Kathy Fairfax

GLW author Kathy Fairfax

Moss Review: fears Nauru would ‘spiral out of control’

When then-immigration minister Scott Morrison made a video in September last year callously informing refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru that they would never be allowed to settle in Australia, he hoped at least some would ask to be returned to their home country.

But the video failed spectacularly. Not a single refugee or asylum seeker asked to be returned. Instead, angered by the video, they started a series of protests, hunger strikes, attempted suicides and instances of self-harm.

Australia’s 10 biggest polluters

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a report titled Australia’s top 10 climate polluters. It reveals that these 10 polluters — and it’s no surprise that most are electricity suppliers - are responsible for generating nearly one-third of greenhouse gases through their production and use of energy.

Bulga versus Rio Tinto: Round two

The tiny community of Bulga will continue their David and Goliath fight in the courts against a coalmine that threatens the very existence of their village.

The decision to go back to court comes in the wake of the March 5 approval by the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) for the expansion of Rio Tinto’s giant Mount Thorley-Warkworth coalmine, despite two court decisions against the project.

Climate: Australian frogs face bleak future

Biologists consider the health of frogs to be indicative of the health of the biosphere as a whole.

Frogs have permeable skin that easily absorbs toxins. They require specific aquatic and terrestrial environments to survive and breed, making them highly susceptible to environmental disturbances. Because of this they are considered accurate indicators of environmental stress.

Frogs have lived on the Earth for 250 million years, surviving ice ages and other climate changes. Yet around the world, populations of amphibians, particularly frogs, are now in drastic decline.

NSW suspends AGL’s Gloucester licence

In a dramatic turn of events, the NSW government has suspended AGL’s licence to operate its Waukivory Pilot Project to mine coal seam gas (CSG) in Gloucester, pending the result of an investigation launched on January 28.

The suspension came just a day after AGL said it was "voluntarily" suspending work at the site after it had detected banned carcinogenic benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) chemicals in flowback water from two of the four wells and an above-ground storage tank.

High Court rules sea detention of Tamils legal

The High Court has ruled that Australia's month-long detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers at sea last year was legal and the asylum seekers were not entitled to claim damages for false imprisonment.

The asylum seekers’ boat was intercepted by customs ship Ocean Protector off Christmas Island on June 29, after their boat was damaged by fire and they called for help. The Tamils on board said they feared persecution in Sri Lanka and asked for asylum.

10 wins for the environment in 2014

1. A GLOBAL CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION

Last year, more than ever before, people stood up to demand action from world leaders to address the climate crisis. On September 21, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York to insist on the need for stronger climate policy and more renewable energy.

2. EUROPE BANS PESTICIDES LINKED TO BEE COLLAPSE

Senate rejects government's university deregulation bill

Students around the country are celebrating the Senate's defeat of the federal government's tertiary education reforms.

The proposed changes would have been the final act in the destruction of free tertiary education in Australia that started with the introduction of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme 25 years ago.

The government proposed removing caps on university fees, cutting course funding by about 20% on average, charging higher rates of interest on student debts and extending funding to private colleges, TAFEs and sub-bachelor programs in 2016.

The unholy convergence of interests around WestConnex

About 120 Sydney residents, concerned about the impact of the proposed WestConnex motorway, met at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre on June 25.

The meeting heard that WestConnex, the biggest and most expensive motorway in the Australia, will not reduce congestion and is just an excuse for a developer land grab along Parramatta Road.

Commuters want public transport, not motorways

Drivers on Sydney’s proposed WestConnex motorway will pay a toll for almost 50 years, according to documents released to state parliament last week. Tolls will also be introduced to existing free motorways and extended on those due to expire.

The government’s plans were revealed when boxes of documents relating plans to build the WestConnex motorway were delivered to New South Wales Parliament House last week at the request of the NSW Greens Roads and Ports spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi.

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