1072

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.
A new terror campaign aimed at young people — particularly Muslims — was launched in Sydney’s western suburbs following the fatal shootings of two people outside Parramatta police station on October 2. The tragic shooting of police technician Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar and his shooting by special forces police have allowed fear-mongering politicians a new round of Muslim bashing. This time it is being led by the so-called “Mr Nice Guy” — New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.
A Queensland woman has won a High Court challenge against corporations owning human genes. Yvonne D’Arcy took her fight against US-based biotech company Myriad Genetics to Australia’s highest court. The company has a patent over the BRCA1 gene that is linked to an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. A Queensland woman has won a High Court challenge against corporations owning human genes.
In an embarrassing twist in one of the few prosecutions to come from the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will drop a blackmail charge against Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organiser John Lomax. ACT DPP Jon White confirmed his office would offer no evidence against Lomax when he next appears in court on October 19.
While the whole globe — from polar regions to the equator — has experienced record-breaking high temperatures, a small part of the Earth has experienced the opposite. Scientists say both are indications of the dangerous affects of climate change. In September, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the first eight months of 2015 were the hottest ever recorded in the 135 years since records have been kept.
The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, including Australia, reached an agreement on October 5 on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history. The agreement has been negotiated in secret for eight years and will encompass 40% of the global economy. The secret 30-chapter text has still not been made public, although sections of draft text were leaked by WikiLeaks during the negotiations.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place in Paris between November 30 and December 11. By the time it starts, 2015 is almost certain to have beaten last year as the warmest year ever. This August has now been confirmed as the hottest August since records began in 1880. Other months this year that broke records were February, March, May, June and July.
The Queensland government did not prosecute gas company Santos over that state’s third largest oil spill despite the Department of Environment saying it had sufficient evidence, according to documents obtained by the Wilderness Society. About 250,000 litres of crude oil was spilled at Santos’s Zeus oil field in the Cooper Creek floodplain south of Windorah in May 2013. Santos took five days to stop the spill largely because it did not have contingency plans or experts in place and had to fly in an expert team from the United States.
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 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”.
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.
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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