1057

The federal government is keen to cut the age pension. Its latest proposal to double the taper rate on the assets test has been supported by the Greens on the basis that this measure will reduce government support to those with significant wealth. The Greens also hoped that by supporting these pension cuts, the government would rein in tax concessions on superannuation. However, the government has since publicly ruled out any superannuation changes.
Author Carla Gorton at the Cairns launch of the book and associated film project. Photo: Jobsforwomenfilm.com. Women of Steel: Gender, jobs & justice at BHP Carla Gorton & Pat Brewer Resistance Books, Sydney $10 paperback, 73 pages www.resistancebooks.com
The squares in front of scores of town halls across the Spanish state were jam-packed with enthusiastic crowds on June 13. Tens of thousands had gathered to celebrate the inauguration of progressive administrations elected in a leftward swing in the May 24 local government elections for Spain’s 8144 councils.
A Black Lives Matter protest last August in New York. Photo by Edward Leavy.
The mass murder of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white racist has been widely denounced. But to understand this hate crime – a terrorist attack – it has to be put into a broader political context.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) has laid five criminal charges against multinational mining company Linc Energy for causing irreversible environmental damage around the site of its experimental underground coal gasification (UCG) plant at Chinchilla, on the western Darling Downs. The charges allege that Linc wilfully and unlawfully caused serious contamination with carbon monoxide, hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide, carcinogenic BTEX and other gases.
About 40 protesters gathered outside NSW state parliament on June 17 to oppose the NSW Minerals Council’s "Beyond the Rocks Conference" being held in partnership with the Baird state government. They called for the council, representing multinational corporations such as Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto, to support a transition away from the destructive coal export industry. Protesters carried banners and placards with message such as "Minerals Council Conference: 1. Lies about coal. 2. Lies about CSG. 3. Lunch." The rally was called by Front Line Action on Coal.
Early this month the federal government transferred its first infant back Nauru. The five-month-old baby girl known as “Asha” (not her real name), her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru. Refugee activist Siobhan Marren has been campaigning for Asha and her family’s return. She told Green Left Weekly: “Asha is the first baby to be transferred back to offshore detention since the amendment to the Migration Act last December.
Albert Einstein said the purpose of socialism is to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development. Today it seems the predatory phase is here to stay. The choice between socialism or barbarism is now pressing us on all sides. Mining, for instance, pays little in taxes, but we subsidise it to $4 billion a year — and will bear its health burdens for generations to come. As former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd found when he tried to make mining companies pay reasonable taxes, it is a rogue industry.
In recent difficult economic times, with youth unemployment at record rates, there is still one major state institution which is always recruiting — the military. As they have in the past, the armed forces are trying as hard as possible to present an attractive job prospect to the youth market. The offer of a career, job stability, qualifications and training can often seem too good to pass up.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s persistent response to media questions about allegations raised in the unions’ Royal Commission concerning his former union, the Australian Workers Union (AWU), has been to refuse to provide a “running commentary”. After being requested by the commission to appear before it last week, he is now reported as saying: “I welcome the opportunity to talk about my 21-year record of standing up for workers”.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has launched a wave of half-day stoppages, and other industrial action, in support of its campaign against the Tony Abbott government's attacks on wages, rights and working conditions. "This is the largest industrial action taken by Commonwealth public servants in a generation," Nadine Flood, national secretary of the CPSU, told a mass meeting of about 500 workers in the Sydney Masonic Centre on June 18.
People sometimes ask me while selling Green Left "In this day and age, why even have a newspaper?". The nature of print media is changing and most commercial newspapers and magazines are currently suffering an existential crisis. Many advertisers that traditionally used print have made the leap to digital media. The columns of classifieds, once referred to as the rivers of gold, are now drying up and newsrooms are shrinking along with the quality of journalism.
Northern Territory Attorney-General John Elferink was at an Amnesty International debate at Charles Darwin University on June 15, defending the position that “tough love” was necessary to reduce youth crime in the NT. As he was speaking, a 16-year-old was successfully breaking out of the Don Dale youth detention centre. According to an ABC News report, this was the eleventh break-out from the decrepit detention centre since August last year — showing that “tough love” is not working.
BRISBANE Join in at a forum: Recent developments in Guatemala on Friday June 26 at 6pm. Listen to URNG-MAIZ representatve Ovideo Orellana who has just returned from Guatemala. Organised by Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74b Wickham St, Fortitude Valley. Ph Margaret 0439 411 330. DARWIN
Perth City Council and WA Police raided the Nyoongar encampment at Matagarup (Heirisson Island) at 7am on June 18. Tents were seized, move-on notices issued and concrete barricades were erected at the car park entrance to try to deliver a terminal blow to the Matagarup Refugee Camp as the encampment is known. Police and council workers arrived in large numbers with trucks and equipment. More than 15 people had stayed overnight at the camp.
The murder of nine people in a historic Black South Carolina church is both a deep tragedy and a strong symbolic attack on the Black community, civil rights activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray told TeleSUR English. Three men and six women, including South Carolina Democrat Senator Reverand Clementa Pinckney, were shot dead in a mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17.

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