Analysis

On February 27, the federal government received a report on the review of the pensions system conducted by Jeff Harmer, the head of the families and community services department.
On February 18, 10 Australian economists criticised the Rudd government’s proposed carbon emissions trading scheme, and called for a science-based policy to achieve 25%-40% cuts in emissions by 2020. The statement is reprinted below.
The free market has got us into this mess, and the free market will get us out of it.
On February 26, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave his first “report card” on the progress made on ending Aboriginal disadvantage, meeting a delayed election promise to do so every year at the opening of parliament. Rudd’s report, however, has been meet with criticism from Aboriginal activists and supporters.
Cairns Action for Sustainable Transport formed at the start of last year. CAST advocates a sustainable transport system — urban mass transit, regional rail and bus services and rail freight, all powered by renewable energy, and bikeway and pedestrian access networks. Green Left Weekly’s Jonathan Strauss spoke to CAST activists Renee Lees, Svargo Freitag and Stacey O’Brien about CAST’s aims.
“We have to cut down a lot of the clutter of anything, clutter of the work, focus product innovation, detail, all that is going on in the business but [we] just need to remove so much of the distraction to enable us to do that well”.
In the face of the Rudd government’s refusal to confirm whether federally-funded maternity leave will be included in the upcoming May budget, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has retreated from its previous stance calling for immediate implementation.
With the looming downturn, the federal government expects that a further 300,000 people will be on the unemployment line by the middle of 2010. It expects that the unemployment rate will reach around 7%, around 800,000 people. Others have predicted unemployment could reach as high as 9%.
The Rudd government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is not just bad, it’s dangerous.
As the NSW Legislative Council inquiry into the privatisation of NSW prisons began on February 23, more than 200 prison officers went on strike at Goulburn Correctional Centre on February 25, in protest at the plan to privatise Parklea and Cessnock jails.

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