Public transport should be in public hands

Robin Laycock People in the outer suburbs of Melbourne spend hours commuting every week. The average daily return trip is around 80 minutes. Nearly one user in three spends more than two hours each day on a train, bus or tram. Those using public transport have a commute time roughly double that of someo...CONTINUE READING

Victoria’s privatisation problem

Robin Laycock Victoria has a privatisation problem. To be fair, selling public assets for profit has been a world trend over the last 40 years. But Victoria led the way in Australia. In the Andrews Labor government’s 2017 budget, a large increase in privatisations was planned, with between 40 and 50 per...CONTINUE READING

Private education provider ‘rides roughshod’ over standards

Robin Laycock The multinational stock exchange-listed education provider Navitas is again in the firing line after implementing cutbacks that have angered staff and students. Navitas, which trades as La Trobe Melbourne and provides alternative pathway courses into bachelor degrees at La Trobe University...CONTINUE READING

More punishment for the unemployed

Robin Laycock Robbie lives in regional Victoria. He lost his job and can’t live off his savings. He is forced to go begging at the welfare office. The 20-year-old behind the counter told him he wasn’t trying hard enough. “You need to get out there and really pound the pavement”, she said to the 61-year-...CONTINUE READING

Racism in cricket not just a ‘bad look’

Robin Laycock “Speak English.” If these words had been directed at an Indian by an unruly youth on a suburban bus – and A Current Affair got wind of it – all hell would’ve broken loose. Racism has no place in Australia, they would’ve howled. After Australian cricketer David Warner yelled these words at...CONTINUE READING

Science in aid of evil

Robin Laycock Last year was a big year for science. Many more people will now be killed in brilliant new high-tech ways. In a breakthrough by the US Department of Defense, the first self-guiding sniper bullets have been developed. Currently, snipers can hit targets from 600 metres with 90 percent accura...CONTINUE READING

Tertiary staff fight for ‘legacy’ conditions

Robin Laycock La Trobe University’s pathway institute La Trobe Melbourne was hit by a 24-hour strike on 28 May over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations with Navitas, the multinational corporation contracted to run the facility since it was privatised in 2010. La Trobe Melbourne is pitched as provi...CONTINUE READING

La Trobe tertiary staff strike to save jobs

Robin Laycock La Trobe University staff recently struck for 36 hours. The industrial action was the longest ever organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the university. The background to the dispute is the seemingly endless enterprise bargaining process, but the trigger was the vice...CONTINUE READING

Studies find class affects the brain

Robin Laycock Australian workers are experiencing greater levels of stress, according to a new Australian Psychological Society report. Seventy-five percent of respondents to the third “Stress and wellbeing in Australia” survey claimed that stress is having an impact on their physical health; 68 percent...CONTINUE READING