More than 250 people gathered on August 26 for the Frack Free People's Rally organised by Lock the Gate Alliance and Frack Free WA outside the Western Australia State Labor Conference.
Sixty residents of Fawkner, a northern suburb of Melbourne, attended a meeting on August 27 to hear an update on the campaign against the proposed redevelopment of the site of the former Nufarm chemical factory.
One of the chemicals made in the factory was Agent Orange, which was used by the United States during the Vietnam War. Local resident Sally Beattie told the meeting Agent Orange is still causing birth defects in Vietnam today.
The belated decision by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to set up a public inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is aimed at heading off the growing calls for a royal commission into the entire scandal-ridden banking sector.
The August 27 announcement by APRA of an “independent” probe into the country's biggest bank followed a series of scandals that have rocked the financial world.
Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) announced on August 30, it would withdraw as a service provider from the 1800RESPECT Trauma Counselling Service, the federal government-funded hotline.
The announcement punctuates a struggle waged by RDVSA workers to maintain the hotline as a non-profit specialist counselling service in the face of a push by the managing company Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) towards privatisation. After MHS’s subcontract with RDVSA expired in June, MHS put the contract out to tender with new contract provisions.
Flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which smashed into the Gulf Coast on August 25, had left at least 23 people dead by August 31, thousands in need of rescue on rooftops or in boats, hundreds of thousands more without power and tens of thousands in need of shelter.
Yet characterisations of the carnage by the National Weather Service as “historic”, “unprecedented” or “beyond anything experienced” should not be conflated with the spurious claim that the devastation wrought by Harvey was “unpreventable” or “unexpected”.
Community outrage over the NSW Coalition government's decision to shift the iconic Powerhouse Museum from its central city location in Ultimo to a flood-prone site on the Parramatta River is growing, fuelled by the excessive secrecy surrounding the cost of the move.
At a NSW Legislative Council inquiry into the plan, museum experts claimed the transfer could cost at least $1.5 billion, and risked destroying irreplaceable artefacts crucial to the collection.
The Donald Trump administration announced new, unprecedented sanctions against Venezuela on August 25 that are designed to cut off financing to Venezuela. The Trump team pretends that the sanctions are only directed at the government. But as any economist knows, this is clearly false.
By starving the economy of foreign exchange, this action will harm the private sector, most Venezuelans, the poor and the vulnerable.
As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Texas and Louisiana in the United States, where nearly 30 people are reported dead, the flooding and landslides that have swept Bangladesh, India and Nepal for weeks have killed more than 1,200 people and displaced millions so far.
Western media, for the most part, has paid little attention to the catastrophic flooding that has swept these South Asian regions.
Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes.