March 25th 2000

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Telstra - is there another way forward?

COVER STORY: Aged Care: where to from here?

BOOKS: 'The High Price of Heaven', by David Marr

TAIWAN: Taiwan election presents new challenge for Beijing

ECONOMICS: World economy: the rhetoric, the reality

PAKISTAN: Feudalism: root cause of Pakistan’s malaise

BUSINESS: Innovation, technology and the forces of change

Letter: Free trade and predatory policies


AGRICULTURE: How government kick-started land settlement

LAW: No Native Title on mining leases: Federal Court

POLITICS: SA swings away from major parties

FAMILY: Mr Howard’s "forgotten people": Australia’s families

JUSTICE: The facts behind the furore on mandatory sentencing

COMMENT: The war against drugs is not lost it was never started

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Immigration policy: whose view will prevail?

Letter: Federal control of resource development

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Letter: Federal control of resource development

by J. Barich

News Weekly, March 25, 2000


As a great admirer of Professor Lance Endersbee and his contribution to national thinking on resource development, I am most reluctant to contradict one aspect of his article, "Borrowed money, borrowed time" (NW, March 11, 2000)

While I agree that Australia could benefit from better policy co-ordination between the Federal Government and the States, it would be suicidal to go down the road of unitary government and make Canberra the sole controller of our destiny.

Having worked for 26 years in a number of Federal Departments in Canberra, including 11 in the Prime Minister's Department, which has the prime responsibility for policy co-ordination, I can well understand the need to have a more co-ordinated approach to development issues.

However, total control by Canberra would be an unmitigated disaster. The Whitlam Government tried as much, and failed.

Our Federation, for all its faults, has served us well, unlike the Clayton's Yugoslav Federation, or the Federation that Indonesia would dearly love to have to avoid the civil unrest which is occurring at present.

The Commonwealth's power of the purse should be a sufficient carrot to get sound national policies, without the need for more centralisation in Canberra.

J. Barich
Ardross, WA

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