Trust is key when driving community change

By KYLIE COCHRANE | 15 August 2018

The Coles plastic bag bungle has a lot to teach us about the importance of community engagement, including how to get it right and the costs of getting it wrong.

We can assume the supermarket chain had good intentions when they started charging for plastic bags, but from the outside it looked as if they were approaching the issue as just a public relations exercise. Surprised by the customer backlash, the company reacted to the reaction and dropped the charge. Then, in the face of broader public criticism, they announced they would reimpose it after all.

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Australia draws line under anti-China hysteria. Will it be enough to unfreeze relations?

By BOB CARR | 13 August 2018

This week Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reset the Australia-China relationship – ditching 12 months in which Australia had become the most rhetorically adversarial towards China of all of the United States’ allies and partners.

Turnbull was always going to do it. It was a matter of language and timing. Fears his government has allowed to spread about Chinese money in Australia’s democracy and China’s growing influence in the region had little substance, and have done Australia more harm than good.

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Tanya Plibersek’s letter Fairfax refused to publish 

By TANYA PLIBERSEK | 7 August 2018

I understand Ross Gittins’ frustration at the continuing debate over school funding. But Labor will continue to fight against Malcolm Turnbull’s school cuts because many of the things that will help our school kids improve – such as more individual attention and excellent teaching – all cost money.  If you care about our school kids doing better, you have to care about school funding. Continue reading “Tanya Plibersek’s letter Fairfax refused to publish “

To have and to hold – The latest on auDA reform

By LAURIE PATTON | 7 August 2018

One of the many issues discussed last night at auDA‘s Membership Considerations Workshop was the appropriateness of people “hoarding” Internet domain names. For anyone unfamiliar with this practice, there are investors who buy what they believe are noteworthy domain names in the hope they can re-sell them later at a profit. They call themselves “domainers”.

At the heart of a debate over how the allocation of domain names should be managed is the influence the domainers have traditionally exercised, and clearly wish to continue to exercise. Continue reading “To have and to hold – The latest on auDA reform”

Decentralisation is a solution to population growth

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 August 2018

As Christopher Pyne recently pointed out, Australia has roughly the same land mass as the United States yet a fraction of the population. Despite accommodating 300-plus million people only a handful of American cities are anywhere near the size of Sydney or Melbourne.

Government agencies all argue immigration creates economic growth. So it’s not about how many of us there are, it’s about where we all live.

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Sticks and stones – Attempted coup at auDA flounders on disinterest

By LAURIE PATTON | 28 Jul 2018

The proposition that there’s widespread member concern at the state of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – has been dealt a definitive blow.

Firstly, the vote at a Special General Meeting to decide the fate of three directors, including independent chair Chris Leptos, saw them retain their positions. Secondly, voter turnout was extremely low, suggesting most members are at least satisfied that long needed reform is progressing. Thirdly, the disruptive behaviour of a dissident group, appropriately known as the Grumpies, reinforced the view that they and their cause have no merit. Continue reading “Sticks and stones – Attempted coup at auDA flounders on disinterest”

auDA – More questions and answers

By LAURIE PATTON | 26 July 2018

As I’ve previously written, tomorrow in Melbourne a Special General Meeting will determine the fate of three directors of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – including the independent chair Chris Leptos.

I recently published a Q&A with Cameron Boardman, the CEO of auDA, and subsequently a list of questions for the Grumpies – the small group of auDA members that called for the meeting. They have so far refused to answer their questions.

The additional information below has been supplied by auDA for its members and anyone else interested in the future of our domain names service.

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Let’s meet, then please move on – Reforming auDA

By LAURIE PATTON | 25 July 2018

“The process of registering and administering Internet domain names under the .au top level domain must be managed with full integrity and transparency of process and decision-making to ensure this public resource supports the needs of all Internet users and stakeholders”.

This statement from Internet Australia chair, Dr Paul Brooks, sums up why a number of Internet industry players are speaking out against a board spill at a Special General Meeting of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – to be held in Melbourne on Friday. If you have a website you’ll have dealt with one of the companies that sell domain names to the public. They all operate under the authority and supervision of auDA.

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Ending trickle down economics

By EMMA DAWSON | 19 July 2018

John Kenneth Galbraith once described trickle-down economics as the theory that “if you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows”.

In Australia today, as in so many other developed nations where trickle-down economics has been ascendant for the last three decades, the horses have grown very fat, and the sparrows are starving.

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