Analysis

The growing scandals engulfing the Big Four banks, now being amplified through the financial services royal commission, have opened the way for a major discussion about alternatives to the corporate banking oligopoly in Australia.

Now, Greens leader Richard Di Natale has entered the fray with a proposal for a People’s Bank to offer low-cost mortgages for home-buyers and other facilities.

Below is a part of the Socialist Alliance’s climate action plan. For more information go to the policy page.

Global warming of 1.5°C is imminent, likely in just a decade from now. David Spratt reviews several recent studies that point to this alarming conclusion.

So how does hitting warming of 1.5°C one decade from now square with the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”?

In two words, it doesn’t.

This Autumn heat wave across the eastern states should remind us that we have less and less time to deal with the catastrophic consequences of an unscientific energy policy.

We live in an era of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change and yet horse-and-buggy politicians, such as Tony Abbott MP and PM Malcolm Turnbull, continue to insist that we still need coal-fired power.

The federal and Victorian governments announced on March 27 a two-year extension of the controversial Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for East Gippsland, the North East and the Central Highlands. They will be reassessed at the end of the two-year period.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Victorian state government’s March 29 announcement to arm its police with semi-automatic, military-grade weapons was an early April Fool’s joke.

After all, the announcement came in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in the United States. It also came after the Crime Statistics Agency published data on March 15 showing that crime rates have fallen by 9.9%.

The New South Wales government plans to ban people with a history of drug offences from living in social housing in parts of inner-city Sydney.

The desire to provide an environment that helps people who are trying to minimise their drug use and stay away from drug markets is understandable. The reality is there is no evidence that this is what the policy will achieve.

The recent decision by China to stop accepting low value and contaminated materials for recycling has caused the world price for them to crash. It threatens a crisis for local governments across Australia, which may be forced to send to landfill the stuff that people have sorted and put in their recycling bins.

Politics in Australia, so dominated by the major parties’ conservatism, it is turning people off participating in the political process a survey by the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University has found. However, it also shows more people are moving leftward in their political attitudes.

For nine months I have volunteered at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney.

For the past few months, an African woman has also been visiting the centre. She is Somalian and was once in detention in Villawood. Before that she was on Christmas Island, and before that on Nauru.

On this day we all sat together laughing, as volunteers do. This was the first time I had properly spoken to her. She seemed happy, calm and free.

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