Kathy Fairfax

Biologists consider the health of frogs to be indicative of the health of the biosphere as a whole. Frogs have permeable skin that easily absorbs toxins. They require specific aquatic and terrestrial environments to survive and breed, making them highly susceptible to environmental disturbances. Because of this they are considered accurate indicators of environmental stress. Frogs have lived on the Earth for 250 million years, surviving ice ages and other climate changes. Yet around the world, populations of amphibians, particularly frogs, are now in drastic decline.
The High Court has ruled that Australia's month-long detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers at sea last year was legal and the asylum seekers were not entitled to claim damages for false imprisonment. The asylum seekers’ boat was intercepted by customs ship Ocean Protector off Christmas Island on June 29, after their boat was damaged by fire and they called for help. The Tamils on board said they feared persecution in Sri Lanka and asked for asylum.
In a dramatic turn of events, the NSW government has suspended AGL’s licence to operate its Waukivory Pilot Project to mine coal seam gas (CSG) in Gloucester, pending the result of an investigation launched on January 28. The suspension came just a day after AGL said it was "voluntarily" suspending work at the site after it had detected banned carcinogenic benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) chemicals in flowback water from two of the four wells and an above-ground storage tank.
1. A GLOBAL CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION Last year, more than ever before, people stood up to demand action from world leaders to address the climate crisis. On September 21, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York to insist on the need for stronger climate policy and more renewable energy. 2. EUROPE BANS PESTICIDES LINKED TO BEE COLLAPSE
Students around the country are celebrating the Senate's defeat of the federal government's tertiary education reforms. The proposed changes would have been the final act in the destruction of free tertiary education in Australia that started with the introduction of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme 25 years ago. The government proposed removing caps on university fees, cutting course funding by about 20% on average, charging higher rates of interest on student debts and extending funding to private colleges, TAFEs and sub-bachelor programs in 2016.
About 120 Sydney residents, concerned about the impact of the proposed WestConnex motorway, met at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre on June 25. The meeting heard that WestConnex, the biggest and most expensive motorway in the Australia, will not reduce congestion and is just an excuse for a developer land grab along Parramatta Road.
Drivers on Sydney’s proposed WestConnex motorway will pay a toll for almost 50 years, according to documents released to state parliament last week. Tolls will also be introduced to existing free motorways and extended on those due to expire. The government’s plans were revealed when boxes of documents relating plans to build the WestConnex motorway were delivered to New South Wales Parliament House last week at the request of the NSW Greens Roads and Ports spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi.
As approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. This week we look at women's liberation. ***
From its inception, Green Left Weekly has reported on the fight against discrimination suffered by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
As approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. This week we look at climate change. *** When Green Left Weekly first hit the streets in 1991, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was the biggest climate-related worry for most people. Twenty-three years later, most people accept that climate change is, to quote Kevin Rudd, the biggest moral challenge of our generation.

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