Labor ideas for a better Australia



Catch up with our latest musings, hot off the desks of our ED and other regular contributors.

Superannuation is where the gender pay gap really stings

More than 95 per cent of workers - 12 million Australians - hold superannuation accounts, double that of 20 years ago. We have built the fourth largest pool of savings globally in just 25 years. Yet Australia's population size and age profile pose significant challenges to our system.

Foreign pilots decision puts our safety at risk

THE Turnbull government think they can play the Australian people like a piano. In April, Prime Minister announced a so-called 'ban' on 457 foreign worker visas. It would 'ensure Australian workers are given the absolute first priority for jobs.' Yet an almost identical Temporary Work Visas became law at the same time.

Bill Shorten: Australia in danger of having growth without prosperity

The Labor leader Bill Shorten says Australia is in danger of having growth without prosperity and that workers need a pay increase for the sake of the economy. Shorten used a speech to the John Curtin Research Centre in Melbourne on Wednesday night to argue there was a "creeping Americanisation of the labour market, where increases in workplace productivity and efficiency aren't being shared with the workers who make them possible."

Yes, the House of Lords needs reform. Why not create vocational peerages? | Maurice Glasman

As we crawl towards Brexit, it is inevitable that our attention will turn towards our institutions of national self-government. As parliamentary sovereignty is reasserted, the anomalies of the UK's ancient constitution will re-emerge. Not the least of these is the House of Lords.

The real threat facing us - The Australian Jewish News

OUR community is justifiably concerned about recent developments within the ALP. The misguided push by some elements, led by Bob Carr, to unilaterally recognise the "State of Palestine" has gained some traction at recent state Labor conferences. Much of the rhetoric emanating from supporters of the Palestinian cause has been inflammatory, including morally offensive comparisons with apartheid South Africa.

Football violence is a crime | The Spectator Australia

It's time to stop pretending in Australia in the twenty-first century that an assault on the football field is anything other than a criminal act. No, I'm not speaking about a bone-crunching tackle in the spirit of the game but a deliberate act of violence that has nothing to do with going for the ball or tackling an opponent.

Things don't always get better

I'm showing my age - and an embarrassing musical collection - but for a moment on Tuesday night we were back in the mid 1990s. At the heart of Scott Morrison's 2017 budget was a promise of "better days ahead", unconsciously referencing pop group D:Ream's 1993 anthem 'Things Can Only Get Better'.

Howard's children

Among the commentariat there has been a tendency to regard Australian federal politics as having never escaped the events of mid 2010. According to this narrative, our elected representatives are playing out a Canberra-based adaptation of Groundhog Day.

The transformation of Mark Latham

How did the former Labor Leader end up as one of Australia's most conservative commentators?

Pauline is no friend of the workers

Pauline Hanson is fond of styling herself as a plain-speaking, truth-telling anti-politician. Salt of the earth. Standing up for ordinary, so-called battler Australians. Sticking it to the "elites". The latest opinion polls appear to indicate that a sizeable chunk of the electorate, particularly in regional and outer-suburban seats, are attracted to her anti-mainstream party message.

Self-regulation is dead. We need a new way to rein in excessive executive pay | Nick Dyrenfurth

Mitbestimmung. It's trickier to pronounce than my tongue-twister surname. But this German word is one Australians should learn as we navigate the complex policy challenges of 2017. The national economic outlook remains weak. Full-time jobs disappear daily in favour of casual and part-time work.

Saving for retirement in the gig economy

Our superannuation system was designed in the 1990s when far more people were employed fulltime. A new report claims our super system is no longer fit for purpose and needs an overhaul.

Call to revamp super, hit contractors with levy to fund aged pension

By Nassim Khadem Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size The Turnbull government should abolish the $450 monthly threshold for super payments, and introduce a new compulsory levy on contractors with incomes above $90,000 per financial year to fund the aged pension, if they don't contribute to their super.

We should look to Germany for our economic road map

It is difficult to disagree with the recent contention (Alexander Dunn, Comment, 28/12) that Australia needs to reset its economic settings and discourse. Our 26 years of continuous, record growth belie a more fragile outlook. Our exports are less diversified than since the wool boom of the 1950s.

Bill Shorten calls for unity and cooperation on wage rises

Labor leader Bill Shorten has urged employers to give workers a pay rise, warning the creeping Americanisation of the labour market was damaging the economy as much as it was driving inequality. As he did so, the Business Council of Australia said Labor, if it were serious, would pass the government's company tax cuts.

Give employees a say in our company boardrooms

In 2017, the Australian way of life - a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, equal opportunity for all and preventing excessive inequalities of wealth, status and power - is fraying. While we avoided the GFC's worst effects, inequality has risen to heights not seen since the early 1940s.

