Tricky times for Shorten and Turnbull

Haig Park marriage equality picnic – Canberrans react to the Yes vote. Photo by Karleen Minney.The final few weeks of this political year will be tricky for both sides. The two issues that dominated the second half of the year – dual citizenship and same-sex marriage – refuse to go away.
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Each must be treated carefully by Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten. The “yes” result for the same-sex marriage survey means Turnbull now needs to make good his promise of legislation before Christmas. A private member’s bill backed by the government will be put to the Parliament, with all MPs to have a free vote. That sounds easy and should pass comfortably on the back of the resounding “yes” vote. Yet Turnbull will still need to negotiate his own crossbench, including a cabal of conservatives trying to hijack the process.

Turnbull ended up being on the winning side within the Coalition for a change, because he supported same-sex marriage, but he won’t get much credit: he campaigned without much passion or determination. His Liberal deputy, Julie Bishop, didn’t campaign at all.

Turnbull will try to manage the last stages of same-sex marriage while he has been reduced to minority government by the dual-citizenship fiasco, which cost him his majority in the House of Representatives through the resignations of Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander. His government will need to negotiate the final two House of Representatives sitting weeks of the year. Survival should be straightforward with the support of the crossbench on matters of confidence, but survival with his dignity intact will be harder.

He has not handled the dual-citizenship matter at all well. He was unsympathetic towards the first of those who resigned, Greens parliamentarians Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters. He then misread the likely High Court decision. He allowed Joyce to stay on as a minister. He failed to act decisively on the question of an audit and was then let down by Stephen Parry and Alexander.

While all this happened, he consistently lagged in the polls, most recently by 55 to 45 per cent in the latest Newspoll. His internal critics, such as Tony Abbott, stalk his every move.

This puts Turnbull in a potentially dangerous and complicated situation that needs careful handling: the dictionary definition of a tricky situation.

Shorten, on the other hand, is in a tricky situation of a different kind. It, too, needs careful handling but for different reasons.

The first element concerns dual citizenship. It could still turn against Shorten if he pushes too hard and appears unreasonable in trying to protect his own MPs. It seems Labor’s head office did run a tighter operation than the Liberals, but was let down by the tardiness of some of its candidates, who took acted too late for comfort in renouncing their British citizenship. There is now enough doubt to legitimise Turnbull’s wish to refer these Labor MPs to the High Court.

This is where the other dictionary meaning of tricky comes into play. Shorten may undo his advantage over Turnbull if it seems he is being crafty or deceitful in defending his MPs and refusing to endorse their referral. Here, Shorten is entering dangerous territory because there is no worse perception in politics than to appear to be two-faced or hypocritical. He should be very careful how he proceeds.

The same is true in the case of same-sex marriage and minority government.

On same-sex marriage, Shorten backed a winner, but navigating conservative amendments of the private member’s bill may still be tricky. Any amendments will be on the basis of a free vote so Labor will not need to formulate a party-wide position. But Shorten’s own vote will still be watched carefully. It will be interesting to see how many Labor MPs join with conservatives in the Coalition to try to expand the scope of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Shorten may still need to exercise his authority.

But handling a Turnbull minority government poses the trickiest situation for him. He must make the most of Turnbull’s discomfort while still maintaining the dignity of Parliament. He can’t hope to dislodge the government by a no-confidence motion because he lacks crossbench support. That’s probably fortunate for him as the community may see that as tricky for taking advantage of the government’s misfortune.

The manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, insists Labor will prosecute its agenda, which may mean an attempt to pass specific bills on matters such as a banking royal commission or penalty rates.

Success would make an early general election more likely, but not immediately, as neither side wants an election before July. Instead, the by-elections for New England and Bennelong may be followed by further by-elections early next year in several other seats.

Shorten must think through carefully just what his message to the community will be during this period of uncertainty. Even in the unlikely event that Labor wins Bennelong, it will still lack the numbers to form government, though it would put enormous pressure on Turnbull’s position.

Does Labor hope that Turnbull survives or would it be happy to take another prime ministerial scalp and then deal with Bishop, Peter Dutton or Scott Morrison?

Does Labor raise the stakes and go for one big hit on the government? Or does it continue to bask in its lead in the opinion polls, with a view to eventual victory in 2019?

These questions must trouble Shorten.

John Warhurst is an emeritus professor of political science at the n National University.

Yes! Yes! YES! Glitter, booze and marriage proposals as Melbourne parties hard

15/11/17 SEXPOL Zoe McDonald and Katie Larsen celebrate the Yes vote in the Same Sex survey at the State Library, Melbourne. Photograph by Chris HopkinsIt was fitting that Melbourne chose to mark history at one of its its grandest cultural institutions.
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Thousands came together on Wednesday to sit on the lawn and stand on the steps outside the State Library, among the statues of Joan of Arc and St George, and hear what the people had to say.

