Carol Hucker worked on Manus Island as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year. She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account of her time there so people can become more aware of what is occurring on Manus Island and to these men. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.” This is the first of a multi-part series and covers the period June to July 2013. * * *
This is a reply by Oxfam Australia's Climate Change Policy Advisor Simon Bradshaw to Andrea Bunting’s article “GetUp!-Oxfam’s Powershop partnership raises questions” in Green Left Weekly #1064. As a leading international development agency working around the world, Oxfam is seeing the world’s poorest people made even more vulnerable through the increasing risk of droughts, floods, hunger and disease due to climate change.
BREAKING NEWS: Aunty Jenny Munro announced on August 31 that the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy had forced the hand of the Aboriginal Housing Company to sign a commitment to guarantee that housing for Aboriginal families will be built as a part of the redevelopment of The Block. The signing is due for September 1, 2015.
Australian condom and rubber glove maker Ansell is engaged in some aggressive union busting in Sri Lanka. It has sacked about 300 poor mainly women workers who are fighting for the right to strike in one of Sri Lanka's so called Free Trade Zones. Workers gathered outside Ansell’s Melbourne headquarters on August 25 to demand Ansell reinstate the sacked workers and recognise workers' right to organise. Sri Lankan unionist Anton Marcus, who addressed the rally in defence of the sacked workers, said the workers had wanted nothing more than the right to negotiate through their union.
Early this year supporters of Green Left Weekly in Melbourne decided to relaunch the Green Left Radio show on community radio 3CR. This was after urging from station management and Green Left supporters volunteering at the station. The Green Left Radio program previously aired on 3CR between the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
The federal government’s anti-union agenda, on behalf of the Australian ruling class, has been further frustrated following its failure to ensure two key pieces of legislation pass the Senate. On August 17, the Senate defeated a bill that would have reintroduced the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) along with its coercive powers and weakened protections for unions.
Earthworker Cooperative was formed to respond to the challenges of climate change and the need for local job creation, by establishing worker-owned cooperatives throughout Australia in sustainability-focused industries. It has just raised $570,000, mostly via small donations, to establish the Eureka's Future Workers' Cooperative to produce and install high-quality Australian-made solar hot water systems. The first Eureka’s Future worker-owned factory has now been established through the mutualisation of the Everlast Hydro Systems factory in Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east.
An Australian film, Gayby Baby, that follows four children with same-sex parents and highlights the obstacles they face has been banned from NSW schools after the Daily Telegraph objected. Burwood Girls High, where the director went to school, had planned to show the film as part of the Wear it Purple Day campaign aimed at supporting LGBTI students.
Robert Menzies achieved many things in his long political career. To remain prime minister as long as he did, Menzies kicked the communist can for as much as it was worth. He also benefited from a split in the Australian Labor Party and the ALP’s remarkable talent for shooting itself in the foot. By choosing ineffectual leaders — Doc Evatt was brilliant but erratic, while Arthur Calwell was dour, dull and unelectable — the ALP was putty in Menzies’ clever political hands.
More than 800 workers gathered in Bicentennial Park on August 23 to protest against the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in a rally organised by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU). ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks told the crowd Chinese companies need invest only 15% in a project worth at least $150 million to be able to bring in workers from overseas who are not subject to labour market testing. For as little as $22.5 million, a Chinese investor in a joint venture with an Australian company can avoid paying Australian wages and conditions.