As prime minister of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the government of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the parliament of Australia, I am sorry. With these words, on February 13, PM Kevin Rudd opened the first session of the newly elected government and did what the previous Howard government had failed to do for its eleven years in power.
Over the last few weeks, a series of Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) articles have revealed the corruption of the federal Socio-Economic Status (SES) funding model, used to allocate education funds to private schools.
Almost universally, governments are refusing to recognise the scope and urgency of the changes demanded by global warming. The menace, however, is real, and the time available for concerted action to combat it is frighteningly brief.
The basic argument in favour of the privatisation of electricity generation and distribution is simple — public ownership allows too much bargaining power to electricity workers and their unions (which they will always use to defend “inefficient practices” and “overstaffing”); it also fosters over-investment in generation capacity by engineers concerned to guarantee service reliability (“gold-plating”).
In the afterglow of saying sorry to the Stolen Generations, the federal Labor government introduced its first piece of industrial relations legislation into parliament on February 13 — the Workplace Relations Amendment Bill. While the government claims that this legislation is the first step in dismantling Work Choices, in fact, it will leave most of Work Choices intact.
The following is the second part of an interview between John Parker, secretary of Gippsland Trades and Labour Council, and Green Left Weeklys Zane Alcorn. The first part was published in GLW #737.
Around 200 union leaders from around Australia attended a trade union leadership forum organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in Canberra from January 30 to February 1. Many had a lot on their minds. First and foremost, many wondered how the Rudd Labor governments new industrial relations systems would shape up and what the union movement will have to do to make sure it benefits workers? Unfortunately most walked away after three days asking themselves the same questions they arrived with.
[The following is a statement from the national executive of the Socialist Alliance.]
In addition to being the home of Bollywood, the Indian city of Mumbai can boast having Asias biggest slum, Dharavi. One million residents are crammed into a square mile of low-rise wood, concrete and rusted iron, reported the December 19 Economist.
In the lead up to the February 12 Indigenous rights convergence in Canberra, Green Left Weekly gathered statements from Indigenous activists around Australia. At the fore of people’s minds was the Northern Territory intervention, PM Kevin Rudd’s scheduled apology to the Stolen Generations and the issue of compensating those affected by that policy.