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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It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live

By LAURIE PATTON | 29 July 2018

Another week, another newspaper devotes thousand of words to the vexed question of population growth. The conclusion, once again, is that we need a more rational discussion – and, above all,  a plan.

The way I see it, we keep asking the wrong question. It’s not about how many people live here, or where they come from. It’s about where we’ll all live.

Continue reading “It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live”

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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Public servants, political appointments and good government

By LAURIE PATTON | 19 July 2018

What was widely perceived as two highly political appointments to plum roles in the federal public service highlights a need to re-examine government administration in the 21st Century. Not because these appointments were necessarily inappropriate, but because they exposed a basic disconnect. We still like to pretend we have an olde-worlde apolitical public service consisting entirely of career bureaucrats who have no political leanings or are never influenced by them. If this was ever the case, it is no longer. Continue reading “Public servants, political appointments and good government”

Harry M Miller – Setting the record straight

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 July 2018

I was once paid a big compliment by Harry M Miller, when I was running Channel Seven Sydney, so I feel nothing but sadness at the news of his death. However, as an advisor to former NSW Attorney General, the late Frank Walker, I need to set the record straight. Harry went to gaol because he broke the law and was duly convicted in the courts.

It was cited as the most serious “white collar crime” at the time. It was not a politically motivated prosecution, as Harry claimed.

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auDA latest – All quiet on the western front (for now, at least)

By LAURIE PATTON | 3 July 2018

As I’ve written previously, the Australian Government has given auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – three months to develop new processes to redress historical weaknesses in its governance. The organisation has been mired in controversy in recent years. For quite some time, though, it had been seen as a tightly held fiefdom under the control of a board of directors elected from within the industry and fraught with conflicts of interest.

auDA brought in a team of external facilitators to run a member consultation session. Only about a dozen people showed up in person and about the same number attended online. This suggests to me that claims of widespread disquiet among the auDA constituency might be a tad overblown. Continue reading “auDA latest – All quiet on the western front (for now, at least)”

Showdown looming in domain names battle

By LAURIE PATTON | 26 June 2018

Next week the group attempting to oust board directors at Internet domain names authority auDA will have an opportunity to explain in detail the reasons for their concern and their solutions.

The setting will be a meeting convened by auDA’s new Consultation Model Working Group and the venue is Melbourne’s La Trobe University – with the ability to join in online, as you’d expect from such an organisation. Continue reading “Showdown looming in domain names battle”