29 Mar 2015

Behind the ethics and evolution of the bad news business

Do we eat everything we are given?
Its about shock selling of News, its a consumable item just like ice cream. They believe that if they make people miserable they will buy something to make them feel good.
Why, Advertising revenue and newspaper sales.

There are hidden, and serious, ethical issues in the news media. It has become an industry in which editors and journalists routinely select the most disturbing and shocking news for our daily, or even hourly, consumption.
Editors may make such decisions on the assumption that “bad news sells”, but the discourse of journalism suggests that it is taken for granted that good news is frivolous and distracts from the serious events such as wars, famine or child abductions.
There are three arguments that tend to justify this approach. We are told that consumers are free to select different types of news and that it is the media’s job to hold those in power to account – hence the interest in wrongdoing rather than “right-doing”. We are also told that bad news is in some sense good for us and for society, in terms of increasing awareness of what is wrong so we are able to take appropriate action.
Our research, however, provides strong evidence to show that these arguments are false – indeed the opposite is true – there are curious parallels with the businesses trying to sell us peanut butter donuts or stuffed crust pizza and beer.
Research found that exposure to negatively framed news items (such as war, or bumble bees disappearing) makes people significantly less likely to take positive action than those who saw more positively framed news items (peace talks, bumble bees making a comeback).
The more anxious, sad, depressed and worried the news items made people feel, the less likely they were to be motivated to donate to charity, be more environmentally friendly or make their views known.
Our brains are not adapted to process the whole of the world’s horrors, selected and framed to present the most shocking and horrifying picture of the world. It is no wonder then that many try to turn off and those that do engage with it experience anxiety, worry and depression.
It is time that we brought to light the ethical issues associated with the way in which news is selected and presented and prompt further reflection and discussion on how these issues can be addressed.
Constructive Journalism Project and Positive News are exploring ways in which news can stay true to its purpose to inform

Every Australian should read this:- Malcolm Fraser's new party that hasn't yet formed. A fair and balanced government, could it really happen??

Every Australian should read this!!
20 January 2015 [RENEW AUSTRALIA]Malcolm Fraser's vision of a political party that has ideals and ethics, a far cry from the parties we have today.

A new party for a new vision for Australia Founding Members’ Statement of Values & Purpose Our Purpose When over long duration the foundations of political parties become eroded and their purposes fall out of touch with the nation’s basic values and beliefs, and when government and opposition join in advocating policies ever more corrosive of our national spirit of fairness and justice, there arises the need for new political groupings to better express the voice of the people.
When high national purpose gives way to cynical political opportunism; when ethical ways of behaving are diminished by expedient or corrupt party practices; when the major parties become out-dated, behave undemocratically and serve the vested interests of the few rather than the broad national interests of the many; and when decency and compassion are subordinated to the base calculations of party machinemen, the trust of the people is lost and those of conscience and goodwill must assert a new way of governing the country.

Many of us believe we have now reached such a time in our history, and we are joining in common cause to advocate a new path for Australia.

The party we hoped to form, [Renew Australia], seeks to embody the principles and policies required to restore trust and reassert the decent and enduring values of Australian society and advance Australian democracy. We do not take this step lightly or impulsively.
Our party has been created in the belief that the major political parties—as if in a corrosive grand alliance—have repeatedly failed Australians on the big issues and the country is looking once more for intelligent and enlightened leadership, inspired by a belief in justice, integrity and a sense of a fair go.
These are values that need to be better enshrined in a modern, independent and progressive political party of national purpose as we face the new and sometimes harsh realities of the 21st century—an era of remarkable challenges and opportunities.

Our Values: The new party wants to put an end to politics as usual in Australia. It dedicates itself to be vigorously democratic and egalitarian in its core beliefs and processes; progressive and actively reform-minded in its policy outlook; inclusive, collaborative and transparent in its political style; respectful of the rule of law; and confidently independent in its international relations.

We want the party to be a voice for renewal—to offer clear leadership, to articulate an enlarging vision for the country and to bring forth innovative, enlightened and compassionate policies to establish a national unity of purpose.
We want it to be the voice of Australians who share its values, join with it in achieving its objectives, or support it electorally.

