Social services minister Kevin Andrews has defended the Coalition government's attacks on welfare — including proposals to deny jobless under-30s any payment at all for six months — on the grounds that “too much intervention” denies citizens the opportunity to achieve something for themselves.
The global financial crisis had its origins in the US when interest rates fell from 6% in January 2001 to 1% in mid-2003. This led to banks and other financial institutions awash with cheap money to conclude that lending to home buyers at obvious risk of defaulting their repayments was a safe bet.
Stop CSG Illawarra released this statement on June 3. *** The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, has released a new report to “specifically examine the cumulative impact of all activities which impact ground and surface water in the Sydney Water Catchment Special Areas”. The report does not investigate whether coal seam gas (CSG) mining in drinking water areas is safe.
“At the end of the day,” Bella Bropho of the Swan Valley Nyungah Community told Green Left Weekly, “we want that land returned to us.” She was referring to the Lockridge camp site which was home to the community until it was closed by the Western Australian government in 2003. Despite the closure, the community has maintained a continuous connection with the site and still meets there every week. At 5pm on June 10, government contractors moved in to remove fences and “desecrate” vegetation that was planted by community members.
Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on June 5. *** Eye-witness accounts of the riot squad attack on peaceful protests on Christmas Island on June 2 have revealed more of the brutality of the attack and disproportionate force used by the Serco Emergency Response Team. One of the asylum seekers injured remains in hospital with a broken hand/wrist after the riot squad re-broke his hand with such severity that a surgical pin from a previous operation was broken through the bone.
Seven years after Muckaty Station was nominated as a radioactive waste dump site, a Federal Court challenge has begun in Tennant Creek, 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs and 120 kilometres south of the proposed dump site. In 2007, the Northern Land Council (NLC) nominated Muckaty to the Commonwealth. The Federal Court challenge is based on the argument that the traditional owners were not properly consulted and they did not give consent.
Indian feminist and socialist Kavita Krishnan was the keynote speaker at the People's Power in the “Asian Century” seminar in Sydney on June 7. The seminar was held as part of the Socialist Alliance’s 10th national conference over the weekend of June 7-9. Around 250 people attended the conference to hear Krishnan speak on the anti-capitalist struggle in India, and on capitalism, misogyny and sexual violence.
World Refugee Day is dedicated each year to raising awareness about the more than 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. The United Nations and non-government organisations usually share refugee stories and make pleas for compassion and empathy. But in Australia, refugees and asylum seekers are treated like the enemy in a war: the target of a highly resourced, military-led “deterrence” strategy complete with arbitrary detainment, detention camps, guards to terrorise them, forced deportations and the violent suppression of those who protest.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has again found former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid guilty of corruption. On June 5, he was found corrupt over the non-disclosure of the ownership of cafes at Circular Quay and attempts to renew the leases without them going to tender.
Sham contracting — when a company lists employees as contractors to avoid having to pay tax and benefits — and charging workers illegal fines are widespread practices in the sex industry.
''This move by Australia Post management to cut 900 jobs is outrageous, coming without any proper consultation with staff and unions,” Joan Doyle, Victorian state secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) told Green Left Weekly on June 10. ''Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour is sensationalising supposed losses to attack workers' conditions.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a notorious climate change denier. So is his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper. But this is not their official position. In the face of rising global pressure for action to address catastrophic climate change, the official line of these two leaders is to “address” climate change, but not in a way that “clobbers the economy”, to use Abbott's latest three-word phrase.
Central Melbourne was filled with union flags, political banners and home-made placards on June 12 as about 25,000 protesters marched through the streets in a “bust the budget” rally organised by the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC). The rally combined the colourful and humorous placards and diversity of participants seen at recent March Australia rallies, along with a much more substantial and organised union presence.
NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker organised a “Bust the Budget” meeting for local residents on June 3 at Glebe Primary School. Speakers addressed the extreme nature of Abbott’s budget, its disingenuous rationale and the need to fight back. Parker told the crowd of about 120 people that there will be “a tsunami of funding cuts in NSW” that will have “far-reaching effects”, especially for the community’s most disadvantaged.
As news spread of the abdication of the Spanish king Juan Carlos on June 2, a strange rustling sound could be heard across Barcelona. Hard to work out at first, it soon became clear what it was. It was the city — the capital of Catalonia — laughing. In the city’s thousands of bars, people were hooting with glee at the wave of tweets that the king’s decision to abdicate in favour of his son, Felipe, was provoking. Probably the favourite in my local bar of young and old unemployed, read: “With Mariano Rajoy [Spanish prime minister] in charge, even the king gets to lose his job.”
“On June 1, 2014, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, historic leader of the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN), was inaugurated as President of El Salvador,” CISPES.org said on June 3.