Browsing All Posts filed under »Australian Politics«

PODCAST: Interview with Prof Judith Brett — ‘Fair Share: Country and City in Australia’

June 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. In this podcast I am joined in conversation with Professor Judith Brett, Head of School in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, to discuss her Quarterly Essay entitled Fair Share: Country and City in Australia. In our discussion, Judy interprets some of my observations and experiences growing up and living in regional areas, in the context of the themes of her essay. Topics covered in our discussion include the brain drain from the country to the city, efforts to attract skilled personnel to regional centres, the urban-rural culture clash, intellectual capital and bigotry, along with politics, multiculturalism and environmental issues in country Australia.

PODCAST: Interview with Anna Rose — ‘Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic’

June 14, 2012 by

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BY LISA TUCK. In this interview, I speak with Anna Rose, co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, star of the ABC TV documentary 'I Can Change Your Mind About...Climate' and author of 'Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic'. In the interview, Anna and I talk about her experiences with former Liberal senator Nick Minchin in the production of I Can Change Your Mind About...Climate, what she learnt from making the documentary and writing Madlands about the nature of climate scepticism, her response to intellectual and social conservatism in the climate debate, and the crucial role of young people in the climate movement.

EVENT REVIEW: Rally at Wodonga TAFE

May 30, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Staff and students from La Trobe University attended yesterday's rally (Tuesday 29th June 2012) in support of our colleagues at Wodonga TAFE, in protest over the Baillieu government's drastic thirty percent funding cut to Victorian TAFE institutions.

EVENT NOTICEBOARD: Anna Rose — ‘Madlands’ Book Tour

May 30, 2012 by

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Anna Rose, co-founder and Chair of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition is visiting Albury on Wednesday 13th June 2012 for a community forum to promote her new book Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic, documenting her experiences with retired Liberal Party senator Nick Minchin.

EVENT REVIEW: Australian Youth Climate Coalition Albury-Wodonga Trivia Night

May 16, 2012 by

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BY LISA TUCK. On Wednesday the 2nd of May the Albury – Wodonga AYCC held its first ‘Repower’ event at La Trobe University Albury – Wodonga. This also happened to be the first ‘Repower’ event to be held by a regional AYCC group in Australia. The night included Trivia and a Keynote speech from Lecturer in Politics and International Relations Dr Ben Habib regarding the implications of anthropogenic climate change. The evening proved to be a great success for the AYCC Albury – Wodonga branch.

EVENT REVIEW: La Trobe University — Wodonga Senior Secondary College Refugee Workshop

May 16, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Friday 11th May 2012, year 10 students from Wodonga Senior Secondary College participated in workshops at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus and excursions to the Bonegilla Migrant Experience as a component of thier studies into refugees and asylum seekers. The introductory remarks of the expert panelists and the panel discussion itself are available here for download.

YOUTH VOICE: Democracy and Individual Liberty

May 10, 2012 by

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BY MAX HUMPHRIES. It is nigh impossible to find a system of governance that allows complete individual liberty, because the idea of absolute liberty for all citizens is paradoxical. Individual liberty implies one can do what they want, when they want. However, all actions will directly or indirectly influence others, thus possibly diminishing other people’s ability to have individual liberty. Democracy is the best form of governance because of its ability to find the closest point at which individuals all have liberty, without unduly influencing others.

PODCAST: Dr Nicholas Barry — The Bill of Rights Debate in Australia

May 2, 2012 by

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On Tuesday 24th April 2012, La Trobe University politics lecturer Dr Nicholas Barry gave a guest presentation to first year Australian Politics: Government and Society students and University of the Third Age members at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus on the bill of rights debate in Australia.    In his presentation, Dr Barry discussed the concept of […]

ANZAC Day Redux: Refining My Position

April 26, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous blog posting Anzac Day: Poignant Remembrance or Mythologisation. Your constructive (and not so constructive) comments and criticisms have helped me to further explore my thoughts on ANZAC Day and reach a more nuanced position.

Anzac Day: Poignant Remembrance or Mythologisation?

April 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Australia has a complicated national story. We do no justice to any of the protagonists in this epic tale by leaving out portions of the story or inventing myths to obfuscate its darker moments. I feel sorry for the people who cannot ponder the Galipoli story in all of its complexity. On April 25th, I choose to remember the humanity of those who lost their lives at Galipoli, rather than the excesses of the politicised mythology that has become their unfortunate legacy.

Observations on My Role in Commenting on the New Albury Anti-Carbon Tax Group

March 21, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Last Saturday I provided comment in an article in the Border Mail—‘Doug takes up fight on carbon tax’—about a new group called Border Says NO to Carbon Tax being established by local trucking operator Doug McMillan. No-one wants to see hard working local businessmen like Doug McMillan lose their livelihoods. If people with climate-related expertise can work cooperatively with local businesses and other impacted members of the community, we can constructively adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change instead of further fracturing the community for the sake of argument. However for the cooperative approach to work, everyone has to begin from a position of informed empowerment.

The ALP Leadership Circus Rolls On: Gillard’s Bold Appointment of Bob Carr as Foreign Minister

March 5, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The appointment of former New South Wales Premier and newly minted Federal senator Bob Carr as foreign minister is a bold statement of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s intent to vanquish the prowling wolves within her own ranks.

