Graham Matthews

In May last year, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan announced the formation of the Australia’s Future Tax System Review, to be run by Treasury secretary Ken Henry. When the Henry review reports to government in December, its recommendations are likely to leave the wealthy smiling and the rest of us grinding our teeth.
One hundred people gathered at Parramatta ferry wharf on October 9 to call on the NSW government to abandon plans to privatise Sydney Ferries. The protest was organised by Save Our Sydney Ferries, a coalition of unions and public transport support groups.
On October 6, the Reserve Bank of Australia lifted the official interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.25%. Explaining the bank’s decision, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said “the risk of serious economic contraction in Australia” had now “passed”.
As the Australian economy begins its “recovery”, economic and social indicators show the recession has disproportionately affected working people and the poor. The rich are just getting richer.
The problem is obvious to anyone who uses public transport — in Sydney or any other major city in Australia. Public transport networks, designed in the 1940s, are straining to service growing cities.
Workers at the Campbell's Soup factory at Shepparton in Victoria have delivered a setback to the federal Labor government's plan to apply individual contracts by stealth.
Permaculture Diary 2010 Compiled by Michele Margolis Graphic design by Richard Telford $30 (including postage), pb Available from
Business economists and their paid media scribblers are frantically keen to announce the end of the financial crisis. Their aim is to return confidence in the market and to encourage working people to take on more debt.
In April 2008, workplace relations minister Julia Gillard began the process of “award simplification”, asking the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to compress about 2500 existing state and federal awards into just 120.
On August 12, Australia’s formerly government-owned telecommunications company, Telstra, announced a $4 billion profit for the 2008-09 financial year.
Unions NSW unveiled its “Better Services for a Better State” campaign at a seminar for public sector union delegates and Your Rights at Work activists in Parramatta on August 20.
SYDNEY — Four construction workers, Nigel Gould, Peter Carr, Peter Riikonen and Andrew Jones who were sacked from the Thiess Services soil remediation project in Rhodes in June, were granted a “confidential settlement” on August 10. The workers are all members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).
On August 6, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released labour force figures for July that showed unemployment remained steady at 5.8%. However, while the total number of people employed stayed stable, full-time jobs fell by 16,000 while part-time employment rose by 48,200.
On August 4, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures that showed housing prices across Australia’s capital cities rose by 4.2% over the three months ending in June. The rapid increase has worried the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) enough for it to warn of a threat of a housing bubble.
NSW TAFE teachers in NSW will stop work on August 11 after the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) proposed an increase of 71 teaching hours a week, an end to the allocation of professional development and a lifting of the ceiling on hours taught in any one week.
We’ve heard it all before — especially those of us who can remember the rhetoric of the Hawke and Keating governments. A little pain now and everything will be much better for everyone in the long run.


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