We believe in earning the trust of the people and their confidence that we will tell the truth and do what we say we are going to do. Importantly, we believe in the vitality of younger Australians, and we see it as essential for [Renew Australia] to be an inclusive party of youthful spirit—to embrace policies and processes about which young people can feel enthusiastic and in which they will feel engaged and want to participate, not least because they will inherit the legacy of our actions.

We also acknowledge the importance of older Australians and policies framed to address their distinctive needs: as their numbers expand so too will the requirement for quality healthcare and innovative social infrastructure and appropriate amenity.

We are conscious of the contribution of those who have gone before us. We remember Australians who have served in war and conflict, particularly those men and women whose service, courage and sacrifice in two world wars has defined our nation and secured our liberty.

We pay tribute to our ancestors, many of whom came from other lands and cultures, whose pioneering spirit and sense of society has built the nation whose bounty we enjoy today. And we respect the contribution of a generation of older Australians, whose hard work and self-sacrifice has secured those foundations for the benefit of all. In taking up that legacy, we will be mindful of all that has gone before us in working to advance a modern, multicultural and progressive Australia, one prepared for the distinctively different challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and one animated by the hope that—together—we can achieve a better nation for ourselves and future generations of Australians: more prosperous, more fair, more just, and more confident about the advances we are yet to make.

Our Approach:- We will promote open and honest debate about the future of Australia, free from personal denigration and sloganeering. Most importantly, we will listen to the contributions of Australians from all walks of life. We believe it is important for Australia to conduct its political life differently from what has prevailed now for some time: less rancorous, more ethical, and more focused on reform and dealing with the challenging social and economic issues facing the country.

We are not a populist party, but we welcome the contest of ideas and we want mature and informed discussion based on truth, values and knowledge.

We will seek to define the kind of country we want for ourselves and future generations, and play a leadership role in advancing that aspiration and debate about our nation and its place in the world. We will do so mindful of the imperative to offer genuine leadership that looks to constructive solutions to the challenges we face, rather than cynically promoting issues that seek partisan advantage by generating fear and uncertainty in the minds of voters.

A Modern progressive democracy: At the broadest level of political principle, we assert the primacy of representative democracy in a system of responsible government, with Parliament as the fullest expression of the will of the people choosing, and exercising authority over, Executive government according to the Australian Constitution, its instruments and conventions, and operating under the rule of law.

We acknowledge the fundamental requirement of a separation of powers between Parliament, executive and a system of justice—independent of executive government—that is equitable, affordable and accessible to all.

We support the freedom of citizens to choose their own way of living, and of life, with respect for the rights of others.
We uphold as inalienable an individual’s freedom of speech, association, cultural expression and religion. While free speech is not absolute, we regard the virtues of quality journalism, independent public broadcasting and a free, diverse and accountable media—in all its forms—as crucial to an informed citizenry and a robust democracy, and we believe undue concentrations of media ownership should be constrained to ensure the free flow of information and a plurality of views and opinions.

Social justice: We especially uphold the notion of gender equality, where barriers to the advancement of women in all walks of life are progressively broken down. We see advancing the status and position of women in society as one of our most important objectives. We uphold freedom of association and assembly as inalienable rights of all individuals. We put a high value on the right to privacy and freedom of religion, where religious and cultural expression and observance for people of all faiths—or no faith—is guaranteed.

We will advocate for an entrenched freedom from discrimination and exploitation, where discriminatory and exploitative practice or malicious expression based on race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, colour, or sexuality is outlawed.

We are horrified by the continuing disclosures of child abuse in a number of social institutions responsible for the care and protection of children. We believe that the work of multiple official inquiries must assume the highest priority for state and federal governments. The levels and extent of abuse are truly shocking, and we believe it is incumbent upon government to lead the nation in fully understanding the circumstances and causes of such abuse and eradicating any vestige of institutionally based criminal wrongdoing toward dependent and vulnerable children.

