ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

In the News

Members of the Institute engage with the media considerably and are often called upon to provide expert advice and commentary on important issues affecting rural and regional Australia.

Engaging with the media also provides the opportunity for our researchers to engage with the wider community and to promote and publicise their research and findings.

All media releases involving ILWS researchers are issued as CSU Media Releases. Our researchers engage with both traditional media (print, radio and TV) as well as social and on-line media.

In the News 2019 is a compilation of media coverage received by ILWS members from information provided by CSU Media and the news monitoring services it uses.

Our researchers also regularly write Opinion Pieces and Articles for on-line news services such as The Conversation.


What Canada can learn from New Zealand on electoral reform

What Canada can learn from New Zealand on electoral reformThe results of the recent Canadian election don’t reflect the will of the people, and the situation is reigniting calls for proportional representation. One of the criticisms of proportional representation is that it makes stable governments hard to form, and gives small parties too much influence.

But is this true? What actually happens in practice? What happens when a country makes the change from first-past-the-post to proportional representation? Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan shares the New Zealand experience in his latest article in the Conversation, October 30.

Risky business: how our ‘macho’ construction culture is killing tradies

Risky business: how our ‘macho’ construction culture is killing tradiesThe construction and building industries can be dangerous places to work. These jobs not only pose risks to a person’s physical health, but can threaten their mental health, too. In Australia, “tradies” make up less than one-third of all people in employment, but represent 58% of serious claims for workers’ compensation. Construction ranks in the top three for industries with the highest work-related injury or illness and deaths related to traumatic injury are among the research findings by Dr Donna Bridges, Associate Professor Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Dr Elizabeth Wulff and Dr Larrisa Bamberry in the Conversation, October 24.

"Why Should I Go to School if You Won't Listen to the Educated" - why letting ignorance trump knowledge is a big problem for democracy.

Why Should I Go to School if You Won't Listen to the EducatedPrivileging ignorance over knowledge, rash opinion over reasoned debate, and sectional self-interest over the common good are signs of democratic failure. This means that in liberal democracies like Australia, climate strikes were as much about a political system not working as it should, as they were about the details of environment policy, says Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan inThe Policy Space, October 9.

There are differences between free speech, hate speech and academic freedom – and they matter

There are differences between free speech, hate speech and academic freedom – and they matterIt is the right to hold opinions and to challenge the opinions of others... There are differences between what is wrong and what is intolerably wrong. There are some views that a free society can’t tolerate explains Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan in The Conversation, October 8.

Indigenous people no longer have the legal right to say no to the Adani mine - here’s what it means for equality

The Conversation - Native Title act and the Adani MineNative title is regulated under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993. But the commercial interests of Adani prevailing over the rights of the Wangan and Jagalingou people shows just how fragile the act is, writes  Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan in The Conversation, September 5.

Australian democracy demands a proper debate

Open Fourm: Australian democracy demands a proper debateEffective government requires an engaged and informed public. It requires serious public debate where people are expected to have well thought out reasons for believing whatever they believe, and a willingness to defend those reasons, listen seriously to the reasons of others and, sometimes, re-think their own views. Yet, presidential style election campaigns grounded in slogans – ‘the top end of town’, ‘have a go, get a go’ – and Tony Abbott’s election winning ‘stop the boats’ in 2013 show that reason is not how politics works. Says Associate Professor Dominic O’Sullivan in his article in Open Forum, August 20.

Forests: Natural capital or exploitable resources

Forests Keunsel OnlineIn this latest article for Kuensel, ILWS PhD student Sangay Wangchuk outlines outline some of the intricate contributions forests make and concludes "Forest is abundant resources Bhutan has, and the domestic demand for wood could be met from the country. However, Bhutan is geographically located in one of the fragile landscapes on earth, prone to climate hazards. The potential use of protection forests to combat shallow slope instabilities is increasingly important and relevant and should be seriously considered," in Keunsel Online, August 10.

Remembering our Rangers on the World Ranger Day

Kuensel - Remembering our rangersILWS PhD student Sangay Wangchuk says "As pressures on nature grow, the survival of endangered animals and their habitats depends, largely, on these men and women. Illegal logging and violent poaching crisis are at an all-time high. The work of rangers has never been more critical. Today, our world stands at a crossroads, with so many of its most emblematic places and biodiversity under immense threat. Thus, on World Ranger Day 2019, let’s all take a moment to remember all rangers, known and unknown, who have paid the ultimate price during the past years," in Kuensal, July 27.

Meet the endangered Bunyip bird living in Australia's rice paddies 

The Conversation - Endangered bunyip birdDr Wayne Robinson is co-author of an article in The Conversation, July 16, based on research done on the endangered Bunyip bird, also called the Australasian bittern, in the Riverina which says the need to incorporate wildlife conservation on farms has never been greater.

Bhutan and global top 10 biodiversity hotspots - A "Fact" check

Bhutan and global top 10 biodiversity hotspotsILWS PhD student Sangay Wangchuk looks at the issue of biodiversity in Bhutan in Kuensal, July 13.

How to improve health outcomes for Indigenous people by making space for self-determination

The Conversation - Improve health outcomes of indigenous peopleAssociate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan writes "Indigenous public policy fails consistently. The research evidence is compelling. Across post-settler colonial societies like New Zealand, Australia and Canada, schooling is not as effective for Indigenous citizens, employment and housing outcomes are not as good, and health outcomes are worse” in an Opinion Piece in The Conversation, July 11.

Can we question our food self-sufficiency wish?

