IPA Today

Refusing A Handshake Is An Affront To Our Basic Values
21 February 2017

Refusing A Handshake Is An Affront To Our Basic Values

An early test for Education Minister Rob Stokes comes with the news that Hurstville Boys Campus, a public school in Sydney’s west, has adopted “an agreed protocol” which effectively excuses some of its male students from shaking hands with females is yet another attack on our values and has no place in our taxpayer-funded schools. This decision came about following
Read
IMF Report Shows Old-Time Fiscal Religion Is Needed To Counter The New Mediocre
20 February 2017

IMF Report Shows Old-Time Fiscal Religion Is Needed To Counter The New Mediocre

The latest annual IMF Australia Consultation might have passed unnoticed but for this highly damning statement: “the new mediocre”. Perhaps they were being polite – Australia’s lacklustre fiscal performance has become the new normal or just mediocre. There is nothing new about the increasing debt and ongoing deficits we have experienced since the Rudd government panicked in 2008 and went
Read
Picking Judges
18 February 2017

Picking Judges

President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats in the United States are about to engage in political warfare about who will be their next Supreme Court judge. Australians should be envious. The American president fulfilled a key promise to conservative voters by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the court’s vacancy. Gorsuch is by reputable accounts an exceptionally qualified jurist, and an originalist
Read
Criminal Justice Can Never Be An Arm Of The Welfare State
17 February 2017

Criminal Justice Can Never Be An Arm Of The Welfare State

Crime is caused by people who decide to commit crimes. It is not caused by society. The criminal justice system exists to punish criminals and protect the community, not to fix societal ills. This is a very simple principle. But it bears restating because it seems to have eluded Rob Hulls in his commentary, published in these pages last week,
Read
New Minister Must Get Curriculum Right
17 February 2017

New Minister Must Get Curriculum Right

The latest NSW Cabinet reshuffle has resulted in some significant front bench arrivals and departures in the new Berejiklian Government. One of those changes is the replacement of Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education, with Rob Stokes, previously Minister for Planning. During Piccoli’s six years in office, which have been described as everything from disappointing to a debacle he seemed to
Read
Debate Must Be Embraced, Not Silenced
17 February 2017

Debate Must Be Embraced, Not Silenced

Australia’s race commissioner Tim Soutphommasane is taking on an Orwellian mission this week, telling members of parliament they need to keep free speech restrictions in place to protect liberal values. The debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is heating up ahead of a parliamentary committee report into the law due to be released later this month. Soutphommasane
Read
Federal debt to explode to $600bn within three years
15 February 2017

Federal debt to explode to $600bn within three years

From The Australian today: Australia’s gross public debt is on track to rise from $474bn as of last month to more than $600bn within the next three years — even including the government’s reform measures — which will amount to around $23,500 a person. Such calculations include swaths of the Australian population who will shoulder little of the debt repayment. There
Read
15 February 2017

Taxi Licence Compensation Sends The Wrong Message

Lines of taxi drivers crawled across the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne on Monday. Their protest wasn’t over pay, conditions or safety. It was over the size of their consumer-funded compensation handout as Victoria legalises Uber. The transition from ageing taxis to innovators like Uber is inevitable and has forced governments to reconsider their cosy relationship with the taxi industry. Victoria’s
Read
5 Reasons To Abolish The RET
10 February 2017

5 Reasons To Abolish The RET

The Renewable Energy Target (RET) mandates that 33,000 GWh of electricity – 24 per cent – be generated from renewable sources by 2020. To do this, wholesale energy users, mostly retailers, are required to purchase a certain amount of wholesale energy from renewable sources. Because renewables are typically costlier and less efficient than non-renewables, the RET causes energy prices to
Read
Trump’s Artless Deals Will Deeply Disturb Allies After Turnbull Call
3 February 2017

Trump’s Artless Deals Will Deeply Disturb Allies After Turnbull Call

Tough phone calls between Australian prime ministers and other world leaders are nothing new; I have been present for a number of them. Even when the messages are firm and the differences great, invariably they remain civil. Harsh words between a prime minister and a US president are still rarer – although the alliance almost fractured over differences between Gough
Read