ALP Leadership Contest, Factional Divisions and the Spectre of International Crises

February 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The current Gillard-Rudd confrontation highlights the problems that Australia’s 20th century political parties face in dealing with 21st century policy problems. The Gillard-Rudd rivalry is a story of ambition, bitterness and betrayal. Yet there is a broader dimension to the ALP leadership crisis that is more complicated.

VIDEO REVIEW: ‘Lester Brown – The Planet’s Scarcest Resource is Time’

September 11, 2011 by

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In a recent class activity, members of the second/third year undergraduate subject International Politics of Climate Change: Triumph or Tragedy at La Trobe University's Albury-Wodonga campus engaged with a video presentation delivered by emminent American environmentalist Lester Brown. The following excerpts are a summary of the class discussion on what Lester Brown has to say in the video clip.

EVENT NOTICEBOARD: ‘The Basin Plan – Who Needs It?’ @ La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga

July 20, 2011 by

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The 2011 Jonathan Mann Lecture will differ from previous events delivered by individual speakers by adopting a ‘Community Conversation’ format, facilitating the involvement of key experts, stakeholders and audience members in a serious consideration of the central issues associated with water resource management within the Murray-Darling Basin. The conversation will be moderated by eminent journalist, Kerry O’Brien.

Initial Analysis of the Gillard government’s ‘Clean Energy Future’ Proposal

July 11, 2011 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Sunday 10th July, 2011, the Gillard government announced the details of its long-awaited carbon tax—the Clean Energy Future scheme. The hype surrounding the announcement was justified; for a number of reasons, this was one of the most important public policy announcements since Federation. I have a cautiously favourable view of the scheme, based on clear scientific evidence about the seriousness of the climate change threat and expert analysis indicating that a market-based carbon price is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve comprehensive nation-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction.

YOUTH VOICE: Considering the Proportional Representation Voting System

June 28, 2011 by

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BY RENAE SHILG. 'Proportional Representation' is a fairer and more representative form of electoral system than the preferential system that our House of Representatives currently employs. However, caution must be taken to ensure a government that can, as well as being as representative as possible, perform its duties effectively. Otherwise, no matter how widely representative it was it couldn't be considered a 'good' government.

‘The Tactical Stupidity of Threatening Climate Scientists’

June 22, 2011 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The recent spate of threats against climate change scientists in Australia is an act of tactical ineptitude from those responsible within the climate sceptic movement, which only serves to highlight the weakness of the sceptic position on climate change in the face overwhelming contrary evidence.

YOUTH VOICE: An Uncertain Future

June 15, 2011 by

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BY MARTIN DICKENS. As a citizen of Generation Y, the current Australian political landscape does little to instil a sense of inner hope for a prosperous and sustainable future. For the youth of today, there is no greater concern in the realm of politics other than the looming threat posed by climate change. It is Generation Y’s discontent with the current political system which signifies a growing challenge to the Australian political landscape and the residing members of parliament should be prepared for this.

Eye on the Media: The Battle to Discern Reliable Information

June 14, 2011 by

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Eye on the Media this week: Attacks on climate scientists; millions displaced by natural disasters; Bob Brown and the media; Carbon mitigation responses in other countries.

EVENT REVIEW: ‘Long Conversations’ Climate Knowledge Exchange in Beechworth

June 2, 2011 by

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BY DAVID MACILWAIN. 'Long Conversations: Climate Knowledge Exchange', T31st May, 2011, The Gallery, Beechworth Secondary College. 'Long Conversations' hopes to make leading climate science and climate scientists more accessible, and to engage with the community’s goals and climate knowledge, with the aim of working together to build a shared climate future.

Eye on the Media: The Many Faces of Adaptation to Change

May 31, 2011 by

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In this edition of Eye on the Media: SMH economic editor slams Australia's immature climate change debate, along with more on the 'Arab Spring', the European debt crisis, the US-China rivalry, and the difficulties faced by soldiers returning home from combat zones.

YOUTH VOICE: The Federal Budget – A Loss for Regional Australia

May 30, 2011 by

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BY MARTIN DICKENS. The Federal Budget for 2011-2012 gave little comfort to regional Australians. In particular, a lack of funding towards educational resources in addition to placing greater challenges for students wanting to access Youth Allowance will incur greater inequality between rural and metropolitan youth.

WEEKLY DISPATCH: The Media as a Venue for Political Contest

May 15, 2011 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The media is usually the main public forum for political discourse. At its best, the media provides a venue for all sides of a debate to make their case, yet this does not always occur. At its worst, the media is openly biased toward one side of a debate, or narrows the focus of a debate to the exclusion of other mitigating factors, or even disseminates outright untruths. In short, the media is a venue for the contest of power and ideas. In short, the media is a venue for the contest of power and ideas.

EVENT REVIEW: When Q&A Came to Albury-Wodonga

May 5, 2011 by

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BY BEN HABIB, with MARTIN DICKENS, LISA TUCK, LEA MACLAUGHLIN, KRYSTLE BROWN, JESSICA LOVE & ALICIA PETERS. Like everyone else in attendance, I was caught up in the excitement of being part of the spectacle of a live television broadcast. Over 700 people attended the show, the largest ever audience for Q&A. While prepping the audience before the show, Tony Jones described Q&A as an “open democracy experiment” that was “rare in the world”. Or was it?