Daily News - 5 May 2015

Posted 5 May 2015 11:50am
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Stopping the boats as a part of our national identity

John Warhurst - Eureka Street

Searching for our identity as Australians is more than just an ivory tower exercise. Quantitative research may never provide fully satisfactory answers, but it does make a serious contribution to such searching.

Recently I joined a panel to discuss the latest in a series of ANU Polls, which seek to extend our understanding of Australian society. This one was about 'Australian Attitudes towards National Identity: Citizenship, Immigration and Tradition'.

At one level we Australians are pretty happy with ourselves; perhaps that is why we are also quite traditional and resistant to change. But there is also evidence of some disquiet with aspects of our society and of tensions in attitudes towards ‘big-ticket’ items, like immigration and the republic.

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Budget 2015: Tighter pension assets test

David Crowe - The Australian

Labor has lashed out at a new government plan to overhaul the age pension as the debate over next week’s budget turns into a dispute over whether older Australians should accept tax hikes or welfare cuts in order to balance the budget.

Bill Shorten urged the government to “drop the pension cuts” and keep its election promise to leave the age pension alone, hardening the political barriers in the Senate to any new changes.

But the government has a chance to secure support from the Greens for a compromise that would scale back the part-pension for wealthier retirees with more than $820,000 in private assets apart from their family homes, leaving millions of full-rate pensioners alone.

Greens leader Christine Milne has offered qualified support for changes to the age pension assets test but is yet to see any of the new details, while Labor has already attacked the Greens for being open to the ide

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The CATHOLIC THING: Is Catholic Social Teaching Our Best Kept Secret?

Sandie Corgnish - MN News

For many years people have said that Catholic Social Teaching is our best kept secret, but I don’t think that is really true anymore. Lots of websites – including mine, social-spirituality.net – now have easily accessible explanations of key principles and links to the major papal social justice documents. Two challenges for those of us who are passionate about the Catholic social justice tradition are to encourage deeper knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching among Catholics, and to make it as well known in the wider community as Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

How the Catholic Church understands social justice

Social justice is a 19th century expression – you won’t find it in the bible – but from its very beginning the Church has been concerned about justice in society. The Catholic Church, like the rest of humanity, has come to understand the demands of justice between groups in society more deeply over time. Social justice is not only about how we relate to one another as individuals, it is about fairness in the way different social groups are treated. It involves looking at how our societies’ structures, institutions and processes work.

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Bali 9 executions: the mystery Australian Federal Police cop who took a stand

Matthew Knott - The SMH

In the deluge of information from Monday's marathon Australian Federal Police press conference on the Bali nine case, one revelation was largely overlooked.

Yet this officer took the road less travelled. He took himself off the case

According to Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan, who spoke of his agonising decision to hand over information that eventually led to the deaths of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the "vast majority" of AFP officers involved supported this call. Not doing so would potentially have allowed the drug smugglers to go free and eight kilograms of heroin to hit the streets.

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