We pledge ourselves to support the ultimate findings and recommendations of the several commissions of enquiry currently underway and ensure they are heard, understood and fully acted upon without delay.

Renewal and independence: We will draw upon the imagination and goodwill of Australians to inspire our vision of renewal, and evidence from the physical and the social sciences to ground our advocacy.

We will articulate policies that we believe a majority of wellinformed Australians will support.

We intend to advocate for a cohesive, diverse, secular, multicultural, fair and free Australia, to initiate reform of the key institutions of our democracy where deficiencies exist, to foster innovation in our economy, to nurture and support creativity and the arts and sciences, and advance intelligent and achievable nation building. To better achieve these national purposes, we will be a party free of organisational affiliations to either the union movement or associations representing business or special interests.

We would welcome into our party as individuals former members of the major parties who have become as disaffected as we are by their debased and dispiriting policies and performance.

We recognise that we need to invest heavily in the future for a better nation and a better world; we will be fiscally responsible in asserting our priorities.

We want a more inclusive society in which people feel that they are not merely observers in the political system but they are able to contribute and that their voice matters.

We will respect difference and diversity of opinion, while advocating our policy positions. We will avoid negativity in our advocacy and strive to maintain integrity, respect and civility in political discourse. We will aim for an Australia that is selfreliant, ethical and independent—for an Australia that can contribute more to good relationships in Asia and the Western Pacific, and which will be respected for her constructive, cooperative yet independent views.

Our values will inform our approach to the momentous challenges facing the country, particularly climate change and a shift to a post-carbon economy, as well as the profoundly disruptive impact of rapid technological change. Our values will also guide our response to the many pressing issues facing Australia—issues such as reforming and democratising our government institutions; providing for sustainable economic and population growth; supporting the vital roles of education and research; defending the principle of universal access in our system of primary healthcare; protecting the rule of law; restoring integrity in our public life; re-assessing our foreign policy; revaluing immigration and urgently addressing the inhumane treatment of 4 asylum seekers and refugees; and reasserting the independent role of the public service.

We will be vigilant, too, about unacceptable intrusions onto our hard-won civil liberties. The so-called war on terror has seen a steady expansion of powers by government intelligence services. We are mindful of what history tells us about how easily such powers can be abused and become oppressive. We favour strengthened safeguards in the form of high-level judicial oversight to ensure that such excesses do not occur. Democratic reform While Australia’s democratic credentials are strong and our democratic process is one of enviable integrity and efficiency, there are a number of emerging deficits in our functioning democracy that require attention if we are to reassert the country’s position as a world leader in democratic practice.
One crucial issue at present relates to democratic participation in elections. The authority and legitimacy of government depends upon the consent of the governed—as expressed through the ballot box at free and fair elections by a voting constituency that is fully engaged. In recent years, the proportion of eligible Australians registered to vote, as well as those registered and actually casting a ballot, has fallen appreciably, suggesting indifference at best or alienation at worst. Such disaffection, most pronounced among young people, is borne of a political process that is significantly less democratic, less consultative and less participatory than it ought to be. This deficiency must be addressed to ensure Australians value their democratic rights and are fully engaged in a more transparent electoral system.

Ethical politics: We also believe there is an urgent requirement to restore integrity to our public life. Ongoing disclosures of corrupt practices by MPs and leading figures in the major parties have greatly diminished in the eyes of the community the ethical standards and reputations of parliaments and government around the country.

We see the establishment (or enhancement, where they already exist) of well resourced and appropriately empowered, broad-based anti-corruption bodies at the federal and state level as essential to the process of returning probity to our democratic institutions and restoring public confidence. We similarly assert the importance of reform to the ethics around party fundraising.

We will advocate strongly to limit the influence of money on party policy-making and government decisionmaking by requiring that donations to political parties be capped and fully disclosed—publicly and immediately.
We will give meaning and strength to our advocacy by adopting that principle for our own party—from its inception as a registered entity.

