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Australian Society

Submitted by Margo Kingston on August 2, 2007 - 11:25am.
Bad development awards - any where you live?
Webdiary has done a bit of work on bad and allegedly corruptly procured development over the years. This is an issue that brings people together now matter who they vote for.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on July 31, 2007 - 1:32pm.
Unreality TV wagging the dog
The attached evidence was found in a simcard sent to me by my cousin Mr Andrews who is the cousin of Mr Kelty who is the cousin of Mr Ruddock who is the cousin of a Mr Downer who is the cousin of a Mr Howard who is the cousin of a Mr Bush who is the cousin of Osama bin Laden who once stood at the very spot where Mr Rudd is standing now. Now if that is not proof I don't know what is. [further new proofs submitted by JO]
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 27, 2007 - 4:38pm.
DPP Bugg's mea culpa, Andrews stands his ground
I also acknowledge that one of my officers put two errors of fact before the court.  The first related to the SIM card and was based on a misunderstanding of the facts.  The second related to the residence of Dr Haneef in the UK and was based on incorrect material provided by the AFP.  The prosecution is of course under a duty to inform the court promptly of any errors that are made in submissions to the court.  The hearing in which these errors were made was determined in Dr Haneef’s favour and when the errors were recognised it was decided to correct them when the matter was next before the court.
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on July 26, 2007 - 5:33pm.
Indefinite detention, sometimes illegal, still all the rage from DIMIA turned DIAC
When Vivian Alvarez was found in the Philipines the information of this 33 was already public, so Amanda Vanstone launched an inquiry into the possible illegal detentions of other Australians, or worse other deportations.   247 cases were then sent to the Ombudsman. The most chilling case was the case of LP, an Australian citizen child incarcerated for 149 days as “a visitor to his mother”. Just a guest of the minister in a regime of brutal detention that was utterly illegal. No-one bothered to ascertain if the reality was that the child was a citizen.
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Submitted by Roger Fedyk on July 24, 2007 - 11:07am.
'Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change'
It is tempting to lay the blame on Howard and his government for what has been done in our name but, at the end of the day, it is the Australian public with whom much of the fault lies. We have been gullible and self-absorbed. As a nation, we do not really take the threat of global warming seriously. The disengagement by the public at large has allowed our politicians of both major political persuasions to give our big polluters a free ride.
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Submitted by David Davis on July 18, 2007 - 3:43pm.
David Davis on the transcript of AFP-Haneef interview
I don't know what the story is with Haneef. The courts will decide that. The first transcript does not reveal very much. Maybe when it is added to other evidence a clearer picture will emerge.It could be that Haneef just has "too much going on" and has an unfortunate link in a database. Thank God for the courts! If he is as the Federal Police allege, then thank God for the Federal Police for keeping us safe.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 17, 2007 - 2:12pm.
Australians STILL want paid maternity leave - any takers?
A July Newspoll survey reveals there is widespread support by Australians for paid maternity leave (76%) for working women, with an overwhelming 78% of those in support of paid maternity leave in favour of the financial responsibility being shared jointly by employers, workers and the Federal Government. 71% supported a scheme funded by employers and employees only. “These results clearly show this is a critical issue for many Australian families with young children, struggling to meet their work and social responsibilities,” said Ms Marie Coleman, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW).
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Submitted by Bryan Law on July 15, 2007 - 7:02pm.
Bryan Law's debrief to Webdiary on the Pine Gap 4
Since joining with Christians Against ALL Terrorism I've gotten a picture of how deeply Christians are discriminated against and put down by people I'll describe here as secular lefties. In the past twelve years I've found, in purely practical terms, that communities of faith are much more likely to provide people who'll act against injustice than are communities of secular lefties.  Certainly our support from some Christian communities has been such as to nurture, sustain and develop our project, while secular political groups including the Labor, Green and Democrats parties have been at best hesitant and partial.  
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 13, 2007 - 11:01am.
Murdoch's men censor former Webdiarist Tim Dunlop
Imagine a Media Watch which didn't criticise the ABC. It would be meaningless, yes? Well so is Tim Blair when it comes to media and political commentary.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 4:45pm.
The dissidents' alternative plan for NT Aborigines
At last! I've just noticed that an alternative plan to Howard's plan to solve child abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities has been proposed.  It's by the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the NT. Now we've got 2 plans to compare. What do you think?
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 2:05pm.
Indefinite detention by any other name
The Law Council of Australia today issued its considered position on the new terror laws in the light of their effect in practice. Here is its press release. Webdiary has campaigned for many years on the necessity of stopping the government, any government, from having the sole right to breach our democratic rights. The citizens in a democracy are supposed to live under the Rule of Law, not of men, and that offers the fundamental protection of citizens against arbitrary action by a government is the only real protection any of us have against governments taking away our freedoms to suit their political agenda.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 12, 2007 - 1:05pm.
Like this political ad - or not
Hello.  I've been off line for five days traveling with a friend from the South visiting her friends and mine and chilling out. Thank you, thank you to Fiona, Richard and David for keeping comments ticking along. I hope everyone is content at how Webdiary is traveling but if not, let me know in the comments box.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 29, 2007 - 11:34am.
The dissident view on Howard's martial law plan
In their present form the proposals miss the mark and are unlikely to be effective. There is an over-reliance on top-down and punitive measures, and insufficient indication that additional resources will be mobilised where they are urgently needed; to improve housing, child protection and domestic violence supports, schools, health services, alcohol and drug rehab programs. These issues have been raised by many Indigenous leaders over many years.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 26, 2007 - 11:21am.
Recommendations of the Sacred Children report
The aim of the following recommendations should be plain from the report. They are offered to the Chief Minister in the knowledge that the safety of children is everybody’s business, not just that of government. Parents have responsibilities too.
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Submitted by Russell Darroch on June 23, 2007 - 12:17pm.
The PM who saved the children?
Sifting through the speech by the PM and the subsequent commentary during the day and a bit since the announcement I kept coming back to the uneasy conclusion that, in true Howard fashion, this is not about really about the children. No doubt many will think me quite an unkind person for saying such a thing but really none of this makes a lot of sense.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on June 22, 2007 - 5:11pm.
Are Aborigines Howard's Tampa 2?
Prime Minister why have you judged it necessary to take control of land bestowed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act? "Because we don't believe we can effectively implement these changes without taking that authority."
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Submitted by Ernest William ... on June 12, 2007 - 6:33pm.
Ernie Graham, Labor man
I joined the Labor Party some time after Howard’s election wins in 1998 and 2001 because of his obvious plans to divide our Nation into Haves and Have Nots. My Wife has her own values, but nevertheless, also joined the Labor Party as the only organised opposition left to an expanding dictatorship that I call Howard’s “New Order”. Older Australians and Veterans will know what I mean.  (pics added)
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Submitted by John Pratt on June 10, 2007 - 4:38pm.
Why I'm voting Labor, by John Pratt
In 2002 when I turned 55, I retired and again we moved north in a caravan this time we settled in Cairns. I completed a certificate 3 in aged care and have been an aged care worker with RSLCARE for about 4 years. I retire next week as I am about to have my 60th birthday.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on May 28, 2007 - 7:34am.
Democratic Audit Update May 2007
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at ANU on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Melody Kemp on May 14, 2007 - 8:46pm.
Flying Free

