Ten things you need to know about changes to Australia’s Internet domain names system

By LAURIE PATTON | 23 September 2018

Australia is a country in transition. Although we don’t hear as much about the ‘innovation nation’ these days as we did a few years back, the reality is our future prosperity still lies in embracing a digitally enabled world. As the problems plaguing the National Broadband Network remain unresolved, another critical debate is now reaching a climax. At stake is the management of Internet domain names. These days, nearly every business has a website, so a meeting later this week is shaping up as a watershed moment.

Here are ten things you need to know about what’s happening to the management of our domain names.

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Active travel – Why children should walk or ride to school

By LAURIE PATTON | 14 September 2018

Walking, riding or catching public transport to and from school has long been a rite-of-passage for Australian children. However, a range of factors have increasingly seen parents  choosing to drive their offspring.

How old children should be before they no longer require parental supervision, and how far they should be permitted to travel alone or even in groups, is often the subject of hot debate around the barbecue and in the media. Sadly, it’s one of those ‘back in my day’ age indicators – and a symbol of a more cautious and guarded society.

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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.

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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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Public servants, political appointments and good government

By LAURIE PATTON | 19 July 2018

We need to inject some ultimate responsibility into public administration. The buck has to stop somewhere.

What was recently perceived in some circles 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 of career bureaucrats who have no political leanings and/or are never influenced by them. If this was ever the case, it is no longer.

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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)”