A secular Australian Republic: A further issue relates to the Constitution and Australian identity where our institutions and national symbols should better reflect a mature and confident sense of nationality. Although the Commonwealth Constitution was framed to entrench a separation between church and state, we are not truly secular as our founding fathers intended. We will advocate for a fully secular, free and fair Australia that respects diversity and difference and upholds principles of compassion and social justice.

Our policies will be guided by the principle of working for the greater common good in society, while respecting the rights of minorities and ensuring fairness and justice for all. We also propose a renewed debate about an Australian Republic with the goal of a better alignment between our sense of ourselves and our national governance and symbols.

We want an Australian head of state: our location in the Asian region, with our economic future tied more strongly to emerging regional economies, highlights starkly the anomaly of having a head of state who sits on the British throne on the other side of the world.

The status of women: We are strongly committed to advancing the status of women and we will work to advance rights and protections for women—protections against violence and exploitation, and the rights to income equality and due recognition in the workplace. 

We recognise that social, economic and institutional policies and practices continue to discriminate against and disempower women, and we will work to eradicate such barriers. More than that, we declare our commitment that women and men must be treated as equal citizens. This belief will be the bedrock of our party’s approach to everything it does in social policy. In particular, we recognise the contribution of women in the workforce and acknowledge the needs of women and men who take on family responsibilities— whether out of the workforce, or while working part-time or full-time and balancing family and work.

We will provide support and advance the interests of such women and men through appropriate and equitable policies— including greatly expanding affordable childcare. Workforce equity and participation We acknowledge the particular needs of lower-paid workers, and assert the concept of a ‘living wage’ as an important element of a fair society—one that recognises different capacities but supports a fair minimum wage to underpin a decent standard of living. We recognise the contribution of the labour movement, and we uphold the rights of workers to have their interests represented through union advocacy.

We also acknowledge the particular situation of young people in their quest for jobs; we will advocate policies that recognise the often difficult transition from education to work and give a priority to ameliorating the barriers to workforce entry. We also acknowledge the contribution to the public good of Australia’s volunteers, and those who serve in the not-for-profit sector, and the country’s numerous community and philanthropic organisations.

A sustainable economy: We assert the values of an export-oriented, globally competitive market-based economy as the dynamic driver of economic innovation, sustainable growth and prosperity, recognising that realistic and sensible government regulation and oversight have a role to play in preventing overt market distortions, market failures and blatant inequalities.

We believe that private enterprise has to be at the centre of the country’s economic activity, and that government is typically not best placed to manage complex commercial enterprises. At the same time, we believe that standards of integrity in our corporate sector must greatly improve, particularly in relation to requirements for full market disclosure, and the ethical standards relating to the fiduciary duties and responsibilities of directors.

We particularly deplore as unacceptable the increasing trend of ever more aggressively contrived and complex arrangements for tax avoidance by large corporate entities, especially globally structured ones. We believe more strenuous efforts must be made by government to effectively constrain such manipulation and eliminate sharp practice. More broadly, we believe informed public debate is overdue on the principles underpinning government revenue raising, and the level of financial resources needed to sustain the services the country requires. Certainly, we want to achieve greater fairness through more balanced contributions from corporates and individual taxpayers to government revenue raising. 

We believe that there are significant anomalies in Australia’s taxation system 6 and we will be guided by principles of sustainability, equity and fairness in rectifying such anomalies. We believe in bringing simplicity and efficiency to the tax system, while striving for economic progress and enhanced standards of living and wellbeing for all Australian individuals and families. We particularly recognise the importance of intergenerational equity, and hence we reject policies that would impose unfair and unreasonable burdens on succeeding generations. We believe in a robust agricultural and rural sector, and we acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of Australians who have embraced the often difficult calling of life on the land, away from the amenity of the city. We believe in ecologically sustainable agricultural practice and that, through applied research and support for innovation, the rural sector can ensure the country’s food security, expand its substantial level of exports and enhance its already significant contribution to the national good.