Kuensel - can we question our food self-sufficiency wish?ILWS PhD student Sangay Wangchuk discusses food security in Bhutan in Kuensel, July 6.

Memo to the environment minister: A river does need all its water

River needs waterDrs Paul Humphries and Keller Kopf write an open memo to Sussan Ley, Federal Environment Minister emphasising it is her role to protect rivers in response to her comment "Sometimes the environment doesn’t need all its water but farmers desperately do need water," in The Conversation, June 20.

Budget lessons in the politics of Indigenous self-determination

budget lessons in the politics of Indigenous self-determination"Policymakers’ values influence decisions about how and why money is spent. It is equally important for Māori people and values to hold influence when policy decisions are made" says Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan in The Conversation, June 5.

Racism alleged as Indigenous children taken from families – even though state care often fails them
Racism allegedIn 2018, the rate at which Māori babies were removed from their families was four times the rate for the rest of the New Zealand population. Dominic O'Sullivan discusses a case where the New Zealand state tried to remove a newborn Māori baby from his family last week in The Conversation, May 14.
Preventing more fish deaths in the lower Darling

Fish deaths in the Lower DarlingOur final report for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, examines the causes of these events summarises what we found and what we recommend to mitigate the potential for repeat events in the future in an article in Open Forum coauthored by Associate Research Professor Lee Baumgartner et al, April 15.

We wrote the report for the minister on fish deaths in the lower Darling – here’s why it could happen again

The COnversation - Fish deaths in the DarlingThe report examines the causes of these events and recommended actions to mitigate the potential for repeat events in the future. The final report, co-authored by Associate Research Professor Lee Baumgartner et al summarises what they found and what they recommend in The Conversation, April 10.

NZ journalists arrested in Fiji have been released but a new era of press freedom is yet to arrive

The Conversation - NZ Journalists arrested in FijiWhat is unusual is Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s decisive intervention in favour of three New Zealand journalists, who were arrested last week as they investigated environmental degradation by a Chinese property developer building a new resort.  Commentary on press freedom in Fiji in the latest article by Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan, The Conversation, April 9.

Indigenous Peoples and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

ImpakterAssociate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan writes "Each of the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has special relevance for the world’s 500 million indigenous people. They are among the world’s poorest and most alienated from public decision-making. Yet, they are increasingly using international forums like the UN to exercise an assertive and decisive political voice," appearing in Impakter, March 28.

White supremacy and the Australian politics of race

Open Forum March 28Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan discusses how white supremacism, the ideology driving the Christchurch killer, is prominent and influential in our politics and says racism’s pervasive influence is a deeper problem for which decisive and unequivocal national leadership is required, in The Open Forum, March 28.

Feral cat cull: why the 2 million target is on scientifically shaky ground

Feral Cat CullAssociate Professor Dale Nimmo et al write that the Australian government’s target of killing 2 million feral cats by 2020 attracted significant public interest and media attention when it was unveiled in 2015. But in their new research, published Feb 19 in Conservation Letters, they explain why it has a shaky scientific foundation in The Conversation, February 20.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: An Eightieth Anniversary Reflection

Reflection - Universal declaration of human rightsThe Universal Declaration’s inference that everybody is entitled to share public sovereignty exists alongside the UNDRIPs presumption that there is also an extant independent indigenous sovereignty. Recognising co-existence of different though overlapping spheres of authority provides a possible path towards substantive human equality for indigenous peoples as much as for anybody else, writes Associate Prof Dominic O'Sullivan, in The Oxford Human Rights Hub, February 11.

The crown is Māori too - citizenship, sovereignty, and the Treaty of Waitangi  

The Conversation - The crown is Maori tooWhat is the Crown, what is sovereignty and how do these relate to citizenship as it has developed from the British subjecthood that the treaty promised? asks Associate Professor Dominic O'Sullivan in The Conversation, February 8.

We asked five experts: is it safe to run while pregnant?

The Conversation - Running while pregnantMany women love the alone time pounding the pavement for a nice run out in nature, but is this too strenuous? We asked five experts, including the Institute's Associate Professor Rylee Dionigi, if it’s safe to run while pregnant, The Conversation, January 28.

A good plan to help Darling River fish recover exists, so let’s get on with it

The Conversation - Darling River Fish PlanDr Lee Baumgartner and Professor Max Finlayson continue the Institute’s input into discussions around the fish kill in the Darling River and remind us the Native Fish Strategy lays out a plan for helping the basin’s fish communities recover from where they are now, at 10% of pre-European levels (0% in some parts), back to 60% over 50 years in The Conversation, January 21.


Lessons from New Zealand on the 'duty to consult' First Nations

The Convesation - Lessons from New ZealandThe complexities and limits of the Crown's "duty to consult" over decisions affecting First Nations' rights is discussed in A/Prof Dominic O'Sullivan's latest Conversation article, November 30.

For the first time we've looked at every threatened bird in Australia side-by-side

The  Conversation - Endangered birdsHow do you measure the success of conservation efforts? Professor Dave Watson and 17 colleagues from a dozen Australian universities along with scientists and private researchers have created a metrics of progress to understand how to manage threats of different intensity and how well that management has been implemented, they describe their analysis of Australian birds in this new article in The Conversation, November 27.

Bainimarama wins again in Fiji, helped by muzzling the media, unions and the church

The Conversation - Fijian election winAssociate Professor Dominic O’Sullivan’s analysis of the results of the Fijian election argues that restrictions on free speech mean that there is no way of testing popular Fijian opinion.  He says “It may have been a free vote. But the conditions for an informed vote – scrutiny and robust debate - were not present” in his piece appearing in The Conversation, November 20.

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