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In the midst of a Federal Election and with the major party leaders equivocating on climate change and a price on carbon, the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan will be launched at a free public forum in Sydney Town Hall on Thursday 12 August at 6.00 pm.

Hosted by the journalist and broadcaster, Quentin Dempster, the speakers will include:

· Malcolm Turnbull, MP for Wentworth
· Bob Carr, former NSW State Premier
· Scott Ludlam, Greens Senator for WA
· Matthew Wright, Executive Director, Beyond Zero Emissions
· Allan Jones, Sustainability Expert, City of Sydney

Canberra’s bus service, Action, is trying to impose a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) on bus drivers to undermine their rights at work.

Under the current EBA, 40% of Canberra’s bus drivers are part-time and have to wait four years until they can get full-time work. If the part-time to full-time ratio that Action wants is implemented, workers will have to wait seven to eight years for a full-time job.

“We’re fighting to protect bus driving as a profession”, one bus driver said.

A prolonged industrial dispute is continuing at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) as a result of the ongoing refusal of vice-chancellor Fred Hilmer to bargain in good faith with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) over staff concerns about pay and conditions — especially job security.

Hilmer’s intransigence should come as no surprise.

When Hilmer announced his decision to take up a tidy $750,000 annual salary package as vice-chancellor of University of New South Wales back in 2005, he said partial deregulation of education was like being “half pregnant”.

The family of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, who died in the back of a prison transfer van in January 2008, will receive $3.2 million from the WA government. It is in addition to the $200,000 interim payment previously given to the Ward family.

The payment comes in the wake of escalating protests organised by the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC) in support of the family. The most recent rally was a large march through the city on July 11 in the wake of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) decision not to lay any charges in this case.

The University of New South Wales' management could face more student protests if it refuses to budge on key issues, the president of the Student Representative Council has told Green Left Weekly.

Osman Faruqi told GLW that management’s decision to stand down about 80 staff had been the catalyst for the largest student demonstration in years at UNSW.

The stand downs move came as the local National Tertiary Education Union branch imposed bans on the release of student results after management delayed bargaining over union demands for 16 months.

Food security will be a focus of November’s Climate Change/Social Change conference, being held in Melbourne. An entire workshop stream will be devoted to the topic.

The global food system captures the insanity of production for profit: One in six people in the world are malnourished, yet the United Nations estimates that 40-50% of all food in the United States is wasted.

Food waste makes up to half of Australian landfills.

BLUE MOUTAINS — About 60 people filled the Family Hotel bistro on July 24 to see Actively Radical TV's new film on the NT intervention, Alyawarr Walk-Off Protest vs Northern Territory Intervention. The event, organised by Green Left Weekly and the Socialist Alliance, also heard a reportback from the recent anti-intervention convergence in Alice Springs and the “Justice Tour” bus trip.

Many participants expressed disgust at the Labor government’s role in the intervention. Many were also amazed at how little coverage there was in the media about the issue.

The recent diplomatic manoeuvres by the US and Colombian governments against Venezuela have put the region on red alert.

There are a clear warning signs that US imperialism has stepped up its plans to overthrow the revolutionary government of Venezuela through military means, as support for opposition parties drops in the lead up to the September National Assembly elections.

An intense mobilisation within Venezuela and internationally is needed to make it clear that imperialism will pay the highest price possible if it attempts to plunge the region into war.

The statement below has been signed by the Australian Socialist Alliance, the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) and the Indonesian Working People’s Association (PRP).

* * *

We, the undersigned organisations, view with serious concern the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United States using its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

In New South Wales, 96.3% of rail workers have voted in favour of strike action to further their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement. The combined unions campaign committee notified Railcorp this would take the form of a fare-free day involving station staff and transport officers.

Strikes at maintenance depots and workshops are planned at Hornsby, Flemington, Mortdale, Sydenham and Eveleigh for all Rail, Tram and Bus Union members on August 5 from 10am-2pm.

All RTBU office workers at Burwood and Granville will strike the same day from 11am-1pm.

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