Analysis

Talk has once again resurfaced about extending police powers and militarising police forces after a violent brawl outside a pub in Collingwood, Victoria, earlier this month. But many are asking just how far governments are willing to go in sacrificing freedoms for an ill-conceived notion of being “tough on crime”.

While conservative governments are constantly making calls to criminalise trade union activities, Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Colin Vernon says governments should instead be focusing on the real crime wave occurring in our community right now.

Sometimes the most powerful protests are those made in silence by brave individuals deciding to take a stand.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi made an impassioned plea for the big powers in the region to stop bullying small Pacific Island nations just days before the 49th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was held in Nauru over September 3-6.

South Australia’s Liberal government gave final approval for Leigh Creek Energy to begin a three-month trial of an underground coal gasification (UCG) process, despite UCG technology being banned in other states due to its devastating impacts on the environment.

The five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which presented its findings last year, opened up a greater understanding of the problems in religious and community institutions’ dealings with children.

Events over the last few weeks have revealed just how politicised Australia’s immigration policy has become.

A 2014 military agreement means Australia is host to the United States military, from where it can launch hostilities against our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific-South East Asia region.

“Any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid”, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said on August 31.

While the debate on free speech has largely focused on the "rights" of racists and bigots, federal and state governments have been quietly passing new laws that strip citizens of the freedom of speech that is essential to democratic deliberation.

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