We affirm the social importance and dignity of fulfilling work, the high value of full employment, and fair and safe workplace practices. We will advocate for budgetary policies that are responsible and equitable and that recognise that nation building through key public infrastructure in education, health and transport is an investment—not merely a cost. Similarly, we lament the lost opportunity of significant nation-building infrastructure that successive mining booms might have afforded the country, and we believe that the legacy of future generations must be secured by visionary and sustainable infrastructure projects that go beyond the short-term interests of mining company equity holders. 

A post-carbon future: We accept the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change, and we see it as a momentous challenge to the nation and the global community. We believe that global warming presents great dangers to human survival, we acknowledge that human activity is a major cause of it, and we recognise that nothing short of a profoundly different way of structuring the global economy will avert the catastrophic effects of a warming planet. Despite the un-extracted riches in Australia’s coal reserves, the imperative of moving to a post-carbon economy is clear, and the urgency of government intervention to achieve it is compelling.

We believe that calibrated, evidence-based policies—introduced in good time with appropriate price signals and investment clarity and certainty for industry—will yield the necessary emissions reductions without up-ending our economy.
Australia’s leading universities and research institutions like the CSIRO have a vital role to play in informing such policies.

We support greater government investment in research for these institutions to assist our transition to a post carbon economy. As a beginning, we will look to share in setting and achieving realistic and meaningful targets for clean, renewable energy and emissions reductions in line with international leaders, and employing government-initiated, market mechanisms to achieve those reductions.

Australia once led the world in confronting the threats posed by climate change. We can and should do so again. Such an intervention may still involve significant dislocation and change for the country; it will inevitably involve some level of sacrifice and hardship as we lessen our economic dependence on growth in energy-intensive production and consumption. Hence, while government must draw on the best scientific and economic advice to ameliorate the damage to the global environment, the Australian economy must minimise the burden of remediation on ordinary Australians.

We will seek to contribute to a more mature, evidence-based debate on the issue and implications of a post-carbon economy—including prompting an 7 important national conversation on what we, as a nation, are prepared to give up to achieve a viable and sustainable future and contribute to the global effort on climate change. 

Education and research: We believe strongly in the enriching and ennobling quality of education and we place a high value on public education and educational opportunity as a vital part of our nation building—at all levels, from early childhood development, primary and secondary schooling through to a completed tertiary education and beyond. We will encourage excellence and seek to establish high-quality standards in affordable education, recognising that a well-educated community will contribute significantly to Australia’s future. As a corollary, we assert the fundamental importance of research across all disciplines, as necessary to promote scientific and medical discovery, especially research-led excellence in clinical care.

We want to enhance economic and social learning and understanding, generally, and we believe it is important to reverse the cultural shift forced upon our universities by successive governments for them to become more like trading corporations.

We favour an expanded program of student exchanges between Australia and partners in our region and beyond to advance learning and cultural understanding. We will also support and encourage life-long learning as a means by which all Australians can enrich the community and their own lives.

Health: We firmly believe that a fundamental mark of a good society is the quality of its healthcare. We uphold the importance of a world-class health system for Australia that addresses the ongoing challenges of rapid technological advances, an ageing population, affordability and accessibility—and which meets the needs of our disabled and otherwise disadvantaged or marginalised citizens. Having ready and affordable access to quality healthcare ought not be seen as dependent upon one’s income, but as a basic right for all. In respect of primary healthcare, in particular, we strongly support the principle of universal access as the vital core of the system, one much admired by other countries in the developed world. The importance of universal healthcare will become even greater with the ever-increasing numbers of elderly Australians.

Indigenous Australians: We recognise Indigenous Australians, whose ancient cultures we respect—and we acknowledge Aboriginal dispossession and the damage to Indigenous culture associated with it. Indigenous Australians are the custodians of one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth and we are the poorer for not fully embracing this unique heritage.

We also need to more effectively work with Aboriginal communities to address the condition of Indigenous Australians. The standard of living and life expectancy of Aboriginal people—which is well short of non-Indigenous Australians—is a continuing national disgrace, and the treatment by government of Aboriginal people, generally, has been consistently deplorable. Government interventions have been typically based upon a fundamentally flawed model that has denied Indigenous people ownership of the policy process underpinning these interventions.

