The failure of service privatisation

Priya De The Australian Council of Social Service and Choice magazine recently commissioned a study into the effects of privatisation on “human services”. They found that, far from achieving efficiency, opening social services to the market has been disastrous. Surveying vocational education and training (VET) and employment services, the study reported that profit comes at the expense of service quality and accessi...CONTINUE READING

Morrison: bigot and loser

Lily Campbell Under the guise of freedom of speech, defending religious freedom and “letting kids be kids”, LGBTI people have faced an assault from recently anointed prime minister and homophobe in chief Scott Morrison. He went on 2GB radio earlier this month to gabber with cretin Alan Jones, discussing the supposedly “skin curling” Victorian high school program teaching students about “building respectful relationships”...CONTINUE READING

Workers rally against South Australian state budget

Daniel Neser The first Liberal government in South Australia for 16 years has delivered its inaugural state budget, and it’s filled with brutal cuts to public services. Treasurer Rob Lucas is eager to pick up where he left off. He’s infamous for privatising the electricity grid in 1999, a move that led to ballooning power prices, decrepit infrastructure and the energy crisis we’re dealing with today. His budget will sac...CONTINUE READING

Students protest against SA’s biggest Downer

Tom Auld The University of Adelaide’s decision to give former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer an honorary doctorate has been met with protest. On 11 September, Downer spoke to graduates at the university’s Bonython Hall, where a small contingent of protesters from the campus Disarm campaign were waiting. Downer was a leading figure in the government that sent troops to invade Iraq in 2003, and he played a...CONTINUE READING

Adelaide’s public space privatised

Tom Gilchrist The land surrounding Adelaide’s central grid has traditionally been public space. Wide green parklands surround most of the CBD, while along the northern edge are various public buildings: the hospital, parliament, library, art gallery, museum and two public universities. Over the last decades, the public nature of this space has been eroded. Skycity Casino now operates in the heritage-listed railway buildi...CONTINUE READING

Chelsea Manning’s case reveals the right’s hypocrisy

Jasmine Duff US whistle blower Chelsea Manning’s speaking tour has been thwarted by the Department of Home Affairs. And the political right, which complains endlessly about the curtailment of freedom of speech, has been noticeably silent. Manning was a US intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010, with reports and videos daily coming across her desk detailing the horrors of the United States’ war crimes in the country. She r...CONTINUE READING

Biloela children becoming sick from detention

The Tamil Refugee Council has condemned the ongoing detention of a Tamil family removed earlier this year from their home in Biloela, central Queensland, after a new medical report noted emerging behavioural problems in the children. The family – Priya, Nades and their infant daughters Kopiga, 3, and Tharnicca (Dharuniga), 14 months – has been held in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation, Broadmeadow...CONTINUE READING

Australian activists sing in solidarity with East Timor

Allen Myers A combined Union and Solidarity Choir from NSW, ACT and Victoria on 4 September concluded a nine-day singing visit to Timor-Leste. Most of the choir members have been activists in the solidarity movement with Timor-Leste, some of them going back to before the Indonesian invasion and occupation in late 1975. Since the restoration of the country’s independence with the withdrawal of Indonesian troops in 1999,...CONTINUE READING

Far right terrorism in Perth

Ben Fowler On 26 August, the Al-Taqwa Masjid mosque in the Perth suburb of Mirrabooka, where more than 2,000 Muslims regularly come to pray, was firebombed using improvised explosives. While fortunately nobody was hurt, the mosque suffered up to $250,000 worth of damage. Had a church been firebombed by Muslims, the city would have been in lockdown and a state of hysteria declared. In this case, the arson squad has yet...CONTINUE READING