Zane Alcorn

Kalgoolie Super Pit

On the eve of Australia’s largest mining conference, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), which will be held in Melbourne over October 28-31, Green Left Weekly’s Zane Alcorn looks at the myriad problems that arise from a system in which mining corporations, not communities, decide what needs to be mined and where.

Australia’s political class is addicted to fossil fuels. We will need to build a people-powered movement capable of proposing and winning clear demands to break that addiction. Zane Alcorn looks at 21 proposals that could pave the way for the kind of just transition away from coal that the current climate emergency demands.

The latest report from Melbourne-based independent think-tank Breakthrough — National Centre for Climate Restoration, Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, provides graphic descriptions of what lies ahead if we do not immediately take action.

Green Left Weekly’s Jacob Andrewartha and Zane Alcorn spoke to Justin Akers Chacón, a Mexican-based, US immigrant rights activist, in Melbourne for the Marxism conference in April.

The mining and energy division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) does not seem to have a strategy for life after coal, if the leaked minutes from its Queensland division’s December meeting can be believed.

It intends to cling tightly to the coalmining multinationals and hope for the best as global climate and renewable energy policies kick in.

At the recent Victorian Labor state conference, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) delegation and the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) and Labor’s Right faction to close the conference early. That meant that a range of good motions, including for a Shorten government to close the offshore detention centres, were not debated. Union leader John Setka didn't think this was a problem but others, including rank-and-file CFMMEU members, do.

There is a popular folk saying: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”.

The Malcolm Turnbull government’s hysterical warnings about “Sudanese gangs” in Melbourne certainly look and sound like a blatant case of trying to stir up a racist moral panic that can be used to his political advantage.

Power and gas prices are set to rise by a huge 16–19% on July 1, bringing a profit bonanza to the big three electricity companies — AGL, Origin and Energy Australia.

This unpopular price hike comes in the context of record low wage growth, record high housing prices and record levels of household debt.

The federal government is covering for the price hikes by blaming state governments for ruling out unconventional gas (Victoria), or moving too fast to renewables and not planning ahead (South Australia).

Community campaigners rallied in Port Augusta on April 30 to make a final call for the South Australian government to build a new solar thermal power plant in the town.

I became aware that Centrelink were trying to pin a cooked-up “robo-debt” of $5558 on me through a text message from the aptly named Probe group debt collection agency.

There resources about how to dispute a Centrelink debt letter, including GetUp! which has a page that sends a bunch of letters to key places in one go. 

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