Analysis

Labor’s first federal budget in 13 years was well received by much of the welfare lobby, despite its shortcomings. “The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Rudd Government’s first Budget because of its focus on helping disadvantaged Australians to overcome poverty and achieve their aspirations”, Tony Nicholson, BSL executive director said in a media release on May 13. “Robin Hood may have just fired off his first humble arrow”, said Dr John Falzon, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society, in his statement on the budget.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), based in Fitzroy, and started by Koori activists in 1973, is threatened by funding shortfalls.
Ali Humayun, a queer Pakistani, was recently granted permanent residency after spending more than three years locked up in Villawood Detention Centre. He made the following statement to Green Left Weekly on May 23.
The following abridged statement was initiated by participants at the Climate Change — Social Change conference, hosted by Green Left Weekly in Sydney, April 11-13, 2008.
The following statement is from the Climate Camp organising committee.
I’m writing on May 13 at 5:19am from the city of Wanzhou, Chongqing Municipality, China. I’ve just re-entered my apartment after the latest aftershock sent everyone onto the streets once more. It’s been a long 15 hours since the initial earthquake yesterday afternoon that so devastated Wenchuan and surrounds, such as the beautiful city of Chengdu. At this moment, my understanding of the scope of this disaster is only what I have been able to garner from international news websites and secondhand reports from my Chinese friends.
The Rudd government’s first budget, touted as a “Robin Hood” budget, takes very little from the “rich” and gives practically nothing to the poor and disadvantaged. In its fundamentals, it continues on from where the former Howard Coalition government left off.
“First World countries are the leaders in carbon emissions, and it is the Third World who faces the consequences”, Bangladeshi Professor Anu Muhammad told a crowd of 50 at public forum on May 14. “A one-metre rise in sea level would displace 40 million people and would submerge 30% of our country.”
A casual glance at the ALP’s federal budget would have you believe that there will be a net loss of 1224 public sector jobs over the next financial year. That figure, derived from an actual cut of 5061 jobs, balanced by 3837 new jobs, belies what will happen.
The battle over the privatisation of NSW electricity continues. A power industry delegates’ meeting on May 15 condemned the state ALP government’s push to privatise the retail electricity providers and generators and reaffirmed its “total rejection” of the government’s plans.

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