Senate repainted shades of Green

Peter van Onselen, Contributing Editor The Australian

Over the past two weeks the 12 outgoing senators who are retiring or were defeated at last year's federal election have been making their valedictory speeches in the chamber before the arrival of 12 new senators on Friday, July 1.

The transition will be significant in terms of personnel and the party complexion in the Senate. That, in turn, is likely to have a profound impact on governance in this, Labor's second term in power.

Call to keep up the pressure at coalface

Lauren Wilson – The Australian

Aboriginal activist Bess Price had some blunt advice for politicians in Canberra contemplating the future of the intervention; toughen up alcohol laws and measures to boost school attendance.

Transsexuals must wait for gender ruling

Amanda Banks – The West Australian

A landmark case to determine whether female-to-male transsexuals must undergo dangerous penis construction surgery that is not performed in Australia, to legally swap genders in WA was heard in the High Court yesterday.

Coalition allows $2bn in family tax benefits cuts to pass lower house

Sue Dunlevy – The Australian

Tony Abbott has allowed budget cuts to family tax benefits that will hit 2.1 million families to pass through the lower house of parliament.

‘People swap’ my idea, says Fielding

Michelle Grattan – The Age

Family First's outgoing Senator Steve Fielding has claimed credit for being the first to propose the ''people swap'' policy the government is pursuing in its Malaysia solution.

New poll: majority of Americans define marriage as union between a man and woman

Stephanie Samuel – Christian Post

Despite several other polls which show the national opinion is trending toward favoring legalizing gay marriage, the poll sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund shows the exact opposite – Americans still strongly support traditional marriage.

Aussie troops not at risk by US withdrawal in Afghanistan


Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan will not be affected adversely by any reduction in US troop numbers on the ground, Defence Minister Stephen Smith says.

Telstra, Optus to start censoring the web next month

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson – News Limited

Most Australian internet users will have their web access censored next month after the country's two largest internet providers agreed to voluntarily block more than 500 websites from view.

Tobacco ads to be banned on net


A proposed ban on tobacco advertising on the internet will bring the prohibition into the 21st century, parliament has been told.

Different people, same attitude

Louise Maher – The Drum

There were plenty of smack-in-the-guts moments in last night's debut of Go Back to Where You Come From, the documentary/social experiment/reality show on SBS TV.

When enough is enough

Siobhan Krikori – The Drum

When France legally banned the burka in April of this year I found myself questioning whether or not I was for or against the ban, putting together a list of pros and cons in my head. I came to the conclusion that I didn't agree with the ban and that the ability to wear what you wish is a freedom that every individual is entitled to regardless of where in the world you live.

The anti-trans Catholic paper has nothing to do with human rights

Roz Kaveny - Guardian UK

On 17 June, the UN human rights council passed a resolution in favour of the rights of lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and trans people; the coalition that opposed this included Russia, Pakistan and Nigeria. And, of course, the Catholic church.