The National Human Rights Consultation Committee Report

What did it say, and where to from here? Anyone who argues that there is something incontrovertible, inherent or natural about human rights faces some difficulty in Australia. Such rights are like the shifting sands of a desert. Unless they are pinned down, they are apt to change as the winds change. That’s why I am very much in favour of a Bill or Charter of Rights for Australia(1) and thus delighted with the outcome and recommendations of...

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A super idea for clean and sustainable energy

The main focus to catastrophic risks from climate change must be the urgent development of clean, sustainable energy and superannuation funds are an obvious source of investment capital – people’s money for people’s interests. Despite any scepticism about global warming there is widespread agreement that the planet needs to be given the benefit of the doubt and that human activity must become sustainable. This demands a public interest...

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Cities on the edge

The End of the Good Times? A prolonged period of Australian prosperity ended with the advent of the global financial crisis in 2008. Since then Australia has fared comparatively well amongst countries but has still registered significant rises in unemployment and underemployment. The continuing pain of the downturn is unlikely to be evenly distributed across the population or across our communities. But surely the legacy of the miracle boom is...

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Aircraft cabin fumes: The poisoning and disablement of those who fly

Aircraft cabin fumes caused by oil leaking from engines and entering the cabin environment have been poisoning air travellers for decades. The resulting fumes also compromise the safe operation of the aircraft. The airline industry, regulators and governments have consistently denied this serious occupational health and safety problem. In October 2000, the most detailed inquiry into aircraft cabin fumes onboard BAe 146 aircraft was published....

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