Pip Hinman


Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.

Several polls show that the new PM — and by extension, the Coalition — is very popular. Explaining Malcolm Turnbull's high approval rating is relatively easy: it is not too hard to be more popular than the hated Tony Abbott and Labor has long since given up on being an opposition.

According to Newspoll, Fairfax-Ipsos, Roy Morgan and Essential Research, Turnbull's numbers keep improving, even after 6 weeks in office. Depending on which poll you look at, Turnbull's approval is either Mr 52%, Mr 53% or Mr 68%.

The new federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has affirmed that the Turnbull-led government will not budge from policies that afford maximum profits to the outdated and dangerous fossil fuel corporations.

George Bender, a 68-year-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade. Described by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the sugar coated bullshit”, George was a fifth generation farmer in the Western Downs. He stood for the right for a farmer to say “no” to the gas industry.

George Bender, a 68­-year­-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade.

Describe by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the sugar coated bullshit”, George was a
fifth generation farmer in the Western Downs. He stood for the right for a farmer to say “no” to the gas industry.

His family said in an October 20 statement: “[George] was willing to talk openly to anyone who was interested

Two Western Sydney University Resistance activists are running for the editorial board of the student magazine, Cruwsible.

Phil Craig and Ian Escandor, both current Student Campus Council members, believe the student magazine could do much more to encourage activism on campus and better reflect students’ concerns.

“Cruwsible should encourage more activism”, Craig told Green Left Weekly. “But the only way to do this is to have more student consultation.

Metgasco is upping the ante in its bid to drill for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. Activists are even more determined to protect the region’s land and water.

After Metgasco announced it would be carrying out pre-fracking seismic tests, Lismore council voted 5 to 2 on October 13 to refuse access to the gas company’s equipment.

Moreland City Council voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuels on October 7. It is the first Australian council to do so.

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been working with 350.org and Climate Action Moreland on the campaign, said it was a “tribute to their hard work over almost three years”.

Greens councillors have also supported the campaign from the start.

“Last night, we crossed the final hurdle and decided to divest. Without the grassroots campaign, councillors would never have done this,” Bolton said.

Last week US religious figure Troy Newman, who campaigns against abortions, was denied entry into Australia on the grounds that he would be a danger to the community. Some are hailing his banning a victory for women's rights. But was it?

Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, a right-wing misogynist organisation in the US dedicated to stopping women having abortions and doctors from performing them.

A new terror campaign aimed at young people — particularly Muslims — was launched in Sydney’s western suburbs following the fatal shootings of two people outside Parramatta police station on October 2.

The tragic shooting of police technician Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar and his shooting by special forces police have allowed fear-mongering politicians a new round of Muslim bashing. This time it is being led by the so-called “Mr Nice Guy” — New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.

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