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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 13, 2005 - 12:44am.
Anti-terror laws: international legal concern grows

"The Law Council says that there is an escalating groundswell of opinion in the international legal profession against draconian anti-terror laws - there is a rapidly growing international view that more faith needs to be shown in our traditional legal protections." Media release.

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Submitted by Wayne Sanderson on October 12, 2005 - 11:30pm.
The Daily Briefing 12/10/05

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Submitted by David Roffey on October 12, 2005 - 12:55am.
Webdiary management update 2: The Daily Briefing, our new home, and money

Webdiary General Manager David Roffey sets out some answers on where we are and where we're going.

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Submitted by Wayne Sanderson on October 11, 2005 - 11:55pm.
The Daily Briefing 11/10/05

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 11, 2005 - 4:20am.
WorkChoices - a new workplace relations system

"In May of this year I announced in Parliament the framework of the Government’s proposals to reform Australia’s workplace relations system. Today the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and I are delighted to release ‘WorkChoices – A New Workplace Relations System’ which explains, in detail, how the new workplace relations system will work." Prime Minister, John Howard

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Submitted by Wayne Sanderson on October 11, 2005 - 12:00am.
The Daily Briefing 10/10/05

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 10, 2005 - 12:31pm.
Scott Parkin: dissent isn't taken lightly Down Under

"After three lovely months of traveling through Australia and meeting people, one Wednesday afternoon during the second week of September I was called by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, or ASIO, and asked to come in for an interview. I asked if I was required to do so and the woman at the other end of the phone said "No, you are not obliged too." I then asked if this would affect the remaining two weeks of my time in Australia and she said she couldn't say. I should have listened with closer attention to that non-answer." Scott Parkin

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Submitted by Ian MacDougall on October 10, 2005 - 4:18am.
Beyond right and left: a review

"As McKnight points out, there is now no socialist movement to offer an alternative pole of attraction. The 150 year old socialist tradition has largely gone, unremarked and unmourned. The New Left, which rose in the 1960s and matured in the 1970s, has also joined socialism, at least as the world knew it, in the dustbin of history. “It’s now clear,” he says, ” that the socialist component of the New Left was the last gasp of an older Left, not the promise of a renewed one.” In its place, he sees the modern ‘broad’ Left (which to him includes members and supporters of the ALP, Democrats and Greens across to some current supporters of the Liberal and National parties.) But as far as he is concerned, all those people are standing on an eroding philosophical sandbank." Ian MacDougall

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Submitted by Jack H Smit on October 9, 2005 - 8:10am.
The Migration Litigation Reform Bill 2005

"I think the Bill is a disgrace, but it is also an opportunity to show to the better informed how the fight to the death between politicians in the Howard administration and the "refugee lobby" is a callous one, and that for the politicians, backed up by the best of their legal advisors and legislation drafters, this fight is one they're fully prepared to fight - and it seems there's no limit to the budget. No doubt they, the politicians, are set for another win in the context of a Senate majority, but it will not necessarily be a win for public opinion of those politicians." Jack H Smit

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 9, 2005 - 6:21am.
The Andrew Olle Media Lecture 2005

"I come to this forum as a consumer of media and as someone who’s been fortunate enough to sit a little on the inside and observe aspects of how it appears to work. At my first real job at the Small Arms Factory in Lithgow I bought the Daily Mirror every afternoon on my way home. I used to savour the football and cricket think pieces from the likes of Phil Tressider and Ian Heads and Geoff Prenter and they brought me up to speed with the notion of cliché. At the time I had no idea that this would be my career-making preparation ... " John Doyle

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 9, 2005 - 1:29am.
Australia's higher ed future: on the cheap

"Brendan Nelson? To be fair, he did not begin the game of Squeeze and Hassle the universities. John Dawkins, Minister for Ed in the Keating government, did a fine old job of pushing universities into mergers and into marketing. He had vice-chancellors, deans and professors writhing in knots. Did they deserve Dawkins? Were they so stodgy and protective of privilege that they had to be tortured and forced to mend their ways? Probably -- a little." Harry Robinson

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Submitted by tony kevin on October 8, 2005 - 12:52am.
ADF chain of command - accountability v subservience

