Economy

"CBA: We put profit ahead of people", was the headline emblazoned on the front page of the November 20 Sydney Morning Herald. The paper was reporting on the first day of the final round of hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, in which the CEOs of the Big Four banks were being grilled about the banking scandals that have outraged the Australian community over the past year.

The NSW Coalition government's privatisation of the Northern Beaches Hospital on the city's upper North Shore has created a crisis situation with the cancellation of elective surgery and doctors threatening to strike over staff shortages and lack of vital medical supplies.

As recently as last year, the gig economy’s “independent contractor” business model seemed like an unstoppable force. It started with Uber, but soon spread to food delivery and before long was entering new sectors, such as freight, logistics and healthcare.

In 2019, European and legislative elections will take place in Portugal in a national political context different from anywhere else in the European Union (EU), where austerity policies still reign and the racist and xenophobic right is rising, writes Dick Nichols from Lisbon.

Over the past three years in Portugal, the minority Socialist Party (PS) government has been supported from outside by the Left Bloc, the Communist Party of Portugal (PCP) and the Ecologist Party-The Greens (PEV).

A combination of real estate capitalism and climate change has unleashed murderous fires in California, writes Phil Hearse.

Things are getting serious. On November 15, at least are 56 were confirmed dead with hundreds missing. Thousands of homes and businesses have burned down. Two major fires, in the north and south of the state, were still not under control.

The disaster caused by the federal government’s policy of privatising Centrelink call centres work has been underlined by the results of a survey of Department of Human Services (DHS) staff.

Back in the 1990s, we were told the privatisation of electricity and other basic services would mean consumers get a better deal. Today, we know that was a lie.

A well-attended forum on women and poverty was organised by Micah Projects, a not-for-profit organisation at Queensland Parliament House on October 16.

Micah runs a homeless support centre in Brisbane and has long been an advocate for the poor and marginalised. The 200 attendees were mainly professionals.

The forum was chaired by Channel Seven presenter Kay McGrath. Songwoman of the Turrbal people Maroochy Barambah gave a heartfelt musical Welcome to Country in her language.

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