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A public meeting held in the Tasmanian town of Oatlands on August 2 discussed the application by PetroGas, an offshoot of Petratherm, to explore for shale gas and oil in more than 3000 square kilometres of southern Tasmania.

About 80 residents attended the meeting. Tim Kirkwood, general manager of Southern Midlands council, said it was the best-attended public meeting ever held in Oatlands.

The process of “fracking” for gas requires millions of litres of water and a major concern for many of the farmers present was the question of where the water would come from.

It's 200 years too late to stop the boats. Almost everyone of non-Indigenous origin is an economic migrant or a refugee. Greeks left Egypt in the 1950-1970s because the government passed laws decreeing that only 15% of any company's wages could be paid to non-Egyptians.

The laws were meant to help poorer Arabs get jobs, but they also resulting in one overpaid European company manager pocketing the 15% while refusing to employ any of his fellow Europeans.

It's election season once again. For the first time in three years, the government is allocating us all our piece of democracy. People in suits are frantically talking about the issues of the day, in the hope that they can win over enough of us to put them into parliament.

Two of the defining issues in this battle are refugees and education. In both cases, candidates line up one after the other to show they are able to make the tough decisions.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service, and promotes itself as being responsible for protecting Australia from all kinds of attacks — from terrorism to politically motivated violence.

This fairytale should not be taken seriously. Established in 1949 by the Ben Chifley ALP government, ASIO’s primary purpose has always been to carry out spying, disruption and provocation against left and progressive forces on behalf of the established order.

It is Australia’s political police — our very own secret police organisation.

The United States has led the world in deregulation of the financial sector, the economy and social services on the basis of “the market rules”.

This facilitated the great financial crisis from 2007 onwards with devastating impacts on the welfare of the majority of citizens globally. Yet when it comes to US women’s right to control their own fertility, just the reverse has taken place.

Increasing regulation has become the norm undermining the reality of individual choice.

Several hundred people gathered in Greeves Street, St Kilda, on August 8 for a candlelit vigil for local street sex worker Tracy Connelly, who was murdered in the street on July 21.

The vigil was a chance for her family, friends and, importantly, her community to honour her as well as protest against violence against women.

The vigil was held outside the St Kilda Gatehouse, a drop-in centre and community resource for street sex workers. 

About 40 people gathered in Wollongong on August 6 to commemorate the 68th Hiroshima Day.

The day marks the anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by the United States in 1945. The bomb caused tremendous devastation and instantly killed between 70,000-80,000 people. By the year’s end the bomb had claimed 140,000 lives.

A great part of being a candidate for the federal elections is that people want to talk to you. They want to tell you what’s happening in their lives and they want to let you know their opinion on lots of different issues.

Recently I was invited to address an Electrical Trades Union branch meeting in Geelong, Victoria. After I’d had my say, some members told me they agreed with me.

The critical moment in the political trial of the century was on February 28 when Bradley Manning stood and explained why he had risked his life to leak tens of thousands of official files to WikiLeaks.

It was a statement of morality, conscience and truth: the very qualities that distinguish human beings. This was not deemed mainstream news in the United States; and were it not for Alexa O'Brien, an independent freelance journalist, Manning's voice would have been silenced.

Campaign group Save the Tarkine has condemned federal environment minister Mark Butler’s July 31 decision to approve an iron ore mine in the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania’s northwest, saying it could guarantee the extinction of the Tasmanian devil.

The Tarkine is home to more than 60 rare and endangered animal and plant species. It is also home to the last remaining disease-free population of the Tasmanian devil. Since 2008, the devil has been listed as an endangered species.

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