In the old days, this type of nationalist and corporatist state with lashings of social control was called fascism. Now it's called security.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 4, 2007 - 11:23am.
Australians - What Are We?
"My remarks today will reflect on relationships with the US and domestic issues which influence the fundamentals of Australia.  There has in recent times been a major attack on traditionally accepted Australian values.  This also impacts on our reputation in our region and in the wider world.  This is particularly damaging because the Bush government is on the way out and, within the United States, those who have supported it strongly will, in the next Administration, be regarded as pariahs." Malcolm Fraser
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Submitted by David Roffey on April 23, 2007 - 7:42pm.
'Australia Rising' ...
John Howard's 'vision for 2020' seems from the news reports to have been more about what the future isn't (it isn't about climate change, it isn't about workers rights) than what it will be. Here's the full text for your comments.
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Submitted by Bryan Law on April 13, 2007 - 2:50pm.
Rise Up to End War
In May and June 2007 the Gandhian/activist wing of the Australian Peace Movement is going to produce two nonviolent action programs which promote and develop a grass-roots resistance to war.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on March 30, 2007 - 9:24am.
Democratic Audit Update March 29 2007
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at ANU on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on March 28, 2007 - 3:43pm.
The "Trial" of David Hicks
"The circumstances of the last 24 hours indicate the fairly shambolic nature of the proceedings."
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on March 17, 2007 - 6:24pm.
A Needless Test for Citizenship
By way of introduction to the speech Petro Georgiou gave in Melbourne last Wednesday, I'd like to share something of my own recent experience of the effort taken by people set on becoming part of our society, citizens of our country, to study and learn the English language.
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Submitted by Stephen Smith on March 5, 2007 - 8:45am.
Gang of bullies – the torment of David Hicks
They are simply unable to see themselves in Hicks’ shoes. While they hate the boyhood image they see in David, their self-image is that of a schoolyard gang of bullies.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on March 3, 2007 - 3:39pm.
Democratic Audit Update March 2007
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at ANU on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on February 14, 2007 - 11:24pm.
Democratic Audit Update Feb 2007
The latest update from the Democratic Audit of Australia program at ANU on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by David Roffey on February 7, 2007 - 12:13pm.
PM could free Hicks - but won't
Privileges of Australian Citizens: It entitles you to: ... seek assistance from Australian diplomatic representatives while overseas ... - but, not, it seems, to actually receive that assistance once you seek it.
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Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

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