As an alternative newspaper, based in grassroots, progressive political movements, Green Left Weekly aims to be a thorn in the side of the corporate media here in Australia and globally.
National accounts figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on March 4, showed that the Australian economy contracted by 0.5% in the three months to December, despite the federal government’s $10.6 billion stimulus package, which was paid out to pensioners and families before Christmas.
Cairns Action for Sustainable Transport formed at the start of last year. CAST advocates a sustainable transport system — urban mass transit, regional rail and bus services and rail freight, all powered by renewable energy, and bikeway and pedestrian access networks. Green Left Weekly’s Jonathan Strauss spoke to CAST activists Renee Lees, Svargo Freitag and Stacey O’Brien about CAST’s aims.
Two hundred workers and supporters protested outside the Pacific Brands factory in Wentworthville, Western Sydney on March 6 in response to the clothing company’s plans to slash 1850 jobs around the country.
When the federal industry minister Kim Carr announced the ALP government would give the car industry $6.2 billion in taxpayers’ money in November, he declared that it amounted to a “new beginning”.
Government ministers have called on private employers not to sack staff in response to the economic crisis (a call that the company bosses have predictably ignored). Yet the government has been sacking its own workers.
Deputy PM Julia Gillards outspoken support for Israels attack on Gaza earlier this year prompted angry criticism from many, including from inside her own party.
The current economic crisis comes after 14 years of boom conditions, which delivered a profits bonanza to the bosses. Workers’ share of the national income has declined from 60% in 1978 to 51% today. At the same time, the cost of living has risen significantly.
As the Western Australian Coalition government slashes the state budget, vital community services for refugees are feared to be among the first to go.
Actions by construction giant John Holland have led to 40 workers being sacked from the Melbourne Westgate Reconstruction project because they did not accept an agreement that would mean they earned less than the standard industry rate.
On February 27, the federal government received a report on the review of the pensions system conducted by Jeff Harmer, the head of the families and community services department.
A March 2 open letter to minister for climate change Penny Wong has described the federal governments climate policy as completely out of step with both current climate science and targets in other developed countries. The open letter was endorsed by 65 climate action groups (CAGs).
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