Australia

More than 1000 people attended the funeral for Wangerriburra and Birri Gubba leader Sam Watson in Musgrave Park on December 6. Watson passed away on November 26, just two weeks after his 67th birthday.

On December 9, Labor leader Anthony Albanese reaffirmed his party’s support for ongoing coal exports which make this country the Saudi Arabia of coal exports. Absurdly, Labor's supposed “climate action” wing, the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), backed Albanese and attacked the Greens for questioning Labor's climate credentials.

The Alternative Liberal Party under “climate champion” Anthony Albanese supports Australia maintaining its status as the “Saudi Arabia of coal”. No surprise there, unfortunately.

Far-right extremist Phillip Galea was convicted of planning a terrorist attack. His convinction is welcome, writes Sue Bolton, but others need to be brought to account.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivered another bleak warning about the climate emergency on December 2. He told the 197 country leaders assembled that global average levels of carbon dioxide have now gone over what used to be considered an “unthinkable global tipping point”.

In October last year, the federal government finally established a royal commission into aged care, after a Senate inquiry received numerous complaints among its 5000 submissions. The deep-seated problems included poor standards of care, physical assaults and extremely challenging working conditions.

TAFE staff and supporters rallied outside the Sydney campus on November 28 to demand the NSW government halt its job cuts.

Union members and commuters protested outside New South Wales Coalition Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s office in Martin Place on December 2 in response to her government’s plan to privatise the remainder of Sydney’s bus services.

Buses have already been sold off in the city's inner west and Newcastle, with disastrous results for commuters, including buses running late, service and route cuts and the loss of many bus stops.

The Coalition’s union-busting Ensuring Integrity Bill failed to pass after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson changed her position. But Sam Wainwright writes that it reveals a serious strategic and political weakness in the union movement.

First Nations people's knowledge and rights have been overlooked as the largest privatisation of water on the planet has been underway. Tracey Carpenter examines how the privatisation of this most precious resource — water — has enriched a few at the expense of many.

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