A decade ago, as I waited for my order outside a Maroochydore fish and chip shop, a tall, barefoot young man strolled past wearing a T-shirt that read: ‘Greed is good. Trample the weak. Hurdle the dead.’ Those brutal lines seemed to encapsulate what was then a growing sense of unease in Australia. The world of my Queensland childhood, governed by its implicit assumptions of equality and mutual care, was being driven from sight by a combination of ruthless individualism and unquestioning materialism. Looking out for number one was not only tolerated but encouraged by a government whose agenda, particularly in industrial relations, seemed very far from the social contract, based on a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work with a decent social safety net for the vulnerable, that had served our nation so well for so long.Read more
As the House adjourns and the member for Goldstein retires to contemplate how he will fill the $70 billion black hole in the opposition's proposed budget, I would like to make a few observations about governing in the interests of working people and the concept of a social compact between employer and employee and between government and business.Read more
The Federal Labor Government is proud to stand by the Illawarra, writes Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
THE ILLAWARRA is a great region that stands at a turning point in its proud history.
The impact of Asia’s rise on manufacturing is being felt in regions right across the Western world, as well as here at home in places like the Illawarra, Adelaide and Geelong.
At the same time, Australia is beginning one of its most important economic and environmental reforms as we position ourselves to compete in a world that will favour those nations that move to cleaner energy technologies.Read more
The mining boom is not all good news, especially for other sectors of the economy such as manfacturing, writes CFMEU's Tony Maher.
THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY is in danger of being torn apart by the resources boom.
The high prices being paid for our minerals, the unprecedented foreign investment to dig up those minerals and the rising value of the dollar are already reshaping our economy. This is only the beginning.Read more
Former Labor Minister Tom Uren talks very movingly about Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, the surgeon who commanded the first Australians sent to work on the Thai section of the Burma-Thailand railway in 1943, Tanya Pliberkek writes.
TOM SAYS that when he and Dunlop were prisoners of the Japanese, Dunlop led by example.Read more
The Federal Labor Government's reforms to superannuation will help make Australia a better country to live - and retire in - writes Assistant Secretary Bill Shorten.
TWENTY YEARS AGO the Keating Labor government introduced one of the great economic reforms: 9 per cent superannuation for every worker.
It is an idea that keeps on giving. By putting some money into superannuation we build up our capacity to have lifetime income security; comfort and financial wellbeing after working life, not just during it.
Australia is going through unprecedented economic change. This change is driven by our place in the world and the demand for our natural resources. Despite what some say, our economic outlook is one of fundamental strength and resilience. The economic transformation of Asia is bringing tremendous benefits to this region. Our economy is strong. Our mining and resources sector is strong and revenue is flowing from this to both state and federal governments. Our terms of trade are high and the high Australian dollar means that everything from petrol, TVs, T-shirts and overseas holidays are cheaper than they have ever been before.Read more
I was a member of the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications, which conducted this inquiry, together with my colleague the member for Chifley, who is in the chamber today. Can I start by expressing my thanks to my fellow committee members; the chair, the member for Cunningham; and secretariat staff, who not only did an excellent job in arranging the inquiry hearings and extensive field work that we did, providing us with excellent briefing documents, but also assisted in the compilation of this fantastic report. I am sure that I would speak on behalf of every committee member, even those who submitted a dissenting report, in saying that the support provided by the secretariat was nothing short of first-class.Read more
Older Australians have made our nation strong and prosperous, and deserve to be supported in their retirement, writes Jenny Macklin.
A GILLARD LABOR GOVERNMENT is committed to a strong and secure economy so we can provide services to the community such as world-class hospitals and aged care facilities.Read more