This tag is associated with 46 posts

The Public Trustee is ripping off pensioners

The Public Trustee is supposed to protect people it deems incapable of looking after themselves, but instead they are virtually stealing their money. Take the case of Mark (not his real name), reported by the ABC yesterday. His sister placed him under guardianship, against his will, and the Western Australia Public Trustee now takes 40% … Continue reading

Homelessness in Honolulu

In 2007, I moved to Hawaii in the United States. While it was meant to be a two week visit, it turned into a six month stay. I was surprised to find that even this tropical paradise has its share of social issues, including homelessness. I had travelled to Honolulu with an old friend I … Continue reading

How rent caps can and will work

Rent caps work in many countries around the world and will not lead to a decrease in supply. Indeed, Australia has had rent caps in the past, and it has not had any drastic effect on availability. Rent caps already exist in the ACT, which has been put forward by the Tenant’s Union of NSW … Continue reading

Mutual obligations should be scrapped

Mutual obligations is a punitive system introduced by the LNP government in their dying days as a final swipe at Australia’s most vulnerable. Under the system, jobseekers must complete a range of tasks each month – such as job applications, education or training, or other personal development activities – to meet their requirements. The various … Continue reading

LNP single out NDIS cuts to pay for AUKUS

Peter Dutton has called for cuts to the NDIS to help pay for AUKUS, while steadfastly attacking superannuation changes that would affect only the very rich. This is yet another attack by the LNP on Australia’s most vulnerable, and one can only surmise that this was the LNP intention when they first announced the AUKUS … Continue reading

Helping the homeless in Brisbane

In 2005 I was in Brisbane, Australia, working for Big Issue Magazine. It was here that I got to help the homeless get off the streets. After returning from China in 2003, I ended up living on the streets in Brisbane for a short while. Then I found The Big Issue, and started selling the … Continue reading

Is superannuation guaranteed?

With Labor introducing changes to superannuation and the LNP promising to repeal those changes, Australians are once again left uncertain about whether they will have enough to retire on. Compounding that issue is the fact that it is now extremely difficult to get a full aged pension. First, let’s look at superannuation. For many years … Continue reading

The LNP want to wreck superannuation

Peter Dutton’s announcement that he will repeal Labor’s superannuation laws if he miraculously becomes Prime Minister is all the proof we need that the LNP should not be in government. The problem is that every government does something similar whenever they gain power, meaning there is no certainty for future retirees about their retirement. This … Continue reading

The perils of being a journalist in China: Guangzhou

On my third trip to China, in 2003, I was teaching university and writing for an English language magazine in Guangzhou. I was also arrested for inciting freedom of speech and dissent. Guangzhou is one of the most populated cities in the world, situated about 120 km northwest of Hong Kong, in the southeast of … Continue reading

Centrelink’s “deserving” and “undeserving” poor

The Robodebt Royal Commission has heard that the former LNP government had a strong view of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor when it came to Centrelink. Exactly what this means is unclear, but it sounds very ominous. It seems to want to create division between those that the government see as worthy, and those they see … Continue reading

Negative income tax would help low income earners

Negative Income Tax is an alternative to the Universal Basic Income, and reverses the direction in which tax is paid for incomes below a certain level. It provides that wage earners above a certain level of income pay tax, while those below that level receive support from the government. As a grossly over-simplified example, the … Continue reading

Teaching High School in China: Jiangdu

On my second trip to China, in 2003, I was teaching at Jiangdu High School in Jiangsu Province. It was here that I became aware of foreign predators preying on Chinese high school students, infanticide, the Chinese student army and the city’s links to my home town of Goulburn. I was teaching English as part … Continue reading

The safeguard mechanism misses the mark

The safeguard mechanism that Labor are proposing is far from perfect, but it is much better than what the LNP gave us when they first introduced it. The LNP did not properly enforce their mechanism, and it failed to reduce emissions. Now that Labor want to make it better and enforce it, the LNP are … Continue reading

We must never again allow a cashless welfare card

Peter Dutton is calling for the reintroduction of the cashless welfare card, blaming it’s scrapping on the rise in alcohol-related violence in Alice Springs and Indigenous communities. Dutton is not basing his assertions on facts. He is using a social crisis for political purposes to incite emotions against Aboriginal people. He has singled out the … Continue reading

The Greens are both right and wrong on housing

Labor’s plan to implement a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund is under threat from the Greens and the Opposition. Both parties need to take a breath and consider the realities of their situation. The Opposition need to realise that their job is to oppose government legislation if it is bad, and offer a better … Continue reading

Campaigning for human rights in China: Huai’an

In January of 2003, I made my first trip to China, to Huai’an in Jiangsu Province. I was contracted to lecture about Aboriginal people in Australia, but it ended up being just as much about campaigning for human rights in China as anything else. In total, I lectured at nine universities and schools throughout Jiangsu … Continue reading

Using porn to shame a work colleague is a crime

In any other workplace in Australia, distributing explicit photos of a work colleague to shame them would result in dismissal, yet Dominic Perrottet has gone in to defend Peter Poulos for doing just that. At the very least, Poulos should have been sanctioned. By failing to take any action, Perrottet is sending the message that … Continue reading

Bring Julian Assange home

Julian Assange, the Australian publisher who founded WikiLeaks in 2006, faces 175 years in prison if extradited from the UK to the US. Assange’s case is the first time in history that a publisher has been indicted under the US Espionage Act, but the Australian government have so far not stepped in to help him. … Continue reading

Centrelink’s phone system is not working

“Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line until your call is no longer important to you.” Anybody who has ever tried to use Centrelink’s automated phone system will tell you it doesn’t work. Only Centrelink seem to think it does, and they’re doing nothing to fix it The current system automatically … Continue reading

Managing an Aboriginal Corporation in Tingha

In 2002, I moved out of Queensland to manage the Mrangalli Aboriginal Corporation in Tingha, NSW. This proved quite rewarding, but it wasn’t without it’s problems. Sadly, the corporation no longer exists, for reasons we will discuss later. Before non indigenous settlement the area now known as Tingha was mainly inhabited by people from the … Continue reading

Was the Morrison government fascist?

Allegations of fascism are thrown around frequently to describe the far right, and often the term is misused to incite an emotional response against political ideologies that opponents don’t agree with. However, in the case of the Morrison government, the use of the word may have had some merit. Wikipedia describes Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology. It … Continue reading

The rise and fall of Lidia Thorpe

There can be no doubt that Lidia Thorpe has achieved a lot in her time, but like many before and still to come, she has shown a political naivety since coming to federal politics. Although she made significant achievements prior to entering federal politics, which we will acknowledge, she has been an absolute nightmare for … Continue reading

I won my 11 month fight with the NDIS

Yesterday I won my 11 month battle with the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). It was only a small win, but highlights the lack of empathy and bloody-mindedness of those charged with administering the scheme. This was an incredible waste of government time and money, when one considers that the cost that NDIS was trying … Continue reading

There’s no town like Alice – or is there?

There can be no doubt that the problems in Alice Springs are extreme, to say the least, but similar problems exist on Indigenous, remote and rural communities right throughout Australia. Nor is the problem confined to Indigenous people. It is happening right across the community. Alice Springs has come to the forefront in recent times … Continue reading

Universal Basic Income in Australia

Over the years, Australia just like other developed countries have been thinking of introducing a universal basic income (UBI). But what is it, and what are the arguments for and against? A UBI is a form of income that is offered by the government to its citizens with disregard to their employment status. This form … Continue reading

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