Analysis

In the face of a broad and growing campaign, rhetoric from the NSW government is beginning to match some of the risks when it comes to coal seam gas (CSG) mining. This begs the question: what is being done when it comes to CSG? In an interview about CSG mining on December 1, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell told 2GB’s Alan Jones: “I don’t intend to allow — particularly after the drought we went through over a decade — mining or any other activity to threaten water resources.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s imminent $90,000 pay rise is more than twice the estimated median wage of all Australian full-time or part-time employees, aged 15 years or over. More than half of all Australian workers have a yearly pay packet smaller than the PM’s expected pay rise. The $40,000 pay rise expected for backbenchers will also be more than the total wage of many Australian workers.
The phrase “organise, don’t agonise” has become a bumper sticker, a popular slogan in the feminist movement, the title of many speeches, conferences and newsletters. African-American civil rights activist Florence Rae Kennedy coined the term. Gloria Steinem quoted her in Ms magazine in 1973. Since then, this powerful slogan has circumnavigated the world many times — used by many activists and movements. It has lasted because the slogan reasonates strongly with the condition of the oppressed, exploited and persecuted.
Most environmentalists would agree consumerism and consumer culture put too heavy a burden on the planet. Consumer spending is central to the economy, which is why economists and governments also pay it close attention. But most mainstream economists say endless economic growth, which implies limitless consumption, is both possible and desirable. This ignores how it helps fuel our ecological problems. Today, most things sold on the market are made to be thrown out and replaced. A big part of economic activity is made up of selling products “designed for the dump”.
It is now common knowledge that Australian adult prisons are incarcerating children as young as 13. The major obstacle for human rights advocates struggling to free these children from our adult prisons is the Australian government and the horrific prejudices and stereotypes they have shoved down Australians’ throats.
Australian energy company Santos has met determined resistance to its coal seam gas operations in Australia. It is less well known that Santos was one of the companies responsible for a monumental environmental catastrophe in Indonesia in 2006. The accident drowned villages in the Porong subdistrict of Sidoarjo in mud, and displaced up to 50,000 people.

WikiLeaks releases The Spy Files - exposing uncontrolled mass spying.

The State of Surveillance | TBIJ

Elders from the remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Ramingining, East Arnhem, released the statement below on November 28. * * * Today, Elders of the remote NT Aboriginal community of Ramingining are shocked and angered by last week’s announcement that the fundamentally destructive measures of the intervention will be extended for another 10 years.
Just a few days before his appeal hearing over his extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which many believe may be a prelude to Assange’s extradition to the US on espionage charges, WikiLeaks won a stunning victory for citizen journalism and a free press when it took out the 2011 Walkley award for most outstanding contribution to journalism.

WikiLeaks won the 2011 Walkley award for the “most outstanding contribution to journalism” on November 27. The Walkleys are annual awards for excellence in Australian journalism. In giving the award, the Walkley Foundation said WikiLeaks had “shown a courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency.

Friends of the Earth, the Inland Rivers Network, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Central West Environment Council, Fair Water Use Australia, the National Parks Association of NSW and The Wilderness Society Sydney released the joint statement below on November 28. * * * Seven environment groups have described the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan released today as a monumental failure for the rivers and the communities that depend on them.
After months of relentless propaganda by mining companies and the corporate media, the idea of taxing the super profits of the big mining companies remains a popular measure. Recent Essential Research polling said 51% support such a tax (up from 50% since July 2010). Opposition to it rose from 28% to 33%.