Australia

In the very early hours of Sunday, July 29, the federal government carried out a highly secretive transport of spent nuclear fuel. Helicopters and hundreds of police accompanied trucks from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s reactor at Lucas Heights to Port Kembla in New South Wales. 

Nearly 100 workers at Note Printing Australia (NPA) in Craigieburn, which is owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), were locked out by their employer on August 10.

The workers have been campaigning for a wage rise of 3.5%. Their demand is in line with the appeal made by RBA Governor Philip Lowe to federal parliament in February, when he said that a generalised wage rise of 3.5% would help stimulate economic activity.

Social media has become integrated into workers’ daily lives yet there are few industrial agreements that remunerate them for the changes this has brought about in their working conditions, writes Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Colin Vernon.

Many people think that university students have it all — time to read, think, sit in the sun and socialise — but that's just a mirage conjured up by glossy advertising.

The reality is vastly different.

More than 100 people attended a forum about Indigenous youth incarceration and education on August 8. Discussion focused on the links between the education system and skyrocketing imprisonment rates among young Indigenous people — dubbed the “school-prison pipeline”.

More than three years after Category 4 Cyclone Lam lashed the Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island, residents are asking why the rebuild is taking so long.

The Newstart Allowance received by Australia’s jobless (if they are lucky enough to get it) stands at $273 a week. The last time it was raised, relative to the Consumer Price Index, was in 1994. Last year, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research calculated the poverty line for a single adult was at around $510 a week (including housing costs). That corresponds to a present figure of about $521. This means Newstart is now $248 a week below that miserably low poverty line.

Editor of Climate and Capitalism Ian Angus takes a look at five new books of interest to ecosocalists.

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Monthly Review, July/August 2018

Special double issue on metabolic rifts

Populism Now! The Case for Progressive Populism
David McKnight
New South, 2018
177 pages, rrp $29.99

David McKnight’s Populism Now! catches a wave of discussion about the chances for a progressive “populism”, writes Jonathan Strauss.

Also in the spray, for example, is a June Quarterly Essay piece by the Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss “Dead Right: how neoliberalism ate itself and what comes next” and the previously post-whatever Chantal Mouffe’s musings on “left populism”.

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