The story behind the corporation that owns the Beverley uranium mine in north-east South Australia is scarcely believable. Heathgate Resources — a 100%-owned subsidiary of General Atomics (GA) — owns and operates Beverley and has a stake in the adjacent Beverley Four Mile mine. Over the years, GA CEO Neal Blue has had commercial interests in oil, Predator drones, uranium mining, nuclear reactors, cocoa, bananas and real estate.
About 200 past and present students, teachers, local residents and local traders rallied to save Swinburne University of Technology’s Prahran TAFE campus on August 5. The event was organised by the National Tertiary Education Union and former staff and students. Former Swinburne executive director of educational development Judy Bissland has worked at the campus for 30 years. “I am still involved with campus through working with disengaged youth,” she told the crowd. “Funding cuts to TAFE and the vocational sector [are] disastrous. We need to take action to stop cuts or modify cuts.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s “expert panel” on refugee policy will hand over its findings on how to “stop the boats” and end the parliamentary “deadlock” over offshore processing when parliament begins sitting again next week. After an asylum boat tragedy that killed 90 people in June, the three-member panel, headed by former defence chief Angus Houston, was tasked to report on the “best way forward for Australia to prevent asylum seekers risking their lives” considering “Australia’s right to maintain its borders”.
The Victorian state government has begun a neoliberal experiment with the Victorian public as its guinea pigs. After the Jeff Kennett-led Coalition state government in the 1990s privatised electricity, gas, public transport, roads, prisons, prisoner transport and much else, one of the few things left to be privatised is vocational education. Job losses of 2000 permanent workers have been reported. However, adding all sessional teachers who won't have their contracts renewed, the number who will lose their job tallies to about 10,000, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) says.
About 2500 people rallied in Melbourne for equal marriage rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people on August 11. A mass illegal wedding was held in defiance of the federal marriage ban.
FWA rules Qantas can outsource jobs Fair Work Australia (FWA) rewarded Qantas CEO Alan Joyce for his October grounding of the airline's fleet and lockout of the workforce, announcing on August 8 that it would place no restrictions on it outsourcing jobs. Joyce responded by announcing on the same day that the airline will axe 2800 jobs — or more than 10% of its workforce — during its “transformation plan”.
The following open letter has been sent to every Greens MP in the country on August 10. Click here to sign the petition in support of the letter. *** The Greens have since their foundation been a party that supports justice and the rule of law. It is a party committed, at its very core, to universal human rights and international law. The official policy for Israel/Palestine is to:
Tasmanian logging company Gunns now doubts its $3 billion pulp mill, planned for the Tamar Valley, will ever be built. The company told the Australian Securities Exchange on August 6 that its debts were somewhere between $50 million and $150 million. It said the steep decline in the price of woodchips and the high Australian dollar were to blame for its financial woes. Gunns said this meant the “board has been unable to reach a view” that the pulp mill project could go ahead.
The Sea Shepherd boat the Steve Irwin docked in Broome on August 6 to join community protests against the $30 billion gas hub proposed for James Price Point, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Sea Shepherd, a marine conservation organisation, said it undertook the trip “to highlight the significance of the James Price Point marine environment as a habitat and feeding ground for humpback whales, dolphins and turtles”.
Cuba solidarity activists, members of Australia’s Latin American community and leftists from around the country will take part in a two-day conference in Sydney to pay homage to Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. Video messages of support for Fidel from renowned leftist personalities will be screened alongside a full agenda of talks focused on Castro’s ideas, thoughts and legacy for the 21st century.
Wade Michael Page, a Nazi white supremacist, entered a Sikh temple in a town near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 5 and opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol, killing six and wounding three others. Page also shot a police officer who arrived on the scene, critically injuring him. After being wounded by another officer, Page killed himself. Page’s ex-girlfriend, who belonged to the same local Nazi group he did, was later arrested on a weapons charge, but has not been implicated in the attack on the Sikh temple. See also:
More than 30,000 Victorian teachers and 40,000 Queensland teachers are set to strike in September and October, in defence of teacher pay and conditions under threat from conservative state governments.