Tag Archives

Saving Australia’s wildlife is the best way to honour Prince Philip’s legacy

Opinion by MERRILL WITT Prince Philip’s remarks at the opening of the Australian Mint in 1965, recently aired by Geraldine Doogue on RN’s Saturday Extra, were an early marker of his impressive credentials as an environmentalist.  At that time, the Duke of Edinburgh didn’t hold back in warning his audience that Australia’s native wildlife was […]

Willful ignorance is the only excuse for not addressing sexual harassment

Opinion by MERRILL WITT The #NotJustADaughter hashtag started trending on Twitter shortly after the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, explained at a press conference on February 16th that his decision to call for an independent inquiry into the Australian parliament's workplace practices was informed by his wife's advice to 'imagine how he would respond if Brittany […]

Sydney’s water security at risk?

By MERRILL WITT At the recent Independent Planning Commission’s hearings for the proposed expansion of the Dendrobium underground coal mine, Wollondilly Councillor Noel Lowry expressed disbelief that the Government was prioritising urban development over mining in coal-rich, semi-rural Wilton while at the same time allowing the expansion of coal mining under the Sydney Water Catchment.  […]

Brandy Hill Quarry planning tragedy

Opinion by MERRILL WITT The federal government's approval of the expansion of the Brandy Hill Quarry in Port Stephens was heartbreaking, not only for the local community but for the people of NSW and beyond.  A local community organisation, the Brandy Hill and Seaham Action Group, had launched a last-minute, very effective campaign to stop […]

Sydney’s food bowl at risk

Opinion by MERRILL WITT Last Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Berejiklian government had reached an in-principle agreement with acting Nationals leader Paul Toole to weaken the Koala State Environment Planning Policy (Koala SEPP) in preparation for its cabinet meeting this week.  Needless to say, the relaxation of the rules governing koala habitat protection […]

Koalas locked-in so developers can roam  

By MERRILL WITT The year-long Upper House Inquiry into Koala populations and habitat in NSW released a report in July that contained an alarming revelation. Predictions that the Koala is on track to become functionally extinct in NSW by 2050 are, in fact, far too optimistic because “the scale of loss as a result of […]

Why a Basic Income Guarantee makes economic sense 

Opinion by MERRILL WITT In a March research note to clients Macquarie Bank posed the following question: ‘Will COVID-19 redefine societies and economic models and inflict a prolonged and massive damage; or will it simply nudge us towards different policies (e.g. basic income guarantees & MMT) but still leave the essence of our societies intact, […]

Why local news matters

By MERRILL WITT In the last week of June, Australians received more grim news about the future of news coverage in Australia. The managing director of the ABC, David Anderson, announced cutbacks to news divisions and job losses in response to a cut in federal funding for the public broadcaster. Seventy jobs in news and […]

Brakes taken off NSW development approvals

Opinion by MERRILL WITT A great leap forward? If you know a little about the history of China, you may have been bemused to read that Tom Forrest, the new CEO of Urban Taskforce, described the recently announced planning system reforms as "a great leap forward for jobs, housing supply and the NSW economy." As […]

Local council elections postponed

By MERRILL WITT If you’re thinking the coronavirus pandemic has thrown our liberal democratic order into disarray, you’re not wrong! On Weds 25 March the Minister for Local Government, Shellley Hancock, announced that the Sept 2020 local government elections will be “postponed to address the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus.” In all likelihood, they […]