Category: Independent Commentary

Recent Independent Commentary

How JobKeeper is being abused

Workers & unionsJulian StewartIssue 1278AustraliaCOVID-19JobKeeperMay 30, 2020While JobKeeper is a valuable lifeline for ensuring job security for some workers, it is also being exploited by some employers. I am one of those “lucky” casual workers, currently receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy. I work for an Outside School Hours company and, from

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Us or them: Who pays for the pandemic?

EconomyGraham MatthewsIssue 1278AustraliaCOVID-19wagesinflationpublic sectorMay 30, 2020The Australian economy is set for a significant slowdown in response to the emergency actions taken to minimise the spread of COVID-19. The federal Treasury predicts the jobless rate will climb to 10% by the end of the year, and remain high for years to come.

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COVID-19 Has Exposed Critical Weaknesses in Global Higher Education

The traditional educational services sector in the United States, and world at large, was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, including institutions of higher education, leading to significant disruptions in learning outcomes and budgets. Notified at the last minute, many students found themselves having to pack up their bags and

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More Independent Commentary

Covid 19 has hit the economy hard; But where is the Recovery going to come from?

COVID-19 has hit the Australian economy hard. By some estimates the Australian economy will shrink by approximately 7 per cent in 2020. Maybe more. That’s a virtually unprecedented recession.Shutting down workplaces: hospitality and tourism, higher education and some manufacturing: comes at an enormous cost. We can’t put a price on peoples’ lives and

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Peace, love and good karma in labour relations? Morrison on skills and labour relations – it’s about “jobs” Morrison’s National Press Club address on Tuesday doesn’t qualify as good reading. … Continue reading →

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Bushfire hearings spotlight climate change

Read moreMay 30, 2020NewsBushfire hearings spotlight climate changeMike SeccombeExperts called during the opening week of the bushfires royal commission warned the Black Summer will not be an isolated event.

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How one mine ate a town

Read moreMay 30, 2020NewsHow one mine ate a townRick MortonA Queensland town’s decades-long legal fight against being subsumed by a coalmine could end next week as the case reaches the High Court of Australia. But not before a final turn of the screws.

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How Covid-19 will change cities

Read moreMay 30, 2020NewsHow Covid-19 will change citiesMax OprayWith Covid-19 restrictions easing, plans are afoot to revitalise Australia’s city centres, even though international students and office workers may never return in the same numbers.

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Temporary visa holders at risk

Read moreMay 30, 2020NewsTemporary visa holders at riskGina RushtonFor women living in Australia on temporary visas, the Covid-19 lockdown has placed them at greater risk of domestic violence and coercive control.

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Economic fallout of the $60b JobKeeper error

Read moreMay 30, 2020NewsEconomic fallout of the $60b JobKeeper errorKaren MiddletonAs the government tries to justify how its JobKeeper forecast was out by $60 billion, two economists who questioned the initial figures explain what might be next for Australia’s economy.

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Moving Away from Meat Means Welcoming the New ‘Flexitarians’

Author and animal-rights activist Jonathan Safran Foer recently argued in a New York Times essay that the COVID-19 pandemic represents a turning point in society’s attitude to eating meat. “Animal agriculture is now recognized as a leading cause of global warming,” writes Foer. “A quarter of Americans between the ages

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10 radical new albums to banish your coronavirus blues

Books & musicMat WardIssue 1267Australiapolitical music 2020protest music 2020protest songs 2020May 29, 2020Here’s a look back at May’s political news and the best new albums that related to it. What albums would you suggest? Comment on Twitter, Facebook, or email.  REDBAIT – CAGES.jpg 1. REDBAIT – CAGES  On May

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2020 becomes 1984: Trump, Twitter and the Ministry of Truth

Prologue: Trump as Big Brother  You do not need me to tell you that Donald Trump has a distant relationship with the truth. The man says what he needs to say at that particular moment as if nothing he said in the past ever happened. The truth is what he says

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Trump’s Twitter tantrum may wreck the internet

US President Donald Trump, who tweeted more than 11,000 times in the first two years of his presidency, is very upset with Twitter. Earlier this week Trump tweeted complaints about mail-in ballots, alleging voter fraud – a familiar Trump falsehood. Twitter attached a label to two of his tweets with

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Government to repay 470,000 unlawful robodebts in what might be Australia’s biggest-ever financial backdown

In a near-complete capitulation, the government will refund every alleged overpayment it has collected from welfare recipients under the discredited “robodebt” system of income averaging. Unveiling the automated system in mid-2016 then treasurer Scott Morrison and social services minister Christian Porter promised more “accurate and appropriate income testing”. They

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VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on JobKeeper, JobMaker, and Eden-Monaro

Michelle Grattan talks with Professor Caroline Fisher (remotely) about the week in politics, including the treasury’s miscalculation on JobKeeper, the prime minister’s promise to “make the boat go faster”, and the limitations of the coronavirus debate in Eden-Monaro. Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or

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Run the Numbers, Survey the Folly

As of May 22, Australia had suffered 7,088 cases of COVID-19 and 102 people who died with the virus, the majority were males between 70 and 89. A sizeable proportion of those admitted to hospitals’ intensive care unitss were suffering from comorbidity issues such as cardiac disease and diabetes. Australia’s

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There is no specific crime of catfishing. But is it illegal?

www.shutterstock.comTwenty-year-old Sydney woman Renae Marsden died by suicide after she was the victim of an elaborate catfishing scam. A recent coronial investigation into her 2013 death found no offence had been committed by the perpetrator, revealing the difficulties of dealing with this new and emerging phenomenon. While we

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Capitalism and the pandemic

EconomyDave HolmesIssue 1267Australianeoliberal capitalismCOVID-19nationalisationclimate crisisMay 29, 2020The scale and scope of government measures to deal with the COVID-19 crisis have surprised many people. Long-held neoliberal dogmas have been pushed aside. Government action is clearly decisive: the bourgeois fetish of the budget surplus has been junked and huge deficits run up; after

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