As the ABC feed blared out across the crowd just after 10am, the tension was unbearable. It didn’t help that the sound was breaking up. Some held hands, others couldn’t look.

And then the nation’s chief statistician said the words the crowd was longing to hear, kicking off a joyous, city-wide party.

There was glitter, there was colour, there was music. Kissing and proposals too, with lots of tears, as the celebration erupted.

“I came today with some trepidation,” said Amelia Basset, who was there with her partner, Jo Smale. “I can’t believe it’s a ‘yes’.”

This wasn’t an outpouring fuelled solely by joy. There was also relief, sadness, anger and frustration. But the voters’ verdict was emphatic and, after months of campaigning, the crowd was going to enjoy the moment.

George Papagiannopoulos and Luke Meehan came dressed in floor-length white dresses bought at an op shop. They said they had been overwhelmed with support from friends and family.

“We’re feeling the love,” said Mr Meehan.

Nick Eymaud and Simon Fitzpatrick wore beaming smiles but, like many, felt exhausted after the effort it had taken to get to this point.

When the result was announced, Mr Eymaud said his body “just crumpled”.

“I was really scared this morning, not for myself but terrified for the young kids who don’t have the support,” he said.

“Now that it’s a ‘yes’ I just feel like this huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

After the formalities were done, the sparkling wine flowed freely as disco hits and Queen tracks boomed out to dancing revellers.

Crowds of people decked in rainbow colours descended on bars across Melbourne to enjoy a hard-earned drink. At State Parliament, the rainbow flag fluttered as it was hoisted high above the city.

Outside Loop Bar, in Meyers Place, Peter Clarke got down on one knee and proposed to his partner Steve Lowe. The couple have been together 10 years and hope to get married as soon as the legislation is passed.

There was no ring, but Peter wants to do all the things other couples have been permitted to do. First off, it’s the engagement party.

“It means that we’re recognised as a union in the eyes of everybody in ,” Mr Clarke said.

Reservoir’s Zoe McDonald and Katie Larsen are already preparing for their wedding in October next year.

The pair were planning to get hitched before the survey was announced, but said being able to get legally married will feel different.

“You tell yourself that it won’t, that it will be the same,” Ms McDonald said. “But I think it feels so much more solid or grounded.”

In the Alexandra Gardens, engaged couple Adam Seymour and Sam Cremean were ecstatic and relieved as they sipped champagne with friends.

“I’m so happy and proud of everyone in coming together and making this come true,” said Mr Seymour.

Victoria’s regional centres also held their own celebrations. In Bendigo, Ashlyn McDonald said it made her proud to live in her city. Ballarat’s Kirsten Holden had a similar reaction.

“It’s a big thing for us to know we have the support of the majority of the community,” she said.

Back in Melbourne, the revelry was poised to continue long into the night at Trades Hall in Carlton, where music played and the booze flowed freely.

Holding an anti-Tony Abbott sign, Viana Van Eyk said she wanted her “white picket fence” and the “right to have a messy divorce”.

In the meantime, she said, “we’re going to party hard”.

With Carolyn Webb and Robyn Grace

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Seven of world’s cutest cabins to escape daily grind

Whether your favourite scenery is snow-capped mountains, green forests or the coast, there’s probably a cute cabin hidden in there somewhere.
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When the daily grind all gets to much, it can be so tempting to escape to a cosy little home away from it all.

Here are Domain’s picks of seven of the cutest cabins around the globe for your inspiration. 1. Akrafjorden, SwedenHow’s the serenity? Photo: Snohetta

It doesn’t get more remote than this – a cabin that’s only accessible by horse or on foot.

Architecture firm Snohetta built this sloping moss-covered abode named Bjellandsbu in the Swedish Akrafjorden mountain region.???

Because it’s so isolated and surrounded by difficult terrain, it was crafted completely from local stones and timber. 2. Rabbit Snare Gorge, CanadaA cabin with class. Photo: Doublespace.

This sleek three-storey house is located in the interestingly-named Rabbit Snare Gorge, in Canada’s Nova Scotia province.

The timber-clad cabin was designed by architects Design Base 8 and Omar Gandhi, who added two balconies and glass windows for maximum views.

It only has one bedroom but high ceilings that go on for days. 3. Victorian Coast, The Moonlight Cabin. Photo: Jeremy Weihrauch/ jcba老域名购买.au. Completed in 2014, the award-winning Moonlight Cabin by n architect Jackson Clements Burrows is a masterpiece made of spotted gum. “The climate is harsh, windswept, often misty with rain, and the cabin is a place to retreat from and engage with these ephemeral conditions,” the architects previously told Dezeen. “It has been designed to be adaptable, to partially shut down as its occupants require, to be secured when they leave, and reopened when they return.” 4. EstoniaSlightly weird and wonderful. Photo: Jaanus Orgusaar.

