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About 7000 union and community activists braved heavy rain in Sydney to protest against the NSW government's plans to undermine workers' compensation and entitlements on June 13. They chanted “shame, Barry, shame” and “injured workers in his sights, taking away our compo rights”.

In Newcastle, Hunter nurses took strike action to join up to 1500 workers and supporters. Hundreds also rallied in Wollongong.

NSW unions are gearing up for “the biggest battle since Work Choices” to defend the rights of the state's sick and injured workers to receive just compensation.

The Barry O'Farrell government has outlined cuts to WorkCover that mean workers would no longer be covered on their way to and from work. Payments to injured workers would fall after 13 weeks (rather than 26 weeks). All medical costs and payments for workers who are still sick or injured after two-and-a-half years would be cut.

The government says that cutting benefits would “encourage” injured workers back to work.

The Climate and Health Alliance released the statement below on May 28.

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In the lead up to Rio+20 and the G20 Summit, Australian health groups are calling on Australian and international governments to abandon subsidies for fossil fuels in the interests of protecting human health and economic security.

A May 3 briefing to South Australia’s parliament by Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has drawn attention to important research on the alarming health effects of coal burning on the Port Augusta community, reaffirming the case for a speedy transition to solar thermal power for the region.

However the dispute in Britain about tax and charity donations ends up, the one thing we must all agree on is how inspiringly generous these philanthropists are, selflessly donating chunks of money that, by coincidence, are the amount they would have had to pay in tax anyway. Even the Good Samaritan would have said: "That's TOO philanthropic, you're being a fool to yourself."

This article first appeared in Tracker magazine on March 19.

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Aboriginal leaders in the Northern Territory have issued a strong warning that the Australian government’s new land grab in the form of the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention will send many communities into a dangerous downward spiral with still more death and misery.

At last, the bill has been passed to enable Britain's health service, the envy of the world, to become more like the United States system, universally derided as a chaotic disaster. Now they can introduce bills to make our ferry service more like the one in Italy, and our record on child abuse more like that of the Vatican.

It takes inventive thinking to hear that in the US, drug companies spend twice as much on advertising as they do on research, and say, "That's MARVELLOUS, why can't WE do that"?

"This is a bittersweet victory for nurses and midwives after an unprecedented industrial marathon with the Baillieu Government to protect patient care and secure a fair pay rise.” — Lisa Fitzpatrick, State Secretary, Australian Nursing Federation (Victoria).

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) of Victoria has had a good win. At a time when the employers are on the march, the Victorian ANF ran a campaign that involved two periods of industrial action, including bed closures, elective surgery cancellations and four hour rolling stoppages twice a day.

The Northern Territory’s peak doctors’ body says Darwin’s main hospital is struggling to cope with up to five refugees a day coming in for treatment for self-harm, mental illness and chronic anxiety.

See also: The Northern Territory: Australia's refugee detention capital

Victorian nurses crowded into Festival Hall in Melbourne on March 16 to hear their nine months of struggle had reached a successful outcome.

After what the ABC said was Victoria’s longest running industrial dispute, nurses have won 14-21% pay increases and kept their nurse-to-patient ratios in return for minor productivity offsets.

Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said: “This is a bittersweet victory for nurses and midwives after an unprecedented industrial marathon with the Baillieu government to protect patient care and secure a fair pay rise."

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