What is OpenForum?

Open Forum is an independent collaborative think-tank built around an interactive discussion website hosted and moderated by Global Access Partners (GAP). It provides a platform for focused dialogue on social, political, economic, ecological and cultural issues and challenges.

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What is your vision for Australia?

Vision for Australia

Today we are reaching out to every Australian as we embark on a major initiative to create a narrative and execute a vision for Australia. For this we want your input - your voice will be heard. At Global Access Partners (GAP) we have been running advisory bodies and policy consultations for 14 years. We have a strong online community. And now we are bringing it all together to create a synthesis of your views on the future of Australia.

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Join the debate on security and privacy

IQ2 Australia logo

The proposition is ‘Only the wicked need fear government spying’ on 31 March in Sydney at the first IQ2 debate of 2015.

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Be brave and shave

Leukaemia Foundation World's Greatest Shave logo

Get sponsored to shave your hair between 12-15 March 2015 and support the Leukaemia Foundation in helping people with blood cancer. If you are not quite brave enough, you can always colour your hair instead.

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Blog of the Day

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What are the effects of coal seam gas on the health of Queenslanders?

posted by David Shearman, Mar 05, 2015

A leading health organisation is backing calls for a royal commission into the impact of coal seam gas mining on the people of Queensland. Dr David Shearman from Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) urges the new Government to protect the current and future health of Queenslanders.

Senator Glenn Lazarus’ recent call for a royal commission into mining, especially coal seam gas, comes just as the Federal Government's Independent Expert Scientific Committee warned that Santos’ proposal to expand its CSG operations “creates considerable scientific uncertainty”.

Given the adverse impacts from CSG on farmers and rural communities which have largely been ignored, a royal commission needs to happen sooner rather than later.

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Featured Forum

Security & Risk

Technology and globalisation have made the world increasingly connected but also, some argue, less safe. Organised crime and terrorist organisations are using the internet to establish virtual marketplaces for illegal goods and social networking between criminals. The Australian Crime Commission estimates that cyber and technology-enabled crime costs Australia about $2 billion every year. More than 70% of Australians fall victim to cybercrime and internet fraud. Banks face the ongoing challenge of creating the delicate balance between strong security and convenient access for their customers.

Then there’s the changed security environment since 9/11. Last year Australia's terror threat level was raised from medium to high, meaning a terror attack is officially considered "likely" in this country. And just recently the threat level for police also moved to high in recognition of the danger they face as first responders. This follows recent terrorism events here and abroad.

How are we going to manage these threats? In our featured forum on Security and Risk we will discuss the ethical appropriateness of surveillance and the right governance and accountability processes of national security. Last year the Government announced plans to give security agencies more resources and legal powers to respond to technological change and security threats. Now there are concerns about this scheme coming from Australia's intelligence agency watchdog and the nation's biggest telecommunications company itself. Can we strike a healthy balance between privacy and security?

We invite you to join the debate. Please contact Svetlana at sstankovic@openforum.com.au to share your story, opinion or blog idea.

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Security & Risk featured forum

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