The outdated super rule that's robbing one-third of young workers | The New Daily

A third of young workers miss out on superannuation because of an "unfair" rule dating back to the 1990s, an expert has warned. It is the key finding of an upcoming report by the John Curtin Research Centre and Vision Super, due in September.

No Corbyn lessons for the ALP

by Nick Dyrenfurth A fortnight ago, the British Labour Party lost its third general election in a row. It has been 12 years since it tasted victory, a third straight win under Tony Blair's leadership. In the last 50 years, only Blair and Harold Wilson have led the party to an election victory.

How Property Addicts Have Locked Young Australians Out Of The Housing Market

The 'American dream' is about getting a shot at making it from rags to riches. The 'Australian dream,' on the other hand, has always been both more humble and more universal: the expectation that everyone who wants to should be able to get a job and own their own home.

Corbyn's anti-Semitism row: a warning for Australian Labor | The Spectator Australia

If there is a distinction to be made between British Labour and Australian Labor, it can be seen no more clearly than in the pallid discipline imposed by the British upon Ken Livingstone for transparently anti-Semitic comments. The Guardian itself has editorialised against Mr Livingstone's comments, recognising them for the offensive mistruths they are.

The tragedy of Mark Latham

On 26 August 2002, an ambitious, outspoken federal Labor shadow minister rose in the House of Representatives to rail against "the new political correctness" of the "conservative establishment". He went on to decry "the hide of these people - the old money interests, the conservative think tanks, the Tory MPs and their fellow travellers in the commercial media".

It's the mandate wot lost it

With mates like Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, who needs enemies? 2017 has begun awkwardly for Malcolm Turnbull. The internecine warfare between him and his predecessor shows no signs of abating. Turnbull's near 18-month regime lacks governing purpose.

John Curtin Research Centre

Fantastic to have Jim Chalmers MP launch our Super Ideas report, produced in conjunction with Vision Super, addressing the gaps and needed improvements in our superannuation system. Great to be...

Politicising African crime could hurt us economically, says Labor's Richard Marles

Labor has warned that "politicising" the African crime debate in Victoria could damage future opportunities for Australia in fast-growing African economies, particularly in mining.

Egg on face and the AFP: From Hughes to Turnbull

Do you know how the Australian Federal Police was founded? Answer: an egg thrown at Nationalist prime minister Billy Hughes during a November 1917 rally in Warwick in south east Queensland.

'Australians need a pay rise': Bill Shorten calls for grand bargain on wages

Unions, business and the federal Parliament should come together and strike a "radical" grand bargain that would deliver a much-needed pay rise for ordinary Australians, Labor leader Bill Shorten says. Mr Shorten's call to arms on the need to address low wage growth was delivered in the inaugural address to the John Curtin Research Centre dinner in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

Labor promises $1bn manufacturing future fund to drive new jobs

Labor has promised to create a $1bn "Australian manufacturing future fund" that will give loans to manufacturers - or even take equity in them - to drive innovation and grow jobs. The scheme, modelled on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, could give manufacturers cheaper access to finance and loan guarantees to increase their own borrowing and investment.



New rules for super contributions required

If the government refuses to lower or abolish the threshold for superannuation contributions, it should introduce a pro-rata model for super guarantee payments or face a higher age pension bill, a new report will recommend.

We're Blowing Up The Australian Ideal Of Fair Pay For Fair Effort

In April 1897 Joseph Furphy wrote to the editor of the now defunct Bulletin magazine: "I have just finished writing a full-sized novel: title Such is Life", he announced. "scene, Riverina and northern Vic; temper, democratic, bias, offensively Australian".

Rinse, repeat

Cliché alert. The definition of insanity, Albert Einstein reputedly said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Whatever its veracity, this rule is one that appears more apt as regards the workings of Malcolm Turnbull's federal government. In Turnbull's case, his administration's insanity is its fetish for a policy reset.

Howard's children

Among the commentariat there has been a tendency to regard Australian federal politics as having never escaped the events of mid 2010. According to this narrative, our elected representatives are playing out a Canberra-based adaptation of Groundhog Day.

Once were conservatives

'PM's crusade for free speech'. 'Change was won the day Bill died'. 'Mission founded on Liberal values'. Three headlines on Malcolm Turnbull's legislative attempts to water down section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that bellowed from the front page of yesterday's print edition of the Australian - and perhaps the reason the Turnbull government is heading for defeat.

Losing focus

Breathless. It's the only word that adequately sums up most of the press gallery's reportage of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's withering, highly personal attack on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in yesterday's parliamentary question time. Turnbull has his "mojo back" is the basic refrain, a repeat of the trend among the commentariat that I identified writing here last year.