Australia

Most of NSW still open for CSG development

On January 28, the NSW government announced coal seam gas (CSG) reforms, including exclusion zones and a gateway process for some of the state's farmland. Under these “finalised” reforms, 96.6% of NSW can still be developed for CSG mining, including drinking water catchments.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore stated: "These exclusion zones are a win for the campaign and for the people of NSW, but they are not enough to protect land and water.

"The gateway process cannot block CSG proposals. Under these reforms 96.6% of the state can still be developed for CSG mining.

Amanda and Jonesy promoting Old King Coal

NSW Mining has sponsored a radio competition on one of Sydney’s top-rated breakfast shows, in which a listener has the chance to win $1 million if they register to be a “miner”.

The promotional poster for the competition, which features hosts Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones wearing miners’ hard hats, carries the slogan: “NSW Mining. Good for jobs. Good for Sydney’s economy.”

When registering, participants have the option to receive more information from NSW Mining.

Natural disasters cost Victoria billions

Friends of the Earth released this statement on January 30.

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A research report by environment group Friends of the Earth shows the financial cost to governments and the community in Victoria from natural disasters was $19.9 billion over a 10-year period, from 2003 to 2013.

1000th Issue Fund Appeal: Help us raise $100,000 by March 12

Many people gasped when they read that an Oxfam study found that the richest 85 people in the world own the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It is shocking and unconscionable. It is grossly unfair and unjust. But it is much more than this. This unimaginable concentration of wealth condemns the liveability of the planet and makes permanent war inescapable – for how else but through ruthless violence can this wealth and power of the privileged few be maintained?

Abbott's war on asylum seekers

It has been a long and horrifying two months for refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia. Many new directives, plans and an increasingly brutal border control regime have led to a mounting crisis that legal experts are increasingly referring to as criminal.

Here are five ways the government have made the treatment of asylum seekers worse.

CLOSING DETENTION CENTRES IN AUSTRALIA TO EXPAND OFFSHORE

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Carlo's Corner: I must be really tough to have avoided drunken violence

I am clearly a pretty tough guy. I mean I must be, seeing as I've been going out and getting drunk quite frequently in Sydney for years now and have never once been assaulted.

True, I don't exactly “work out”, and I look more like a deflated beanbag than a Mr Universe contender, but as anyone who reads the Daily Telegraph will tell you, the city is in the grip of an out-of-control tidal wave of drunken violence.

PHOTO STORY: Sydney's Yabun Festival marks Survival Day

January 26 is officially celebrated as Australia Day, but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (and anyone who values the truth) it is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day. This is the day when British colonial authorities arrogantly laid claim to this continent, opening an era of brutal dispossession, genocide and racism.

Labor faces election defeat in Tasmania

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings sacked Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassie O’Connor from cabinet on January 15 — the same day that she announced a state election would be held in March.

The Greens have shared power with Labor since a minority government was elected in 2010. But the deal has proven unpopular with Labor voters and Giddings has ruled out a power-sharing deal with the Greens in future.

Utopia: An inside story

SOMETIMES in life, you can feel pretty helpless. That said, I’m a privileged white guy in a privileged white society. So for me at least, it doesn’t happen very often.

It happened last year.

John Pilger is a journalist I grew up reading, and a large part of the reason why I entered journalism. Pilger was back in Australia making Utopia, his fourth film about the plight of Aboriginal Australians. He asked me to work on it with him.

Abortion win for Tasmanian women

A private member’s bill was successfully passed on November 21 last year to remove abortion from Tasmania’s criminal code.

Tasmania has joined the ACT and Victoria in decriminalising abortion. Until then, the criminal code set out the limitations of when an abortion is not lawful and when and how it can be lawfully obtained.

Mandatory counselling was also imposed on women. These limitations were so restrictive that abortion access was minimal and women and doctors faced the real or perceived threat of criminal charges being laid against them.

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