Jim McIlroy

The WestCONnex Action Group (WAG), one of the main residents' groups opposing the NSW Coalition government's $17 billion WestConnex tollway, has slammed the government's latest changes to the controversial project.

Under new plans announced on November 10, the tollway's Camperdown interchange will be scrapped, and the M4–M5 Link tunnel widened and moved further west.

“These latest changes show yet again that the Baird government’s so-called ‘planning’ for WestConnex is a complete farce,” said WAG spokesperson Pauline Lockie.

Family First Senator Bob Day finally resigned from the Senate on November 1 “effective immediately”, in a major setback for the federal government's plan to revive the controversial, anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

Day first announced his intention to resign on October 17, after his housing businesses were placed into liquidation. He then suggested he might stay on until November so he could vote on the ABCC bill and other legislation.

Staff of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have overwhelmingly rejected a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement that would cut workplace rights and conditions, for a pay rise well below inflation. A ballot announced on November 1 revealed that 70% of eligible staff voted against CSIRO management's proposed EBA, dealing a further setback to the Turnbull government's faltering public sector bargaining policy.

The NSW Coalition government is under fire again after property owners in Sydney's south-west were hit by a "monumental stuff-up" in which at least 140 new buyers were not told they would be in the path of a future motorway before they bought their properties.

The blunder affects properties purchased between June 27 and October 24 this year that are in or near the planned F6 extension corridor in Sydney's south and the Werrington Arterial project. The Labor opposition has linked the error with the privatisation of the agency responsible, Land and Property Information.

Anti-WestConnex tollway protesters picketed along the street in Salisbury Road, Newtown, on October 28, in opposition to attempts to carry out a test drill at the site. The drilling is part of the geological survey work required for possible future tunnelling under the nearby Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH).

Green Left Weekly is launching a subscriptions drive for the final months of the year as part of expanding our base of readers who regularly receive Australia's premiere weekly socialist publication.

The NSW Coalition has sold 50.4% of the publicly-owned power distribution network Ausgrid to a consortium of AustralianSuper and IFM Investors. It is spinning it as a "win" for the mums and dads. The reality is otherwise. Without public ownership of energy, we have very little chance of moving swiftly to more sustainable options, as the climate science demands.

The NSW government is preparing to sell off the NSW land titles registry, the Land and Property Information (LPI) office, in a move dubbed by one economics commentator as “another dumb privatisation”.

Local and overseas banks, insurance companies and superannuation funds are said to be among potential buyers of the registry, which is expected to fetch more than $700 million.

Contractors for the controversial $18 billion WestConnex tollway project dismantled their Sydney Park construction compound on Euston Road, St Peters, on October 14, following a major community campaign to stop the works.

Residents had mounted a 24-hour-a-day camp beside the site from September 19 after receiving notification that construction, including destruction of trees, would start that day.

Australia's Big Four banks — the Commonwealth, NAB, ANZ and Westpac — are the most concentrated and profitable set of banks in the world. These mega-banks are cutting their workforces, while paying their executives huge salaries and bonuses. They should be placed in public hands.

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