Issue 89: 05 May to 11 May 2022

## Election

Should NDIS funding and reform be an election issue? Richard Hamon’s story leaves little doubt of the answer
Amber Schulz | Crikey
Instead of the NDIS making life easier for Australians with disabilities, its stalling and haggling over funds create emotional and physical distress.

The mood of the nation is becoming clear: make this election about something real
Guy Rundle | Crikey
There’s a wave of determination that the election be about something real. It’s about three key issues, and about a new multigroup alliance that’s pushing them. It’s happening everywhere, and it may utterly sweep the Morrison government away, or be the means by which the Coalition somehow clings to power. 

In this election, one critical issue stands above all others
Ross Gittins | SMHAge
A significant majority of the top 50 Australian economists nominate “climate change and the environment” as the most important issue in this election. They’re right.

Labor’s small-target strategy risks gains for the right 
Jacob Andrewartha | Green Left
The strategy helps miseducate people and promote fear because it’s not challenging the right-wing notions behind the right’s lines.

Why the days of safe Liberal seats are almost over
Richard Denniss | The Saturday Paper
A few election cycles from now, it will be almost impossible for the Coalition to win. Here is one truth about this election: the Liberal Party is risking its future on a prime minister who likely doesn’t have one. After years of neglect, it should come as no surprise that many Liberal voters would be looking for an alternative.

National Accounts: The Whiff of Corruption
Ben Eltham | Meanjin
Repair man? The image is reassuring, summoning up a vision of Albo in overalls, getting under the sink to fix the nation’s leaking pipes. But ‘repair’ hardly seems the right word for the task an incoming Labor government faces, given the depth and breadth of the Coalition’s wrecking job on Australia’s public institutions. 

Culture war and conspiracism as election strategy
Ben Debney | Overland
Far-right culture wars constantly innovate in the construction of new, but no less imaginary, hobgoblins. The loss of the great bugbears of communism and terrorism is by no means the end of the ‘national safety valve’ or its conspiracism and ideological acting out.

Notes for the new minister: arts and culture on a knife edge
Australia is at a tipping point. Our democracy is at stake, and cultural policy (or lack thereof), is an integral part of the crisis.## Economy

Stand by for the oddly designed Stage 3 tax cut that will send middle earners backwards and give high earners thousands
Peter Martin | The Conversation
From mid-2024 the government will put an awful lot of money in to people’s hands. Stage 3 of the income tax cuts will cost $15.7 billion in its first year. By way of comparison, that’s almost as much as the $16.3 billion will be spent on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that year, and more than the $10.5 billion that will be spent on higher education.

Stagnant Wages – Big Business taking Billions
John G | Vanguard
In the election commentary, there’s a lot of discussion about how wages have been stagnant, locked down, held way below inflation for the last decade. They are actually losing value to inflation. Where has that lost value been going? 

Deficits and the failure of representative democracy
Alan Kohler | The New Daily
Neither side has a plan to raise enough taxes to pay for what they want to spend without losing the election; borrowing is the path of least resistance.

More interest rate hikes are coming, and housing affordability is about to get crunched
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
There is a prospect of mortgage repayments never again being as low as they are now. It means housing affordability is going to become much worse.

Scott and Josh “superior economic managers”? Not according to the IMF 
Alan Austin | Michael West Media

## Climate

How Nationals and lobbyists play the new climate wars
Marian Wilkinson | The Saturday Paper
Unlikely foot soldiers are taking up the fight to hold onto coal in Hunter and throughout Queensland.

‘We could have helped’: report exposes racism during Black Summer bushfires
Emma Ruben | National Indigenous Times
The Australian National University has released a study detailing the disproportionate impact the 2019-20 bushfires had on Aboriginal people.

Australia could rapidly shift to clean transport – if we had a strategy. So we put this plan together
Jake Whitehead, Bjorn Sturmberg, Donna Green, Emma Rachel Whittlesea, Liz Hanna | The Conversation
Australia has no clear strategy to decarbonise transport. That’s a problem, because without a plan, our take-up of clean technologies like electric cars, trucks and buses is slow. It’s stopping us from meeting our climate commitments. And it leaves us paying exorbitant prices for imported oil at the fuel pump, as well as in the cost of groceries and services.

A Coalition election victory will burn Australia to the ground
Sue Arnold | Independent Australia

## Democracy

The death of Kumanjayi Walker : On the shooting in Yuendumu and the trial of Northern Territory policeman Zachary Rolfe
Anna Krien | The Monthly

American law is now hurtling towards apartheid for women
Leslie Cannold | Crikey

Addressing democracy’s international decline
Andrew Podger | Pearls and Irritations

Historic pro-Palestine motion passes in University of Melbourne Student Union 
Emma Dynes, Bella Beiraghi | Red Flag