Julian Leeser wins preselection

Former Menzies Research Centre executive director Julian Leeser has been preselected as the for the Liberal Party in the NSW seat of Berowra. 

Leeser led the MRC from 2006 to 2012 and has a strong background in law, government and public policy.

For the last four years he was  Director, Government Policy and Strategy at Australian Catholic University.

MRC Chairman Tom Harley said Leeser was an outstanding candidate for Parliament.

“Julian made an …


The Promise of Digital Government

As a new member of parliament in 2013, I was immediately struck by the demands on my electorate office. I was expecting to deal with a long list of policy issues and political feedback. While that is an important part of my work, I found myself running a customer call centre for a range of government services from telecommunications to welfare, immigration, health, law and order, and education. 

Constituents don’t want to be lectured about the three tiers of …


Sin taxes are an insult to the intelligence of adults

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Michael Costa once threatened to write a book titled I’m Fat, Ugly and Stupid — what’s the Government going to do about it?

Late last year the Department of Health in Canberra answered the former NSW treasurer’s question by issuing official guidelines on healthy eating.

“We eat for many different reasons,” au informs us. “Sometimes, we eat because we are hungry. Sometimes, we eat because we think we’re expected to eat … And …


CFMEU paves the way to block watchdog ABCC

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Canberra has treated itself to a new road that could knock as much as seven minutes off the evening drive.

“This is fantastic for the ACT,” Roads and Parking Minister Mick Gentleman toldThe Canberra Times. “Those commuters going back to Gungahlin, it’ll make their time quite a lot quicker.”

The $288 million Majura Parkway has been a nice little earner for the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and its members for the past four years.

After …


Lazarus and the none-of-the-abovers are Senate clots

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

If Glenn Lazarus had been sitting in the Senate 20 years ago instead of preparing for a season as prop for the Brisbane Broncos, the world might have been a very different place.

John Howard was the master of negotiation with a hostile upper house, but one doubts that even he would have been able to dodge past the Brick with Eyes or the other half-dozen populists who ­occupy space on the crossbenches.

Howard struck deals with the Australian Democrats — who for all …


Donald Trump’s primary appeal is that he’s not a politician

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

It is angry time in the US and the keyboard cognoscenti are tapping wildly. Why are Americans so hostile and who could have made them so?

They are questions that resonate in Australia since populist fervour has the qualities of global pandemic. No democracy is immune.

The standard line, frequently repeated on the opinion pages of The New York Times, is that ­Donald Trump is a sinister force and that he and his boneheaded supporters should shut up.

“Trump has …


Intolerant Labor lost a good man in Joe Bullock

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Joe Bullock versus the modern Labor Party was never going to be a pretty fight. Nevertheless, the West Australian senator’s resignation last week after barely 19 months in parliament was an ­unsettling moment.

“The ALP is a party of tolerance,” Bullock declared in his maiden speech in August 2014. “It is a broad church that tolerates and encourages members with a wide range of social and economic views.”

Last July delegates to the party of …

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