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Over September 28-29, Sydney was due to host the 10th Forbes Global CEO Conference. The official conference website said it would be attended by “over 400 global CEOs, tycoons, entrepreneurs, up-and-comers, capitalists and thought leaders”. The host sponsors? The New South Wales government and Australian federal government, of course.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is calling on professional, technical and general staff to reject a management offer of a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). The union says it fails on salaries, job security and on respect. The offer will be put to a ballot of all non-academic staff this week, following a deal between the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and university management. Both unions cover non-academic staff. The CPSU will be campaigning for a “yes” vote.
Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests by Anna Krien, BlackInc, 2010, 304 pages, $29.95 REVIEW BY TIM DOBSON “I was the premier of Tasmania but these bastards were infinitely more powerful than me. You’ve no idea how powerful they are. I couldn’t move. For God’s sake, keep fighting them. That’s why I’m ringing you, they have to be stopped.” Two weeks before his death, former Tasmanian Labor premier Jim Bacon, said these words in a phone call to well-known anti-pulp mill campaigner and ABC TV’s Gardening Australia host Peter Cundall.
Anti-corporate activists will target the second day of the $US8000-a-head Forbes Global CEO Conference, calling for the needs of people and the planet to be put ahead of the interests of the billionaires. The “Billionaire Pirates” will make an appearance, targeting the conference's theme of “Full Sail Ahead”, and demanding entry alongside their corporate pirate mates.
On September 22, 20 people protested outside the Western Australian parliamentary hearing into the transportation of detained persons to call for an end to private companies transporting prisoners. The protest was organised by the Western Australian Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC). The inquiry was held in light of the death of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, who was cooked to death in the back of a private security company van in January 2008. Members of DICWC and Daisy Ward, cousin of Mr Ward, gave evidence at the hearing and called for justice for Mr Ward and his family.
Nineteen seventy nine was a very good year for the Western Australian ruling class. The corporate puppet masters had the ideal puppet in Premier Charles Court, and the most right wing, racist Liberal Party in Australia. With a heavily gerrymandered parliament, Court rode roughshod over union rights, civil liberties, Aboriginal rights and Aboriginal land. Enter the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) who had recently formed to represent the Aboriginal communities in the far north of WA. The KLC was determined to take a stand against the mining land grab.
Thirty people gathered at Sandon Point's Aboriginal Tent Embassy (SPATE) on September 23 in a show of opposition to the reported destruction of native bushland and Aboriginal artefacts over the past two weeks by developer Stockland. Activists conducted a non-violent direct action workshop and hung banners on a highway bridge at the bottom of Bulli Pass.
Leaked documents revealed by the September 23 Sydney Morning Herald show large coal companies colluded to begin coal-seam gas mining under Sydney’s drinking water catchment. The documents show gas-drilling company Apex Energy NL agreed to help Peabody Energy distance itself from bad publicity arising out of a proposal to begin coal-seam gas mining at the Metropolitan Colliery. Apex was to expand the colliery without mentioning the coal-seam gas aspect of the expansion, which had the potential to contaminate water supplies.
On September 14, the French Senate passed legislation that will make the wearing of either a burqa or niqab — Islamic dress worn by some Muslim women that covers the face — illegal in public. The ban was motivated by President Nicolas Sarkozy as an important step in winning equality for women. Opponents of the ban labeled it racist, but, importantly, it is also fundamentally sexist.
Eventually, the Conservative-Liberal Coalition will sell itself off, and the country will be run by low-cost airline Ryanair. You realise this if you listen to one of their favourite thinkers, Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which describes itself as a “free-market think-tank”. On September 14, he suggested stopping libraries from receiving public funding, because he doesn’t use them. So, he asks, “Why should I pay?”
A dinner to celebrate 30 years since the start of the historic “Jobs for Women” campaign was held on September 18 in Figtree, Wollongong. Pictured are some of the original group of 34 test case complainants in the victorious action against the discriminatory employment practices of Australian Iron and Steel (a BHP subsidiary at the time).
Local climate action group Safe Climate has planned a campaign calling on the Western Australian government to reverse approval for five new and refurbished coal-fired power stations. The campaign will include: an ambitious goal to get 10,000 signatures on a petition opposing the new coal developments before the end of the year; a poster design campaign; and a rally in December. Safe Climate is also discussing possible civil disobedience actions. The campaign will be launched at an October 10 action, as part of the 350.org 10/10/10 Global Work Party day of action.
On September 20, the Courier-Mail reported on its front page that the fire sale of Queensland’s public assets had “shifted into high gear” with the $7 billion float of QR National — Queensland Rail’s freight network.
Twenty-two-year-old Mitch Cherry has been preselected to run for the Socialist Alliance in the seat of Bellarine in the November 27 Victorian state elections. * * * Being heard is one of the biggest challenges facing young people. We're forced into the workforce early to learn “work ethics” and the value of money. At 15 or 16, we might be working full time as an apprentice, or flipping burgers, but we’re not allowed to vote. We pay taxes but have no representation.
Eighty people attended a Unions NSW public forum, “NSW Not For Sale” on September 22. The forum examined the social impact of the sell-offs of NSW assets and services, the state of the campaign against privatisation, and the best way forward in the run-up to the March 2011 state election. The June state council of the NSW Teachers Federation called for the forum, hoping it would lead to meetings of public sector union delegates to relaunch the fight against the bipartisan sell-off and downsizing of the NSW public sector.
On September 18, elections were held in Afghanistan amid killings of civilians. The Taliban had said it would disrupt the vote by killing those taking part, but the elections’ sponsors — the US-led occupation forces — also killed civilians on polling day. Afghan and international media reported election day deaths from Taliban attacks, US air strikes, and fighting between foreign troops and insurgents, as well as between supporters of rival candidates.

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