This optical illusion cabin has six sides that zig zag up and down and two large fish eye windows.

Named “Noa”, this cabin was built by designer Jaanus Orgusaar in Estonia but can be taken apart and moved anywhere

“The floor plan of the house is a hexagon, the walls and roof are compiled of identical rhombuses, therefore it is easy to continue the structure in space by adding the next module. The house lacks acute angles, therefore giving an impression of a round space,” Orgusaar said about the cabin. 5. Colinton, A nature lover’s paradise. Photo: Domain老域名购买.au This four-bedroom artists’ retreat with timber interiors sits on 126 hectares in the Brisbane River Valley. According to the listing it’s a wildlife paradise, home to red deer, platypus, koalas, wallabies and more than 230 species of birds.2/568 Glenhowden Road, Colinton QLD is currently on the market for $799,000.Related: These isolated houses are perfect for introvertsRelated: Staying in remotes cabins in Sweden can decrease stress by 70 per cent: reportRelated: Seven of the world’s most remote island homes6. Quebec, Canada Snow-white. Photo: Delordinaire. With an all-white exterior this cabin from French architects Delordinaire looks like it would become invisible during snowfall. Named High House for obvious reasons, the building has painted white concrete panel cladding and corrugated steel roof panels. It sits on black stilts overlooking the Mont Saint Anne mountains in Canada. 7. Vallsta, SwedenTall timber. Photo: Bergaliv.

This stilted timber cabin overlooking the Asberget mountains by Swedish architect Hanna Michelson is the first of four getaways being built for the Bergaliv Landscape Hotel, Dezeen reports.

At 10 metres high, it’s tall enough to see above the trees and have a great view of the river.

Located outside the town of Vallsta, the cabin is available for you and one other to rent for 1595 SEK ($250) per night.

The suburb that broke away from the big smoke

When author and cultural commentator Mark Roeder??? moved in to a run-down Federation house on Bondi Junction’s southern border in the mid 1980s, he was immediately struck by how secluded the area felt.
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The centrepiece of the neighbourhood was Queens Park: a handsome collection of trees and playing fields that seemed to exert a calming influence on the surrounding streets.

The much larger Centennial Park formed a border to the west. Throughout the residential enclave, there were uninterrupted rows of Federation houses.

“Even back then, over 20 years ago, it was one of the few remaining pristine residential areas in Sydney,” he says.

Roeder went about renovating the house and soon began a family with his partner.

“But I had a looming fear,” he says. “To the north were the high-rises of Bondi Junction and every year they seemed to be moving inexorably south.

“It dawned on me that it was only a matter of time before the spread of Bondi Junction would completely obliterate this little pocket of residential Sydney.”

Roeder, whose book on momentum The Big Mo has been widely and positively reviewed, began a campaign to separate the neighbourhood from the rest of Bondi Junction. Doing this, he reckoned, would allow the zoning laws in the locality to be changed to protect its tucked-away feel.

An area containing about 1000 homes was carved out of Bondi Junction and its residents were asked to vote on their future. “The response was extraordinary,” Roeder says. Related: Junction home sells $180,000 above reserveRelated: A beginner’s guide to Sydney Related: Leckie’s Centennial Park home scores $10m+

“Over 90 per cent of residents responded, which is fabulous and very unusual. And an overwhelming majority of respondents – 86 per cent, I believe – voted for the name change.”

But not everyone agreed. “I started to get some anonymous nasty letters in the mail,” Roeder says. “These were Keating times – when the republican push was really on. A monarchical name like Queens Park was seen as a retrograde step. It was a bit heated.”

Despite the discontent, Waverley Council went ahead and declared Queens Park an independent suburb in 1992. A few months later, Roeder was surprised to receive an invitation to a Christmas party at a real-estate office in Bondi Junction. Curious, he went along.

“When I got there, an agent explained to me that any house now classified as being in Queens Park had increased in value by $100,000,” Roeder says. The agent, who had properties for sale in the suburb, was celebrating.

“[The name change] does seem to have had a significant effect on the price of housing,” Roeder conceded. “But that was certainly not my motive – my motive was to protect this wonderful area from over-development, and fortunately it seems to have achieved exactly that.” The zoning laws, he notes, have indeed been changed.

These days, Queens Park is one of the most tightly held parts of the Eastern Suburbs. Almost all buyers are owner-occupiers, says Edward Brown of Belle Property Bondi Junction. “These are all people who are looking to move in and enjoy their homes. These are ‘dwellings’ in the true sense of the word.”

