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Opinion and Analysis

The end is nigh for Tony Abbott
By Matt Hrkac, 24 January 2015

There is no denying that 2014 was an absolute disaster, PR wise and policy wise, for Tony Abbott and his government. This image problem undoubtedly stems from the 2014 Federal Budget and its attack on the poor and the vulnerable, the Abbott government's subsequent back-flips on policy as well as its countless broken promises. This culminated with the Liberal Party being turfed in Victoria after just a single term - not because of the performance of then-Premier Denis Napthine - but because of the Liberal Party's association with its federal counterparts.

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"The Greens' vote is dying" - that is often a line that I read and hear from detractors; often comparing them to the Democrats and their decline. The fact is, however, that the two are incomparable in terms of the relative support that they had gained.

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A proposed new office complex (see above for artists rendition, courtesy of the Geelong Advertiser) that was recently approved for construction by the City of Greater Geelong council has caused quite a stir - as any proposal inadvertently does in this city. Although there is credit in being completely critical of some ideas and proposals that come from city hall, and even dismissing them outright; this one, isn't one of them.

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Xenophobia strikes again, but so does solidarity
By Matt Hrkac, 08 January 2015

It seems to be an endless cycle: Something terrible happens, such as a terrorist attack, or an attack that is associated with terrorism, and the hate preachers go into overdrive with their vitriol and xenophobic hate speech. Case in point, the attack on French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this week, the Sydney Martin Place/Lindt cafe siege last December and the vile hate speech that followed from Far-right groups such as the Australian Defence League.

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Despite the moderate criticism being driven towards the City of Greater Geelong council's the idea of spending 1-2 million dollars on a Christmas tree (over four years, mind you) to float on a barge in the Corio Bay; the experiment was surprisingly successful. Given that thousands of people flocked to the foreshore to check it out over the Christmas period, it no doubt also had a positive runoff effect for the cafe's along the waterfront with the increased activity. Given the 2014 Federal Budget, there were also criticisms as to whether the money spent was appropriate.

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Unions are the least of Labor's problems
By Matt Hrkac, 06 January 2015

There seems to be a wide-spread perception among senior Labor figures that Labor's image problem stems from their association with the trade union movement, that if they disassociate themselves from the union movement, that all of their image problems will be resolved and they will be perceived as electable. Labor definitely has an image problem, and it reeks, but it isn't the trade unions causing this image problem, well, most the time anyway.

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Myths perpetuated by climate change deniers
By Matt Hrkac, 05 January 2015

Even though the evidence is overwhelming when it comes to climate change, there are still those who, for one reason or another, deny that it is happening. The funny and tragic thing is, though, they always use the same tired old arguments. I thought I'd compile a list of common arguments used by climate change deniers. I'll probably add to this as necessary, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email. As for anyone else, feel free to link to this in response to any climate change denier whose argument falls into any of the below (which most do).

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Climate change and extreme bushfires
By Matt Hrkac, 04 January 2015

It happened during last year's bushfire season: The Greens made comments linking severe bushfire activity to climate change, and the media whipped up a storm of criticism, proclaiming that 'they shouldn't have made those comments'. Again, this year, The Greens have made similar comments, and people are still proclaiming that they shouldn't have made those comments - linking severe bushfire activity to climate change. "It's not the time for political point scoring", the media and other critics complain.

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Is becoming a teacher "too easy"?
By Matt Hrkac, 03 January 2015

A question was posed on the Facebook page of breakfast television program, Sunrise, yesterday, and it asked: "Is it too easy to become a teacher?" It is a good question hence why I am going to address it in full.

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Why I've gone Green
By Matt Hrkac, 02 January 2015

This was a decision that I have been pondering over for the better part of the last six months - whether to join the Labor Party, or The Greens, or indeed, whether to become a member of any political party at all. In the end, I decided that I wanted to become more involved with The Greens and as such, have recently become a member of the party.

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