Nathan Tinkler & Co – Queensland Political Donors Anonymous: @Kevin_Rennie

The Boardwalk #1 In 2012 political donations to parties in Queensland were capped at $5000. Donations from related corporations were treated as one from a single entity. Anonymous donations of $200 or more were banned. However, there was a get-out-of-jail-free card. Gifts to political parties were uncapped so long as they were not for campaign purposes. Later that year the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) explained in its report ‘The regulation of political donations and gifts in Queensland’: ‘Political parties, state candidates and third parties are required to establish state campaign accounts. Only electoral donations that fall under the cap are able to be deposited into the account and only […]

Townsville political money trail in Queensland’s Deep North: @Kevin_Rennie

Money to burn It is easy to guess why cigarette company Phillip Morris gave the Liberal and National parties more than $100,000 before the 2013 Federal election. But why do other companies and business people make political donations of thousands of dollars? Often these gifts are given to individual candidates or group campaigns including those at local government level. My political donations homework has shifted to our deep north in a desperate but futile attempt to get away from New South Wales corruption scandals. [I’ve been studying ‘Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age’, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by the Knight Center for Journalism.] NQ There are six state electorates in the region: […]

Faces in the crowd: Melbourne #MarchInMarch

A cross-post with the Australian Independent Media Network. The Marches in March continue to glow with controversy. Never did so few gather so many, without engaging the usual suspects of the old media, the political parties, NGOs, the unions and the activist groups. There had to be a dark side to these events. The people can’t have minds of their own! Or if they do they must be warped! Tim Dunlop has joined the fray with a post at The Drum: Rage against the mainstream The fact is, the media’s lame response to an estimated 100,000 citizens showing up on the streets around the country is indicative of a deeper malaise: […]

Melbourne’s Massive #MarchinMarch: @kevin_rennie reports

By Kevin Rennie  @kevin_rennie 17th March 2014 Someone asked me what purpose protesting on the streets would serve just six months after an election, especially about a very wide range of issues. A quick look at video of Melbourne’s March in March may help to clarify its importance at a time of growing government secrecy and bullying. The posters said it all: ‘Grow a heart, Tony!’, ‘Not in My Name’, ‘Plains, Not Boundless Cruelty, ‘We can Do Better!’, ‘Transparency Accountability Democracy – That’s Why I March’. When Australians took to the streets on the weekend of 15 – 16 March 2014 to protest against the Tony Abbott’s Federal government, Melbourne’s crowd […]

Progress 2013 Conference to plot political futures, by @Kevin_Rennie

By Kevin Rennie, 23 October, 2013 Tony Abbott wants us to repent. Well here’s my confession. I have sinned by: • chipping in for the Climate Council • signing GetUp! and Change.org petitions about asylum seekers, the Great Barrier Reef and Burger Off’s campaign against McDonald’s in Tecoma. • voting for @Albo and agitating for Labor party reform • joining Blog Action Day with a human rights post about Tony’s confessor Cardinal Pell • posting questions on Our Say Australia’s forums • commenting on stories at Guardian Australia and the Conversation • retweeting whether it is insensitive, nay unpatriotic to use ‘bushfires’ and ‘climate’ in the same tweet • sharing […]

Community Cabinet: Policy sounding without the press gallery fury, froth and bubble

By Kevin Rennie April 20, 2013 Source:  Labor View from Bayside There were quite a few surprises at Julia Gillard’s Community Cabinet on 17 April 2013, hosted by Norwood Secondary College in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Ringwood. Cabinet members held one-on-one interviews before a public forum that lasted over an hour. The government school is in the Federal seat of Deakin held by Labor’s Mike Symons. Deakin only needs a swing of 2.41% to change hands but Mike certainly is not conceding anything. First surprise was that the protesters outside came from only one interest group: the Animal Justice party had mustered over 100 supporters. There were no climate sceptics, no […]

Media reform on life-support

By Kevin Rennie April 13, 2013 The near capacity crowd at the Centre for Advanced Journalism’s session The Post-Mortem on Journalism Reform: What Happens Now? belied the conventional wisdom that media reform in Australia is dead (Details and the live blog are here). The venue was the aptly named Elisabeth Murdoch theatre at Melbourne University. But let’s not dwell on her infamous son despite the presence of his large press prints all over the issues discussed. The following is a personal reflection on some of the matters raised. Convergence and concentration: Whither/wither media reform? Panel members left little doubt that there is no chance for major reforms to legislation or […]

The Post-Mortem on Journalism Reform: What Happens Now? Live Blog

Live blogging by Kevin Rennie The Post-Mortem on Journalism Reform: What Happens Now? The Chair of the Australian Press Council, Julian Disney, will outline future directions, followed by a panel discussion with ABC Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes, Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens) and Moderated by Director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, Margaret Simons. Centre for Advanced Journalism @journalism_melb University of Melbourne Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 18:30 Australians For Honest Politics Media Reform @NoFibs MS: #goodjourno hash tag Who wants to talk about media reform after collapse of govt legislation? Convergence review and Finkelstein inquiry left in cold. JD: Tragedy that process went astray and opportunity lost. Bill not as […]