Monday, 20 April 2015 04:32
Chess has its origins in India, but it’s to Persia that the world owes the term ‘checkmate’. At the Lausanne nuclear negotiations, Iran appears as though it has checkmated Barack Obama and the P5+1 negotiators.
In regards to the nuclear negotiations, it seems the US, in particular, wants an agreement more than Iran. As former US Secretaries of State Kissinger and Shultz have written, “negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability.”
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 21:23
Michael Danby welcomes Government’s apparent rethink of funding cut Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten asked in Question Time today why the Government had cut $234,000 of funding from the Mirabel Foundation. This federal funding is due to end 30 June 2015.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 22:37
Commentators have spent a lot of time rightly focusing on the situation in Syria and western Iraq, with the atrocities committed by Daesh. Yet dangerous gains by Iran seem to slip under the radar. Iran, as most people in this House would know, has diligently been pursuing nuclear weapons for years, in violation of its treaty commitments and despite ongoing negotiations with the US, the UK, France and Germany to prevent Teheran’s nuclear break-out capacity. Iran's military aid to its friends has allowed Iran to accumulate hegemonic power in four regional capitals—Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and, most recently, Sana'a, in Yemen—to the detriment of those who want to resist Iranian hegemony in that region.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 02:13
Australian public opinion overwhelmingly rejected the Abbott Government’s attempt to introduce a $7 GP co-payment. The Senate voted to block this proposal. The Government’s response to this forced reversal on GP co-payments was to issue a pre-Christmas change to the schedule Medicare payments. The schedule can be changed by Government fiat through regulation (although this must eventually be brought back to Parliament and must be ratified by the Senate). For instance, until now GPs received $37 reimbursement for a consultation up to 20 minutes. With the stroke of a pen—after Parliament had risen for the year and before Christmas—Health Minister Dutton reduced the reimbursement for consultations lasting less than 10 minutes to just under $17. Thus, the doctors will be paid $20 less for 25 to 30 per cent of consultations, and will effectively be asked to charge patients the $20 difference. There is an online petition urging the Government to reverse its decision. I encourage you to sign it.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 04:45
Occasionally through the years I saw Gough Whitlam, and our relationship slowly revived. He occasionally sought to refine my speeches and questions in this place and approved of many of the historical, linguistic and geographical allusions in my parliamentary contributions. Our last conversation was several years ago at the ALP National Conference in Darling Harbour, where Mr Whitlam, typically, exhibited a keen interest in my role, as he had done with many Labor members of this parliament, as the ranking member then of the federal parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. Former Prime Minister Whitlam was very anxious that the Liberals not roll back ‘one vote, one value’.
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