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On September 15, Socialist Alliance member Margaret Gleeson was awarded the prize of delegate of the year by the Queensland state conference of the Australian Services Union (ASU). She will now be put forward as the Queensland nominee for ASU National Delegate of the Year, to be decided at the union's national conference in November. See nomination below.
In a tragedy that occurs far too often, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old gay university student, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge in New Jersey on September 22. Clementi's roommate and another student had set up a web camera and live streamed him having sex with a man, outing him online. In Clementi’s case, the two students that caused him to feel his only way to escape his situation was death have been charged with invasion of privacy, which holds a maximum jail term of five years. But this is unusual with queer suicides.
What is most interesting about Newcastle’s annual This Is Not Art (TiNA) festival, is that what started 12 years ago as a community festival of independent, emerging art and culture, is still a community festival of independent, emerging art and culture. In an era when it’s not uncommon for even the most intimate art show to be sponsored by a massive alcohol company, the non-commercial nature of TiNA is remarkable. Australia is being hit by a relentless, daily gauntlet of live music and art festivals, but TiNA retains a truly artist-run schedule of events.
The Live Red Art Awards and Festival is taking place on October 17 at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville, Sydney. The day will feature an exhibition and live performances. Submissions for the multi-disciplinary competition, which was open to anyone, closed on October 1. As well as the winner announced by the judges, there will be a “people’s choice” award. For more information on Live Red Arts, visit here. Below is a run-down on some of the artists whose work will be on display at the festival. * * *
After a month of thundering that a rise in the official interest rate was close, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept interest rates on hold at its monthly board meeting on October 5. Most financial commentators were betting on a rate rise of 0.25%, with banks expected to increase their mortgage rates by an even larger margin, despite their record profits, to account for higher costs of borrowing overseas. However, the dark financial clouds over Europe and the US appear to have put the kibosh on the financiers’ party.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has vowed to fight the imposition of a “sub-standard” enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) after a majority of general staff voted in favour of the agreement in a September 29-October 1 poll. The agreement fails to meet award protections that limit the use of fixed-term employment, allowing for further deregulation of the workforce. It also reduces flexibility on annual leave entitlements and allows for forced redeployment within the university.
It’s close to an article of faith among environmentalists that using less energy is a big part of the solution to climate change. Energy efficiency is often said to be the “low hanging fruit” of climate policy. On face value, the benefits seem obvious. The knowledge needed to make big gains in efficiency already exists. Using less energy will save consumers and industry money, whereas other policies will be costly. And most importantly, lower energy use could make a big dent in global greenhouse gas emissions.
Coup d'etat in Ecuador The most retrograde forces of Latin America are trying to steal power from the people again. Honduras yesterday, Ecuador today. No more coup d’etats! Democracies exist only through the will of the people and these crimes bring pain and suffering to all of us. Yvonne Francis Apollo Bay, Victoria Burqa I
In “The Return of Dr Strangelove”, a September 6 lecture hosted by Melbourne University and Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), Clive Hamilton, author of Affluenza, Scorcher and Requiem for a Species gave a short history of the research and investment in geo-engineering solutions to global warming. A move from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the logical “Plan A” response to human-caused climate change, but such a response would threaten corporate profits.
I asked Simon, a homeless man in Melbourne who has organised protests around housing, “If you had three wishes what would they be?” “A roof over my head, a feed every day and someone to love me who I can love back. As simple as that”, he said. “There's not much more to life when you break it down. There are too many people who get carried away with money, worrying about their next dollar. I live with nothing and supposedly I haven't got a long time left to live, so there's not much more you need.”

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