Australia

Tackling tax avoidance at the G20

Oxfam released a report in January that found companies have hidden between $21 trillion and $32 trillion in offshore bank accounts to escape paying tax. That amount is double US GDP or about 20 times Australian GDP.

One of the issues that will be discussed at the G20 meeting in Brisbane is how to set up an international framework to stop this tax avoidance. Unfortunately, it will not work.

People power can stop the East West Link

This statement was released on November 6 by Sean Broklehurst, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale in the November 29 Victorian elections, and Sarah Hathway, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong.

It refers to the project, set to cost at least $15 billion, to link Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and City Link, with the major part of the project being a 4.4 kilometre tunnel.

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Conference discusses future beyond coal and gas

Almost 300 people gathered near Ipswich in Queensland for The Sunrise Project's Beyond Coal and Gas conference from October 24 to 27.

The event featured more than 100 workshops and drew people from all states and territories as well as international visitors. There was a huge diversity of people and organisations including campaigners, activists, researchers, traditional owners and youth.

Newcastle residents blast ammonium nitrate facility

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) held a hearing on October 29 to allow the community to express their views on Incitec’s proposal to build an ammonium nitrate production facility in Newcastle.

All 18 speakers slammed the proposal as presenting an unacceptable risk of a catastrophic explosion that could threaten the lives of thousands of people in the city.

Speakers ranged from explosives expert Tony Richards to the Socialist Alliance, the Greens, and several community groups from Stockton and Mayfield, as well as members of the public.

Womens refuges get funding reprieve

A small number of inner Sydney women's refuges flagged for closure received news on October 30 that their state government funding has been reinstated.

However, other city and regional refuges continue to face closure or loss of specialist services for women, including Aboriginal women and young people, following their transfer into the hands of churches and charities.

Large rally declares Lismore gas free

About 8000 people from across NSW’s Northern Rivers region gathered in Lismore on November 1 for a rally to declare the region gasfield free.

Protesters marched through Lismore CBD to demand the government cancel all petroleum licences in the region.

It then officially launched four large signs at each of the roads leading into the region, proclaiming: "Gasfield Free Northern Rivers – protected by community.”

Organiser Elly Bird said: "This community is saying loud and clear that they want full cancellation of the licenses across the region, and nothing less will serve.

Climate vs. capitalism: How we can win

For those paying attention to the science of climate change, it might seem counterintuitive to talk about hope.

To some it might even seem in bad taste, given that the future impacts include the melting away of the Himalayan glaciers that provide fresh water for 1.3 billion people in Asia and the possibility that many low-lying island nations may become uninhabitable.

Aboriginal leaders meet for freedom summit

Hundreds of Aboriginal elders and leaders will gather in Alice Springs for the Freedom Summit at the end of this month.

Millers Point residents oppose sale of Sirius apartments

Residents of Millers Point public housing are supporting the campaign to stop the sell-off and possible demolition of the iconic Sirius apartments in the nearby suburb of The Rocks. The Save Our Sirius (SOS) campaign was launched on November 2 with an open day at the Sirius apartments building.

The Sirius apartments were designed by Tao Gofers in 1975 for the NSW Housing Commission. Sitting beside the southern approaches to the Harbour Bridge, the apartments look out to Circular Quay and the Opera House.

Five ideas for feminist columns for Antony Loewenstein

In an article in the Guardian on October 28, Antony Loewenstein says that he does not write about feminism because he fears being “attacked by women for questioning a consensus position on feminist issues”.

“Writing about feminism when male is like gate crashing a party,” he said, “and I’m concerned I’ll be slammed for daring to arrive without an invitation.”

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