Public opposition has prevented the expansion of coal mining in south-west Victoria. “More than 250 residents gathered in the Deans Marsh town hall last night to question the managing director of Mantle Mining, Ian Kraemer, over the plan to explore for brown coal, south-east of Colac,” the ABC said on July 28. “The company had wanted to explore a 500 square kilometre area in the region. However, residents feared mining would damage the environment and lower property values.”
United States: Land of the 1% “The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent … “One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided.
The grassroots campaign for a community driven council in Wollongong is well underway, as the election approaches on September 3. Community Voice is standing a full ticket across all three local wards including Michael Organ, former Greens MP for Cunningham, for mayor. Organ is a local historian and environmental activist. He has been actively involved in campaigns to save Sandon Point and Wollongong's Regent Theatre. He is also part of the recent campaign to secure land at Hill 60 for preservation and public ownership.
The double meaning in the popular slogan “White Australia has a black history”, sadly, still applies to federal, state and territory government policies. Governments may have apologised for past mistreatment but they are still destroying Aboriginal communities and stealing Aboriginal land. Official racism is as alive as ever. The Gillard Labor government’s Ministry of Truth must be working overtime to churn out titles for programs that say the opposite of what they actually deliver.
More than 200 people rallied outside the State ALP conference at the Country Club Casino in Launceston on August 6. Health workers, teachers, child protection workers and police protested against public service budget cuts. TAP into a better Tasmania protested against the pulp mill while Code Green called for the protection of native forests. The premier and other Labor ministers came out to talk to the crowd but did not back away from their plan to make drastic cuts to essential services.
The ALP is the party for ordinary Australians, right? Resistance members will often talk about the importance of political movements being independent of political parties, but what does this mean for the ALP? Isn’t the ALP Australia’s party of progress? And surely they are better then the Tories? Isn’t it our party? Well, it is a party that’s designed for progressives, unionists and activists, but that doesn’t mean that it's ours. If you look at its history, the ALP has attracted progressive people but rarely helped create change.
The annual Hiroshima Day rally and march, commemorating the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally, under the theme, "For a nuclear-free and independent Australia," attracted about 100 people to Brisbane Square, to hear speakers, and singers, including the Trade Union Choir.
Anima Mundi: Permaculture, Climate Change, Peak Oil & the Soul of the World Directed by Peter Downey Visit Animamundimovie.com Permaculture Pioneers: Stories from the New Frontier Edited by Kerry Dawborn & Caroline Smith Available from www.permacultureprinciples.com Sydney launch of Permaculture Pioneers & premier of Anima Mundi August 25, 7pm, Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall
Australian detention harms asylum seekers Australia is confronted by the tragic phenomena of detention centre deaths, with five suicides in the last 10 months, over 1000 suicide attempts and thousands of self-inflicted injuries among asylum seekers. There have recently been two more suicide attempts at Darwin immigration centre. There will most likely be more to come. One Hazara man suffered a heart attack following efforts to rescue him from his suicide attempt.
An Aboriginal youth, Rex Bellotti Jnr, aged 15 was run over by a police four-wheel-drive Holden Rodeo and more than two years have passed without any compensation, without any closure. When it comes to Aboriginal victims this is nothing new. Nyungar-Yamatji Maaman Rex Bellotti Sr and Nyungar Yorga Liz Bellotti, 42 and 40 years old, have spent their lives working very hard to ensure the likelihood of the personal advancement of their children, in the belief that Aboriginal advancement should be achieved by Aboriginal peoples.
Green Left Weekly coeditor Stuart Munckton spoke on a panel with independent journalists Wendy Bacon and Antony Loewenstein at an August 2 forum in Sydney. Below is an abridged version of Munckton’s talk, which discussed building alternatives to the corporate media. * * * In some ways the scandal around Rupert Murdoch’s media empire shows the potential crisis of the corporate media in a negative sense.
Friends of Palestine (WA) member Alex Bainbridge wrote the letter of complaint that appears below to the producers of The Bolt Report and Network Ten after a segment on the show tried to link the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid with the racist measures taken against Jewish businesses by the Hitler regime in the 1930s. Bainbridge said the claim was a dishonest attempt by opponents of Palestinian human rights to discredit the BDS movement as public interest and support for BDS continues to increase. * * *
For more news on the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, see Electronic Intifada's BDS Beat South African students renew call to boycott Israel Representatives of South Africa’s oldest and largest student bodies in Johannesburg denounced an upcoming visit by a delegation of Israeli officials and propagandists to South African college campuses in an August 3 press conference, ElectronicIntifada.net said on August 5.
The NSW government was evasive for several days on whether it would allow uranium exploration and mining, banned since 1986. This followed the call by federal resources minister Martin Ferguson in May for NSW and Victoria to rethink their uranium mining bans. Premier Barry O’Farrell and resources minister Chris Hartcher finally said on August 5 they would not overturn the uranium mining ban. In mid-June, Hartcher met the chief executive of the Australian Uranium Association Michael Angwin, who is lobbying to overturn the ban, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy has taken control of planning issues at Fitzroy and Richmond housing estates, enraging Yarra Council and tenants. In the July 26 Melbourne Times Weekly, Alana Schetzer: “The Department of Human Services last week informed the council of the decision, which took effect immediately. Mayor Alison Clarke said the council was shocked, adding the decision removed community consultation on future planning applications. The Federal government is due to fund a $113 million redevelopment of the estates.”
Conservation groups have criticised a new deal on Tasmania’s forest industry, saying it will not end the logging of old growth forests, it will hand millions of dollars to the logging industry and will not stop Gunns Ltd’s proposed pulp mill in northern Tasmania going ahead in the face of community opposition.