Analysis

Another fundamental liberty of the people of New South Wales took a hit on July 1.

On that day a new regulation under the Crown Land Management Act 2016 took effect, granting the NSW government wide powers to disperse or ban protests, rallies and virtually any public gathering across about half of all land across the state.

The powers apply on any Crown Land — land owned by the state government, including town squares, parks, roads, beaches, community halls and more.

The latest round of penalty rate cuts, which reduce weekend and public holiday penalty rates for staff in the retail, hospitality and pharmacy sectors by 10–15% from July 1, is estimated by the ACTU to affect 700,000 workers.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association national secretary Gerard Dwyer said the penalty rate cuts would cost many retail and fast food workers between $2000 and $6000 a year.

As a lesbian feminist in the early 1970s, I worked in coalition with gay men to bring about change, not only to gain equal rights but to change the world views on institutions that supported male privilege and men having more power than women.

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Sarah McNaughton SC recently filed criminal charges against Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery and his client, a former officer of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

“Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here” is a chant that has been synonymous with the refugee rights movement in Australia since I became active some years ago.

That was a time when putting children in detention was, to some extent, something to hide — not a policy to win support from your voting base.

“Cultural insurgency” is all the buzz these days, but it is also a very real phenomena in the age of mass disillusionment with neoliberal capitalism.

People are not only sick of the market-knows-best mantra being shoved down our throats by corporate and political elites but are sharply aware that cultural spaces are being increasingly monopolised and manipulated by big business.

Whenever the Coalition and Labor stop bickering and agree in serious tones that something must be done in the “national interest” you can be sure they’re up to no good.

NSW has just passed a law enforcing safe zones outside abortion clinics. It has been well received by supporters of reproductive rights and clinic workers. But some argue such laws — which now cover most states and territories — are a serious infingement of free speech.

Climate change is already impacting our lives. As it gets worse, we will be affected by more floods and storms, bushfires and droughts.

Globally there will be less clean water and farmland available. This disproportionately affects those who have the least — women, Indigenous people and those living in exploited nations.

Climate change is a result of an economic system — capitalism — in which private companies’ profit-making is privileged over the real needs of communities and their environments.

Oil Change International recently published a new report, Debunked: the G20 clean gas myth, which questions the ongoing push for expanding fossil gas production in G20 countries and aims to debunk the myth of gas as a clean transition fuel.

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