General

Australian GHG pollution: wrong direction

In November 2007, the Australian Labor Government was elected in part on the promise to "tackle climate change". Unfortunately, nearly two-and-a-half years later and despite the global economic downturn, Australia's domestic plus exported greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in the last complete financial year of the Labor Government (2009-2010) is on track to be more than 5% bigger than that in the last complete financial year of the previous Liberal-National Party Coalition Government (2006-2007).

A tidal wave of wealth

"Australia's top executives have seen their collective wealth swell by almost three-quarters — or about $15 billion — over the past year, easily outstripping gains by ordinary investors.

"The total wealth of Australia's top 200 business chieftains ballooned to $35 billion in 2010, up from $20.3 billion in 2009, according to the BRW 2010 Executive Rich List ...

"The combined wealth of Australian executives was 72 per cent higher than last year ..."

— March 24 Sydney Morning Herald.

Coal threatens Queensland

It is not a good look for Queensland internationally and here at home with the Chinese coal ship having run aground on the Great Barrier Reef, leaking oil and about to break up.

The massive mines of the Hancock and Waratah coal companies, together with the coal mines of the Bowen Basin coming through with the Northern Missing Link, mean that upwards of 230 million tonnes per annum of coal will be going through the nationally wetlands of Caley Valley and exported through the newly constructed port at Abbot Point.

A recent investigation has found that nearly 55% of stories in the mainstream media are driven by public relations, or corporate spin. Spinning the Media was a joint investigation by Crikey.com and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, headed by Wendy Bacon, based at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
The following open letter was sent to Dr Michael Spence, the vice-chancellor of Sydney university, by renowned journalist and film-maker John Pilger. The letter, one of many sent to Spence by activists and academics, is in response to a decision by the university to ban two left-wing activists from being on campus (see GLW#831). * * * Dear Dr Spence, I have a number of reasons to feel affection for Sydney University: my mother's distinction there, and the 2009 Sydney Peace Prize, which was presented to me at the University by a University Foundation.
What would be the cost of eradicating poverty in this country? What would be the cost of solving homelessness or unemployment? Could Australia afford to provide universal, free healthcare and education? Is there enough material wealth here to move to a safe, low-carbon economy?
Green Left Weekly is taking a one-week break. Our next issue will be dated April 14.
Waterside worker and long time Aboriginal activist Charles "Chicka" Dixon has died in Sydney aged 81 — struck down by asbestosis he contracted while working on the wharves.
Banks' price gouging profit bonanza "The Australia Institute has picked the week of another increase in mortgage rates to launch what it claims to be a comprehensive history of the price gouging habits of the big four banks. "Not only have [the
Every week, dedicated Green Left Weekly supporters hit the streets to present the news and ideas excluded from the mainstream media. These ideas help us better understand the world around us and expose the lies and distortions of the corporate elite.

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