AQ 94.4 - Oct-Dec 2023 Edition
Australia is on the doorstep of an important decision - the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum is only weeks away. AQ whole-heartedly supports the 'Yes' Vote and is disheartened with the duplicity of the opposition and the ease with which fear, lies, and suspicion seem to have found root in the minds of many Australians.
The media and the Opposition benches are failing Australia and have shown up the fertile ground that has been tilled by the American-hard-right polarisation politics that have been creeping into Australian discourse (via the Murdoch media) for decades.
As many of this edition's articles articulate, we have been sleepwalking into situations twisted against us by corporate interest and the abrogation of political responsibility to the whim of 'the market'. The promotion of radical individualism over collectivism and collective responsibility has meant we are easily divided - social media and partisan media mean those cracks are more easily exploited.
Australia has a chance to resurface its egalitarian aspirations, by embracing a better future for all Australians, not just Indigenous ones, rather than just huddling in an unsatisfactory status quo. What will Australia do?
Quarantine the Punchbowl, don’t tip it down the Sink
Inflation has hit hard this year. Even though much of it has been due to record corporate profits, it has been workers and families that have felt the bite of interest rate rises. This is because the tools that the Reserve Bank have to fight inflation disproportionately transfer money from workers to bankers, fuelling record bank profits. But what if there was a way to actually target the cause of inflation, and in doing so create a more resilient, fair, and prosperous Australia?
Whose Public Interest? The Rights of Future Generations
For hundreds of thousands of years, the impact of humans on the planet was negligible. Then, in the space of only a handful of generations, we have irrevocably altered our world and its systems. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution – triple planetary crises that rightly focus our attention on the long-term environmental consequences of our decisions. Yet what of generations to come - what should they expect to inherit from us? And what is the world doing to advocate on behalf of these future generations?
Diversity and Inclusion are not about Political Correctness, they are Key to Better Health
Every 12 minutes someone in Australia dies from cardiovascular disease. Despite this being the leading cause of death, there is substantial disparity in knowledge, care, and health outcomes for certain demographic groups, including women. These groups have generally been under-represented in research meaning that our screening and diagnostic tools are not attuned to their needs, resulting in poorer outcomes and inequity in access to potentially life-saving healthcare. Other countries are making efforts to correct this, and Australia needs to do more.
Sonia Shah and Kim Greaves
Choice as the New, Contested Frontier: Personal Data and Targeted Advertising
Australia’s privacy protections have long been due for an overhaul. Drafted before the internet was even public, our 1988 Privacy Act was not built to handle the complex and complicated data flows that now define our digital ecosystem. Practices that have become toxic staples in the digital world, like the pernicious collection of metadata, aren’t even mentioned in the Privacy Act, let alone properly governed.” Reform is clearly needed, and is coming.
Rys Farthing, Aruna Anderson & Alice Dawkins