Margaret Gleeson

Climate change was a glaring omission from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s address announcing the federal election. It has also been below the radar on the Labor’s campaign trail.

In contrast the Greens launched their election campaign at a protest on May 8 organised by climate group 350.org, which closed down the coal port of Newcastle. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was time Australia got serious about “tackling dangerous global warming”.

On April 3, the Queensland mines minister Anthony Lynham and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk approved the three mining leases of Indian multinational Adani for the Carmichael coalmine and rail project in the Galilee Basin.

Federal approval was granted by federal environment minister Greg Hunt in October.

In the context of the anti-Muslim racism spiked by the recent attacks in Paris, the Electrical Trades Union Queensland and Northern Territory (ETU Qld and NT) has produced a video showing that racism is anti-worker and has no place in the Australian community.

ETU (Qld and NT) Secretary Peter Simpson told Green Left Weekly: “We at the ETU have been watching the impact racism has had on workers for quite a while now.

On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani.

The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.

The Butterfly Prison
Tamara Pearson 343pps
Open Books
www.open-bks.com

In her debut novel The Butterfly Prison, Tamara Pearson, an Australian journalist working for Latin American news site TeleSUR in Quito, uses a poet’s sensitivity and language combined with a journalist’s eye for reportage. She weaves storylines that situate the poor and alienated as actors in resisting the living prison which dehumanises them.

Environment groups have welcomed the passage of legislation on November 12 that restricts sea dumping and port expansion in the Great Barrier Reef heritage area as a victory for people power.

The Queensland Land Court has begun hearing objections to the expansion of New Hope Coal's Acland Stage 3 coalmine in the Darling Downs, one of Australia's richest agricultural and pastoral regions.

There are 27 objectors to the mining lease applications and 35 objectors to the draft Environmental Authority.

The objectors include Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Darling Downs Environment Council, Clean Air Queensland and many local farmers concerned about the impact the coalmine expansion will have on the sustainability of their operations.

As the pantomime that is the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, stumbles to its conclusion at the end of the year, figures released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on October 27 reveal a 2% drop in union membership to 15% of the workforce.

According to the ABS report, in August last year 1.6 million people were members of trade unions in their main job.

In an October 26 editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia Caroline M de Costa and Heather Douglas argue that laws relating to abortion are out of date, and variations in laws between states have led to serious barriers for women access terminations.

The editorial calls for uniform legislation across the country, “so that the law is in step with modern medical practice and so that women regardless of where they live have equal access to abortion services”.

“Current Australian abortion laws continue to disadvantage many women.

The Zero Carbon Australia: Renewable Energy Superpower report published by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is now available.

Author Gerard Drew and a brigade of contributors provide much detailed technical evidence that demonstrates the potential for Australia in a global transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.

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