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 are 5.5 million Australians aged under 18 who can’t yet vote, and 3.3 million aged over 65, who can, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates. The debt burden per capita and per Australian under 18 has exploded since the financial crisis from $2600 and $11,100, respectively, to $20,300 and $90,300.

Read the full article here ($)


Rinehart: Abbott must emulate Thatcher

Gina Rinehart wrote an important piece, published in Australian Resources & Investment, last week addressing the huge difficulties Australia faces to emerge from a cycle of budget deficits and growing debt:

Australia likewise has a lot to learn from Europe and our European migrants. Why did they come here? Why did they pick Australia? And how did many of their countries end up in such a mess? We must learn how big overspending governments, and giant consequent debts, started to dampen or control their future — and most importantly, how we can avoid the same fate. Continue Reading →


A plan for the ABC


Many IPA members have had suggestions about the future of the ABC. Here’s a valuable contribution from IPA member Stephen Blacketer from South Australia:

Well, I’ve finally done it. After being refused access to speak on air on the ABC I got angry enough to put finger to keyboard and write down my plan for reform of the ABC. The ABC uses its vast communications network and influence to steer political, cultural and economic debate to the left of politics. It certainly does not respect the charter that it should operate under. Continue Reading →


Special offer to join the IPA

If you’re not already an IPA member, you might like to take advantage of a special offer we are running until Friday 15 March.

If you sign up as a member, you will not only receive your choice of a free book, but a bonus free book published by the IPA – Professor Gregory Melleuish’s Is the West Special?

The IPA relies on our members and supporters to fund all of our work – including FreedomWatch. We don’t get any government funding. We have to raise every dollar we spend each year fighting for freedom through membership fees and voluntary donations.

As an IPA member you won’t just be supporting our work, you’ll also receive a number of exclusive membership benefits. IPA members receive four editions each year of the award-winning IPA Review. They receive all our books and publications free. And they get early notice and special discounts to all of our events, including exclusive members-only events.

To sign up visit http://join.ipa.org.au/special-offer/ and enter the code “membership”.

Don’t forget to act before 15 March and get your bonus free book.


Dreyfus challenged on free speech

This morning new Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus was interviewed on ABC 774 Melbourne by host Jon Faine. Here is a transcript of their discussion on free speech:

JON FAINE:  Mr Dreyfus, good morning to you. Congratulations.

MARK DREYFUS:  Good to be with you, John.

JON FAINE:  Free speech is one of the first issues you’re going to have to deal with. Did Nicola Roxon make a mess of the free speech reforms?

MARK DREYFUS:  Not at all. She’s put out a consultation draft and I think that’s really important to keep that up front. We put together, John, the five acts that together make up our anti-discrimination law and they’ve been built up over some four decades. You get a number of inconsistencies when you’ve got different acts, legislated at different times and I think it’s a worthwhile aim to try and put them together in a simpler form. That’s the purpose of it.

JON FAINE:  Yes but it’s triggered a massive campaign by media organisations and for instance, the IPA, already claiming a victory, saying Nicola Roxon’s departure is a win for the IPA.

MARK DREYFUS:  [Laughs] Well I suppose they like to make themselves as important as they possibly can. But they need to understand…

JON FAINE:  [Interrupts] But they’re right. They’ve been campaigning over this and it looks like – well are you going to change the draft?

Continue Reading →


Brandis slams Roxon’s law

The Australian today published a a very encouraging article ($) by Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis on the draft anti-discrimination laws. These are the key paragraphs:

It appears the Senate committee examining the bill will next Monday be presented by the Attorney-General’s Department with “options” that include the removal of clause 19(2), which would have outlawed conduct that caused offence or insult.

However, those who have seen the bill for what it is – an outrageous attack on our most fundamental freedoms – shouldn’t be opening the champagne yet.

No decision has been made to abandon the provision, notwithstanding the strength of the community reaction against it.

Besides, there is a lot more wrong with the bill that the government has shown no sign of giving up on.

The entire history of the Gillard government’s attempt to use anti-discrimination law as a Trojan horse to impose a far-reaching regime of political correctness, which would reach into almost every corner of Australian life, has been marked by deviousness and outright dishonesty.


Civil liberties under fire

In my editorial in the December issue of the IPA Review, I argue that civil liberties are the new front in the attacks on our freedoms:

But few Australians would have expected that their most basic legal rights could ever be seriously threatened. Civil liberties like freedom of speech, the right to silence and the presumption of innocence were once taken for granted. Sadly, only now that they are being taken away have we realised that none of our freedoms are safe, and all of them must be fought for.

Defending fundamental freedoms like these will be a major focus for the IPA in 2013, through FreedomWatch and our Legal Rights Project.

You can read the whole article here.


What Leveson doesn’t say

My ABC Drum column this week is on the Leveson Report – and what it doesn’t tell us:

If you want to know what actually happened in the British phone hacking scandal, you won’t find it in the Leveson inquiry report released last Thursday.

The report comprises almost 2,000 pages; it’s spread across four volumes and has 59 separate chapters. It has a lot of stuff about media history and ethics and philosophy; a lot of hand-wringing about press “culture” and personal friendships between Fleet Street and Westminster.

But not a lot about who committed what crime and when.