The government has delivered a budget that set its sights low, but still asks too much of Australians | The Canberra Times

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A trillion dollars is a lot of money – a one with 12 zeros after it. That’s where Australia’s debt will peak. To put it in perspective, when the Liberals launched their “debt truck” scare campaign in 2009, they did so with the figure “$315 billion” emblazoned on the side – one-third of the level of projected peak debt under the Coalition today. So what does Australia get from that spending? The economy came into this crisis from a position of weakness. Last year, productivity went backwards, investment was in the doldrums, wage growth was among the slowest on record. We had problems in retail and a downturn in construction. That means we need to have big aspirations. When Curtin and Chifley sat down at the end of World War II to rebuild the economy, they didn’t take a “back to

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Health and education spending is at record levels. This budget should have gone further on tax cuts | The Canberra Times

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The biggest story of the 2020 budget is not, surprisingly, the 12-figure record deficit. It is not the looming trillion dollars in debt. And it is certainly not any supposed unfairness. It’s the loss of a once-in-a-decade chance to shift the economic trajectory of the budget. In normal times, the budget imposes practical limits on government spending. Government can never do everything it wants, because to do so would result in massive deficits, and the public still looks askance at unfunded spending, despite persistent efforts by progressives to undermine this sensible instinct. But in a crisis, different rules apply. Deficits seemingly no longer matter, and governments are free to pursue a broader agenda, for better or worse; as Kevin Rudd did when he found himself unshackled as a result of the Global Financial Crisis. Yet the

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Centre Alliance will support the government’s plan to increase higher education fees | The Canberra Times

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The Centre Alliance has come under fire from Labor, the Greens and independent crossbenchers including Senator Jacqui Lambie after the party announced it would support the government’s higher education changes. The government said the changes, which were announced earlier this year, were aimed at improving job outcomes for graduates and encouraging students to study degrees in areas where Australia has a skills shortages. The changes accommodate for decreases in fees for units involving teaching, nursing, agriculture, maths, English and languages, environmental science, health, architecture, IT and engineering. On the other hand students pursuing humanities degrees could face a 113 per cent increase while law and commerce degrees could cost up to 28 per cent more. A two year freeze on funding increases has also been lifted which will see university funding per student increase annually according to the consumer price index. On Tuesday, Centre Alliance’s education spokesperson Senator

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It’s not up to Indigenous people to educate everyone else about racism | The Canberra Times

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Over the last year, we’ve seen many non-Indigenous people with only the best of intentions, reach out to their Indigenous friends and contacts so they can better understand racial and cultural issues affecting society. While that’s a good sentiment, we think it’s important that non-Indigenous people start to do more to educate themselves to help alleviate racism and cultural insensitivity within Australia. The problem is that for any Indigenous person it becomes exhausting. It becomes a 24-7 job, constantly helping people better comprehend the historical and cultural issues at play. In our training and our book, we use the 1/30 rule to help illustrate the point. If the Australian population was a classroom of 30 children, only one of those would be Indigenous. In that situation, it would be up to the 29 children out of 30 to learn more and do more – not for that one

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Former Taliban hostage Tim Weeks urges Australians to educate themselves about conflict at Rotary’s World Peace Day Ceremony | The Canberra Times

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Former Taliban hostage Tim Weeks has used the keynote speech at Rotary’s World Peace Day Ceremony to call on Australians to be compassionate and think critically about international conflict. Mr Weeks was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for three years before returning to Australia as part of a prisoner swap in 2019. “Peace seemed like an unrealistic goal for me to achieve for my own self, let alone to begin to talk on the matter of world peace,” he said. “For me peace is not the image of a dove or a rainbow, as lovely as they are … peace is a sustainable peace with justice and equality for all.” He said despite suffering at the hands of his Taliban captors, he grew to love the Afghan people. Mr Weeks called upon Australians to educate themselves further about

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