicks will be back in Australia 6-8 weeks before the Federal Election.

The Election and David Hicks February 18, 2007

Posted by Amanda in politics.
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So now the government says that David Hicks could be home by Christmas. Would that be the same Christmas that will be just after the Federal Election?

Of course a government that has refused to do anything to expedite the trial of David Hicks, let alone demand that he be sent back to Australia, would not now be putting pressure on the US government to get it all over with before the Australian election. That would never happen.

Send a message to the voters of Bennelong: http://www.getup.org.au/postcard-guantanamo.asp