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The legacy of John Howard

Rose Christmas

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John Howard

Ex-Prime Minister John Howard is someone who has a divided reputation at best. He is remembered fondly for some things and seemingly hated for others.

One of the biggest things in the legacy of John Howards is, without a doubt, his response to the Porth Arthur massacre. The tragic shooting (then the world’s largest mass shooting), caused the deaths of 35 people and injured 23 others.

The shooting was a traumatic moment for the Australian psyche, and it was a moment where John Howard (then only two months into his role as Prime Minister) was forced to act. John Howard acted by famously issuing a gun buyback scheme after strengthening Australia’s gun laws, specifically to prohibit the sale of military-style firearms used in the massacre.

Despite facing backlash for the move from many Australian gun owners (not the kind of group you want to annoy), Howard persevered and even attending a meeting with gun owners wearing a flak jacket. Many people who disagreed with all other elements of John Howards’ politics supported him on the issue of gun ownership.

Most Australians understood that having free access to deadly firearms that can kill large crowds was a bad idea. It was particularly supported by women who felt that their children were endangered by guns.

The reforms started by John Howard are often cited by Americans to this day in the ongoing gun debate. What was easy for Australians is a source of fierce debate amongst Americans. America’s culture with gun ownership is much different from Australia.

The most important takeaway from this development in Australian political history is that it largely worked. Australia has not suffered any gun crime on that scale since the Porth Arthur massacre.

This is without a doubt the thing John Howard is most remembered for.

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The story of Clive Palmer and his run in Australian politics

Rose Christmas

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Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer is arguably Australia’s most eccentric and public billionaire. He has made several novel investments, including funding a dinosaur theme park, a footy team, and a modern-day rebuilding of the Titanic, the ship that famously sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. Palmer made and lost most of his money in the Australian mining industry.

Palmer met his wife of 22 years while studying at the University of Queensland. They were happily married until her death in 2006 from cancer. Palmer often cites that raising his daughter without her mother has been one of his greatest ever challenges.

When he dropped out of University in 1975, Palmer went on the become a real estate tycoon and made a large sum of money pursuing property development. He capitalised on the property boom in Queensland at the time and ended up retiring from the real estate industry at only 29 years of age. He has said that he made around $40 million AUD from his property investments before leaving in 1980.

Later in the mid-80s Palmer got into the Australian mining industry, starting 3 different companies aimed at mining exploration in Western Australia. He eventually leased the most successful of these mining companies to a Chinese firm for a deal worth around $3 billion AUD.

In 2007, Palmer married his second wife Anna. Anna is 20 years younger than Clive and actually had Clive act as ‘father of the bride’ in her previous wedding. He had 2 more daughters with Anna.

In 2013 he started the ‘Palmer United Party’. He has had an interesting political career and is best known for embracing internet meme culture in his campaigns. However, this has not yielded much success for him in the end.

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Government’s changes to university fees might make you second-guess your career

Adam Brigden

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university fees might make you second-guess your career

For young university and high school students, the government’s recent changes to university fees could cause a dramatic shift in career thinking and planning. The changes are a combination of market economics and social engineering, designed to encourage students to pursue cheaper degrees that the government believes will be more economically valuable for the economy in the future.

Maths students rejoice

If you’re considering a career in maths or agriculture, then the government’s changes will be welcome news to you. Agricultural and mathematics degrees are forecasted to decrease by a whopping 62%.

Science and health share in the good news

Maths and ag students won’t be the only ones happy with the new announcements. The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, has also announced that science, health, environmental science, IT, engineering and architecture degrees will also fall by around 20% in the proposed plan. It’s forecasted that lowering the cost of some degrees could increase the number of university placements by up to 39 000 within three years.

No change for med students

Medicine and dental students can expect no changes to their fee costs in accordance with the new plan. The same can also be said about veterinary science degrees.

The losers

Unfortunately, some of the most popular degrees have taken a massive hit in terms of affordability. Costs for law and commerce degrees will reportedly rise by about 28%, while humanities have been hit the hardest with a whopping 113% increase. If you were thinking of pursuing a law degree or an arts degree, it might be time to re-think that decision.

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Why did Malcolm Turnbull get replaced as Prime Minister?

Rose Christmas

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Malcolm Turnbull

The ousting of Malcolm Turnbull from Australia’s top job is one of the most scandalous and chaotic episodes in recent Australian political history. Many Australians felt completely blindsided, going to bed sure of one Prime Minister and waking up with a new one.

There was no major scandalous action Turnbull has taken to get ousted from his position as Prime Minister and get replaced with Scott Morrison. A great number of Australians were shocked that leadership could change in such a seemingly arbitrary way.

If you ask Turnbull what happened, he cites an insurgency of far-right dissent that wanted to take control of the Liberal party. Malcolm was seen by many hardcore conservatives as too centrist, especially when it came to his support of same-sex marriage.

Malcolm Turnbull was also a supported of the Australian Republic movement, something which would see Australia throw off its ties to the British monarchy. Many conservatives were considered loyal to the Commonwealth and did not want to harm Australia’s cultural ties with Great Britain.

Turnbull has said that this turn of events was damaging to the public image of the Liberal party. The Labor opposition capitalised on the ousting and said that the Liberal party was hopeless when it came to leadership and was a party that had a lack of unity.

Many Australians believed that Turnbull was unfairly ousted and that he should have been given a chance to go to an election. However, the person who replaced him (Scott Morrison) was later validated by winning an election.

Since his ousting, Turnbull has spoken at length about what happened and has been labelled as sour by his former colleagues. There’s no doubt that Turnbull believes that what happened to him was unfair in every regard.

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