Debbie Donnelley of Phillips Pantzer Donnelley says a specific demographic aspires to own in Queens Park. “Single adults who own terraces in Paddington or in Bondi Junction will get married, have a couple of kids and realise they need more room, so they’ll move to Queens Park or Randwick North where there’s larger blocks and more bedrooms,” she says.

“I’ve worked around Queens Park for almost 30 years and it’s been that same profile that entire time.” A nearby Jewish school, Moriah, is also a drawcard, she adds.

Brown says Queens Park commands a premium. “Look at where it’s based: you’re on the doorsteps of two parks, you’re a 10-minute walk from Bondi Junction interchange and Westfield, and another two kilometres up the road you’ve got Bronte, Tamarama and Bondi beaches to choose from.”

“It’s got a great neighbourhood feel. People know their neighbours. Kids play on the street because it’s a safe area,” he adds.

And property is becoming even more tightly held. “There’s not a lot of turnover,” says Donnelley. “Houses are pretty keenly sought-after when they do come up.”

Browns says: “This year I think there’s probably been less than 40 sales, compared with the preceding years when there might have been 60 or 70.”

Brown doubts the old $100,000-rule still applies, particularly on Queens Park’s northern border with Bondi Junction.

“That used to very much be the rule of thumb, but that southerly portion of Bondi Junction, the Mill Hill precinct, is within the catchment for Woollahra Public School, which has pushed up prices there significantly in recent years.”

However, Queens Park might once again pull ahead in price. “Waverley Public School has a new principal,” Brown adds. “The perception of that school, which was not very favourable in the past, is changing dramatically.”

The Sydney suburbs with the best and worst internet

Good internet speeds are today as important in the choice of a home’s location for Millennial ns as the availability of electricity and hot water once was to their grandparents, an online property service has found.
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Young renters are now willing to pay up to $30 more for an area with fast internet with NBN already connected or about to be connected.

“We’ve found that fast internet is becoming an ever-more important utility for young people are they want to spend their spare time streaming Netflix and services like Spotify,” says Peter Esho, CEO of tech company CRIBZ.

“It’s also a priority that they be able to work from home, set up businesses at home and have more flexibility in their work lives. Fast, reliable internet speeds are now as important a utility as hot water and electricity were once in the past. Of course, we can’t live without those, but the internet is now just as important.”

CRIBZ, a company that helps younger people with their home search, has polled its users and gathered their comments and held focus groups to assess the new importance of fast internet services.

Finding they’re now ranked as one of the top five elements in the decision about where to live, they’ve compiled a new “tech-friendly” measure, using NBN rollout data and fibre availability, to rank each neighbourhood in Sydney.

The top locations for connectivity, they’ve discovered, are Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay, Woolloomooloo, Tamarama, Kirribilli and Milsons Point, and Palm Beach.

Those areas lagging behind, suffering the slowest speeds and worst reliability, are Cronulla,Lane Cove, Maroubra, Newtown and Enmore, and Rose Bay and Dover Heights.Related: Brisbane’s fastest suburbs for internet speedsRelated: ‘s best high-speed internet suburbsRelated: Millennials taking up the #vanlife

“This is a variable that no one has tried to capture before in terms of where young people choose to live,” says Mr Esho. “It’s particularly important in the rental market, which is where the majority of Millennials are, as it’s easier to choose between areas which are fibre-ready and those which aren’t.

“We’ve found it’s lower in the main concerns of Millennial buyers of property because they’re less prepared, or perhaps less able, to pay thousands of dollars extra on their mortgage for better internet.”

Researchers have found internet speeds have now risen to as high as fourth place on Millennials’ list of priorities in choosing where to live, behind budget, mobility – which includes being close to public transport or roads – and social amenity like proximity to shops, cafes and restaurants.

Connectivity is now rated as far more important than elements like car parking, apartment facilities such as gyms, and having open spaces and parks nearby.

“We’re not seeing these things as key trigger points any more,” says Mr Esho. “Many Millennials are entering a different workforce compared with their parents, with more options to work from home or start their own internet businesses.

“In their spare time, video and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify are now essentials. High-speed internet makes a world of difference to them, and with slower-than-expected NBN rollout times and cost blowouts, many more are looking at this kind of service to help them in the home search process.”

Joshua Thomas from Morton Woolloomooloo said that despite the suburb having some of the best internet speeds in Sydney, in his experience it wasn’t a concern brought up by buyers.

“Funnily enough, it might be more of a factor with tenants moving around the area”, he said. “They’re a bit pickier”.

Anger after shock announcement of 2023 Rugby World Cup host

London: France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup but South Africa and Ireland have expressed their anger after the World Rugby Council surprisingly voted against the board’s recommendation.
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This decision was rugby politics at its most intricate as France came from nowhere to be given what will be its second Rugby World Cup in the space of 16 years after hosting the 2007 tournament.

