Sustainable Development Commission to replace the Productivity Commission? It is past time to move beyond the Ptolemaic views of neoclassical economics

The Ptolemaic view of earth as the centre of the universe.

In a recent article on the The Conversation web site, several senior policy researchers have put forward a proposal to scrap the Productivity Commission and replace it with a Sustainable Development Commission . The central core of their proposal, however, is not just about renaming an institution -- it is about a paradigm change in how we think about economic growth and development: from the current neoclassical economic paradigm to a new … [Read more...]

Heading towards a big Australia? Comments on the Productivity Commission Draft Report on Migrant Intake

In a previous post I discussed my support for population stabilization in Australia and included some stuff from my submission (and others') to the Productivity Commission's public inquiry into Migrant Intake into Australia. Well, the Commission issued a Draft Report in November 2015 and invited further public comment.  The Draft Report clearly acknowledges that "Australia's immigration policy is inextricably linked to population policy" (p. 117) … [Read more...]

Time to Stabilize Australia’s Population

Cassowary crossing road near oncoming car.

The Productivity Commission's ongoing enquiry into migrant intake into Australia is a welcome opportunity to critically examine the contribution of immigration to Australia's high population growth rate, which is adding immense pressure to infrastructure, environment impacts, and cost of living (eg housing costs). The contribution of immigration-fueled population growth to these issues is studiously ignored by the major political parties and also … [Read more...]

Queensland election: May this be the stake through the heart of neoliberal dogma

Labor leader Anastacia Palaszczuk's victory speech.

Queensland citizens have decisively rejected the privatisation agenda of the Liberal National Party led by Campbell Newman.  Is it too much to hope that this result, combined with the ferocious opposition of public opinion and the Senate to the Abbott Federal government's hard right neoliberal budget, finally signal to political and business elites that the Australian people reject the neoliberal agenda of privatisations, reduced environmental … [Read more...]

John Faulkner calls for enhanced oversight of Australia’s intelligence agencies

John Faulkner is one of Australia's most respected Senators - on either side of politics.  He is now making a compelling case for more enhanced oversight of Australia's rapidly growing intelligence establishment, in his essay published in the Financial Review: Surveillance, intelligence and accountability: an Australian story. Since 2001 (September 11) there have been 62 new pieces of anti-terror legislation passed and enacted in Australia. … [Read more...]