Such paternalistic, ‘them and us’ approaches— which were always doomed to fail—must change. As a first step, we will advocate for a comprehensive Treaty with Indigenous Australians—as other countries have successfully done with their indigenous peoples—to more fully effect reconciliation, and to begin again the process of addressing the flaws in policies and processes affecting Indigenous people.

We will also support moves to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution. Beyond doing a better job of empowering Indigenous Australians to live healthier, fulfilling lives within our society, we must more fully respect and acknowledge their cultural identity within the national consciousness.

We need to act more vigorously to address these human rights deficiencies in our society for its own sake, for the benefit of those who bear the burden of these deficiencies, and to make Australia a more credible and effective advocate for human rights beyond our shores.

Human rights and asylum seekers: We uphold and advocate for an unequivocal acceptance of, and respect for, the rule of law, and the advancement of a more just society. Our policies will be designed to uphold the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promote the passage of an Australian statutory Charter of Human Rights— consistent with the UN Declaration— giving legislative protection to our fundamental rights and freedoms. In line with our population objective, we affirm our commitment to the United Nations Refugee Convention, to which Australia has been a signatory since 1954. Contrary to the cruel practices of successive governments of both major parties since 1992, asylum seekers should be treated with respect and in a way consistent with our obligations under international covenants.

Like other countries in the developed world, Australia is a signatory to six international human rights conventions, some dating back fifty or sixty years, which offer safety and provide protections to asylum seekers, especially to children. These instruments represent our solemn promise to the international community, but the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, the abusive neglect and deprivation of children in detention, and the brutal treatment of people in offshore processing centres, mean that Australia has committed gross, unconscionable breaches of our obligations under international law.

We strongly believe current policies and practices must change, urgently and fundamentally.

We must also take the step of entrenching our international human rights obligations into Australian domestic law. Moreover, experience over the last sixty years has shown that an open and humane attitude towards people fleeing war, persecution and oppression in other lands has improved the quality and the richness of life in Australia. There can be few issues that more directly speak to our sense of ourselves as a nation than how we treat some of the world’s most vulnerable people, who seek our help and protection.

Population and immigration: Australia has a long history of valuing immigration and encouraging and welcoming those who come to share their lives in this country. Our nation has been built in no small part by the energy, skills and enterprise of immigrants. In Australia today we need to promote an open discussion about population. While some in this country believe Australia is already fully populated, nobody in any other country of the world would accept or believe that.

With population pressures worldwide, our country must be prepared to do more to increase its population and build the economic and social infrastructure to support it, while ensuring full employment, social harmony and preserving community amenity.

To achieve that outcome, we will have to move away from the historical Australian experience of urban sprawl and megacities—where sixty per cent of the national population lives in five capital cities—to a more geographically dispersed model of smaller urban centres, as in the UK and elsewhere.

We recognise that, for the most part, ours is a large, arid and sparsely populated country, one reflecting harsh climatic conditions, often poor soils, prone to prolonged drought and much of it exhibiting marginal agricultural utility. However, we believe that—mindful of the cultural and environmental sensitivities, and with very careful stewardship as we move to a post-carbon economy—we can sustain a larger population, which will contribute to our long-term vitality and security.

Clearly, a more populous nation will have greater influence in advancing the values and issues important to Australia within our region and the world.

Defence and foreign policy: We uphold the importance of defence positions and strategies that are framed, and capabilities developed, to protect our country, underpin an independent posture in the region, and ensure the security of the nation against any external threat of aggression.

We advocate the benefits of a strategic, independent Australia and we will assert independent foreign policies that are based on the values of friendly and constructive bilateral and multilateral engagement in advancing the national interest.

From Federation in 1901, Australia had a sense of strategic dependence on the United Kingdom that was transferred to the United States during World War II. But many Australians are unaware of the fact that our defence treaty with the United States is a commitment to consult, not a guarantee to defend. Today, the strategic context in which Australia operates is quite different from that of earlier times, and our nation must develop its own sense of independence and identity.

Our foreign policy and diplomacy must convey that independence.