South Africa were favourites to win the ballot after being recommended by World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and his board late last month.

There was unmistakable disappointment on the faces of South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux and president Mark Alexander after France were named hosts for rugby’s centrepiece event in six years’ time.

France received 18 votes in the first round, edging out Ireland (8) and South Africa (13).

In the second round, France received 24 votes to South Africa’s 15.

World Rugby defended its handling of the “transparent and open” evaluation report it made public and also stood strong on criticism that it should have made votes cast by different unions public knowledge.

“We’ve been fortunate to have three great bids,” Beaumont said. “Certainly delighted for France. We’ve had three great bids and two of the countries will be extremely disappointed.”

The evaluation report had given South Africa an overall score of 78.97 per cent, ahead of France (75.88) and Ireland (72.25).

Alexander said he was “99 per cent” sure South Africa were going to be named World Cup hosts after the initial report was handed down and, speaking in London on Wednesday, he conveyed that frustration.

“This is the first time ever World Rugby has made a recommendation and they voted against it and that raises a lot of questions for them,” Alexander said.

“There were a set of rules. We abided by those rules up until today. The set of rules were broken during that process, which we are upset about.

“We ran a vigorous, transparent process for 15 months and the last two weeks everything became opaque.

“Sometimes you get to the 79th minute and you lose the game. We would like to apologise to the people and government of South Africa for raising their hopes.”

Roux added: “It would have been great for our country, great for our sport. When the FIFA World Cup was held there in 2010, we had a more than 20 per cent uptake in players. We would have had the same thing here.

“Maybe the only silver lining is that the last time the World Cup was held in France, we won it. Maybe we’ll win it again in 2023.”

At the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, Beaumont revealed France had been given the green light after its union had, only days ago, complained about the new process World Rugby had undertaken.

President of the French Rugby Federation, Bernard Laporte, criticised the original report, saying it was “laughable” and contained a “certain amount of incompetence”.

On Wednesday, he sported a big grin from ear to ear and said the event would be a huge boost to France’s economy.

“We did dispute some aspects but I’m not saying that’s why we won,” said Laporte, a former coach of France.

“We’ve won but it’s really grassroots rugby that has won. It’s worth a billion euros for [French] shopkeepers; 17,000 jobs will be created and I’m very proud of that.”

There was also no hiding the disappointment of Ireland, which implied that France was given the World Cup because of its financial clout.

“World Rugby needs to decide what sort of tournament it wants,” said Philip Browne, chief executive of the Irish Union.

“Money shouldn’t be everything. We could run a tournament perfectly well and produce significant revenues for rugby.”

Ireland was most upset at the fact Wales and Scotland, two of its nearest unions geographically, did not support its bid.

“We feel very disappointed by not getting support from some of our nearest neighbours,” said Ireland’s bid chairman Dick Spring. “We didn’t get solidarity from our home unions.”

Ange slams critics, still undecided on future

Triumphant Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou is a self-declared outsider, believing he is derided by some because he lacks a decorated playing career for the national side.
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But he has achieved something no other n coach has by guiding the national team to the World Cup – and he chose the aftermath of his triumphal moment to lash out at those “with microphones” who have “thrown things” in his direction during his period in charge.

Postecoglou looked and sounded like a man who was relieved that the tension and the pressure of the qualifying campaign was over after leading to Russia 2018 with a play off victory over Honduras, although he did little to clarify his immediate future post game.

But he scoffed at suggestions that the result was a vindication of his approach to coaching the Socceroos, and the way he has sought to change the perception of the national team in his four years in charge.

“If people still think I go around worrying about what other people say and try to get some vindication, I think you have missed the last 20 years,” he said during the post-match media conference.

“I won my first championship when I was 31 years old. I can coach for another twenty years and you know what, I will always be an outsider in n football.

“You know what, I don’t have the glittering Socceroo career that you need, and that’s fine.

“I will wear that as a badge of honour as I keep saying to people. The more that comes my way the more determined and resilient I am to just keep going down my own path.

“Its worked well for me, some people don’t like it, but to be fair I have had a hell of a lot of support. Players, coaches, the general sporting public; there’s not a day goes by, maybe I just see the nice ones, but people consistently give me encouragement.

“The people who don’t get me have never got me and will never get me.”

While he talked expansively about how happy he was to have taken the team to its fourth consecutive World Cup, he exposed the jagged nerve endings that come with being a coach at this level of the game.

“Its just overwhelming. You are coaching your own national team, there’s an extra burden of responsibility there, you know what it means to the nation, to these players, staff, management and the organisation, everyone has worked awfully hard over the last two and a half years.

“You just want them to get rewarded for it, just seeing them in the dressing room now… they are happy. They got what they deserved.”

With the team’s berth in Russia secured, the big question is whether the coach will be joining them. He did not provide clarification immediately after the game.

