Western Australia
Edifying and not: two days in WA Parliament

Tuesday and Wednesday this week saw the best and less great of parliamentary conduct in the Western Australian parliament. On the first sitting day, members paid tribute to former member Jaye Radisich in a series of speeches in support of a condolence motion. Some of the contributions were rich with personal stories humorous and heartfelt, […]

Liberal National redistribution of wealth

The Liberal-National government have taken the revenue they obtained from taxation and redistributed it through measures to assist some of the most disadvantaged Western Australians, wards and former wards of the State. Earlier this week, Ministers McSweeney and Collier announced that young people in care and those previously in care up to the age of […]

Perth City waterfront redevelopment

I quite like the idea of a new waterfront recreational and restaurant area, and agree with proponents that it could add to the life of the city. I just think the proposals so far have been for the wrong bit. I think the heritage considerations of the Esplanade area are sufficiently significant to warrant thinking […]

Secession from the Commonwealth: a simple plan

Those of us who have studied Australian politics at all learn a fairly important point about referendums under the Commonwealth Constitution, i.e. that they’re pretty hard to win. That’s why if there’s another, simpler way to achieve an objective Federal governments attempt it first. Like getting all the State and Territory governments to agree, which, […]

Reflections on conversations in Perth: part 2

By Rewi Lyall The other big conversation point in my visit to Perth last Christmas concerned variations about nationalism in Australia. One of my friends was decrying the lack of a national identity in Australia, or at least an identity with which he could identify. Comparing it to many, if not all, of the nations […]

Latest victory in campaign for Safety First

By Rewi Lyall The True and Just of Western Australia have scored another victory for the forces of Safety over the perils of freedom, and in this have no greater Crusader than Western Australian Liberal Peter Abetz. Western Australians have long ago denounced the maxim that ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’, preferring to […]

The mo’ that had to go

By Rewi Lyall Classified B by the Oqurum Office of Classification. Reader’s Advisory: Readers are advised that this post includes Some Big-Noting. I’ve read that my old boss Eric Ripper is growing back his moustache for Movember, which is of course a great thing to do. The only problem I can see is that once […]

WA Labor’s new strident approach on stop and search powers

By Rewi Lyall In an earlier post I criticized the trend of successive Western Australian State governments and Local Government Authorities to ever harsher policing powers, from the expanding surveillance of citizens to the proposed police powers to stop and search any Western Australian who seeks to enter certain events or public spaces. That post […]

Of pimps, prostitutes, dealers and freedom

By Rewi Lyall In an earlier post I briefly discussed the issue of civil rights in Australia, particularly as to how we justify infringing rights in order to deal with specific segments of society. It’s a distinctly worrying trend, but when the decision of the Western Australian government to grant police the power to stop […]

Labor reform

By Rewi Lyall A couple of interesting bits and pieces have come to my attention recently regarding the delicate and perennial issue of internal reform of the Labor Party. It’s a funny thing about Labor that it has a relatively strident section of members who dedicate a fair amount of time advocating some pretty substantial […]

Alan Carpenter departs

Perhaps it’s distance, both physical and temporal, that gives me the opportunity to be a little mellower in my assessment of the contribution of Alan Carpenter to the Western Australian Labor Party than some others of recent days, following his announcement of his resignation effective this Friday. Truth be told, though, I was never as […]

You little Ripper

I’ve been waiting for an excuse to talk-up Eric Ripper for a while now, and today’s news that Labor will introduce legislation to implement the findings of the WA Coroner following the death of an Aboriginal man in a prison van in 2008 gives just such an opportunity. If ever there was an example of […]

Disingenuous Minister betrays WA’s Stolen Generations

News has emerged that the Western Australian government will almost halve the maximum amount of compensation which can be awarded to Aboriginal Western Australians who are recognized as having suffered during their time as wards of the State. I won’t reiterate the story here, but merely comment that applications for the compensation closed on 30 […]

The (Blue)Cheese Burgler – a slightly long true story.

Anyone wondering about the utility of ‘social networking’ (as opposed to anti-social networking, I suppose) websites may be bemused that I learned of a break-in at my partner’s house (my Sydney Residence) overnight not from her but from her mother via a status update. I’ve since learned that it wasn’t particularly serious (no more than […]

In Australia, they came first for the terrorists… or, why don’t Australians care about rights?

Somehow it doesn’t quite have the same ring, but the sentiment behind the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller (with apologies go to the deceased Pastor) about effects of the rise of Nazism in Germany on their political opponents and societal enemies appears to be driving criticism of enhanced police powers in parts of Australia. […]

New variety of rattus Australis Labor discovered?

Apparently scientists are trying to discern if Vince Catania constitutes a new breed of Labor rat or an altogether different strain of political animal, less concerned with self-interest than the interest of his constituents… Thinking about it over the past couple of days, I’m finding it hard to muster any particularly strong emotional response to […]

Outrage must follow Coroner’s report into another death in custody

The Western Australian Coroner, Alistair Hope, has handed down his findings into the death of an Aboriginal elder in January 2008. The man was being transported from Laverton to Kalgoorlie. As the ABC has reported, the man ‘was effectively cooked to death‘. The Coroner has been damning, and the focus should now turn to the […]

The spectre of Fremantle shouldn’t haunt Armadale

Recent unconfirmed reports about the prospect of criminal charges against the State member for Kalgoorlie, John Bowler, have led the Western Patriot to suggest that a by-election in Armadale is looking ‘all the more fanciful’. Being away from the State for a while I couldn’t say if they were fanciful to start with, but the […]

MacTiernan Labor’s best bet in Canning

While it is true that Alannah MacTiernan has detractors both in the Western Australian Labor Party and the community at large, there can be little doubt that she offers the best opportunity for Labor to wrest the Federal seat of Canning from Liberal incumbent Don Randall. While it is difficult to analyze all of the […]

Diminishing participative democracy in WA

WA Today reports that Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett, in his search for savings measures, has consultative boards and committees in his sights. Reportedly he wants to cut around 600 of the 1276 boards and committees which currently exist. While it may be the case that some of these boards have outlived their usefulness, a […]


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