Turmoil continues in the Labor Party in Newcastle following the imposition by the party head office of Jody Mackay over popular local member Bryce Gaudry to contest the seat.
Adelaide backpacker David Hicks will be arraigned before an illegally constituted military tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp on March 20 and face the retrospective and ill-defined charge of “material support for terrorism”.
With global warming increasingly dominating mainstream political discussion, the debate about solutions has intensified. While PM John Howard has thrown his weight behind the lie of “clean, green” nuclear power, the ALP has maintained its opposition to this deeply unpopular option.
In the run-up to the NSW elections both major parties are claiming to be able to run the economy better. But the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics December quarter figures on March 7, which revealed that NSW is not technically in a recession, is likely to help the state ALP governments lead over Peter Debnams Liberals on March 24.
A tiny group dominates Australian politics and Labor leader Kevin Rudd recently met them. He knows very well that the key to Labors electoral success later this year is an accommodation with the Australian oligarchy.
The Blue Team appeared to regain some advantage after the leader of the (mislabeled) Red Team was forced to admit hed made an error of judgement in meeting up three times last year with convicted fraud and former WA premier Brian Burke (now a professional lobbyist).
A satirical website created by climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle (RTN) has twice been shut down by the powerful coal industry lobby group, the NSW Minerals Council.
In Green Left Weekly #693 (http://www.greenleft.org.au/2006/693/36019), we published an article broadly in favour of George Monbiot’s call for carbon rationing. Below, Gar Lipow critiques this as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Lipow is an Olympia-based environmental activist and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Serious fears are held for the safety of 83 Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka who are, at the time of writing, being detained on Christmas Island. Australian, Indonesian and Sri Lankan officials are talking about returning the refugees to Sri Lanka, via Indonesia, without their asylum claims being assessed a new departure from Australias international legal obligations to refugees.
A United Nations childrens fund (UNICEF) report released in February reveals that Australias economic growth over the last decade has done little to benefit the poorest sections of society, particularly young people. Indeed, in Australia and across the developed world, child poverty has increased in the last 10 years.