Dubbo Photo News & Dubbo Weekender

Columnists & Opinion

Morrison the Evangelical

In his maiden speech to Parliament in 2008, Scott Morrison declared “growing up in a Christian home, I made a commitment to my faith at an early age, my personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda”. “In recent times it has become fashionable to negatively stereotype those who profess their Christian faith in public life as ‘extreme’ and to suggest that such faith has no place in the political debate of this…

Fixing parliament: Here’s 10 easy steps for reform

Politics and politicians are a very easy target. My last article “How to destroy any remaining voter goodwill in one easy lesson” [Dubbo Photo News, August 30] highlighted how the most recent backroom machinations and leadership ambitions ruined any remaining voter goodwill towards politicians. Given the accumulated behaviour of the last 10 years, capped off by the latest leadership coup, the article wrote itself. Things are no better since the change of leadership a month…

How to destroy any remaining voter goodwill in one easy lesson

What were Peter Dutton and this cabal of urgers thinking? Encouraged by the right-wing press and the conservative hardliners of the Liberal Party, the Abbott-Dutton gang decided that dragging the Liberals further to the right by installing Dutton as Prime Minister was an election-winning strategy – and PM Turnbull had to go. Surely any student of Australian politics knows the swinging voters are in the Centre of the political spectrum, not on the extremes of…

Silence is golden when you’re a shareholder

The easiest thing a person can do is find fault in others, and large companies are magnets for complaints – particularly when they disappoint expectation and make you feel your sole purpose in dealing with them is to feed their shareholding machine. In a recent speech delivered by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims, he pondered why large companies might behave badly and what should be done about it. From the start…

Look who’s advocating we pay our taxes now

When asked what Australia’s national pastime is, most people would answer cricket, swimming, or football of some description. My suggestion would be tax avoidance, and its more devious offshoot – tax evasion. Australians hate paying tax. We dodge it, minimise it, and grumble about it. Elections are won and lost on the propositions of tax policy. The recent announcement by the Australian Taxation Office of up to $8.7 billion in lost tax revenue in 2014-15…

Try old school learning to light up your brain

Remember when you knew phone numbers off by heart? There would be at least 25 of your friends, your parents’ work, probably your school, your grandparents, the cinema along with your uncles and aunties. There would be 50 or 100 sequences of numbers which you could recall in an instant. Did you have a particularly good memory? No. Everybody did it out of necessity. We were born into a world where that’s what was needed…

Do kangaroos hop down streets in Australia?

It’s a question many Aussies who travel get asked and it’s true under certain conditions, drought being one of them. On Monday this week, a lone kangaroo was causing havoc in the streets of Dubbo. It was apparently one of a mob that’s taken up residence inside the old RAAF base, and it kept the mobile phone of WIRES volunteer Donna Burton running hot all morning. “The trouble is people feed them. Weetbix, carrots; these…

It’s our ABC, so the Liberals should not sell it off

“It is tremendously important that we should have those things that we regard as almost the special responsibility of a government station – accurate reporting, objective interpretation and comment, music, drama of the highest quality, a general presentation which, in a broad sense, in a human sense, represents a contribution to the educational standards of the country, and will, I believe, strive more and more, year by year to achieve that ideal. This, after all,…

The price we pay

There’s a saying, “what goes up, must come down”. It’s gravity of course but apparently petrol prices over a long weekend are one of the few things which defy even the laws of physics. $1.56 for a long weekend in a region in drought makes about as much sense to this motorist as walking barefoot to Sydney. We all know there are lots of reasons why fuel prices fluctuate and it’s reassuring to know the…

Is there media protection in Australian politics?

Imagine the media firestorm if it was Julia Gillard having an affair with a staff junior member? Her fitness to lead, her moral character and political judgement would have been raked over in fine detail. It would have been the lead story of every news bulletin and the source of thousands of words in editorials and opinion pieces. Ponder the scenario of Gillard going to an election under that sort of the scrutiny, and the…

Déjà vu as PM visits region

Déjà vu. John Howard. Déjà vu. Kevin Rudd. Déjà vu. Tony Abbott. Now Déjà vu, Malcolm Turnbull. All well-intentioned prime ministers, of that there’s no doubt. The idea is that if the PM arrives to a devastated drought-stricken property, and there’s a photo opportunity with a hard-working farming family and their kids scratching around in the dirt, that it will invoke sympathy and understanding in metropolitan areas. And that’s great. But we also need the…

Conquering fear can be a walk in the park

The air was cool and brisk as I made my usual morning stroll to the radio station where I worked as a 22-year-old. In the park lived a homeless man who I was more than a little bit afraid of. His dishevelled appearance and rugged demeanour ensured for some time I avoided the park and took a longer route to my place of employment. I played it safe. Fear comes to our mind like a…