Time to stop digging our way out of trouble. A lesson from the past?

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 October 2019

For a mixture of political and economic reasons Australia will continue to rely on mining in the foreseeable future, at least to some extent. Yet unresolved debates over a number of proposed coal mines have exposed a politcial rift that may well determine the outcome of the next federal election, just as the issue had a major impact on this year’s poll.

While the risk is arguably greater on Labor’s side the turning tide of public opinion spurred by concerns about Global Warming suggests both the major parties would be well-advised to start thinking about their future responses to the demands of the mining lobby.

One solution is to create jobs in other sectors for the people displaced when mines close or new mining licences are rejected.

Continue reading “Time to stop digging our way out of trouble. A lesson from the past?”

Barbarians at the gate – don’t let them destroy Murray Valley National Park

By Laurie Patton | 12 July 2019

The New South Wales deputy premier wants to allow logging in a national park in the state’s Riverina. John Barilaro says he intends removing statutory protection of the 42,000 hectare Murray Valley National Park – either by de-gazetting the entire area or reducing its size.

Forty years ago we fought to stop the logging of a rainforest at Terania Creek in northern NSW. I cannot believe this issue is back on the political agenda.

Continue reading “Barbarians at the gate – don’t let them destroy Murray Valley National Park”

Populists, demagogues and celebrities. Challenges for progressive campaigning in the age of Trump – 2018 Frank Walker memorial lecture

By BRUCE HAWKER | 15 May 2018

If there is a common denominator to the reforms Frank Walker introduced it is that they were aimed at improving the lot of the men, women and children in our society who are least able to defend themselves – the dispossessed and marginalised minorities. The very people who Donald Trump targets, defames and demonises. In all my years in politics, I cannot recall another state politician with such a consistently strong record of empowering the powerless. And this conviction made Frank a difficult person for his own cabinet colleagues to handle. Continue reading “Populists, demagogues and celebrities. Challenges for progressive campaigning in the age of Trump – 2018 Frank Walker memorial lecture”