Several prominent forest advocacy groups, including the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild Still Threatened, released this joint statement on March 5. *** Australia’s forest advocacy groups have responded to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on forests and praise for the industry that destroys them. Many of Australia’s forest conservation groups have been working to have the remaining forests and the wildlife within them protected over the decades.
One of the most important initiatives that can be taken to revitalise manufacturing in NSW is to implement policies that will encourage the rapid development of renewable energy products. The one thing we should not be doing is developing new coalmines.
"Chavismo represents the entry of the ordinary people of Venezuela onto the political stage," former Caracas-based journalist Federico Fuentes told a forum in Sydney on March 4. The forum, “Venezuela: Revolution under attack: The people fight back”, was part of a month of activities to commemorate the death of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on March 5 last year.
When the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released their State Of The Climate 2014 report on March 4 it should have made headlines for days, provoked a big parliamentary discussion and a public debate about the emergency action we need to take to address the climate crisis. But it didn't. The report made the news for a day but the main impression put across mainstream media was that Australia was getting wetter. That's good news, right?
The Coaliton for Justice and Peace in Palestine released this statement on March 7. *** Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Director of Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, has been taken to the Federal Court of Australia in a legal action brought by Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Centre, alleging racial discrimination due to his support of the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel.
The Climate Change Authority, the body responsible for setting Australia’s carbon emissions, has recommended that the target for emissions be increased from 5% to 19% below 2000 levels. It also said that in the decade after 2020 the emissions reductions target should be between 40% and 60% below 2000 levels by 2030.
For the past eight months, I worked at a well-known retail chain for a fraction of the cost of other employees. I am 16-years-old and was being paid “youth wages”. I resigned at the end of February, even though I enjoyed working there. I was receiving second-class wages for the same work as older workers with the same position. When I originally applied for the job in June last year, I was told that my pay would be scaled down a certain percentage for every year under 21 years of age I was.
About 1000 Latrobe Valley residents gathered at Kernot Hall in Morwell on March 2 to protest against government and corporate mishandling of the fire in the Hazelwood coalmine. Residents directed their anger at government inaction and misinformation, and corporate negligence by GDF Suez, the multinational operator of the mine and power station. Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley explained to the meeting the efforts and risks being taken by the firefighters.
World Autism Awareness Day will be held on April 2 and members of the autistic self-advocacy movement are campaigning for basic services and social acceptance. Autistic activists from groups like the Geneva-based Autistic Minority International, Wrong Planet and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network are organising to be heard as a community rather than being primarily represented by experts and professionals in the field.
Shares in Qantas were traded at $1.25 on February 21, the highest price since October last year. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the stock exchange would know that the company has been in deep trouble for some years. In October 2011, it stranded thousands of its passengers after it grounded its entire worldwide fleet during a union dispute. When rumours began circulating throughout the media after its half-yearly report meeting that Qantas was preparing to shed thousands of jobs at, its share price began to rise. Sacking workers is a profitable sign for speculators.
In late January, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided not to assess a proposal for fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Buru Energy plans to conduct 34 fracks in the region starting this year. It intends to conduct most of these fracks at four existing wells: two at Yulleroo, 90 kilometres east of Broome, and two at Valhalla/Asgard, 320 kilometres east of Broome.
A report commissioned by the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) shows that energy sector privatisation in Australia has been "a dismal failure", which has produced "no benefits" for consumers, but has resulted in "large fiscal losses" for taxpayers. Economist John Quiggin, from the University of Queensland, reviewed energy sector privatisation and the related process of electricity market reform between the early 1990s and now, and found no long-term benefits for either governments or consumers.
John Fenton is a farmer from Wyoming in the United States who has 24 gas wells on his property. He recently toured Australia to speak about the environmental and health impacts the gas industry has had on his land and community. He spoke at 11 meetings in gas hotspots throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, organised by the Greens and Lock the Gate Alliance. These meetings were well attended. In Narrabri, in northern New South Wales, 600 people came to hear him speak.
The February 21 collapse of the government of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich in the face of anti-corruption protests has led to the most serious confrontation between the US and Russia since the end of the Cold War. The Russian Federation is not the superpower the Soviet Union once was, but it remains the world’s second largest nuclear power after the US, which has about 80% of the world’s nuclear weapons. The US and its allies are insisting that Ukraine is indivisible, including the autonomous region of Crimea.
About a thousand people took part in the 2014 International Women's Day march in Sydney on March 8. The rights of women workers, single parents, migrant and refugee women and threats to the right to abortion were among the issues highlighted. The organising committee raised as two central demands: "Stop Zoe's Law!" and "Equal pay now!" ""We are facing the biggest attack on our reproductive rights that this country has seen in recent history with the introduction of a foetal personhood law (titled "Zoe's Law") in NSW Parliament.