The Australian writer Donald Horne meant the title of his celebrated book, The Lucky Country, as irony. Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck, he lamented in 1964, describing much of the Australian elite as unfailingly unoriginal, race-obsessed and in thrall to imperial power and its wars.
Sheikh Isse Musse, Imam of the Virgin Mary Mosque and spiritual leader of Melbourne’s Horn of Africa Muslim community, condemned the US bombing of his native Somalia and its instigation of the invasion by Ethiopian troops inlate December. He also expressed hope that out of the current conflict Somalia might regain its sovereignty and national unity after years of anarchy and violence.
On January 18, the Australian ran a story on a leaked report commissioned by the Peter Beattie Labor state government on the shocking living conditions for Aborigines in Queensland (see accompanying article). Green Left Weekly asked Sam Watson, Murri leader and member of the Socialist Alliance, about this and the ongoing struggle for justice for Indigenous people in Australia.
The decision by a full bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) on appeal to deny a Victorian cinema manager access to unfair dismissal laws because he was sacked for “genuine operational reasons” is another blow to attempts to hold unfair employers to account.
Woodchipping giant Gunns Ltds proposed $1.4 billion pulp mill in northern Tasmania continues to be the subject of controversy. Gunns has expressed impatience over the delays in the assessment process and threatened to axe the project if government approval is not given within six months.
For the first time since the foundation of the National Union of Students (NUS) 15 years ago, Labors right-wing student faction, Unity, was ousted from the office of general secretary at the NUS annual conference, held in Ballarat on December 4-7.
Three more people, including a teenager, have been charged following the November 19 protests against the G20 financial ministers summit in Melbourne, bringing the total number of participants charged to 11. The following is an abridged version of a statement Resistance issued in response to the arrests.
With climate change posing as one of the gravest threats to capital accumulation - not to mention humankind and our environment - in coming decades, it is little wonder that economists such as Sir Nick Stern, establishment politicians like Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and US Democrat Al Gore, and financiers at the World Bank and in the City of London have begun warning the public and, in the process, birthing a market for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The carbon offset industry was all about growth in 2006. The high-profile, Britain-based CarbonNeutral Company reported an annual turnover of £2.7 million, while the global market sold an estimated £60 million, and this figure was estimated to increase five times over in three years.
While starving Australias public education and health services of funding, the Coalition government is planning to spend well over $200 million on the annual talk shop dressed up as a leaders summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) scheduled for Sydney this September.