Australia

Young people today face an uncertain future. Watching the news on any channel at night is proof enough of this. The current crisis taking precedence on news broadcasts around the globe is of course the financial crisis.
This article is based on a speech to a rally against Gunns’ proposed pulp mill, in Launceston on August 23. It was delivered by Stef Gebbi and Gabby Forward on behalf of Students Against the Pulp Mill.
“Will my superannuation fund be next?” “Are my savings safe?” As working people in the developed economies watch the assets of one financial institution after another vaporise into nothingness, tens of millions are asking these dreadful questions.
The Australian Services Union (ASU) Victorian secretary, Ingrid Stitt, told Green Left Weekly that Labor’s new Interim Transitional Employment Agreements are a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The ITEAs were introduced by the Rudd government to replace the notorious Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs individual contracts).
McKesson Asia-Pacific, a subsidiary of US multinational medical services operator McKesson Corporation, landed a $176 million government contract to provide an all-hours national health telephone triage system called Healthdirect Australia. It began taking calls in New South Wales in August.
In the lead-up to the release of a report from the federal government’s review into the Northern Territory intervention, the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association has blasted the policy. AIDA describes it as discriminatory, damaging to people’s health and completely unable to alter conditions of child abuse or neglect in remote Aboriginal communities.
A group of international peace activists blacklisted and deported from Israel were the organising force behind the August 23 breaking of the Gaza blockade by two activist boats.
As I write this column the newspapers report that United States, Canadian, European and Japanese banks have combined to inject an extra US$180 billion (A$225 billion) into global financial markets. It is the latest desperate measure to try to stem the year-old global financial crisis commonly — and misleadingly — labelled the US subprime mortgage crisis.
Fifty ambulance officers and paramedics campaigning for more staff and better conditions bailed up Victorian health minister Daniel Andrews as he visited Geelong on September 19.
People power came to Gunnedah in north-west NSW on September 15 as more than 300 farmers and their supporters rallied outside the Gunnedah Basin Coal Conference. They were protesting against a coalmining project in the agriculturally rich Liverpool Plains that was given state government approval in 2006.

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