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The Coal Terminal Action Group released this statement on April 10. *** Community groups in the Hunter Valley have responded with relief and celebration to the announcement of a two-year delay to Newcastle’s proposed fourth coal terminal (T4). “There will be celebration and relief today in suburbs including Mayfield, Tighes Hill and Carrington where residents already live with particle pollution well above the national standard,” said Coal Terminal Action Group spokesperson Annika Dean.
The Broome community and environmentalists around Australia are celebrating an important victory. Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum said it would not go ahead with a gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley. Long-time Broome resident Nik Weavers told Green Left Weekly: “We've got rid of the one big thing we set out to do, which was to stop the project, so I feel really excited about that.” Weavers, a member of the Broome No Gas group, said: “I feel really warmed that so many other people have gathered [in Broome] and are feeling really good.”
After a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised the funds for a manufacturing licence, Earthworker Cooperative Australia and Eureka’s Future Workers Cooperative will install their first solar hot water unit in Melbourne on April 15. A fully equipped worker-owned factory is still a way off, but project coordinator and Socialist Alliance member Dave Kerin says it is now one step closer.
Australian Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Sydney released the statement below on April 12, after the Student Representative Council voted to support an academic boycott of Israel. *** The Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Sydney passed a motion this week endorsing Associate Professor Jake Lynch’s academic boycott of Israel.
The Australian Greens have called on the federal government to end fossil fuel subsidies for big mining companies. The Greens say costings by the Parliamentary Budget Office show that Labor’s spending on fossil fuel subsidies for mining companies will cost the public more than $13 billion over the next four years. Included in these subsidies are diesel fuel tax rebates, accelerated depreciation on assets and accelerated depreciation on exploration.
The SEARCH foundation held a conference called “Secure Jobs in a Green Future: Australian Left Renewal Conference”, on April 6-7. It featured international guest Costas Isychos, a member of the Greek left party SYRIZA and head of the party’s external and defence policy.
With the death of another “controversial” world leader, what the media should have done was go back to their editorials that threw around terms like “authoritarian” and “tyrant”, and were filled with tales of a legacy of economic destruction and class hatred and support for dictators, and just used a simple find/replace to remove “Hugo Chavez” and insert “Margaret Thatcher”.
The Victorian government has taken retribution against public housing tenants and their supporters who successfully fought off the privatisation of their open space at two of Melbourne’s public housing towers — Richmond estate and Atherton Gardens estate. Socialist Party Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly doorknocked and organised meetings of tenants and their supporters in a successful campaign. The doorknocking was critical to inform tenants of the state government’s plans.
Those who live in Australia are used to hearing about how lucky they are. The idea that Australians just don’t realise their luck has become popular in the lead up to the next federal election by some who feel that it would be crazy to vote out the federal Labor government.
At first, a bridging visa seems like a new life. A brief glimpse of freedom is felt by many asylum seekers who, after years in detention, see an opportunity to live freely in Australia. The temporary, selective visa gets asylum seekers six weeks’ accommodation and financial support of $219 a week — a figure that is 89% of the Newstart allowance. But after six weeks — a nanosecond in Australia's cumbersome and bureaucratic refugee processing system — asylum seekers are expected to go out on their own, find somewhere to live, and somehow survive on a few hundred dollars a week.
University of Queensland (UQ) Executive Dean of Arts Fred D’Agostino said last month the gender studies major would be cut from the Bachelor of Arts program. No student commencing next year would have the option of majoring in this area. Gender studies has a 41-year history at the university. The program was won in the early 1970s by the powerful feminist movement of the time. It was the first of its kind in Australia and one of the first in the world.
The Tasmanian Labor-Greens government and Housing Tasmania has faced criticism over its proposal to evict public housing tenants who earn above a certain income. Originally, Consumer Affairs minister Nick McKim wanted the cap to be fixed at $66,000 a year. But a lobby campaign by the Tenants Union forced the government to remove the set limit and make it flexible instead. The ABC said Housing Minister Cassy O'Connor said income limits would be decided by “regulation” and Housing Tasmania.