Australia

'Coal Face' exposes danger of putting profits first

The Coal Face
By Tom Doig
Penguin, 2015
$9.99, 144 pages

Released earlier this year, Tom Doig's The Coal Face describes the day last year that fire took hold in Victoria's Hazelwood coal mine and burned for one-and-a-half months.

Fourth coal loader is climate vandalism

The New South Wales government's nominally independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has approved a fourth coal loader for the port of Newcastle.

Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) initially applied to build the loader in 2012 at the height of the resources boom. Since then coal prices have crashed, caused by the fact that renewable energy is now a preferred source of “new build” power plants across the globe and fewer new coal-fired power plants are being built than was forecast.

Approval but public funding for Adani unlikely

Environment minister Greg Hunt gave formal approval on October 15 for a massive new coalmine in Queensland's Galilee basin, “in accordance with national environment law” after the Federal Court set aside the previous approval in August.

But Indian coal mining giant Adani is unlikely to receive the federal government funding it needs to open the Carmichael mega mine.

As resource prices crash and more than 1000 coalmining jobs have been lost in Queensland alone this year, Adani's competitors have come out in opposition to any federal government assistance for the mega mine.

Mercosur condemns Europe closing borders to refugees

Austria, as well as Serbia and Croatia, have joined other European countries in temporarily closing their borders.

On September 21, Croatia closed its last checkpoint for trucks on the Serbian border where thousands of refugees are waiting to cross in the hope of a better life.

West Papua: Indonesian police beat high school students for leafleting


Demonstration in solidarity with West Papua. Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Indonesian police beat two West Papuan students in Yahukimo, Papua Province, on September 16 for handing out leaflets about the Pacific Islands Forum.

Abbott's Syria war will create more refugees

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on September 9 a novel approach to stemming the flow of refugees from Syria: bombing the country.

He also announced plans to accept a further 12,000 Syrian refugees on top of his government's miserly quota, but was quick to dispel any hopes that Australia might be abandoning its status as the Western world's leading abuser of refugees. Abbott told ABC Radio National on September 10 that Syrian refugees being held in the Australian-run concentration camps in Nauru and Manus Island would not be released.

Women's sport undermined on national and community levels

The focus of discussion about women in sport — specifically the discrimination they face, the lack of support and promotion, the disinterest from the media and the huge pay differences between female and male athletes — has overwhelmingly been on the elite or national level.

Matildas launch strike as football pay dispute hots up


Matildas players earn only $21,000 a year — below the minimum wage.

The simmering industrial dispute between the nation's football (soccer) players and the Football Federation Australia (FFA) over pay and the right to collectively bargain has now boiled over with the national women's team, the Matildas, pulling out of a planned tour of the US.

No joke: Pacific outrage at climate inaction

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction.

The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.

Socialist Councillor: "Reject Abbott's lies: Australia can do more to respond to the refugee crisis"


Vienna, September 1.

“Tony Abbott's bizarre proclamation that Australia is leading the world on a per capita basis in welcoming refugees is a lie,” says Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance Councillor.

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