Analysis

Federal ALP leader Kevin Rudd took a further step to the right on July 23 when he announced full support for logging old-growth forests in Tasmania. Rudd also announced his support for Gunns Ltd’s $2 billion pulp mill project proposed for the Tamar Valley, north of Launceston, in the federal electorate of Bass.
Four thousand timber workers and their families attended a rally in Launceston in support of the controversial Bell Bay pulp mill on July 19. The Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) called the rally as part of a one-day stop-work action aimed at “combating the threat to jobs posed by radical green groups”.
On July 17, PM John Howard’s climate change policy was released amidst great fanfare. For most of his political career, Howard has denied the link between climate change and human industry, and the threat that it poses to the planet and society. Now the scientific evidence is irrefutable he has changed tack, and is promoting “solutions” to the climate change threat that avoid threatening the profits of the polluting corporations.
The Socialist Alliance is aiming for a 60% overall emissions reduction, including 95% power station emissions reduction, by 2020 and a 90% overall emissions reduction by 2030. Immediate comprehensive planning is required, including the setting of annual targets, to meet these overall targets on time or sooner.
The July 1 Sydney Morning Herald reported that the “southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin has seen some rainfall, but not enough to stave off zero water allocations when the new irrigation year begins on Sunday… Howard’s grave warning in April of no water for irrigators from July 1 in Australia’s food bowl has been realised, with soaring fruit and vegetable prices expected to follow.”
On July 18, Ford Australia president Tom Gorman announced that Ford's Geelong engine plant would close in 2010, putting 600 workers out of work. Geelong Trades Hall Council's Union Air radio show interviewed Australian Manufacturing Workers Union vehicle division delegate plant Tony Anderson.
Below is an abridged speech given by Lawrence Gibbons, editor of the City Hub, a part of the Alternative Media Group, to a benefit for the South Sydney Herald on July 8.
The peace movement lost a dedicated activist last week. Samantha Kelly, one of a team of radio presenters for NoWar SA, died in Adelaide at the age of 39.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) academic Dr Gary MacLennan told a public meeting on July 18 that “ordinary people think laughing at the disabled is wrong … only in a university is it seen as otherwise”.
The corporate media has heaped praise on Al Gore following the international rock gig Live Earth. But to ask the U’wa people, from the tropical cloud forests of north-eastern Colombia, what they thought about Gore and Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), the oil company from which his personal fortune is derived, would be to receive a very different opinion.

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