DIY learning at Brisbane Free University by @griffithelects

In the week that ended with students across Australia rallying against the Abbott Government’s plan to deregulate University fees, I joined about 40 others at a Brisbane Free University event in a car park off Boundary Street in the West End of Brisbane. The discussion was about refugee rights. It was a refreshing change to be part of conversation that was not dominated by partisan politics, but instead focused on the lived experiences of refugees, as recounted by Anthropologist Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter; and on their rights in law as detailed by UQ Law lecturer Dr Peter Billings. Rather than a conventional lecture style, the discussion, facilitated by Brisbane-based activist, writer […]

Seeking a Fair Go in a ‘World of Pain’ by @sarah_capper

It’s hard to fully comprehend, but just eight months after being elected, the Coalition-friendly News Limited broadsheet ‘The Australian’ ran with the headline, ‘Coalition in World of Pain’ emblazoned across its front page early this week. Sure, it was selectively quoting Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had used the expression in justifying why the Government needed to make “tough” decisions in handing down its first budget, but nonetheless the Oz chose the headline to correspond with a story reporting the dismal Newspoll results in which voters declared it to be the worst budget in 20 years, and which gave Labor a 10 point two-party preferred lead over the Government. In […]

Into the black, the #qldpol weekly: @Qldaah

Deutsche Bank pulls out of Abbot Pt coal terminal. Eight cent solar feed in tariff cut. Into the black – electoral changes. Cash for contracts. More Fitzgerald elders speak out. The fight for Qld, (offer expires 2015 election day). Future Qld job prospects, work at Coles. Curfew on the vision impaired. Bogans who live in Logan. Tweet of the week – smelling the roses. . Deutsche Bank pulls out of Abbot Pt coal terminal Abbot Point coal terminal expansion headlines ran hot this week as Deutsche Bank announced it would not accept financing applications for the project. The terminal is set for expansion with dredge spoil to be dumped at […]

Looking across the border, the #qldpol weekly wrap: @Qldaah

Sex offences almost double over the last year in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs. Cash for LNP access. Funding cut: Campbell Newman’s Mother’s Day gift to dying women from breast cancer. Assistant Health Minister Dr Chris Davis sacked. Newman Govt ignored environmental concerns for Galilee Basin coal mine. Kids and coal: We are in the coal business. Bentley blockade, Metgasco and the Qld link. Federal budget 2014 fallout. Social Media Man. Stay safer up there, switch off down here. Tweet of the week. . Sex offences almost double over the last year in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs Despite the Newman Government’s election pledge to make Queensland the safest place to raise a family, […]

A Labor man on Labor’s Father’s Day campaign launch

By Barry Rutherford  2 September, 2013 Beautiful Brisbane. Perfect this time of year. Why would you want to be anywhere else but Queensland?  I keep asking myself the same question everyday about Australian Politics.  Why do the polls indicate the people of Australia want a change of Government? We have low inflation, low unemployment, AAA credit rating. We have an economy of which the rest of the world is envious, and aspires to.  So why are people complaining? My only conclusion so far is the way the media have reported about the body politic over the last few years. Yesterday, Fathers Day, I took the 199 Brisbane Council bus – […]

Sex Party’s Adrian Trajstman in Wills: @takvera interview

By John Englart 18 August 2013 As a minor party candidate in Wills, Adrian Trajstman’s main role in this election is to publicise the policies of the Australian Sex Party and to promote Fiona Patten’s Victorian Senate campaign. I caught up with Adrian at the Edinburgh Castle hotel over a drink and talked about issues and his party’s policies. The Australian Sex Party is a progressive civil libertarian party that was founded in 2009 by former sex worker and CEO of the Eros Foundation, Fiona Patten. It is an attempt to push back at the influence of conservative religious oriented parties like the DLP, Family First and the Christian Democratic […]

Economy, education and climate are key issues, says Wills Labor MP Kelvin Thomson

14 August 2013 Wills Labor MP Kelvin Thomson identifies economic stability, education and climate change as key issues and outlines his background as a defender of the local environment, in an interview with Wills citizen journalist John Englart. Kelvin has been the member for Wills (See Seat profile) in Melbourne’s north since 1996. He has a legal background, has served in many shadow portfolios and as parliamentary secretary for trade, and is now parliamentary secretary for schools. He is said to be an effective politician in his portfolio areas and has been a dedicated local member. As the local MP, in 2000 he wrote a basic pro-forma character reference for a local businessman, […]

Students with disability must remain a key focus of national education reform

Opinion by Stephanie Gotlib,  @CDA39 August 11, 2013 It truly is momentous that most states, as well as the independent and Catholic education systems, have now signed up to the Better Schools funding program with 78 per cent of students to benefit from this new funding deal. Governments should rightfully be applauded for getting this major reform across the line in many jurisdictions, but the whole job is yet to be done. Following the passing of the Australian Education Act 2013, a new funding model will be rolled out in participating states at the beginning of the 2014 school year, with a core amount per student, and additional funding loadings […]

Bennelong MP falters on Abbott’s switcheroo as teachers demand more on education policy

By Jack Sumner August 4, 2013 Tony Abbott’s change of heart on Labor’s Gonski reforms for school funding came a tad late for John Alexander, the Liberal MP for John Howard’s old seat of Bennelong in Sydney’s northern suburbs. The former tennis great fronted a “meet-the-candidates” forum organised by the Ryde-Macquarie branch of the NSW Teachers Federation a day before the opposition leader and shadow education minister Christopher Pyne said they’d match Labor’s funding commitment. “We will adopt exactly the same funding envelope as Labor over the forward estimates,” Abbott and Pyne announced. The previous evening, Alexander had lined up with Jason Yat-sen Li (Labor), Dr Lindsay Peters (Greens) and […]

Time to end the class war on education

By Noely Neate Mach 31st, 2013 Yesterday on Sky News Australian Agenda @vanOnselenP raised the question of tertiary education. What should have been a good segment discussing policy for a change ended up with Craig Emerson getting cranky while defending the right of kids less privileged than others to attend Uni as the so-called team of experts sat there decrying the ‘class-warfare’ Labor was promoting via Mr Emerson.  It was a little bizarre… I will state upfront that I actually enjoy Peter van Onselen’s analysis on Sky. I don’t often agree with him and feel he brings too much of the elitist academic to his view, but he he backs up what […]