Above all, we should not cede to any foreign country the capacity to decide whether Australia is at peace or goes to war; nor will we participate in war just because our traditional allies go to war.

Alliances are important, but they must serve mutual interests. Supporting the UN We recognise the crucial role of the United Nations, its agencies and processes, and the need to support its resolutions. Too often, major powers have supported the UN only where it has suited their interests. To be fully effective, all powers great and small must respect the United Nations and, in their policies, seek to strengthen it and make it more effective, especially in achieving the peaceful resolution of international disputes and conflicts.

A stable global order will ultimately depend upon a successful United Nations. Apart from the UN, there are opportunities for Australia to participate more fully in international affairs by working directly with other like-minded countries to promote a more stable and peaceful world. In many ways Australia is fortunate being on the edge of a dynamic and fast developing part of the world.

We must value and promote positive bilateral relations with our neighbours, including restoring historic levels of overseas aid and directing that aid towards solving the pressing problems within our region. Asia and South Asia will be the global economic powerhouses for the present and the future. We must more fully embrace the idea that this is where our future lies.

We can make ourselves more fully part of the region if we have the wit and the will to do so

A robust public service: We value and uphold the importance of effective public administration. Hence, we will seek to revalue the role, independence and contribution of a robust and efficient public service, one resourced and supported to the highest standard, and emboldened to give frank and fearless advice. In recent times the public service has lost status, prestige and influence as Ministers rely more heavily on politically appointed staff in their private offices. There is often competition between the two for authority and influence.

We need to establish a system that is more cohesive, more thoughtful and effective, and which makes the best advice available to government.

We need an open discussion about the best way of resolving the conflicts that often arise, and a way of achieving a better balance between these two competing advisory and administrative systems.

A modern, independent and efficient public service helps provide the foundations for good governance. [Renew Australia] for a new way forward Our corroded national politics has led many Australians, particularly young people, to increasing disillusionment, disengagement and despair. Significant change is necessary and overdue. [Renew Australia] is espousing a values-based approach to advancing our democracy— charting a new way forward—with honesty and transparency for the benefit of the country.

We now seek the support of all Australians so that collectively we may successfully navigate the very significant challenges and opportunities facing us in this early part of the 21st century and beyond. 20 January 2015

25 Mar 2015

Food labelling reforms could be sunk without a trace.

MADE IN ???????
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Food labelling reforms could be sunk without a trace.

Consumers may not end up with the clearest country of origin food-labelling standards because of a potential conflict of interest.

The inclusion of Trade Minister Andrew Robb in the Abbott government's taskforce working on proposed changes is in the final stages of negotiating the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), was to the detriment of consumers. Putting Andrew Robb in that taskforce is like putting a fox in the hen house.

Mr Robb so far has refused to release the wording of the TPP to clear up the confusion.

Minister Barnaby Joyce said country of origin labelling should be simple, compulsory, diagrammatically and show proportionality as to where the product is sourced from.

"I've never believed that honesty should be taken as a reason not to do something. We're asking for honesty in labelling, because what we've got at the moment is dishonest," he said.

Australians should be worried because we are not being told anything about what this trade deal entails, secrecy seems to be a trade mark of this present government.

We as Australians are not children and shouldn't be treated in this manor, these agreements should not be signed without safeguards. They could have a dramatic effect on our lives.

This secrecy stinks!

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nsw/greens-accuse-andrew-robb-of-conflict-of-interest-over-food-labelling-reforms-20150324-1m65vv.html

24 Mar 2015

Governor signs law making Utah only state to shoot prisoners.

Image result for firing squad

Modern America:-Shoot them its cheaper than drugs.

Governor signs law making Utah only state:



'via Blog this'

Medicare rebate freeze could cause more problems than co-payment – study | Australia news | The Guardian

Some people will still pay a disguised co-payment. Coalition's sneaky backdoor money grab.

Medicare rebate freeze could cause more problems than co-payment – study | Australia news | The Guardian:



'via Blog this'

Canberra bashed around the ears by budget cuts and the future doesn't look to bright.

Successive governments have bashed the ACT's economy, so called efficiency is the reason given.

