The killing of the plebiscite: @burgewords comments on #MarriageEquality

Our position, and the position the LGBTI community wants us to advocate, is very simple: no plebiscite under any circumstances, just a free vote. THERE has been no progress on marriage equality in Australia since long before former Prime Minister Tony Abbott tricked his moderate frontbenchers into a marathon joint party room meeting with the hard-right National Party in August 2015 and gave Australia a new word to debate at dinner parties. Abbott got the idea about a public vote on same-sex marriage from his Independent nemeses Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott, who first uttered the P-Word during Julia Gillard’s prime ministership. “It would lower the temperature of the political debate and would provide some back-up […]

Barnaby Joyce no show at Energy Futures Forum Armidale reports @takvera #NewEnglandVotes #ausvotes

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals candidate for New England, Barnaby Joyce, attended a lunchtime candidates forum in Tamworth, but was a no show for the Energy Futures Forum at Armidale in the evening of Tuesday 21 June. The New England electorate is a tight contest with former Independent MP Tony Windsor standing for election. Nofibs has curated social media tweets reporting from the Energy Future Forum. [View the story “Joyce a no show at #NewEnglandvotes Energy Futures Forum in Armidale #ausvotes” on Storify] Photo courtesy @AustralisTerry /twitter

Shenhua coal mine doomed by China energy transition reports @takvera

The proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains has been widely opposed by farmers and environmentalists, but it appears the energy transition of China and the economics of coal have ultimately doomed the project reports John Englart. The fact is China ‘Is Getting Serious’ About Scaling Back Coal. A rapid transition is taking place in China transitioning to renewable energy and scaling back coal power. Part of this is the concern over chronic air pollution problems. According to Tim Buckley from IEEFA, “New data shows China’s electricity-sector transformation accelerating in the first two months of 2016. While electricity consumption was up just 0.3% year on year (yoy) to […]

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 […]

Place at kitchen table set for Tony Windsor at #Inditalks feast: @jansant reports

Voices For Indi (V4I), the group that helped Cathy McGowan MP (@Indigocathy) win the Victorian seat of Indi, will hold  fresh rounds of “kitchen table conversations” at two events over the weekend. The events which are booked out will be held in Swanpool (Saturday) and Yackandandah (Sunday) in North Eastern Victoria. The events are called IndiTalks. Former federal independent member for New England Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor) will attend both events along with Dr Simon Longstaff AO (@SimonLongstaff), Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre. Windsor and Longstaff will speak at the events and participate in a series of kitchen table conversations, made famous locally by V4I during the lead up […]

Memoir reveals the heart of @RobOakeshott1: review by @SandraC81413369

ROB Oakeshott’s recently published memoir is an entertaining and insightful recollection of his vital role in giving supply and confidence to the minority Labor Government, and his part in the progress of major legislation between 2010 and 2013. His push for parliamentary and education reform and a price on carbon during this period will be familiar to many readers, but his book also sheds light on the less well known details of the negotiations behind the agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the workings of the 43rd Parliament while Oakeshott served as Independent Member for the NSW electorate of Lyne. He finds some answers with the voice and growing influence of the new media. Integral to […]

The party’s no fun anymore: @hiroyasugita study tour on Australian independents

Just one week in late March 2014 exposed how farcical Tony Abbott’s ‘government of adults’ is. Supposedly consummate professional political operator, Arthur Sinodinos, proved to be naïve at best, greedy at worst, for not realising the dodgy company structure which had shadowy figure of Eddie Obeid lurking behind it. Then a supposedly moderate Attorney-General proposed flawed amendments to one of the most important legislations of the land for no other reason but to appease certain right-wing columnists and shock jocks. And on the same day, outrage turned to ridicule when Prime Minister Abbott reintroduced knighthoods, something even John Howard reckons is anachronistic. These episodes clearly show why people are prepared […]

Boggabri, a country town at war within: Roselyn Druce comments on #Leardblockade

By Roselyn Druce 26th January 2014, Australia Day Intro: This opinion piece by Maules Creek farmer Roselyn Druce is a reply to the recent report published in The Courier which detailed the negative attitude of Boggabri Business Promotions president, John Shaw, to the #Leardblockade. Druce describes her piece as: “A reflection on how the surrounding farming in the local district was the driving force behind the community of Boggabri and its businesses”. Interestingly, Boggabri Business Promotions Association gave a submission to Tony Windsor and the Standing Committee on Regional Australia in 2012, detailing its concerns about fly-in, fly-out practices linked to mining in the region. It was the farmers and graziers who […]

Reporting Indi: A reflection by Margo Kingston

[clear] By Margo Kingston, 1 December 2013 I take the Gold Coast train to Brisbane airport, the plane to Melbourne, the sky bus to Southern Cross Station, the train to Seymour, and the bus to Wangaratta train station. Wayne Jansson leads me to his battered old car and drives me to the hamlet of St James. A late frost has killed the canola oil crop, and the farmers who couldn’t afford to let the crop rot as fertilizer for next year have rolled it up into hay. The cherry trees look good. Wayne says his Mum Glenys and step father Mark will host my stay because he lives in a ramshackle […]

Wake up. Roll over. Realise this could be the last morning before Tony Abbott becomes PM

By Sarah Capper 6 September 2013 Savour the moment, but only fleetingly – the incumbent PM is not exactly shaking the sauce bottle. Momentarily think about sex appeal. Come properly awake with a flurry of gag reflexes. Turn on the remnants of ABC Rage, but suddenly have painful flashback to last week and Julie Bishop’s music choices.  Realise Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Madonna’s Like a Virgin will now forever be associated with the deputy Liberal leader in my brain. Try not think about Julian Assange’s foray into John Farnham karaoke– you don’t want to let that image or song or mullet get stuck in your head. The Voice from the Ecuadorian Embassy. The Senate […]