Australia's largest cities are urban planning disaster zones.
Two facts in particular bear this out. First is the ongoing housing affordability crisis, which shows no sign of abating. Second is the relentless march of car-dependent urban sprawl, which continues to devour remnant native vegetation and good farming land. You get an eyeful of this latter problem as you approach Perth by plane, by some accounts the second-biggest metropolis in the world by surface area.
In the recent controversy over the proposed sale of key NSW state-owned electricity company Ausgrid to Chinese bidders, the primary issue seems to have been lost: a vital public asset such as Ausgrid should not be privatised in the first place, whoever the potential buyers might be.
A storm broke out over the planned sale of Ausgrid by the state government to either of two Chinese corporations: the government-owned State Grid Corporation of China; or the privately-owned Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group (CKI), controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing.
When the Census website crashed and was taken offline on August 9, the ABS was quick to blame overseas hackers. And in its defence, blaming foreigners has worked pretty well for authorities in this country on pretty much every other issue up till now.
Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA and Refugee Rights Action Network WA released this joint statement on August 10.
* * *
Every afternoon at 4pm on Nauru, asylum seeking adults and children stage a peaceful protest at the gate of the OPC3 family camp, which they have done since March 20 (Palm Sunday). Four weeks into their protest, refugees in the RPC3 camp opposite joined them.
While hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities will now get services they have never had under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we must closely examine how the scheme is being implemented.
The public should demand nothing less in return for the $22 billion of public expenditure and the vulnerability of the recipients. But that is not happening.
The NDIS is brilliant for people with physical disabilities, but the scheme risks further marginalising thousands of people with profound intellectual disability.
Without anywhere that is home, Aboriginal people have been without a physical space to reinvent themselves and their culture in modern Australia.
Since colonisation, Aboriginal people have been internally displaced from their country. The doctrine of terra nullius — a land without people — was established under British colonial government and persisted in Australian law until 1992.
In these days of growing media concentration, Green Left Weekly is a proudly independent voice committed to human and civil rights, global peace and environmental sustainability, democracy and equality. By printing the news and ideas the mainstream media won't, Green Left Weekly exposes the lies and distortions of the power brokers and helps us to better understand the world around us.
Green Left Weekly, launched in 1990 by progressive activists to present the views excluded by the big business media, is now Australia's leading source of local, national and international news, analysis, and discussion and debate to strengthen the anti-capitalist movements.