"The list of examples of questionable ADF conduct over the past four years is very telling. Let me just flesh out the list a little to remind readers of what the substance is. All of these instances are serious cases where the ADF command structure or senior ADF figures in positions of authority and presumed accountability, set aside their own service rules and codes of conduct, and their service loyalties, in their anxiety to give the PM what he wanted of them, or what they may have guessed he wanted of them. And of course, this is how authoritarian unaccountable power structures operate - the subordinates interpret what the leader wants done and they do it, without asking him to specify exactly what he wants done - because they know he does not want to know the detail of what was done or how it was done." Tony Kevin

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Submitted by Wayne Sanderson on October 7, 2005 - 11:52pm.
The Daily Briefing 7/10/05

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on October 7, 2005 - 11:19pm.
The greatest regional program ever?

"The Senate inquiry into the administration of the Regional Partnerships Program (RPP) and Sustainable Regions Program (SRP) has concluded and now it is time for the spin." Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 7, 2005 - 9:58am.
The circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez matter

The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Prof. John McMillan, today released the report, prepared by Mr Neil Comrie AO APM, into the circumstances of the Vivian Alvarez matter.

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Submitted by Wayne Sanderson on October 7, 2005 - 12:03am.
Introducing the Daily Briefing

Message from Webdiary General Manager David Roffey: For a trial period starting today, we will be publishing Wayne Sanderson's The Daily Briefing. As Wayne's own description of the service states: "The Daily Briefing provides a morning round-up of the local newspapers plus selected quality articles from international publications ...  the best writing, analysis, social commentary, critical thinking and humour from around the world, drawing on newspapers, magazines, think tanks and web sites everywhere. ... It is your guide through information overload. Today, an excerpt..."

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 6, 2005 - 7:30am.
Ten good reasons why young people should enter politics

"If you think the whole ‘rotten, infested’ lump of politics can’t be changed, read a little history. I suggest you catch up on the victory of the suffragettes, the abolition of slavery, or the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. None of those breakthroughs came from giving up or copping out of politics. All of them involved committed people, just like us, getting involved in and transforming the hopelessly unfair, rotten, stinking politics of their day." Bob Brown

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 5, 2005 - 3:42am.
The power of many: we the Webdiary

Historically, journalists have been charged with informing the democracy. But their future will depend not on only how well they inform but how well they encourage and enable conversations with citizens. That is the challenge. Websites like Webdiary understand the importance of Dan Gillmor’s basic premise: "My readers know more than I do - and that's an opportunity." The ability of anyone to make the news has given new voice to people who used to feel voiceless—and whose words we need to hear. According to Dan, webdiarists and citizen journalists are "showing all of us—citizen, journalist, newsmaker—new ways of talking, of learning. In the end, they may help spark a renaissance of the notion, now threatened, of a truly informed citizenry." Jozef Imrich

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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on October 5, 2005 - 12:08am.
A time to break down, and a time to build up

"It is a common query: they're collecting all that money, stamp duty, land tax, payroll tax, fines, duties, registration fees, licence fees, etc; where is it all going? I suspect the answer is that an enormous amount is going in patching up infrastructure that is past its use-by date and should simply be abandoned. Far too much of it is going on the Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong corridor and not enough on regional and rural NSW. My proposal is that we stop band-aiding and start rebuilding from the edges in." Malcolm B Duncan

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Submitted by David Roffey on October 4, 2005 - 2:07am.
Bali bombings

"In July we went to Bali for a wedding. The bride and groom were Sydney-based Kiwis who love Bali and wanted to support the island and its wonderful people. We loved it too, and made a small investment in a resort so we could go back again and again. We still intend to do that, despite the events of Saturday night. Once again the primary victims of the blasts were local people. If we abandon the predominantly Hindu people of Bali because of the acts of fanatics we will only hurt them more." David Roffey

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 4, 2005 - 12:50am.
Our Prime Minister's next exciting adventure

"If it is possible to induce an additional 80,000 people to enter the work-force through modifications of the personal income tax situation, then perhaps the haphazard and individually punitive approach of changing pensioners over to Newstart Allowance, while at the same time introducing all sorts of one-off exemptions, was a really silly way to go about the Prime Minister's ambitious adventure." Marie Coleman

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Submitted by tony kevin on October 2, 2005 - 9:45pm.
Defending Canberra: who you gonna call?

