General News

Jan 21

Revolution

Posted by: George Grundy

The worst of it is that we’re just half way through Australia’s normal fire season. Who is to say what devastation a scorching late summer might wreak on our already scarred landscape. But some day the mercury will fall and the rains will come, and when the fires finally go out Australia is going to have to face the reality that this has at last ended the debate as to whether climate change threatens human life on this dry continent….

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Jan 04

The Slow Death of Retail

Posted by: George Grundy

Champagne corks were conspicuous by their absence as Amazon recently announced plans to expand their operation in Australia by opening a new warehouse in Perth. Australia’s ‘boom to bust’ capital is experiencing its weakest economy in over two decades, and retailers have borne the brunt as the commodity miracle has come spectacularly to an end. At the mineral boom’s zenith, more than a 747-full of people were arriving to live in WA each week, but the one dimensional nature of…

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Jan 02

Morrison’s Abject Negligence

Posted by: George Grundy

On 25th April 2006 the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania collapsed. One man was killed and two others trapped nearly a kilometre below the ground. Recognising the incident as a moment of national importance and tragedy, then-AWU leader Bill Shorten flew back from Canada to get to Beaconsfield. Although Shorten wasn’t involved in the mechanics of the rescue effort, he understood that one key aspect of political leadership is presence – being there allowed Bill Shorten to understand what was…

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Dec 02

Three Years of Mayhem

Posted by: George Grundy

Thinking he would lose and in order to save money, Donald Trump hired a small hotel ballroom for the Republican reception on the night of the 2016 election, so when he and his family emerged at 2.50am even the stage looked crowded. Trump’s entourage seemed genuinely shocked by the result. There were tears backstage. Right to the last moment, no-one had expected him to win. For the next few weeks there were calls for electoral college officers to change their…

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Nov 29

Democracy in Crisis

Posted by: George Grundy

In April 2017, less than three months after taking office, Donald Trump repealed legislation outlawing the hunting and killing of hibernating bears in Alaska. The news, which conservationists said would ‘shock the conscience’ of animal lovers, was greeted with incredulity by a world more used to Obama-era morality. At around the same time, the Trump administration also passed a law specifically aimed at allowing easier purchase of weapons by people with severe mental illness. This wasn’t one clause within a…

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