Analysis

Debts owed by students for university fees are growing by about $2 billion a year, according to the federal education department. Reporting the finding, the September 13 Melbourne Age observed that if the debt rise “continues at this rate, the amount owed will double in six years, from $10.2 billion in 2003-04 to more than $20 billion by 2009-10".

A group of Aboriginal leaders supported by the West Australian Social Justice Network has initiated a campaign in the wake of what “appears to be an orchestrated attack by the federal government and sections of the media on Aboriginal culture” and leaders.

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network national consultation decided to support the relaunch of an Australian campaign in support of the “Cuban Five” - five Cubans convicted in the United States in 2001 on charges ranging from conspiracy to commit murder to endangering the security of the US. The Cuban Five are being held in maximum security prisons across the US.

“Dear reader, civilisation as we know it is coming to an end soon.” This is how the Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash website introduces itself. Peak oil is the theory that the world’s oil supplies will soon reach their highest output, their peak, after which there will be a rapid decline in output. The website argues that “the consequences (if true) would be unimaginable. Permanent fuel shortages would tip the world into a generations-long economic depression. Millions would lose their jobs as industry implodes. Farm tractors would be idled for lack of fuel, triggering massive famines. Energy wars would flare.”

Motahar Hussein is a Bangladeshi man seeking asylum in Australia. He has been languishing in the Villawood refugee detention centre for two years because the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) has twice refused to accept that he will face homophobic persecution if he is forced back to Bangladesh. Green Left Weekly’s Rachel Evans spoke to Hussein in Villawood.

The following is abridged from a talk presented to the Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) symposium in Melbourne, September 15-16.

Willem (Wim) Zonggonau died in Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, on October 2 after suffering what is believed to be a massive cardiovascular event. He was 64 years old.

In a damning report released on September 27, Queensland’s acting state coroner, Christine Clements, has criticised the initial investigation into the 2004 Palm Island death in custody of Mulrunji, saying that it failed to meet appropriate guidelines. Clements also found that Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley caused Mulrunji’s death and accused the police of failing to investigate his death fully.

The Socialist Alliance is campaigning for the defeat of the Howard government in the next federal election and against the Liberal opposition in the November 25 Victorian state election. However, we have little confidence that the election of Labor governments in Victoria or federally will result in improvements in working people’s conditions of life.The Socialist Alliance is campaigning for the defeat of the Howard government in the next federal election and against the Liberal opposition in the November 25 Victorian state election.

David Llewellyn faced a barrage of criticism and no-confidence motions over his handling of the health portfolio when Tasmania’s parliament resumed on August 23.

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