Hundreds of angry Queensland nurses rallied outside Queensland parliament on July 14 to protest against the ongoing pay debacle caused by problems with the new computerised payroll system. Queensland Health introduced the system four months ago. Problems have included health workers being underpaid or not being paid at all, ABC Online reported on July 15. The rallying nurses chanted "No pay, no work!", and many threatened to quit if the errors were not fixed soon.
Staff at the University of New South Wales are in a protracted dispute with a notoriously right-wing and anti-union administration, which is refusing to negotiate a new and fair collective agreement. Read more on the dispute here. To send message of support, or to donate to hardship fund to assist the more than 80 UNSW staff who have been stood down without pay by the administration in retaliation for taking legal industrial action, visit the National Tertiary Education Union UNSW webpage.
Forty activists held a protest on July 15 against the expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine. They blockaded the entrance to highlight the catastrophic effects the mine and its expansion would have on traditional owners, their land and future generations. Catrina Staurmberg, at the protest, said: “This is a toxic mine, no one is safe. Radioactive material does not discriminate. If the open-cut expansion or any kind of uranium mining continues it will put many lives at risk across the country.
Pressure is now bearing down on the Australian climate movement because there has been so little forward progress in the federal government’s climate policy. The pressure is for the movement to accept, support and campaign for weak and inadequate climate policies on the grounds that something is better than nothing. This is plain from looking at the new, media-driven “consensus” about the need for a “price on carbon”.
Last year, 20-year-old Aboriginal dancer Rarriwuy Hick was put on welfare quarantining under the Northern Territory intervention. The difference was that she was living outside the government's prescribed zone — in New South Wales. Hick spoke to Ash Pemberton, from Green Left Weekly and Resistance about her experience with welfare quarantining and the affects of the intervention on her home community of Dhalinybuy in east Arnhem Land. *** What led to you being put onto welfare quarantining while you were living in NSW?
The article below is the Socialist Alliance’s updated Climate Charter. For more information, visit the Socialist Alliance website. * * * For years, climate scientists have warned us that we need to act on climate change. Now, science is saying that climate change is taking place more rapidly than everyone previously thought. The warning signs are obvious. April and May were the world’s hottest months since records began. This year’s Arctic ice sheet melt is taking place at a pace never seen before.
"Stop Unimin from totally destroying Stradbroke Island”, Aboriginal leaders Dale Ruska and Sam Watson, urging supporters to attend a rally outside the Magistrates' Court on July 14. “Stop this mining vandal and thief. The Stradbroke Island people need your support. The state government has taken Unimim to court. They must be judged and they must be stopped!"
Existing levels of greenhouse gases may be enough to push Arctic temperatures 19°C higher, a recent study has found. A University of Colorado at Boulder scientific expedition to Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic found evidence that the ice cap may be far more sensitive to warming than had been thought, the team said on June 29. The team used fossil records to measure temperatures on the island during the Pliocene period — 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago. The research confirmed the area was mostly ice-free and about 19°C warmer on average than it is now.
Supporters of the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville met on July 15 to discuss a plan to sustainably deal with the centre’s waste and turn ARC into a leader in environmental sustainability. The centre was built in 1914 as an army barracks. The NSW Lands Department handed it over to the community in the late 1970s after a long struggle. For 30 years, ARC has provided a large community space in inner-western Sydney. A law preventing local councils from providing waste services to non-ratepayers has meant ARC faces a huge cost for waste removal.
Network of Women Students of Australia is an annual feminist student conference. This years conference was held in Newcastle from July 14-18 with the theme “intersections”. Eighty students attended. Mish from sex-worker peak body Scarlet Alliance spoke about trans and sex worker rights. Rachel Evans spoke on behalf of Socialist Alliance about the same-sex marriage campaign.
In her speech to the National Press Club on July 15, Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw down the gauntlet to the labour movement. In a speech outlining the plans for a second-term Labor government, Gillard promised to run a regime of “reforms” that would entrench greater competition and privatisation. There should remain little doubt about Gillard’s intentions. Her speech was aimed directly at the wallets of big business.
Resistance has always championed solidarity with refugees, in a political arena of racism and fear-mongering. Resistance is committed to building campaigns demanding dignity, respect and human rights for asylum seekers. Recently, we have been reaching out to refugees who are detained like prisoners for legitimately seeking asylum in Australia. Group visits to Villawood detention centre in western Sydney were initiated by Sydney Resistance about three months ago. Wollongong and Newcastle Resistance branches have also been involved.
Up to 1.5 million people flooded the streets of Barcelona on July 10 in an enormous demonstration behind a lead banner proclaiming: “We are a nation, we decide.” The turnout exceeded the most optimistic forecasts. Even the most conservative and Spanish-nationalist media admitted this huge protest against the constitutional court’s undermining of Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy was one of the biggest since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975 — and the most important in the history of Catalan nationalism.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s high-handed attempts to impose a “regional asylum seeker processing centre” on East Timor have angered Timorese politicians and activists. Despite Gillard’s talk about finding a regional solution to a regional problem, the “problem” of “unauthorised boat arrivals” in Australia is one of perception. The Liberal-National opposition and the Murdoch tabloids have devoted considerable energy to creating anxiety in sections of the Australian community about the country being swamped by “boat people”.
Twenty-four of the 50 Kennon Auto workers who are members of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union have been on strike since July 1 for a pay rise. The rise has been denied to them for the past three years. Police and the company are increasing the pressure to break the picket line, but the community has been mobilising to support the striking workers. Workers at local factories have walked off the job at short notice to supplement the workers' protest at vital moments, preventing trucks from breaking through.
Twenty years ago, superannuation was an employment benefit enjoyed only by public sector workers and management level employees in the corporate sector. Most workers had no access to superannuation. Today “super” is an “industry” of great value and interest to finance capital. The $1.3 trillion in superannuation funds came in handy when the ongoing “great financial crisis” (GFC) began in 2008. It was a lifeline for Australian corporations caught short. What happened to create this behemoth?