1009

After a few years in the making, Partizan Travel has finally been launched. It is a social enterprise that provides progressive-minded people across the world the chance to visit various countries in a different, authentic way. Visitors will learn about those nations by meeting grassroots activists and hearing about the history and reality of their struggles. They will take part in political events, enjoy local culture and traditional food.
The Wilderness Society released the statement below on May 5. *** An Environmental Protection Authority report says gas company Santos can’t fully clean up the uranium contamination of an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW, saying that attempts to recover the polluted water were “impractical”.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has launched a petition as part of a campaign to save library services at the University of Sydney. *** The university library management has announced a major restructure that will have serious implications for library users and staff, including the potential loss of up to 130 staff.  
The NSW government's suspension of Metgasco's licence at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of NSW has lifted spirits across Australia. For years, communities have been battling the bipartisan support for the unconventional gas industry's advance into prime agricultural land in NSW. The licence has been only suspended, not cancelled. Yet the decision is a vindication that people power — sustained mass community campaigning — can be a powerful force. Curiously, NSW energy minister Anthony Roberts said the licence suspension was because Metgasgo had failed to consult the community.
The NSW government has suspended Metgasco’s licence to drill for gas at Bentley, near Lismore. Energy minister Anthony Roberts said on May 15: “The Office of Coal Seam Gas made the suspension on the grounds that Metgasco did not fulfil a condition of its exploration licence, namely to undertake genuine and effective consultation with the community as required.”
Joyce Stevens was born on January 6, 1928 and was 87 when she died on May 6. She was the third child in a family of four children, with two older brothers and a younger sister, Lorna, who survives her. Her father was a railway fettler and her mother had been a nurse. The family lived in country NSW and Joyce enjoyed some of the pleasures and freedoms of country children. She moved to Sydney with her mother and two of her siblings when she was 14.
An international March Against Monsanto is scheduled for May 24. Hundreds of events around the world have already been scheduled to protest against the world's biggest agricultural biotechnology company. Like all capitalist monopolies, Monsanto got to where it is today by being ruthless. There are other big biotech companies with shocking records of disregarding people and planet in pursuit of profit — such as DuPont, Bayer and Dow Chemical — but Monsanto's record is so notorious, it warrants its own special international protest day.
The private media and important actors both at home and abroad, including Washington, have downplayed, and in some cases completely ignored, the terrorist actions perpetrated against the Venezuelan government over the past three months. Among the latest examples that have gone underreported abroad is the assassination in late April of Eliezer Otaiza, a historic leader of the Chavista movement and president of the Caracas city council.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on May 16. *** The federal parliament's joint committee on electoral matters is recommending changes to the federal electoral laws supposedly to address the problem of some small parties "gaming" preference direction through above-the-line voting for the Senate. However, the joint committee has also proposed raising the number of members required for federal electoral party registration from 500 to 1500. 
And so it begins — an offensive, on behalf of the Australian ruling class and corporate interests, to steal the future from the majority of Australians, to dismantle what remains of our social welfare system, in order to carry out, in the words of Treasurer Joe Hockey, "the government's solemn duty ... to build a stronger Australia".

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