Economy

The Federal Court has overturned the federal government’s decision to allow a $180 million deep sea port on Melville Island near Darwin without an environmental assessment.

Approval of the Port Melville oil and gas marine supply base on the banks of the near pristine Apsley Strait was reversed on October 21 after legal action by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) on behalf of Environment Centre NT (ECNT).

The decision means the operation of the base at Port Melville now has no Commonwealth approval and all operations must cease.  

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).

Venezuela is again grabbing headlines in the media, amid allegations of lack of democracy and exaggerated accounts of nonetheless very real economic problems.

Much commentary puts the problems facing the country down to the alleged “failed populism” of Venezuela’s pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution. Last month, the New York Times even compared Donald Trump to Venezuela’s late socialist president Hugo Chavez in an article titled “What Hugo Chavez can teach us about Donald Trump”.

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.

Ultimately, the only way to ensure a secure future for jobs is to replace the whole capitalist system with one in which human need is prioritised above corporate profits.

The NSW government wants to privatise hospitals in Maitland, Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour and Bowral. But people are fighting back. Brett Holmes, general secretary of NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, lays out the arguments.

The Huttonham Estate in Preston was one of Victoria’s first public housing estates when it was built in the 1940s.

Once home to 60 families, the houses were demolished five years ago and the land has been untouched and vacant ever since.

Now the Victorian government has revealed plans to build 68 public housing units and an unknown number of privately-owned dwellings on the land.

Housing groups say the land should be used for its intended purpose of housing low-income residents amid skyrocketing property prices in Melbourne.

In a coordinated effort on United Nations Day on October 24, the Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG) made long-overdue citizens’ arrests of some of the biggest climate criminals in the land.

“The Great NannArrest” involved citizen’s arrests of MPs, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at his eastern Sydney electorate office.

When they found the PM missing in action at his Edgecliff office, they arrested another Malcolm — a man wearing a mask.

The federal treasurer’s “solution” to the housing affordability crisis is to get state governments to relax restrictions on housing developers to increase supply.

Scott Morrison told the industry’s peak body, the Urban Development Institute, on October 24 that “housing in Australia, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, is expensive and increasingly unaffordable, but that does not mean it is overvalued.”

How can you have more affordable housing and keep prices up at the same time?

The answer is you can’t do both.

Building the Commune
By George Ciccariello-Maher
Verso Books, 2016

Every commune is different, George Ciccariello-Maher says in Building the Commune, but “the coffee is always too sweet, and the process is always difficult, endlessly messy and unpredictable in its inescapable creativity”.

Pages

Subscribe to Economy