“Right now its just about enjoying the moment. I owe it to myself, particularly my family, my wife, my boys, my friends, because while I have got a thick skin they have hey have had to cop what I have been copping and its unfair on them. Tonight its just about enjoying it.

“What happens beyond here can be picked up tomorrow and then we can decide then.

“I won’t take too long. I will sit down with the powers that be. Its important that the planning goes ahead, the draw is not too far away, it won’t take too long but I am going to make sure I will enjoy this first.

“Probably the one thing I haven’t done well is show the amount of support I have had. People have presumed that I have felt under siege because certain people were throwing things my way. but for the most part I have got a hell of a lot of encouragement from the general public and a lot of people in the game. They just don’t happen to hold a microphone so they don’t get heard.”

Good for business: The corporate crusade for same-sex marriage

AFR 26TH AUGUST 2015 Roger Corbett Fairfax Chairman at Fairfax Pyrmont office. exit interview with Mike Smith and Elizabeth Knight. Photo by Louise Kennerley afr SEXPOL : Allan Joyce CEO of Qantas hugs Mada Szubanski on the stage to celebatre the YES vote at Prince Alfred Park, Sydney the verdic of the postal vote on same sex marriage is YES in every state, on 15 November 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas
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At last the n community can take a moment to feel warm and positive about business leadership.

Large corporations that are more familiar with being pilloried by their customers and staff have demonstrated they are capable of being a force for good.

They have experienced difficulty in gaining traction on a range of issues like tax cuts, but have emerged as the moral crusaders successfully pushing for the ‘yes’ vote on same-sex marriage.

It’s fair to say business – in particular many large corporations – have used their reach and muscle to spearhead the move to the reform the unpopular, antiquated and discriminatory laws prohibiting marriage of same-sex couples.

The push from corporates did carry some risk – one only needs to read online comments on news websites following the announcement of the success of the ‘yes’ vote to see the vows from individuals that they would never fly Qantas again. Its chief executive Alan Joyce was easily the most vocal ‘yes’ campaigner among the ranks of chief executives.

Joyce told me on Wednesday that apart from anything else, Qantas had a big LGBTI workforce. He pointed to research showing 80 per cent of people want to work for a company that is socially responsible and that companies generally “need to play a role in society, have a social conscience and be about more than making money”.

He also said that he was aware that companies that had been vocally supportive of same-sex marriage had been pressured by the ‘no’ campaigners.

(By the way, Virgin and in particular its founder Richard Branson also supported the ‘yes’ campaign, so domestic travellers who want to ban socially progressive airlines will need to fill up their car tanks.)

Companies who stuck their necks out supporting the ‘yes’ vote had to contend with being brow-beaten by the likes of conservative Liberal politician Peter Dutton, who told them to get on with fixing their businesses and keep their noses out of wider social issues. Odds on he wouldn’t have been telling them that if they had got behind the ‘no’ campaign.

While not all businesses joined the ‘yes’ campaign, those that didn’t stayed silent rather than join the ‘no’ lobby. Former Woolworths chief (and Christian) Roger Corbett was the only high-profile businessman to voice his objection publicly.

For the most part, big businesses ignored what we now know was the minority of ns and followed their conscience and their belief that a ‘yes’ vote would be good for the economy.

The very notion that companies and in particular large companies with large workforces have no business advocating for social reform misunderstands the importance of their wider responsibilities to the community – to say nothing of the resources they can deploy to achieve positive progressive outcomes.

People expect business to take an ethical social role around climate change, gender equality and diversity, give special consideration for hardship customers, and involve themselves with philanthropic causes.

Marriage equality is another social issue on which corporate was right to take a lead. Indeed business read the mood of the public more accurately than politicians, who have been too afraid of internal party backlash to resolve the issue in the most appropriate and least painful way of simply putting it before parliament.

While corporates should be congratulated for their same-sex marriage lobbying, they will the first to admit that it’s good for business and the economy.

In the first instance, companies recognise that to employ staff that feel disgruntled or discriminated against hinders productivity and limits their potential.

In a joint letter from business leaders sent to the prime minister earlier this year, the signatories – including the heads of Telstra, Westpac, AGL, Commonwealth Bank and Wesfarmers and the Business Council of – expressed this point.

‘It is good for our employees,” the letter read. “People are a company’s most important asset. Supporting marriage equality helps n companies attract, nurture and retain the very best and the brightest people.

“All employees should have the opportunity to perform to their full potential and a high performance culture requires employees to feel comfortable in their workplace and their lives.’

The same letter supported marriage equality on the basis that it was good for the companies’ relationship with customers – in short, a good marketing move.

‘In the globally competitive marketplace, customers are becoming more discerning and are selecting products and services from companies that better represent their values.’

