Pip Hinman

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.

Despite widespread public opposition, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne are determined to get their higher education deregulation bill through the Senate.

Students, on the other hand, are just as determined to stop it.

Mia Sanders, the UWS Bankstown Student Council Secretary and an education activist, told Green Left Weekly that students would not back down.

NSW Labor has anointed a new leader less than three months before the state election in March. With the ALP trailing Mike Baird's Coalition government in the polls, it must have calculated that it has nothing to lose by dumping former leader John Robertson.

Sharlene Leroy-Dyer is an Aboriginal woman who is standing for the Socialist Alliance for the Legislative Council in the March NSW state election. Green Left Weekly's Pip Hinman spoke to her about her interests and why she is standing.

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Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, an Aboriginal woman and descendant of the Wiradjuri and Dharug peoples of NSW, is heading the team for the Socialist Alliance ticket in the legislative council in the NSW state elections.

“I’m standing because neither a Labor nor a Liberal-National government can meet the needs of the community", Leroy-Dyer said.

Three years after Barry O'Farrell promised to ban coal seam gas (CSG) mining in Sydney's drinking water catchment, the NSW government’s gas plan says nothing about protecting this sensitive area.

The plan, aimed at defusing community anger about CSG approvals and mining in the lead up to the March state election, has done the opposite.

The University of Western Sydney Bankstown Resistance activists Mia Sanders and Ian Escandor have been elected to the Bankstown Student Campus Council (SCC) and the campus magazine CrUWSible editorial board. The results were announced on October 31.

Sanders told Green Left Weekly she believes students related to the “RES Out West” ticket because it emphasised fighting the federal government’s education attacks and rejecting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, women and refugees.

Progressive activists are contesting this year’s student campus council elections at the University of Western Sydney’s Bankstown campus.

RES Out West — Resisting Education Slashes — will run two activists for positions on the council and campus paper editors for 2015. Both are first year students and members of Resistance – Young Socialist Alliance.

Ian Escandor, also known as Esky, is a progressive hip-hop artist, community worker and student activist. He is studying Community Welfare and is active in the campaign to fight the education cuts on UWS Bankstown campus.

A meeting of about 200 union delegates and activists, organised by Unions NSW on September 17, unanimously supported a call for statewide action against the federal budget to defend jobs, workers’ rights and services.

Unionists concerned that Unions NSW was failing to lead a campaign against the budget attacks drafted the motion, which was moved from the floor. Initially, Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon told the group there would not be time to move the motion.

However, just before the meeting closed the motion was put to the vote and unanimously supported.

Stop CSG Sydney has launched a campaign to extinguish the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration licence (PEL 463) covering most of metropolitan Sydney, home to about 4 million people.

The group formed in 2011 when residents discovered that Arrow Energy was about to drill at a waste site in the inner-west suburb of St Peters.

After more than two years of community campaigning, including mass petitions, marches and film screenings, the CSG company now known as Dart Energy claimed that it had never intended to drill at St Peters.

Progressive activists are concerned about reported unprincipled deal-making in the upcoming elections for the new University of Sydney Student Representative Council.

The Sydney University student newspaper Honi Soit reported the Socialist Alternative Sydney University club had decided to support the ALP presidential candidate over the activist Grassroots presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

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