However many of the jobs have been moved out of the ACT to other electorates where both the major parties want to win seats. Its not all about efficiency.

The political parties think that the ACT's seats are predictable and therefore they don't spend money or offer policies to win voters over.

The ACT's standard of living declined in 2014 by 2.3 per cent, or $2571 while all other states improved through the year


The latest official figures show the capital has lost about 5700 full time public service jobs since mid-2013, combined with wage stagnation in the bureaucracy, definitely showed in research.
With the ACT, you've got relatively weak wages growth in Canberra, the public servants haven't done very well and even the private sector is going fairly poorly. 
"Unemployment is on the increase, employment is actually going down and the other states are actually doing a lot better than us.
"The trend is not a good one and there's no doubt that tough budgets, not just from Labor, not just from the Liberals, have impacted the ACT more than other places because of efficiency dividends, job cuts and lack of promotions in the public service."

Data retention: 'journalist information warrants' are warrants in name only | Richard Ackland | Comment is free | The Guardian

Safe guards are just smoke and mirrors, agencies can can search any journalists metadata because oversight remains under the control of government. There is no independent oversight, the Senate must strengthen the legislation.



Data retention: 'journalist information warrants' are warrants in name only | Richard Ackland | Comment is free | The Guardian:



'via Blog this'

23 Mar 2015

Liberal party is no longer liberal and Malcolm Fraser couldn't believe how extremist they have become.

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Fraser's politics didn't shift but the Liberal party has became unrecognisable.

After his death was announced, many messages of grief and condolence from many people appeared from those who have always associated themselves with Labor. It was surprising, why from that side of the trenches, well it was his life after he left parliament that stamped him as a true humanitarian.

Have we seen wide spread grief from his those who count themselves as Liberal supporters today, no, even John Howard was not very forthcoming in his comments.

The party politely says the right thing, but it appears quite false, have they swung so far to the right that they can't acknowledge him for who he was, and his principles, even though they don't agree with them.

Frightened of criticism from any quarter they immediately crawl into their shells, its a sad day when they can't overlook his opinion of their policies.

This government has a very blinkered look on their own history, instead of studying it and learning, they just blunder ahead blindly.


19 Mar 2015

Death by food, gov't, says we don't care. Food-related deaths and illnesses to no longer be reported to the ACCC

IF IT KILLS
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DON'T TELL ANYBODY

This is not a government, it is a non-government that refuses to look after its own Australian citizens.

SHAME, SHAME.

Food-related deaths and illnesses to no longer be reported to the ACCC:



'via Blog this'

Cut wages says government yet small business are positve about future without cuts?

PAY RISE ON CARDS FOR MORE Small business STAFF

If you work for a small business, you'll have a greater chance of getting a raise this year, new research shows.
A national survey of more than 1,000 small businesses has found nearly a quarter of owners plan on giving staff a pay rise in 2015.
The MYOB poll also found 12 per cent of small businesses are looking to expand their full-time employment base, while 17 per cent expect an increase in the part-time or casual payroll.
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says the number of small businesses planning to increase wages this year has risen and was particularly encouraging, given the uncertain political climate and drop in consumer and business confidence.
"Year-on-year it's an increase of about 10 per cent, so two or three percentage points," he said.
Mr Reed said some small business owners were taking advantage of a fall in inflation to pay their staff more.

18 Mar 2015

The beginning of the end for coal investment

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There will be quite a few countries that will need coal for many years, renewable are the future but underdeveloped counties really have no alternatives, of course they will start looking at renewable's. 

Coal will be around for many years  I'm afraid because it is simple to set up power from coal.

Renewable's for developed countries is a different kettle of fish, they can ween themselves of it because they have the networks to connect it to whereas poorer countries do not.

Live with the fact that the developed or more developed counties omit the majority of green house gases. The rest will get there eventually, particularly if they are helped by developed countries.

Things will change probably, when I couldn't predict, one things for sure coal use will be around for along time.

There is another possibility if ever they can burn coal without the emissions it will be here for the long haul because its cheap..

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