Labor

The federal Coalition government remains unstable even though Scott Morrison has replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister in the August 24 leadership spill.

In response to the decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to order Sydney train drivers to suspend their planned 24-hour strike on January 29, ACTU secretary Sally McManus declared: "The right to strike in Australia is close to being dead."

There was a 6% swing against the Liberal Party in the Inner West Council (IWC) election in Sydney on September 9.

This was a common pattern, reflected in other local elections also conducted then for councils that were forcibly amalgamated by the NSW Liberal government last year.

IWC is the product of the forced amalgamation of the former Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt Council.

Labor has backed away from supporting Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine. Previously, Labor leader Bill Shorten said he supported the project “so long as it stacks up”.

But on May 1, Labor’s energy and environment spokesperson Mark Butler warned it could hurt other coalmining areas. “It will simply displace existing coal operations elsewhere in Australia,” he told ABC News. “There will be jobs lost elsewhere in Queensland or there will be jobs lost in the Hunter Valley.

The passing of former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam at the age of 98 on October 21 provoked a wave of emotion from the community, both young and old. At a time when the federal government is trying to smash the remnants of the progressive reforms initiated during the Whitlam government — in office from December 1972 to November 1975 — the Whitlam era seems like a period from another political universe.

Wollongong developer Frank Vellar has been charged with four offences under the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Act.

More than two years have passed since theICAC released the third of its reports into corruption in Wollongong City Council. In October 2008, the commission recommended charges be laid against 11 people for 139 criminal offences. Most of those named were either ALP members or political donors. Vellar was among them.

At the time, ICAC commissioner Jerrold Cripps QC described the corruption found to be “without precedent”.

This federal election both Labor and the Coalition have failed to present any serious policies to address climate change. The Greens on the other hand have a plan to cut emissions, but does it go far enough?

The Coalition’s Tony Abbott rose to the leadership with the backing of a hardcore group of climate denier MPs. His “direct action” policy on climate change has two big problems: it’s not direct and it’s not much action.

Breaking story (last updated June 25): Socialists and progressive trade union and social movement activists have reacted sceptically to the leadership change in the Australian Labor Party (ALP) federal government of Australia. Julia Gillard displaced Kevin Rudd as PM on June 24 after a surprise leadership challenge that came into the open the night before. She became the country's first woman PM. Wayne Swan replaced Gillard as deputy PM.

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