NSW Greens MP John Kaye has slammed the upper house inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrats leader Fred Nile, into the government's planned privatisation of the state's "poles and wires" electricity network. The public was given just seven days to make written submissions into the future of the NSW electricity grid, and will not be able to appear in person before the inquiry. "By delivering a quick-and-nasty timetable to suit the political convenience of the [Mike] Baird government, Fred Nile has denied his inquiry any credibility," Kaye said on May 11.
DC Entertainment, Warner Bros Animation, Warner Bros Consumer Products and Mattel - forming a veritable Hollywood marketing Axis of Evil - issued a joint press release on April 22 saying they were releasing a tsunami of marketing targeted at six-to-12 year-old girls. The product they will be pushing will be “DC Superhero Girls” - including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and more - during their formative years.
I have never really thought about the impact free education has had on me. Where would my life be if I had to pay to get an education? I am from Denmark. I would certainly not be here in Australia; I might not even have gone to high school.
"After international pressure, today the Indonesian President has claimed that all foreign journalists are now free to report in West Papua without travel restrictions,” the BBC reported on May 11. “This is historic news as for 50 years the Indonesian government has banned foreign journalists from entering West Papua." A global day of action on April 29 featured protests in several cities that called on the Indonesian government to allow free and open access into occupied West Papua for international journalists, humanitarian agencies and human rights groups.
One of my guilty, I won't say pleasures so let's go with habits, is skimming through the Daily Telegraph while waiting for my coffee at the local cafe. It kills time and I can check out the content without giving any money to Murdoch’s media empire.
BLUE MOUNTAINS Come to a forum, Refugees: Let’s Do Better on Sunday May 24 at 2pm. Speakers: Dorothy Hoddinott, Principal Holroyd High School; Two young refugees; Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator; Phil Glendenning, Refugee Council of Australia. Wentworth Falls School of Arts, Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls. Entry: $15/$10 concession. Get tickets here. Email. Organised by the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group. MELBOURNE
In an atypical move in cases of police killings of unarmed African Americans, six police officers in Baltimore have been charged with serious crimes over the death of 25-year-old African American man Freddie Gray last month. Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the charges on May 1, which include second-degree murder against one officer.
An open letter to the Australian government calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the list of proscribed terrorist organisations is gathering support. Initiated by the Melbourne-based Australians for Kurdistan campaign committee, the open letter has attracted some notable endorsements. The letter and endorsements can be viewed here.
LONG-THOUGHT EXTINCT FROG REDISCOVERED The large brown tree frog, with its distinctive orange markings on its hind legs, has not been seen or heard in the East Gippsland forest for more than 20 years and was thought to be extinct. But on April 12, Wildlife Unlimited’s Rena Gaborov was doing a spotlight survey for yellow-bellied gliders and greater gliders when she heard the frog’s distinctive call.
A commentator for the mainstream Barcelona daily La Vanguardia reported on May 9 on a conversation he overheard in a lift between two “executives of a certain age”. They were talking about an opinion poll giving the radical, movement-based ticket Barcelona Together the lead in the March 24 election for Barcelona City Council. Executive A: “Have you seen that [incumbent Barcelona mayor Xavier] Trias is losing?” Executive B: “Yes, [lead candidate for Barcelona Together Ada] Colau is winning.”
Large numbers of heavily armed federal and Victorian police raided a house in the northern Melbourne suburb of Greenvale on May 8. A 17-year-old male was arrested and charged with “terrorism related offences” after appearing in court on May 11. “Balaclava-clad officers with assault rifles stood guard around a two-storey home while heavily-armoured vehicles blocked off the street,” the ABC reported on May 9. A 14-year-old boy was questioned after raids in Sydney on the same day. The police have not said whether the raids in Melbourne and Sydney were connected.
Melbourne Resistance Centre was packed on May 9 as people gathered to hear First Nations activists and other anti-racism activists talk about fighting racism in Australia today. The seminar began with Wendy Brabham, nationally-respected Aboriginal academic and traditional owner from the Wamba Wamba, Wergaia, Nyeri Nyeri and Dhudhuroa first nations. Brabham is the former director of the Institute of Koori Education at Deakin University. She outlined the history of colonisation as experienced by her family. Brabham’s mother was born on Ebenezer Mission.