For context, the IPA is the think-tank that are responsible for the rise of far-right conservatism in the Australian Liberal Party (the currently in power party), and have shaped their policy for over a decade - indirectly putting the current party in power on the payroll of big mining companies. (The IPA sources their money primarily from donors like Gina Rinehart).
E.g. the faction that caused the Leader of Australia to change were people with heavy links to this group.
That doesn't necessarily summarily dismiss this article, but I would caution to read articles like this with that in mind - throwing the "left" side of university people under the bus is almost certainly coming from an extremely politically biased echo-chamber that historically does everything in its power to degrade progressives/unions/"leftists" etc.
Edit - Should have expected it, but downvotes for giving good context? This isn't crazy talk here, it's normal knowledge of anyone of Australian political interest.
The idea that they are principled free speech defenders is pretty funny. There's a lot of rhetoric about thin-skinned millennials, but if you want to see a real triggered snowflake, just ask someone from the Murdoch press about whether we are showing a little too much reverence on Anzac day, or share a couple anecdotes about some of the less savory ways that Australia came to be controlled by white Europeans.
I don't think the IPA has any track record of defending freedom of speech unless it's either (a) conservative or (b) a left-on-left fracas where a bit of bastardry is useful (i.e. spats about feminism where rushing to the defense of one feminist is primarily a good way of putting the boot into another).
I grew up in Europe in some <shitty> part which meant I was mugged and hit quite a few times as a kid. I feel emotionally stronger for it, not that'd I recommend it to anyone. But god, people get offended for nothing these days, you can't even reason with them.
Live, or your life will pass you by, and it's bybyes.
Your life will pass you by regardless, but that's beside the point.
It's weird, I see it just the opposite. The younger generation is adapting well to a radically changed world, while the older generation seems bent of going out in a blaze of inglory. The younger generation do have a tendency to talk back and speak their mind, which older people seem to interpret as a hostility to differing opinions.
Lesh is a creature of the "Institute for Public Affairs". The 'donors' section of their wikipedia page makes good reading:
"he IPA has been significantly funded by Hancock Prospecting, of which Gina Rinehart is the Executive Chair. Hancock Prospecting paid the IPA $2.3 million in financial year 2016 and $2.2 million in financial year 2017, which represents one-third to a half of the IPA's total revenue in those years. These payments were not disclosed in IPA annual reports, and Rinehart's daughter Bianca Hope Heyward submitted in court that the Hancock Prospecting payments were credited to Rinehart in an individual capacity. Gina Rinehart was made a life member of the IPA in November 2016.
Other businesses who fund or have funded the IPA include ExxonMobil, Telstra, WMC Resources, BHP Billiton, Philip Morris, Murray Irrigation Limited, Visy Industries, Clough Engineering, Caltex, Shell, Esso and British American Tobacco (BAT).
Funders are able to "earmark" their payments to support the work of particular units within the IPA."
Given that monstering people for unwanted academic speech is hardly an exclusive pastime of those on the left (some claim the reverse, see https://medium.com/informed-and-engaged/campus-speech-protes...) the slant of this article is pretty interesting, especially where we get to:
"Universities are facilitating a self-destructive culture not only through speech codes, but in teaching simplistic theories about human society. Academics far too often pursue social justice causes over empirical inquiry."
I'm figuring "simplistic theories about human society" and "pursuing social justice causes over empirical inquiry" are dog-whistle code for the type of campus activity Lesh would like to magically see less of. But in some mysterious "pro free speech" way, right?