Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you COVID

Originally published on As lockdowns ease in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, and people return to work and socialising, many of us will be mixing more with others, even though a section of the community is still unvaccinated. Many vaccinated people are concerned about the prospect of mixing with unvaccinated people. This […]

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Keith Pitt on the climate plan and coal’s future

Originally published on Resources minister Keith Pitt might have been a “no” when the Nationals debated the government’s climate plan but he was a winner in the deal struck between Scott Morrison and the Coalition’s minor partner. He has been restored to cabinet, just months after Barnaby Joyce relegated him to the outer ministry. […]

Does the government’s new national plan to combat child sexual abuse go far enough?

Originally published on Shutterstock In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report. This came after years of social action and advocacy by survivors and their supporters, during which they were often ignored and dismissed. Thousands of survivors shared their stories and testimony with the royal […]

A new proposed privacy code promises tough rules and $10 million penalties for tech giants

Originally published on Shutterstock This week the federal government announced proposed legislation to develop an online privacy code (or “OP Code”) setting tougher privacy standards for Facebook, Google, Amazon and many other online platforms. These companies collect and use vast amounts of consumers’ personal data, much of it without their knowledge or real consent, […]

Can artists revive dead city centres? Without long-term tenancies it’s window dressing

Originally published on After 18 months of lockdown, the City of Melbourne is understandably anxious to get people back to the CBD and inner areas. Commercial vacancy rates are high, international student numbers have plummeted and the streets are dead. The council’s $A2.6 million plan to provide “creatives and entrepreneurs” with “flexible, short-term licence […]

Consumers are wise to ‘woke washing’ – but truly ‘transformative branding’ can still make a difference

Originally published on Shutterstock With brands increasingly engaging in social change campaigns and leveraging their influence to be “purpose-led”, the time has come to ask a couple of big questions: is this a viable strategy, and how sceptical should we be of so-called “brand activism”? In recent weeks alone, Ben & Jerry’s has launched […]

Are employers and workers at odds over NZ’s workplace vaccine mandates? Our research suggests they might be

Originally published on Shutterstock The New Zealand government’s announcement yesterday of expanded mandatory vaccination requirements raises important questions about legality and compliance. Vaccination will become mandatory for staff at any business where vaccine certificates are required for customers, including hospitality, hairdressers and gyms. But our research suggests this will not be without its challenges. […]

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century. That’s not OK

Originally published on Shutterstock If nations make good on their latest promises to reduce emissions by 2030, the planet will warm by at least 2.7℃ this century, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found. This overshoots the crucial internationally agreed temperature rise of 1.5℃. Released today, just days before the […]

View from The Hill: Morrison’s net-zero plan is built more on politics than detailed policy

Originally published on Boris Johnson enthused about the Morrison government’s belated embrace of the 2050 net-zero target. “They’ve done a heroic thing, the Australians, in getting to that commitment,” Johnson said. “[It] was actually very difficult for Australia to do … because Australia is very heavily dependent on coal and on lots of carbon-producing […]

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Scott Morrison’s (thin) climate plan for Glasgow

Originally published on As well as Michelle Grattan’s usual interviews with experts and politicians about the news of the day, Politics with Michelle Grattan now includes “Word from The Hill”, where all things political will be discussed with members of The Conversation’s politics team. In this week’s episode, they canvass the government’s plan, released […]