Ben Courtice

Underneath the enormous conveyor belts at the back of the Yallourn power station, 49 metalworkers from MEC Engineering, which is part of the Eliott group, have maintained a six-month “protest embassy” to win their jobs and entitlements back.


Published by Socialist Worker, New Zealand

December 2006, $5


Gippsland power industry unionists met on February 20 to discuss a plan for rescuing the industry’s occupational health and safety (OHS) standards after two deaths and one serious injury in the power industry late last year.

Australian coal-mining companies and Prime Minister John Howard are promoting “clean coal” as a technology that will enable the coal industry to continue its exports while supposedly cleaning up the greenhouse-gas emissions from the burning of this coal.

Environmental Principles and Policies:
An Interdisciplinary Approach

By Sharon Beder

UNSW Press, 2006

336 pages, $54.95 (pb)

Wayanad Misery in an Emerald Bowl Essays in the Ongoing Crisis in the Cash Crop Economy — Kerala

By T.G. Jacob

Published by Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, 2006

Available at <>

The worst drought in 1000 years means that water shortage is as burning issue across Australia, cutting across the city-country divide. A Morgan poll, back in October 2005, found that 80% of Australians believe governments are not doing enough about water conservation, a view that has since been reinforced. But just how well will restrictions, water saving devices such as dual-flush toilets and rainwater tanks, and water trading schemes tackle the problem?

As the November 7 emergency water summit of federal and state parliamentarians was told that the current drought is the worst in 1000 years, the opposition parties criticised the governments for fiddling while the drought worsens. Greens Senator Rachel Siewert claimed the summit “shied away from making the tough decisions at a time when urgent action was sorely needed”.

Biofuels such as ethanol have been presented by alternative energy entrepreneurs and many environmentalists as a “clean, green” alternative to fossil fuels. But recently a growing chorus of scientists have warned of the dangers of biofuels.


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