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Representatives of the taxi industry have urged the Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry to adopt its proposal for centrally booked door-to-door share ride minibuses as an alternative to many regular bus routes. Peter Erwin and Douglas Clark, who describe themselves as having extensive experience in the taxi industry, made a joint submission to the inquiry on August 13. Erwin and Clark have approached community groups and local media in the Yarra Ranges, Whittlesea and East Gippsland seeking support for a trial of share ride minibuses.
Telstra sends jobs offshore Regional communities are furious at Telstra’s announcement that it will axe 651 jobs from Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Last year, Telstra made $3.4 billion profit. Local councils say the 126 job cuts in Townsville and 116 job cuts at Lismore will devastate communities there.
The independent Gonski review, commissioned by the federal government into school funding, was released in February. It concluded that Australia is investing far too little in education and that in our wealthy country there are many schools that are underprivileged. It also concluded that our education system is not fair — that our school system is stacked against the disadvantaged, while it gives the most privileged the most advantages.
The campaign against the Liberal National Party Queensland government’s public sector cuts and suppression of alternative views is gathering momentum in the state’s Far North region.
Five words sum up federal opposition leader Tony Abbott's response to some sharp questions put to him by journalist Leigh Sales in the August 22 episode of ABC TV's 7.30: Liar, liar, pants on fire! If you need a good example of a person with a chronic disposition to lie, this is it. Read the transcript or watch the video, then imagine the same interview — except conducted after Abbott was given a dose of truth serum. Perhaps it would go something like this. * * *
In response to attacks on jobs and services by the Barry O’Farrell Coalition NSW government, Unions NSW is launching Local Union and Community Councils (LUCCs) across the state. Many of these groups are based upon networks established during the Your Rights At Work campaign in 2007. LUCCs have been set up in more than a dozen regional and metropolitan locations, and several groups are having their inaugural meetings over the coming weeks (see below for details).
Sydney City Greens councillor Irene Doutney is a fighter. She’s a public housing tenant and knows a thing or two about the dispossessed and disadvantaged. She is part of a rich council that sprawls from Millers’ Point in the north and Annandale in the West to Moore Park in the east to St Peters in the south. It also includes the much poorer neighbourhoods of Woolloomooloo, Redfern, Zetland and Rosebery.
The attacks on tertiary education around Australia continue to escalate. The University of Wollongong has announced it would reduce the current 11 faculties into five “super-faculties” as part of a five-year plan aimed at putting the university in the “top 1%” of global institutions.
1. Set immediate emission cut targets to reduce net emissions to zero as soon as possible, including a target to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2020. Introduce emissions reduction targets of at least 5% a year. 2. Begin new international treaty negotiations aimed to get all countries to agree on a global target of at least 90% emissions cuts on 1990 levels by 2030. Make cutting rich industrial nations’ emissions a priority, and increase aid to poorer countries to help them to use clean energy for their development.
Students will vote on proposed amendments to the University of South Australia's (UniSA) UniLife constitution from August 27 to September 3. UniLife provides various amenities to UniSA students and is run by an elected student board. Over the past nine months, the board has redrafted constitutional amendments 14 times. But the drafts were withheld from the wider student body until the board called a snap referendum on the amendments with a weeks’ notice.
In recent months, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken to highlighting the role of state electricity utilities in pushing up power prices. Average power bills have been rising rapidly — 69% over four years in NSW.
Friends of the Earth and Quit Coal released the statement below on August 24. * * * While it is a vindication of the community’s concerns about the harmful impacts of coal seam gas mining, today’s announcement by the Baillieu Government of a moratorium on coal seam gas fracking is inadequate to protect Victoria from the negative impacts of coal seam gas development.
The South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC) brings together feminists from different backgrounds. It holds regular meetings and forums on issues relating to women in Australia today. The collective held a forum on reproductive rights last month, which focussed on the current legislation concerning abortion in South Australia. Abortion is still on the criminal code in South Australia.
Residents in Sydney’s southwest have slammed AGL’s coal seam gas activity in NSW. AGL has admitted that it failed for three years to meet a requirement to monitor air emissions from its Camden Gas Project.
The Arid Lands Environment Centre and the Environment Centre Northern Territory released the statement below on August 8. * * * The Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and the Environment Centre NT are calling for a moratorium on approvals for non-conventional gas extraction and fracking while the review of the NT Water Act is underway.
The Tasmanian Greens have proposed the “biggest reform in the Tasmanian electricity sector since the dams were built", in its response to an expert panel that reviewed the state’s electricity industry earlier this year. About 80% of the Tasmania’s electricity comes from hydro power, owned by Hydro Tasmania. This is sold to Aurora, the only retail company in the state. Another company, Transend, owns the distribution network. All three are government business enterprises.

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