"Two RAAF helicopters, one about 300 metres behind the other, were flying circuits around central Canberra... They each appeared to be mounted with two large lethal-looking missile launchers, slung beneath the cabin. As the helicopters flew maybe 100 metres above my head, I saw these four launchers clearly. I wondered if the loaded missiles were armed, and I wondered what would happen if one of these helicopters were accidentally to crash over populated central Canberra." Tony Kevin

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 2, 2005 - 9:09pm.
The death of the Old Right: when conservatives become radicals

"The Old Right in Australia was often seen as a single force, labeled "conservatism" but it was actually an amalgam of different political ideas and trends, some of which now oppose the current neo-liberal and neo-conservative hegemony. The great icon of Australian Right, Sir Robert Menzies, for example, supported social justice and the welfare state. The Liberal MP who now holds Menzies' old parliamentary seat, Petro Georgiou, points out that "pro-market purists" in the modern Liberal Party damn any notion of social justice as a 'Labor plot' when it was in fact a foundation stone for the Liberal Party." David McKnight

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Submitted by Sol Salbe on October 2, 2005 - 8:46pm.
Julia Irwin and the scriptwriter

"Labor MP Julia Irwin has now earned herself the title of a serial offender, being lambasted by some of the leading lights of the Jewish community for her recent comments in the adjournment debate. True to form, her own party Leader, Kim Beazley, joined her critics. If the question is: can I find anything which is not right with her comments - then skip the next two paragraphs and read on. However that might not be the only relevant question." Sol Salbe

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on October 1, 2005 - 4:56am.
Paradise lost? Not if we take a new approach to net governance

"The news of Murdoch's grand plans to dominate the Internet and China's cyberspace crackdown has got me thinking about the future of the Internet and e-democracy once again. I think about the millions of ordinary people using the World Wide Web to connect with each other and see this as an essential tool for power dispersal.  The age of the Internet has brought with it exciting, fresh ideas about the disintermediation of power and peer accountability. But who is responsible for the standards and functions of the network itself? I came across this recent article by Bill Thompson on openDemocracy.net in which he charts the history of Internet governance, reflects on what has been lost as accountability passes from the hands of the geeks to those of the politicians and lawyers, and offers his proposal for redressing the democratic deficit." Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 1, 2005 - 12:14am.
Friends of the ABC and human rights community consultation in Victoria

"The community relies heavily on information that comes to it through the media. In modern times, the media has become the gateway to information. It largely determines what the public does and does not know on most important matters. Indeed, how many in the community think about a wide range of matters and many important decisions they make is determined largely on the basis of messages that come through the media." Friends of the ABC (Vic) Inc.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on September 30, 2005 - 1:42am.
IR advertising: the High Court decides

On Tuesday we asked if the Government is acting lawfully in advertising its IR policy with taxpayer's money or is it breaching Australia's Constitution? Today we find out.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on September 29, 2005 - 7:34am.
Mark Latham's Webdiary interview

G'Day. I interviewed Mark Latham by phone yesterday morning, when he was still working on his speech for last night's lecture. Here is the transcript.

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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on September 29, 2005 - 6:53am.
Unusual laws, usual suspects, usual excuses

"According to a report in The Australian newspaper on 28 September 2005, ASIO's briefing to Premiers and Chief Ministers attending the COAG meeting included claims that some 800 local Muslim "extremists" are ready to carry out a London-style attack. The report came as the President of the Police Federation of Australia issued a statement confirming that Muslims will be directly affected by enforcement of the new laws. The Federation has called upon the government to legislate so that police officers are indemnified for civil action.To describe the proposed laws as unusual would be an understatement. To claim the laws will not lead to racial profiling of persons deemed Muslim is a bald-faced lie." Irfan Yusuf

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on September 29, 2005 - 1:27am.
A meeting in unusual circumstances: COAG and counter-terrorism

"Can I simply say that this has been a very positive meeting. I want to thank the Premiers and the two Chief Ministers for supporting the Commonwealth’s proposals. Can I say that we have agreed today on unusual laws for Australia. We’ve done that because we live in unusual circumstances. In other circumstances I would never have sought these additional powers, I would never have asked the Premiers of the Australian states to support me in enacting these laws. But we do live in very dangerous and different and threatening circumstances and a strong and comprehensive response is needed. I think all of these powers are needed; they go no further than is needed, but they go the necessary distance to do all we can to protect the Australian public." Prime Minister, John Howard

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