Australia

The Northern Territory Labor government was swept into power in 2016 promising a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. However, with the lifting of the moratorium in April, the NT government is now moving to open up 51% of the Territory to the risky and highly controversial practice.

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) was formed in late 2016 as a response to growing dissatisfaction among retail workers with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The Labor right-controlled SDA is notorious for negotiating enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) that contain below award wages and eroding the rights and conditions of workers. 

Inaction on global warming is heating not only the planet, but also the mood of residents who visited Labor MPs offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Hundreds of primary and secondary students went on strike and protested at Parliament House on November 28 calling for serious action on climate change. This was followed by thousands of students taking to the streets of about 30 cities and towns across Australia as part of the Student Strike 4 Climate Action on November 30.

Members of Sydney's Kurdish community marched through the city on November 18 to demand freedom for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been held in solitary confinement in a Turkish prison since 1999.

Mary Merkenich together with colleagues from Highvale Secondary College at the Teachers for Refugees protest in Melbourne on November 20.

Teachers, education support staff and even some principals walked off government and private schools across Victoria and assembled at the State Library on November 20, in support of refugees currently being detained on Manus Island and Nauru. A similar protest was held in Brisbane that same day.

On November 9 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, marking what many hoped would be a new era of cooperation and openness across borders. Thirty years later, the opposite seems to have happened.

Edifices of fear, both real and imaginary, are being constructed everywhere fuelling a rise in xenophobia and creating a far more dangerous walled world for refugees fleeing for safety, writes European Alternatives.

As recently as last year, the gig economy’s “independent contractor” business model seemed like an unstoppable force. It started with Uber, but soon spread to food delivery and before long was entering new sectors, such as freight, logistics and healthcare.

Melbourne-based researcher Iain McIntyre is the author of a number of books including a recent anthology entitled On The Fly! Hobo Literature and Songs, 1879-1941. Rachel Evans spoke to him about the 2019 How To Make Trouble and Influence People Diary he has produced as a fundraiser for the Rainforest Information Centre and Community Radio 3CR.

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Don’t Forget Super
By Brian Boyd
Published by the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, 2018

Ever wondered where your superannuation scheme came from and what it is meant to do?

I always thought it was a lump sum payment so I could buy a caravan and go around Australia before going on the age pension, and many have tried to do just that. But today anyone will tell you the age pension is not enough to live on, and working until your 67 is just not possible for most people, especially if you work in the construction industry.

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