A political shift masking an economic assault

Ben Hillier Two weeks after the federal budget, we need to separate the political narrative from the economic reality. On one hand, we have what seems a profound shift. A Liberal Party that originally came to office with histrionics about a “fiscal emergency” and a debt and deficit “disaster”, which r...CONTINUE READING

Student protest can turn the tide against education attacks

Eleanor Morley Australia tails the US in everything from culture to war. Think of reality TV, fast fashion and the Middle East. Over the past few years, the Coalition government has been trying to import another well-known (and much hated) aspect of US society – its debt-fuelled, class-divided higher edu...CONTINUE READING

A federal budget for business, as usual

Ben Hillier Don’t believe the hype about a volte-face. It’s business as usual for the federal Liberal government – under the latest three-word slogan, “security, opportunity, fairness”. The government remains politically constrained after the 2014 overreach, as evidenced by its new-found love of “good...CONTINUE READING

Students take to the streets (and the hotels and press clubs)

Within days of the government announcing its raft of new attacks on higher education, students were striking back with protest actions targeting politicians in the lead-up to the budget. On 1 May, education minister Simon Birmingham met with vice-chancellors at the five-star Hotel Realm in...CONTINUE READING

INTERVIEW: Fairfax journos turn resignation into anger

Did people know about the chief executive’s $2.5 million bonus when the redundancies were announced? I’ve only just read that in the Australian , and that his pay packet is linked explicitly to the cost cutting program, which we’ve always known that it was; there is something in the annual...CONTINUE READING

Who knew the Liberals had such short memories?

Eleanor Morley It was only three years ago that the Liberals last tried to wage war on university students. Prime minister Tony Abbott and his weasel-faced education minister Christopher Pyne set out to deregulate university fees – a measure that was predicted to saddle students with as much as $100,000...CONTINUE READING

‘We’re aware of the risks’: striking Fairfax journo

Duncan Hart Workers at Fairfax newspapers started a week-long strike on 3 May. The decision to walk out was taken in protest at Fairfax Media announcing the abolition of 125 full time equivalent positions across the newspaper network, roughly one-quarter of all newsroom staff. The announcement is the...CONTINUE READING

Liberals propose new higher education attacks – it’s time for students to take to the streets again

Sarah Garnham Students are facing yet another attack from the federal government. If the Liberals pass their latest education package, announced Monday by education minister Simon Birmingham, fees will be increased and higher education funding will be slashed. The government has proposed a 7.5 percent f...CONTINUE READING

Environment movement gears up for Adani fight

James Plested A coalition of environment groups has joined forces to launch a campaign against the construction of Indian company Adani’s proposed coal mine at Carmichael in Queensland. Once fully operational, the mine will be among the biggest in the world, with the potential annual carbon emissions fr...CONTINUE READING