Jim McIlroy

GLW author Jim McIlroy

Millers Point will 'stick together' to fight sell-off

Barney Gardner, spokesperson for the Save Millers Point residents action group, told a Sydney forum of more than 100 people on June 14: “The Baird Coalition government is continuing with the policies of [former premier] Barry O'Farrell and [former housing minister] Pru Goward.”

The New South Wales government is pushing ahead with its plan to sell off 393 public houses in the historic Millers Point neighbourhood of inner-city Sydney and force public housing tenants to move.

Supporters rally for ANZ ‘hoaxer’ Jono Moylan

About 100 people rallied outside the Downing Centre Court in Sydney on July 23 to support Jonathan Moylan, the environmental activist who is facing charges under the Corporations Act for his alleged "hoax" that exposed ANZ bank's funding of mining activities by Whitehaven Coal, which threaten community health and agricultural land at Maules Creek, as well as the survival of koala populations in Leard State Forest in northern NSW.

Australia Post cuts jobs, avoids privatisation

''This move by Australia Post management to cut 900 jobs is outrageous, coming without any proper consultation with staff and unions,” Joan Doyle, Victorian state secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) told Green Left Weekly on June 10. ''Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour is sensationalising supposed losses to attack workers' conditions.

Profits should never come before patients

"This country can afford a universal healthcare system that provides access to quality health care for everyone," Judith Kiejda, assistant general secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSW NMWA), told a forum at the University of Technology Sydney on May 27.

The forum, organised by the Save Medicare Campaign, heard Kiejda and Professor Bill Mitchell, director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE) at Newcastle University, addressed the topic, "No to Abbott-Care. Hands Off Medicare."

Community opposes NSW public asset sell-off

Recent opinion polls show there is widespread opposition in NSW to the Coalition government's plans to privatise remaining public assets.

Polling by UMR Research, reported by the Australian Financial Review on May 1, shows a majority of people are against proposed sell-offs announced recently by Premier Mike Baird.

It found 61% of respondents opposed the privatisation of the state's electricity poles and wires, while only 23% supported the idea. An even bigger 73% are against any sell-off of NSW public hospitals, with just 18% in support.

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Huge public asset sell-off to fund roads

The Coalition government plans to speed up the push to privatise remaining federal and state public assets in a massive program to help fund new infrastructure projects — mainly road developments — media sources reveal.

ABC radio's AM reported on May 8 that "an infrastructure package worth about $10 billion will be at the centre of the Abbott government's first budget.

Budget 2014: Co-payment undoing universal health care

"The Abbott government's proposed $7 co-payment for visits to the doctor, and for other medical services, will effectively destroy Medicare as a universal, bulk-billed health service for the community," Erima Dall, spokesperson for the Sydney Save Medicare Committee said on May 14.

"The government is also opening the way for the states to charge an up-front fee for previously free treatment at public hospitals, in the expectation that people will be forced to turn to the emergency departments because of the GP co-payment. 

Audit Commission declares open class war

The Commission of Audit report is a declaration of open class war by the corporate ruling class against Australia's working people and the poor.

Released symbolically on May 1, the international workers' day, it is a clear challenge to the labour movement and social organisations.

If its 86 recommendations are implemented, it would be a wholesale destruction of the welfare state, hard fought for over a century or more by working people, and a huge victory for big business in shifting wealth from the poor to the rich.

Minimum wage cut to create 'working poor': ACTU

The federal Commission of Audit's proposal to cut the minimum wage would create an underclass of US-style "working poor" in this country, the Australian Council of Trade Unions says.

The ACTU said on May 5: "The plan to aggressively drive down the minimum wage would see its real value fall to its 1998 level of $12 an hour.”

CPA book teaches vital history

"Understanding the history of the CPA [Communist Party of Australia], and labour history more generally, is vital for activists here and now who want to change the world,” Sarah Gregson, labour historian and unionist from the University of NSW, told a book launch at the Resistance Centre on May 6.

“We generally face similar issues now as then.”

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