Albanese’s $10bn pledge pushes housing needs back into the limelight

Originally published on Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s budget reply speech last night highlighted Australia’s huge unnmet need for social and affordable housing. It’s once again shaping up as a major election issue. Labor is proposing a A$10 billion program to build 30,000 social and affordable homes over five years. The immediate backdrop for the […]

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the 2021-22 budget

Originally published on University of Canberra Professorial Fellow Michelle Grattan and University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Paddy Nixon discuss the week in politics. This week Michelle and Paddy discuss budget week – from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s speech in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s budget reply […]

Getting ready for climate change is about people, not spreadsheets. Let’s use our imaginations

Originally published on Measures in this week’s federal budget to help Australians withstand and adapt to climate change are sorely needed, after years of cuts in this policy area. The Morrison government has funded a raft of initiatives, including A$600 million to establish a National Recovery and Resilience Agency and A$210 million for the […]

Yes, religion plays a more prominent role in politics. But ‘secular Australia’ has always been a myth

Originally published on AAP/Sam Mooy Religion and politics have long been uneasy bedfellows, especially in largely secular societies like Australia. But since September 11 and the sudden focus on Islam in Western politics, it has taken a far more prominent role. In the past decade, we have seen how conservative evangelicals in the US […]

Grattan on Friday: Is that the Coalition debt truck parked just past the election?

Originally published on It was a small thing but a revealing moment during Scott Morrison’s Wednesday interview on Nine’s Today show. Presenter Karl Stefanovic noticed Morrison seemed out of sorts, despite the government having delivered the night before a benign budget that was well received and likely to be popular. “It is a very […]

‘Frontline workers’ among those to get priority in Albanese’s housing program

Originally published on A promise to set up a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build social and affordable housing was the centrepiece of Anthony Albanese’s Thursday night budget reply. In the program’s first five years, the investment returns would build about 20,000 social housing properties. Of these, 4,000 would be allocated to […]

Too late, already bolted: how a faster WHO response could have slowed COVID-19’s spread

Originally published on Victor He/Unsplash Urgent global action is needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future threats, according to a new report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The panel, co-chaired by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, criticises the […]

Big-spending ‘recovery budget’ leaves universities out in the cold

Originally published on Shutterstock The 2021 federal budget has largely ignored the plight of Australian universities. The forward estimates even point to an overall decline, once adjusted for inflation, in Commonwealth direct funding for higher education through to 2023-34. On top of this, the budget indicates Australia’s borders will remain largely closed until at […]

No vaccine ‘targets’, but Australians could still be vaccinated by end of year

Originally published on This week’s budget assumes Australians will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the government has no vaccination targets, modelling or forecasts. Australians are eagerly watching the pace of the rollout, given this underpins a further budget assumption: international borders could […]

How snake fangs evolved to perfectly fit their food

Originally published on Mark Kostich / Shutterstock Few structures in nature inspire more fear and fascination than the fangs of venomous snakes. These needle-like teeth are used by snakes to pierce their prey and inject deadly venom. With more than 3000 species of snake inhabiting our world, we wondered: are all their fangs the […]