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Forum Shopping for Native Title rights

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The Rolling Stones were wrong: you can always get what you want if you are patient and the taxpayer foots the bill.  And if you forum shop.  So it was with a recent native title ‘victory’ at the High Court of Australia. The Court overturned a decision of the full court of the Federal Court of Australia. Native title holders at...

The New UAE Corporate Tax

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is famous for, among other things, zero tax. That ended this year. The UAE now has a 9% tax rate for all but a very few exempted industries. The implementation of a corporate tax is not because the UAE needs the money to build new roads, hospitals, schools or public facilities. The UAE is home...

The Misguided Quest for “Fair Share”

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“Grab your torch and pitch-fork” was the rallying cry of the left in the recent debate over stage three tax cuts.  And so the mob was led to follow a trail of sprinkled money to the door of high income earners to rob them of tax relief.  In the debate over Australia's tax system, the concept of "fair share" has...

Lawfare

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“Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” is the famous statement attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Joseph Stalin’s secret police chief. This is an example of lawfare: the manipulation of legal processes, civil or criminal, to serve political, ideological, or personal interests rather than upholding justice.  Lawfare involves the misuse of the law by various means including selective...

Utilitarianism and the Omnipotence of Government

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Welcome to the Inspection House, known as the Panopticon. Jeremy Bentham, eighteenth century political thinker, was one of the earliest exponents of the principle of Utilitarianism – the greatest happiness for the greatest number, which he considered to be a fundamental principle of morality. Managing societies is no easy task, hence, as first principles go, it seems reasonable. But what of...

The Nation State

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As another Australia Day passes, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on our national identity and what it truly means to be Australian with the number purporting to opt out of celebrating our national day increasing. CHANGE THE DATE 26 January 1788 marks the landing of the First Fleet and raising of the Union Jack in Sydney Harbour. While it...

What should the Australian Defence Force do?

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Hint: the answer is in the name The Australian Defence Force (ADF) does lots of things it shouldn’t. Restrict the trading of others The Australian Defence Force (ADF) helps to enforce sanctions.   It contributes in varying degrees to efforts to enforce sanctions endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, like sanctions against North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and various countries in Africa,...

Don’t Welcome Me to My Country

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During the debate leading to the Voice referendum, prominent Voice supporter Marcia Langton was quoted in the media saying that if the referendum was defeated:  “How are they going to ever ask an Indigenous person, a Traditional Owner, for a welcome to country? How are they ever going to be able to ask me to come and speak at their...

Decommissioning Solar & Wind Projects: A Costly Endeavour

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Over the last decade, decommissioning and waste management of solar and wind energy projects has grown into a thriving industry. In the decades to come, with the continued deployment of projects all over the world, it will massively expand. Solar and wind projects require highly specialised recycling and waste management processes. Decommissioning large plants can run up costs of millions,...

Good Reasons for Suspicion

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Worldwide outrage engendered by the SWIFT Affair seems rather quaint today. Operating since 1973, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is the messaging system that accounts for almost all international financial transactions. Evidence emerged in 2006 that the United States government had been covertly monitoring SWIFT transactions since the late 1990s and in collaboration with SWIFT since 2001.  SWIFT’s...

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The Canary In The Tobacco Field

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Most Australians are proud of our public healthcare system. It faces virtually no opposition and any effort to shrink it is political suicide. Labor still runs...