Pip Hinman

Scientists have warned that if humanity is to avoid catastrophic climate change — which means limiting a rise in average global temperature to 2°C above that of pre-industrial times — most known fossil fuels reserves have to stay in the ground.

The science is lost on the Tony Abbott government, which argues that Australia’s vast fossil fuel reserves will ensure the country’s energy remains “cheap”.

Opposition to Shenhua Watermark’s unpopular $1.2 billion open-cut coal mine, proposed for the Liverpool Plains in the north-west of NSW, is growing. The Coalition cabinet is split, as are NSW and federal National Party MPs.

Federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, who is fighting to hold his New England seat, opposes the mine. His cabinet colleague, federal environment minister Greg Hunt, signed the mine’s approval on July 4.

Well over 300 anti-racist protesters, 100 racists and hundred or more cops, including on horses, took to the streets in Sydney's CBD on July 19.

Early on, police pushed the anti-racist protesters down two blocks in Martin Place where both rallies had been called and arrested five people. First Nations activist Uncle Lyle Davis was arrested for “swearing”. A woman who fell over at the wrong time and place was also arrested.

The anti-racist rally was peaceful, until police allowed racist provocateurs to mingle. Protestors responded by chanting at them as they were rescued by the police.

Green Left Weekly supporters around the country have begun an important six-week campaign to boost circulation of the paper.

We’re asking supporters to help us out by taking a small bundle of papers to sell to friends and workmates. In Sydney, several supporters are now doing this: they are finding great interest — sometimes from unexpected quarters.

Activists have welcomed the announcement on July 6 that the NSW Coalition government has decided to buy back a coal seam gas (CSG) petroleum exploration licence from AGL that covers Sydney’s water catchment.

“It is a big win,” said Jess Moore, spokesperson for Stop CSG Illawarra. The anti-CSG group, with significant community involvement, has been campaigning for four years to protect the water catchment.

Gas company Metgasco has won its case against the state government to reinstate its drilling licence at Bentley after it was suspended last year.

However, Justice Richard Button said that while the suspension process undertaken by the government was not lawful, the judgement did not reflect the merits or otherwise of the suspension itself.

Metgasco’s licence was suspended in May last year after a large community campaign against its plans to drill for unconventional gas at Rosella, about 15 kilometres from Lismore.

The University of Sydney has ramped up its bullying of students and staff who interrupted a lecture by a visiting Israeli colonel last month.

Several students who took part in the protest were sent “show cause” letters on April 15. Others had been summonsed to interviews about the protest.

Mia Sanders, one of the students who took part in the protest action, told Green Left Weekly: “Vice chancellor Michael Spence is, once again, showing contempt for the university’s own charter by trying to silence dissent”.

New Greens MP Jenny Leong, who won the seat of Newtown in the March 28 NSW election, attributes the Greens’ high votes in several parts of NSW to its MPs standing up against corruption and over-development.

The Greens' support for community-led campaigns — in particular opposition to coal seam gas and the WestConnex road project — also won them a bigger hearing.

“The swing against the Coalition and vote for three, perhaps four Greens MPs, in the NSW elections represents an important political gain for the left in NSW. This is welcome news for those fighting for community need not corporate greed”, Susan Price told Green Left Weekly.

Price, a long-time unionist and co-convenor of Socialist Alliance, ran for the Socialist Alliance in the inner-west seat of Summer Hill.

Imagine visiting your mum or dad, in an aged care facility, and finding that they had been left to deal with severe pain because there was no registered nurse on duty who could give them morphine.

This is a real prospect facing thousands of families in NSW if the state government changes the law requiring at least one registered nurse (RN) to be employed at nursing homes at all times. It would leave up to 48,500 vulnerable, high-needs nursing home residents, at risk in an already stretched healthcare system.

Pages

Subscribe to Pip Hinman