The Greens

The publication of NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s new pamphlet, Sold off, sold out: the disaster of privatisation and how to reclaim our common wealth, is timely.

With the federal government now supporting a royal commission into the banks and widespread controversy over national energy policy, the damaging consequences of privatising many of the country’s formerly publicly owned industries is clear for all to see.

It is difficult to predict the result of the Queensland election on November 25.

Polls continue to indicate a close result between the major parties with a likelihood that preferences will determine the outcome in many seats. Most likely, whichever party forms government will need the support of independents or minor parties.

Fluctuating poll results indicate that the imminent Queensland election is an open contest between the Annastacia Palaszczuk Labor government and the Liberal National Party (LNP) opposition. Strong campaigns by the Greens and One Nation could also see newcomers into the state parliament from both left and right.

So the Greens’ electoral support has stalled at about 10% and the leadership of Richard di Natale is being questioned. This “dire” situation, according to Bob Brown and others, is the result of the “wrecking” presence in the Greens’ ranks of leftish Senator Lee Rhiannon and the founding of Left Renewal by radical Young Greens in NSW.

“Richard Di Natale, I am a member of Left Renewal and I hope you can hear this because the Greens are my party too,” a woman said to great applause at a meeting of Left Renewal (LR) on January 25.

More than 100 people, including from Newcastle and Wollongong, came to the first public meeting of LR, an anti-capitalist grouping within The Greens, to hear about its aims and objectives.

Protestors took to the streets around Australia on February 20 against the federal government's proposed cuts to health care in #TheseCutsAreKillingUs rallies.

Protesters in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth came out to defend Medicare and to oppose government plans to charge for previously free pathology tests. This could lead to doctors having to charge at least $30 for blood tests, MRIs, X-rays, pap smears, urine tests, ultrasounds and more.

Ten months after trains ceased running into Newcastle station, the New South Wales parliament has passed a controversial bill to close the line at Wickham and rip up the rail line in the CBD.

The NSW Greens, who opposed the legislation along with Labor, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party, labelled the outcome a “betrayal” of the Hunter community and accused the government of selling out to “developer spivs”.

Newly-elected Nationals Party president Larry Anthony has been revealed to be the executive director and co-owner of a lobby firm that counted coal company Shenhua Watermark as a client.

Anthony’s firm, SAS Group, lobbied for Shenhua until July this year. The company wants to build an open-cut coalmine near Gunnedah, on the Liverpool Plains. The mine is expected to produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year.

Many people are dismayed that the Greens have supported the Coalition government’s age pension cuts. Greens’ social media has been awash with commentary, with many people venting their anger at the Greens.

Some have defended the deal, trusting the Greens to do the right thing and labelling criticism as Labor propaganda. Others just want an explanation.

If you suspect that neoliberal capitalist governments, including the Australian government, act as kleptocracies for the richest 1% and the large corporations, you have good reason to.

Whether you look at their tax system, the various privatisation or part-privatisation schemes they are forcing on the public, the “user-pays” drives or the publicly subsidised private insurance scams, you can see how the public is being forced to subsidise the profits of powerful corporations and the super-rich.

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