Analysis

On August 4, the Australian Education Union’s (AEU) federal president Angelo Gavrielatos announced the union’s proposed reforms for teachers’ career structure and salaries. It amounts to an endorsement of the divisive “performance pay”, in which schools are treated as businesses rather than places of teaching and learning.
“All those who want to live in a healthy, equal society should vote for the Socialist Alliance”, Soubhi Iskander, one of three candidates to contest ward 3 of the Blacktown City Council elections for Socialist Alliance on September 13, told Green Left Weekly.
The Victorian state government is considering far-reaching changes to workers’ compensation laws.
On August 6, Victoria University of Technology (VUT) hosted a seminar, “Pacific Islands Migration and Labour Mobility: Issues and Responses”, which discussed the potential for an unskilled guest worker scheme for Pacific Island workers. Some Pacific nations have called for such program to help alleviate high rates of unemployment.
There can be no peace, and certainly no peace with coexistence, in Sri Lanka — divided or undivided — until there is an apology from the Sinhalese to the Tamils for all the atrocities unleashed on them, not just in 1983, but all the way back to 1956, and increasingly so today.
“As near as we can tell looking at the historical record, there’s been ice in the Arctic in the summer for at least 16 million years”, Don Perovich, a geophysicist with the US army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, told the August 4 Four Corners program. Arctic ice melt over this year’s northern summer has been at record levels, leaving the amount of ice remaining alarmingly low.
Hydrologists such as professors Peter Cullen, Richard Kingsford and Derek Eamus, speaking at public forums in NSW earlier this year, warned that Australians are extracting water from stressed rivers and artesian systems faster than it is being replenished.
The following call to action has been issued by the Adelaide-based Stop the War Fair committee.
A flurry of public meetings followed the federal government’s green paper on carbon emissions trading. I attended two quite different information sessions in Sydney.
Internationally, as in Australia, governments forced to promise climate change action have generally promoted market-based carbon abatement schemes, mostly of the “cap and trade” variety. But can we trade our way out of our climate difficulties? Can market mechanisms deal with a problem of such scale and urgency?

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