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Last week US religious figure Troy Newman, who campaigns against abortions, was denied entry into Australia on the grounds that he would be a danger to the community. Some are hailing his banning a victory for women's rights. But was it? Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, a right-wing misogynist organisation in the US dedicated to stopping women having abortions and doctors from performing them.
The community campaigning organisation GetUp! recently emailed subscribers seeking donations so it could develop a pathway to 50% renewables by 2030. Fifty percent renewables by 2030 is also Labor's current target. While it is an improvement on Labor's previous policies, it is not sufficient. The South Australian government has a 50% renewables target by 2025; the ACT has 100% by 2025. We are facing a climate emergency, and Australia needs a rapid shift to renewable energy. Most climate campaigners have long called for 100% renewable energy, plus an end to coal exports.
South America’s largest country, Brazil, has been rocked in recent months by a political crisis, partly fuelled by mass protests calling for the removal of centre-left President Dilma Rousseff. The protests come as the country officially moves into recession, with Brazil’s economy expected to contract by 2% this year. Brazil has been governed by a Workers’ Party (PT)-led coalition for over a decade, firstly under Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva and now Dilma, as she is commonly known.
This is part of a series of articles detailing the policies and platform the Socialist Alliance will be taking to the Federal election. * * * For tens of thousands of years, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this continent and its islands looked after the diverse ecosystems, developed complex languages and cultures, and traded among themselves and with visitors from overseas. They were strong, proud peoples.
The New South Wales government is preparing a fire sale of state-owned properties around the Sydney Harbour foreshore, on the pretext of funding an upgrade of the Circular Quay ferry wharves. Premier Mike Baird announced on September 28 that government-owned hotels and office buildings would be sold to raise $200 million for the renovation project.
A group of 20 refugee supporters staged a sit-in at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on October 7. They were protesting the ongoing rapes and assaults against refugees on Nauru. The protesters occupied the office for about 90 minutes before police arrived. According to one of the demonstrators, the activists entered the building at about 10.30am and started chanting. The staff closed the reception area and called security, who filmed the demonstrators and told them to leave. When the activists refused to leave, the police were called.
The abrupt arrival of this year's bush fire season should be taken as another warning of the urgency of tackling the climate change crisis. The El Nino phenomenon of severe droughts and flooding rains that will make this a more dangerous summer has been a part of longstanding weather patterns on the Australian continent. But research has shown that El Nino will double in frequency and severity as global warming increases.
About 50 people attended the Queensland Water Summit in Dalby on September 23. Despite its midweek timing, a wide range of people attended from across the state, including farmers threatened by increasingly severe drought and mining company pollution of their water sources, to community members, doctors and clergy from communities impacted by coal seam gas, underground coal gasification and coalmining. The summit was organised and funded by independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, who spoke briefly but mostly listened to the concerns raised by attendees.
A leaked management briefing from New South Wales government-owned electricity network business Ausgrid has revealed a plan to slash jobs, close local depots, axe apprenticeships, sell off state-of-the-art training facilities and outsource call centres all in the lead-up to the privatisation of the company. The state government is committed to selling off 50.4% of Ausgrid on a 99-year lease in 2016.
The 23rd Ernie awards for sexist behaviour were held late last month. The peak body for soccer, Football Federation Australia, took out the Gold Ernie for the gross pay gap between male and female soccer players. When the Socceroos won the Asian Cup each player was paid $103,148. In contrast, if the Matildas had won the World Cup, they would have been paid $5600 each. The Socceroos receive a $6000 base payment for every international game, while the Matildas get just $500.
On September 21 the federal government released a Radicalisation Awareness Kit. The kit consists of a 32-page booklet that links environmental activism, “alternative music” and terrorism. Most prominently the case study of a young woman named Karen has been shared widely on social media. While Karen’s story starts off excitingly enough with university politics, direct action to protect the environment and alternative music, sadly in the end Karen sells out her activist ideals and joins an NGO.
The new Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham announced on October 1 that he has no plans to reintroduce legislation to deregulate university fees this year: the key words in that statement are “this year”.
I was asked to speak today about my perspective on abortion law reform in NSW as a medical student. I realised that my perspective on this — even though it’s fairly well informed — actually can’t be separated at all from my perspective as a young woman in NSW, especially a young woman who, dare I say it, has sex.

Greens MLC and spokesperson for women Mehreen Faruqi launched her bill to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act on September 28, International Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Faruqi said that there needed to be a campaign to “bust the myths surrounding abortion”.

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