Among the list of almost 1000 companies that signed up to support the ‘yes’ campaign there are plenty of big customer-facing businesses – the major telcos, banks big and small, and a plethora of retailers from Myer and David Jones to JB Hi Fi, H&M and General Pants.

Business leaders rightly argued that being an inclusive nation was good for ‘s global reputation and helps attract international talent and foreign investment – both of which are critical to being globally competitive.

“Corporate social responsibility is becoming a critical factor to a growing number of global investors and the capital markets,” they said in their letter to the prime minister.

In a more immediate sense, Alan Joyce says there are hundreds of millions of dollars ready to be spent on gay weddings. And of course, for Qantas, there will be all those domestic and overseas airfares for the honeymoons.

Struggle Street is back, and it’s infuriating

“It’s a shitty day,” says Michael, standing in the rain. “I’ve got to bury Mum.”
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Problem is, Michael doesn’t have any shoes to wear to her funeral. After years of vicious bullying at school – and trouble with his family – he fell into addiction and homelessness. Now, he’s in “transitional housing”: a flat in the Melbourne suburb of Seddon. He can’t afford light bulbs for each room, so he carries one with him, screwing it in as needed.

“It’s humiliating,” Michael says, pointing to his ratty outfit. When he lived on the streets, he buried his only suit in the ground to protect it. He was dismayed to find tree roots had punctured the plastic wrapping and shredded the fabric.

On days like this, exclusion from family cuts deep. In light of the text messages his relatives sent him, he doesn’t feel welcome at his own mother’s wake. “They’re right about me being dirty,” he says, “and about Mum being ashamed of me.”

A bus is his only means of getting to the funeral – but it never arrives. Under the glass shelter, he starts sobbing.

Michael’s story is one of several in the second season of Struggle Street, exclusively screened in full to Fairfax Media. This six-part SBS documentary series is nothing short of a masterpiece, truly deserving of the “essential viewing” tag. An unflinching look at poverty in , it will – it should – leave you angry.

The program has been a long time in the works, not least because local councils tried (and failed) to stop producers filming on their streets. Have we not learned anything since its debut in 2015?

Back then, a wave of pre-emptive outrage threatened to sink Struggle Street before it began. Never mind that those demanding its cancellation, or calling it “poverty porn”, hadn’t actually seen it. The real problem, according to a prematurely vexed commentariat, was the risk of “stigma”. Infuriated by its focus on Mt Druitt – a Sydney suburb with high unemployment and low average income – the mayor dispatched garbage trucks to wreak havoc outside SBS.

Since that time, we’ve seen countless “awareness raising” attempts to reduce “stigma” towards vulnerable people. We’ve also seen a new report from the n Council of Social Services. It shows that almost 3 million people live below the poverty line in this country – up from 2.5 million a few years ago.

Whatever we’re doing isn’t working. Despite our well-meaning attempts at eliminating prejudice, the ranks of our poor have swollen. By half a million. Why aren’t we marching in the streets about this?

Interestingly, the people in Struggle Street do not appear to be silenced by “stigma”. Consider Allan, who has no qualms in revealing his diagnosis of schizophrenia, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. He’s not asking for tolerance. He’s just wants some medicine.

In a heartbreaking scene, Allan tries to collect his pills from a pharmacy. An assistant tells him his subsidy has been cut and he must pay full-price. He can’t afford this, so he leaves empty-handed.

It seems the government slashed his healthcare benefits after approving a $5,000 small business loan. Yet Allan is hardly rolling in cash. He already spent the money on some tools and an ancient ute, intending to start a landscaping business. Of course, he can’t work if he gets sick. And if he doesn’t repay his debt, the sherriff will seize his car.

Seriously. Our authorities may confiscate the very thing he needs to support himself, while also cutting off his schizophrenia medication. Well done, .

I wonder how Allan feels when he sees federal politicians complain of bureaucratic brutality – but only when affects them?

As Struggle Street proves, Allan’s predicament has nothing to do with poor morals or a lack of self-belief. No doubt he’d appreciate people being nicer, but “stigma” isn’t holding him back, either. Like everyone else in this series, he’s a victim of failed social and economic policy.

When we watch programs like The Briefcase – and thankfully, few did – we see producers intervene to rescue telegenic families in crisis. This creates a satisfying emotional conclusion, and a false sense of progress. “If we could all just be kinder,” we think, “the world would be a better place.” In reality, only a small number of people were helped. Millions more continue to languish in poverty and ill health.

There is no single cause of Allan’s woes; he is buffeted by a series of growing problems. Unaffordable housing and expensive rents, for instance. Insecure work (his wife has a factory job, but her shifts are irregular). Mental illness (he can’t afford medication, let alone a reduced number of subsidised therapy sessions). Predatory lending (in desperation, he used high-interest “payday loans”, causing his debt to hit $35,000.)

