Bananas in PAYjamas

After the recent uproar over salary disclosures at the ABC there was always bound to be some tension…

The downside of austerity

Without delving into the nitty gritty of currency valuations, geo-political structures and the like, it seems the situation in Greece and the rest of Europe might be getting worse before it gets better. There have been umpteen stories about the effect of Greek elections on it’s viability as a member on the Euro and the long term ramifications of a possible debt default. What will…

Eighteen months till the next election? Sure doesn’t feel like it.

Federal politics is an odd beast. Sure there’s a fair smattering of welcome analysis into the recent budget and a number of other important economic issues, but there’s perhaps even more focus on the Thompson and Slipper scandals and their potential to bring down the government. The old adversaries; policy and politics are again battling for attention. Watching question time this week, one has got…

The rise of the Dissident

China truly is a fascinating nation. It’s vast, it’s crowded, it’s ancient, it’s modern, and increasingly it’s a hotbed of political intrigue. First there was the case of Bo Xilai being exposed for apparent rampant corruption and the not insignificant side issue of his wife being heavily implicated in the murder of a British citizen. Now the flavour of the month is Chen Guangcheng,…

It’s Budget eve…time for a financial cartoon delivery

Tomorrow the government will finally bring down it’s much talked about 2012-13 budget. The ALP has somehow managed to make a nice little mess for itself about the supposed need to return to surplus and as a result, Wayne Swan must surely be losing his mind – and maybe even his seat if Clive Palmer gets his way.So many numbers, figures, projects, schemes and…

Convergence Review? What does that mean?

Yesterday the Convergence Review of media regulation in Australia was released and has caused quite a buzz. Perhaps this isn’t surprising seeing as the media decides what’s important and this is important for the future of media in this country. Anyway, amongst a raft of recommendations is one suggesting that a public interest test be applied to media ownership and content standards. Content standards eh?…

Livestock in our midst

A couple of weeks ago I heard a brief radio news story about a mechanic in Springvale who was being forced to get rid of his pet sheep named Baa due to a law banning livestock on properties smaller than half a hectare. Today it was reported that the mechanic, Vu Ho, has lost his supreme court challenge and would indeed have to relinquish his…

Peter Slipper stays in speaking shape

Fresh allegations of misconduct against Peter Slipper have caused the speaker to step aside. There has been endless media focus on the ramifications of different outcomes for the Gillard government and it’s miniscule majority but no one seems to be asking what Slipper himself is up to! He’s adamant of his innocence and so I imagine he’s at home, trying to stay on top…

Aged care gets a make over

Yesterday the government announced a raft of measures aimed at reforming the aged care system in Australia. They want to create a more equitable structure where carers are better compensated, means-testing is strengthened and those who wish to stay in their homes, rather than going into a care facility, receive the necessary support. The package is obviously very broad and complex but the idea…

Cycling in Melbourne? Best be prepared

‘Copenhagen-style’ bike lanes are being proposed as a possible remedy for cycling safety concerns on La Trobe street. As someone who rides a bike every day in Melbourne I can certainly attest to the fact that it can be dangerous and something needs to be done to encourage more people to hop on their bike and embrace a wonderful means of transport. I’ve often…