Burnt bridges: A reflection on the demise of Sophie Mirabella by @adropex

    The result in the seat of Indi is final. Only in the last few weeks, as her 2016 campaign collapsed, has the topic of Sophie Mirabella not rekindled in me the upset and anxiety of the last decade. Rather the emotion was one of grudging compassion. With hindsight, the similarity in the unrelenting energy Sophie spent achieving pre-selection for a safe seat where she had no connection and the manner in which she ‘parachuted’ into the family circle of Colin Howard is evident. Her preparedness to do whatever it took to obtain and maintain power was extraordinarily brazen. It is fair to say that to engineer the progress […]

So @martycorboynats v @mirabellasophie at #indivotes, how will @Barnaby_Joyce play? @adropex reports

The Coalition ‘Cupid Shuffle? What was Warren Truss thinking when at a recent media doorstop he singlehandedly emasculated the National Party in Victoria? For that matter, what was Sophie Mirabella thinking when, during this same media event, she deposited six years of her career in the ”can’t actually deliver” bin? Warren Truss, in the final weeks of his National Party leadership, visited the rural Victorian seat of Indi held by Independent MP, Cathy McGowan. Once considered a safe Liberal seat the Nationals are fielding a candidate for the first time since 2001. Truss was there to support the Nationals candidate Marty Corboy and was accompanied by Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget […]

The #indivotes movie: @adropex review and musings on how Indi is changing politics

INDI: The Road to Canberra — CROWDFUNDING TRAILER from David Estcourt on Vimeo. INDI: The Road to Canberra  “More than a year has passed since the campaign, so it was interesting seeing our emotions on the big screen…Obviously there are a lot of nuances that can’t be conveyed in a 90 minute film, but [the film makers] did a great job of showing the big picture of the campaign.” Cam Klose – “Indi Expat”  Indi: The Road to Canberra is a documentary about the grassroots campaign that saw the unexpected election of an independent, Cathy McGowan, in the 2013 federal election. After collecting extensive footage, David Estcourt (Director) and Bethany […]

Participation antidote to cynicism: the #indivotes democratic revolution, by @adropex

“What do rowers and politicians have in common?” asked Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre. “They both look one way and go another.” This resonated with the 265 attendees at the  “Indi talks Democracy” event who came to listen to Simon Longstaff and, “the warhorse from the inside”, former Federal Independent Member for New England Tony Windsor, discuss the ethics of politics. As the two men delivered their words, listened and answered questions, it was clear that it wasn’t so much what they said as the conversations that were being had that were paramount. The attendees were reminded of what they already knew but […]

Innumerate or deceptive: @adropex dissects @TheIPA ‘report’ into ABC coal coverage #leardblockade

Innumerate Ignorance or Calculated Deception It is unfortunate that the IPA, and in particular James Paterson, did not take note of the ‘scholarship’ referred to in their recent report of the ABC’s coverage of ‘Australia’s energy choices’ and apply it to their own publication. It would undoubtedly have saved them the embarrassment of making public a deeply flawed piece of political rhetoric loosely dressed up as a quasi research effort that would never pass the most basic academic peer review. A mere glance at the report’s title is sufficient to sound warning bells that the proffered document may not tick all the ethical research boxes. Whilst ‘Public Broadcaster or Green […]

The business of risk: @adropex on values exposed by Credit Suisse @SantosLtd #Pilliga #csg report

On 3 July Credit Suisse, published a report on the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP). The NGP is a coal seam gas (CSG) operation in the Pillaga State Forest in northwestern NSW, owned and operated by Australian company Santos Ltd. The purpose of the report was: “To assess the risks to the NGP due to the complex environmental and social issues encompassing the history of the project, concerns specific to Narrabri and the NW, and more general issues with CSG particularly in NSW.” The report was compiled after meeting with concerned stakeholder groups including farmers, business owners, irrigators, environmentalists, local councillors, Santos and the heads of major investment funds. Credit Suisse […]

Civil rights and wrongs at #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear] [clear] Most Australians would take for granted that in a democracy such as ours certain human rights and freedoms are a given. In fact, the Australian constitution is limited in its articulation of human rights to the point of barely referencing them. We do not have an equivalent to the United States Bill of Rights and we do not have a First Amendment, which guarantees freedoms with respect to religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. As a founding member of the United Nations, Australia participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and is signatory to various other international human rights treaties. Most […]

Civil disobedience and the #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear]   It was in January, whilst on a family beach holiday, that I first became aware of the protest happening at the Leard State Forest. I had not heard of the Leard before, however the words ‘Maules Creek’ and ‘Whitehaven’ vaguely floated into my consciousness as I read a Twitter report of the action happening at the Leard Blockade. I became interested and continued to follow the events as they unfolded over the next few days. Days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. At the time I read that first report I had no idea that I had become a small but vital piece in a process […]

Why ‘inadvertent incursion’ won’t wash: @adropex analyses Sovereign Borders inquiry

By Lesley Howard  @adropex On January 17, 2014, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, reported that Australian vessels had entered Indonesian territorial waters during operations conducted in association with Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB). On January 21, 2014, terms of reference were given for an internal review to be conducted by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Australian Defense Force (ADF) into these incursions. On February 19, 2014, the review found that Australian ships had violated Indonesian territorial waters six times between December 1, 2013, and January 20, 2014, as part of border security operations. However “each incursion was inadvertent and occurred as a result of miscalculation of Indonesian maritime boundaries […]

Operation Sovereign Borders: an @adropex fact check

By Lesley Howard @adropex 21st February 2014 No matter what you think of the ALP or the LNP policy on asylum seekers, regardless of whether you voted for this government or not, the riots, the violence and social unrest, the fear, the death and the injuries happened on our watch. Ours. Us. Australia. Australia is a signatory to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines the rights of individuals seeking asylum and the responsibilities of nations that provide asylum. No matter our individual view as to whether the ‘transferees’, ‘asylum seekers’ or ‘refugees’ should be settled in Australia, no matter our personal politics, once […]