“We’re told that if we work hard and live within our means, we’ll get on,” the narrator tells us. “But that doesn’t apply to everyone.”

If you think these problems aren’t your problems, you might be in for a shock. The people in Struggle Street are angry. Few blame themselves; many see growing inequality as the root cause of their hardship. “The rich are getting rich and the poor are getting poorer,” says one woman. She’s standing in a queue, waiting to vote in the 2016 federal election.

Until recently, she had little interest in politics. Now, she’s determined to have her say.

WHAT: Struggle Street WHEN: Starts Tuesday November 28, 8.30pm on SBS

Twitter: @Michael_Lallo Email: [email protected]老域名购买.au

Jessica Rudd steaks her claim on China

Move over Paul Hogan, shrimps are for wimps.
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‘s biggest ASX-listed cattle group, n Agricultural Co (AACo), has recruited Jessica Rudd – daughter of our former PM Kevin Rudd – to help sell its branded beef strategy to China.

Ms Rudd has more to her CV than being the daughter of a Mandarin-speaking ex prime minister.

She runs her own business, Jessica’s Suitcase, which retails Aussie lifestyle products to China – including the Bubs goats milk infant formula backed by her hubby Albert Tse.

She is also the Australasian lifestyle ambassador for billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba, which was a major beneficiary of the $33 billion worth of sales generated by China’s annual Singles Day over the weekend.

In recent years, AACo has moved away from the bulk business of live cattle exports to focus on exports of its branded beef such as premium Wagyu steaks to cash in on the next wave of the China boom.

“Ms Rudd’s extensive marketing and digital experience will enhance the board’s skill base and bring an added dimension to board discussions given her generational perspective and deep understanding of markets, especially Asian markets,” said chairman Donald McGauchie – the man who recruited Sol Trujillo to run Telstra all those years ago. Milking it

There are other channels to market in China, of course, including daigou – the practice of local Chinese buying up goods that are in demand back in the middle kingdom and sending it home via, shall we say, less formal distribution channels.

In light of the daigou fever affecting our market, CBD thought it worth passing on some insights by a fund manager who got a first-hand look at a daigou supply chain operation in the western suburbs of Sydney for infant milk formula.

We are not talking tins being smuggled out in suitcases.

Daigou milk powder purchases are consolidated through five logistics operations. CBD was provided with pictures from the biggest daigou, which is operating out of a timber warehouse.

The picture shows pallets loaded with 500 tins of formula (saving on freight costs) with up to 70 of these pallets sent to China from this warehouse alone.

Flavour of the month is tins of A2 milk formula, which can be acquired locally for $26 but sell in China for up to $55 each with none of the import duty it is meant to attract.

With A2 Milk shares up 700 per cent in the past year, it is worth bearing in mind what would happen if it has a Bellamy’s moment. Euro Ten

It’s all over bar the shouting. The Ten Network has applied to delist from the ASX.

Ten’s shares are expected to be transferred to US broadcaster, CBS, by the end of this week after Ten’s investors failed to appeal against last week’s court decision.

“Ten seeks to be removed from the official list because the effect of completion of the share transfer is that there will be no quoted securities in Ten, and Ten will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Network Ten BV,” said the broadcaster.

The BV in CBS Network Ten BV indicates the failed commercial broadcaster will now be domiciled in the Netherlands, which is an interesting choice of home.

Maybe a domicile in the Cayman islands was a little too close to Bermudan resident – and soon-to-be ex Ten shareholder – Bruce Gordon.

The deed of company arrangement, which was approved by Ten’s creditors in September, named the locally incorporated CBS International Television Pty Ltd (CITA) as the likely recipient of the broadcaster’s shares.

CITA sells CBS’s programming to local TV stations such as Ten, reaping more than $86 million last year. The CBS programming deal with Ten was one of the significant factors in its collapse. No sex please

Retirement village operator, Aveo Group, was always going to have a fun time with investors at Tuesday’s AGM – after the hammering it has taken from Fairfax Media this year over the treatment of its customers.

The company was battered with a 15 per cent vote against its remuneration report. This was helped by the fact that chairman Seng Huang Lee was not allowed to vote Mulpha’s 22 per cent stake.

It also recorded a 17 per cent vote against the award of share rights to CEO Geoff Grady despite the fact that Lee was able to vote Mulpha’s stake on this resolution.

Grady is being gifted $362,000 worth of shares for hanging around until June 30 next year, and other shares subject to performance.

Lee batted off concerns that the group’s board had more lawyers and financial experts than people with actual retirement expertise, saying “with the recent negative publicity, it’s been good having legal expertise”.

Some joker also queried Lee about his thoughts on the same-sex marriage vote.

“We have no position on this issue,” he said.

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