This statement was released on November 6 by Sean Broklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale in the November 29 Victorian elections, and Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong. It refers to the project, set to cost at least $15 billion, to link Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and City Link, with the major part of the project being a 4.4 kilometre tunnel. ***
Sarah Hathway and Sean Brocklehurst are running as Socialist Alliance candidates in the Victorian election. They released this statement on November 7. *** The federal government's concern about “corruption” is very selective. For many months, there have been calls for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank and ASIC to investigate how thousands of people were stripped of their life savings as a result of fraud by dodgy financial planners working for the bank.
Sean Brocklehurst is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale in the November 29 *** A good example of the anti-worker attitude of Denis Napthine’s government is its treatment of paramedics. Victoria's paramedics have been campaigning for pay parity with interstate paramedics for more than two years with no sign of a resolution.
Moreland residents were outraged when they heard Moreland City Council had voted to cut $100,000 from the Carbon Management Plan in the council's budget last month. This cut the budget for climate action from $525,000 to $424,000 and would have resulted in some of the council's solar energy projects not going ahead. The $100,000 cut came as a shock, considering the council’s previous initiatives to tackle carbon emissions.
Residents of Moreland in Melbourne's inner north have joined the campaign against the unpopular East West Link tollway tunnel. A community rally is planned for March 30. Some of the local groups most affected by the tunnel in Moreland are sporting clubs. The Brunswick Zebras soccer club, the Brunswick Cricket Club and the Royal Park Reds cricket club face losing access to sports grounds while the tunnel is being built.
National Union of Workers (NUW) members went on strike at the Sheridan sheet warehouse in Port Adelaide on November 25. The NUW have been bargaining with the company as part of a new enterprise agreement. Workers at the Adelaide warehouse are upset they receive $160 a week less than workers in the Victorian sites doing the same job. Workers also want more control over rosters so they can plan to spend time with their families.
Since capitalism began, socialists have debated how to bring to an end to class divisions and make society more fair and just. Early on, a split developed between those who thought revolution was necessary to overthrow capitalism, and others who thought a socialist society could be created gradually through parliamentary reforms. Some socialist parties started with radical politics but gradually became part of the system and gave up on calling for revolution.
It is often said young people do not care about politics. A survey by the Australia Institute in July found that more than one million young Australians under 25 feel that no political party represents them. On top of that, 45% of respondents also said they were “disinterested” or “not really interested” in the upcoming federal election. It is not hard to imagine why young people might be switching off when neither of the two big parties is dealing with the issues young people are most concerned about.
The South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC) brings together feminists from different backgrounds. It holds regular meetings and forums on issues relating to women in Australia today. The collective held a forum on reproductive rights last month, which focussed on the current legislation concerning abortion in South Australia. Abortion is still on the criminal code in South Australia.
In what was an important milestone for the anti-capitalist community in Adelaide, Left Unity held its inaugural AGM on May 26. The group collected membership fees, elected an executive and established working groups. It also chose a new logo. The AGM culminates several months of careful discussion towards consolidating the organisation. Left Unity formed in May 2010. Its goal was to unite class-conscious radical left forces through common struggles against the ecological and social evils of our increasingly brutal and irrational economic and political system.
Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi Arabian newspaper columnist, was recently extradited from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, where he had been arrested while trying to flee to New Zealand. An arrest warrant was issued in Saudi Arabia after Kashgari posted three twitter comments deemed to be insulting to the prophet Mohammed. Kashgari fled the country. The three mild posts included lines such as: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you."
Over the past month, humanities and social sciences students at Adelaide University have successfully fought back against attempted cuts to their tutorials. In July, deputy vice-chancellor Professor Pascale Quester announced cuts to tutorial numbers from 12 to 10 or nine. The lost tutorials would be replaced by optional one-on-one consultation time with tutorial teachers. On August 24, at a student-management forum organised by Adelaide University Union (AUU) president Raffaele Piccolo, Quester tried to justify the cuts on educational grounds.
It has become a cliche in mainstream media and political discourse that feminism is no longer necessary in society. However many ordinary women disagree. Green Left Weekly asked members of the newly formed Feminist Collective of South Australia about feminism’s relevance today. Emma Gray-Starcevic said: “Women still earn on average 17% less than men in Australia, and are under-represented in a huge number of jobs, especially in industries such as law, business and politics — jobs synonymous with high wages and powerful positions.
In April and May, while in South America as part of solidarity brigades to Venezuela and Bolivia, I met some people who have risked everything to make their communities and their countries better places to live. I became so used to people passionately fighting for things they believed in that when I returned to Australia I received a sharp shock. Suddenly I was back among people who, in general, did not care much or want to know about issues of inequality or other problems in our society. It is for these people that this is written.
More than 100 people rallied outside the South Australian Parliament on March 25 in solidarity with the people of the Middle East. The focus of the rally was the attacks on protesters by snipers in Yemen, the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi troops and the ongoing civil war and bombing in Libya. People from various Middle Eastern communities waved flags and placards demanding an end to the military crackdowns.
It isn’t often that socialists, Greens, Liberals and NGOs agree on an issue. But that is the case regarding uranium exploration in the Arkaroola region in the Flinders Ranges, 700 kilometres north of Adelaide. Marathon Resources announced on February 7 that the South Australian Labor government had renewed the company's mining licence in Arkaroola. The Arkaroola area is a unique environment, unlike anywhere else on Earth. It has over 160 species of birds, is home to species of fauna found nowhere else in the world and is a sanctuary for the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby.