Malarndirri McCarthy is Labor Senator for the Northern Territory
Ten years ago, my families and I were grieving for the loss of my mother. She had died six months earlier and had been on dialysis. She had been on dialysis for quite some time—a number of years, actually. And in that same year, just prior to the apology and the first Closing the Gap report, my cousin-brother died as well. He was in his 40s. So our families were still grieving, in sorry business. In February 2008, the Australian parliament navigated through incredibly complex political walls, hard hearts and deaf ears to persevere and do what no other parliament in the history of the Australian parliament had done—to apologise, to say 'sorry' for the policies of previous parliaments and previous politicians that had moulded and shaped the tortuous and at times confusing and frustrating future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country.Read more
Senator the Hon Penny Wong is leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
May I begin by acknowledging that we are attending the 2018 Australasian Aid Conference on the lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples and by paying our respects to their Elders past and present.
It is a pleasure to speak to you all this morning. The Australian National University and the Asia Foundation are to be congratulated for their continuing research into and contribution to international development assistance policy. You have assembled a very distinguished panel of speakers who will, I’m sure, shine a forensic light on Australia’s current performance in delivering international development assistance.Read more
Daniel Gerrard has been a Labor campaign manager in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and the ACT. He is currently working for Bec Cody, one of our ACT Labor MLAs, whilst doing a PhD in campaign methods.
A question often discussed in our party reform debates is the selection of candidates. Too often we hear that we need “better candidates,” “candidates with more life experience,” or “more diversity in our candidates.” The last often meaning we need to select more business people and those with experience on the successful end of capitalism. Two further arguments are commonly made in relation to certain seats: “it’s a safe seat, so we should preselect someone who’ll be on the front bench,” and “it’s a marginal seat, so we should preselect someone with centrist views and demographics.” The final cliché of the pack is a lament rather than a suggestion, “we’d never preselect a train driver today,” it refers to Ben Chifley, our second best ever leader. Those who say it forget that Curtin (the best Prime Minister we ever had) was life-long party hack. He was moved by the party machine from Melbourne to Perth, because he spent too much time when he was supposed to be editing the labour newspaper and running the anti-conscription campaign.Read more
Mark Butler is ALP National President and the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Shortly before Parliament rose last year, the Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe, again drew attention to the poor rate of wages growth in Australia and its impact on the broader economy. While he was at pains to stress that he wasn’t – in his words – ‘calling on the workers of the world to unite to rise up against the evil capitalists’, he has on a number of occasions recently urged workers to muscle up for a pay rise. Over the past couple of years, I’ve also watched debates proceed in the Economist newspaper and elsewhere about whether the Phillips Curve holds true anymore – or what happened to its poetically-named cousin, the Non-accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment.Read more
Tanya Plibersek is Deputy Opposition Leader and Catherine King is Shadow Health Minister
Every Australian should have access to the health services they need. Full stop. This shouldn’t be a controversial statement, but when it comes to reproductive health services, it seems it still is. Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures that Australian women will experience in their lives. But our patchwork of abortion laws and holes in service provision mean more and more women are having to travel interstate.Read more