Emerging Issues in Asia research
Emerging Issues in Asia research

Yesterday I trundled down to Murdoch University to sit once more in the Kim E. Beazley Lecture Theatre. It was the first time I’d caught the train on the Mandurah line, which would be enough to constitute a post all on its own. But the real reason to head down was to attend a round […]

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 […]


Plenty has been written over the past week or so about the clearing of the decks by the Prime Minister that appears to have taken place in advance of the budget and the highly anticipated election campaign to come. In particular, critics have been scathing over the government’s decision to defer reconsideration of an emissions […]

Indonesian parliament claims a scalp

The real test of the maturity of Indonesian democracy might turn out to be nothing to do with how it handles an election, but what the parties do with the legislative power they received after that election. Those that provide critique of liberal democratic approaches to transitional constitutionalism – that is that merely instituting democratic […]

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, […]

On innocence… lost?

By Rewi Lyall Firstly, I was relatively pleased to see Joe Hockey on Lateline a few days ago talking, amongst other things, about CCTV. He’d given a speech earlier in the evening where he had apparently expressed some disquiet about the spread of cameras, but offered as an exception to this general position support for […]

Fixing what ain’t broke

By Rewi Lyall For a while I’d been trying to convince myself that I could write about this in a general sense and move on to specific arguments later. But then Tony Abbott reminded me of the time that the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ really started to get my goat. You […]

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 […]

Private surveillance

By Rewi Lyall In the light of suggestions that Japanese whalers have, through a third party, hired aircraft to conduct surveillance on anti-whaling group Sea Shephed, the ABC reports that Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard is seeking legal advice on the issue. Professor Don Rothwell has already said, though, that there seems little recourse under […]

Reflecting on conversations in Perth: part 1

By Rewi Lyall Visiting Perth in the last week of December was reassuring politically in a couple of respects. I had been concerned about the election of Tony Abbott to the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party. My concern centred on a belief that there is an undercurrent of conservatism and, frankly, selfishness in a […]

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 […]

Demonstration to support the Indonesian anti-corruption commission, the KPK
Demonstration to support the Indonesian anti-corruption commission, the KPK

By Rewi Lyall One of the things you get told quite early on when coming to live and work in Indonesia is that it is preferable that you not attend any political rallies or demonstrations, let alone participate in one. It’s also considered pushing the boundaries even further to take photographs of such a demonstration. […]

Email to Prime Minister Rudd re: Copenhagen

By Rewi Lyall If you would also like to send an email to the Prime Minister on this or any other subject, you’ll find the form through clicking ‘Continue’ on this page. Dear Prime Minister [I may have accidentally neglected to include this salutation in the form I sent to the PM. Whoops.], Against a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Not counting on Copenhagen

For those of you who have been paying close attention to these events some of this may be overly simplistic and iterative, so apologies, sort of. In December, governments from around the world will send delegations to Copenhagen to discuss a potential multilateral approach to climate change caused by the activities of humanity (Anthropomorphic Global […]

Against Indigenous autonomy

Last week I got involved in a debate on the Pollbludger which was sparked by one poster there who set out a range of acts a government could pursue that might alleviate social and economic disadvantage faced by Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. The debate swerved off into a couple of other areas, some […]

‘…but who to?’ two

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about reports that a Labor strategist had suggested a high profile candidate for the Federal seat of Wentworth might have a decent chance at knocking off interim Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull. In that post, I pointed out that Mr. Turnbull probably wasn’t the only one getting a shot […]

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 […]


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