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As Alan Joyce runs for cover, with the Australian public baying for blood, it's a good time to remember that the underlying problem goes well beyond Mr Joyce or indeed Qantas. For decades, thanks to privatisation, once-loved Australian institutions have been hollowed out by international profit-making entities, while still pretending to have national interests at heart. Now we're all paying for the consequences.
Most Australian households have now received their Voice referendum booklet in the mail. It looks quite official and is being distributed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Unfortunately the contents haven't been fact checked. Like most other forms of federal political advertising, lying and misinformation in this context is completely legal.
It's still another week until parliament in Canberra comes back from its long winter break, which makes this a great time to revisit something that was rushed through the Senate with very little scrutiny on the last day of the last session, back in June.
The announcement of a new Reserve Bank governor last week will be cold comfort to the many Australians groaning under the pressure of twelve interest rate rises since May 2022, but the departure of Philip Lowe should take some political pressure off the Albanese Government, even if he's not actually gone yet.
The Australian Senate was the site of most of the action last week as parliament resumed. On Friday, the red chamber sat alone, going until after 4am on Saturday morning as Liberals and Nationals spun out the debate on whether there should be a Voice referendum, led by the pen-pointing cyborg-impersonator Michaelia Cash.
Corruption takes many forms, and has become more refined since the days of brown paper bags. In Australia, we have lobbyists, interests and politicians, with the traditional dividing lines between these three now all but invisible, and numerous examples of people moving from one position to another, and then back again, as they prioritise personal gain over what's best for the country.
While reports about the referendum for the Voice pull in every direction, for, against and in between, the Parliament of Australia has announced that the Joint Select Committee on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum will commence its program of public hearings today in Canberra.
Later this year, all Australians of voting age will be asked to have their say on whether the Constitution should be altered to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.