Australia

Retired unionists and community members gathered in Sydney’s west on September 19 to demand the federal Coalition government stop the creeping privatisation of Centrelink and reverse cuts and job losses in the national social security agency.

The Socialist Alliance will contest the NSW state election, to be held in March next year. The Alliance’s ticket for the Legislative Council is made up of 18 activists from across the state. It has also preselected Susan Price to stand in the Legislative Assembly seat of Parramatta.

The aged care sector should be publicly run, adequately funded and with a high standard of living, says the Victorian Socialists. The current problem is not market failure. The problem is the market itself.

More than 70 people packed Geelong Trades Hall (GTH) on September 13 to launch the Victorian Socialists campaign for the Western Victoria Region Legislative Council electorate.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has sought to end a long-running dispute between Health Workers Union (HWU) members and Dorevitch Pathology, by issuing a draft determination in which workers’ wages are set to rise by up to 20% and allowances by up to 30%.

The federal Attorney General’s case against a defendant dubbed “Witness K” began in the ACT Magistrates Court on September 12. Media reports say Witness K is a serving Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer. 

We don’t need to pray for rain, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested, we need to take serious climate action now, was the blunt message farmers delivered to federal parliament on September 10. 

The farmers said the drought gripping NSW and Queensland had to be a wake-up call for politicians to take climate change seriously.

They also raised concerns that the Coalition government is attempting to stymie the development of wind power, which provides income for farmers and rural communities when agricultural income falls.

An indefinite strike by 1600 Alcoa workers in Western Australia that began on August 8 has entered a new stage with the start of a Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing in which the company is seeking to terminate the existing enterprise agreement. If the company's move is successful, workers at the multi-billion dollar company’s aluminium refineries and bauxite mines would be forced onto an inferior agreement that offers no job security and a possible wage cut of up to 50%.

An estimated 7000 childcare workers took industrial action by walking off the job around Australia on September 5 to demand equal pay.

Comedian and radio personality Wendy Harmer tweeted recently about a dinner experience she had: “Had my Liberal-voting friends over last night who are adamant the Govt. should nationalise the banks — same position as espoused by Green Left Weekly. Weren't best pleased when I pointed this out. Fun debate :)” 

It’s no surprise people are drawing this conclusion, as more revelations from the banking royal commission show just how much the banks have screwed over customers in the name of profits.

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