Anger as Sydney buses face privatisation

Maddie Powell The number of state-run public bus regions in New South Wales is set to reduce to just three in July, following transport minister Andrew Constance’s announcement that inner west bus services will be sold to Transit Systems. He boasted that the news marked “a great day for people who travel by bus”. Constance should tell that to the 1,200 State Transit Authority drivers whose jobs, according to the Sydney M...CONTINUE READING

Evictions rise, yet Vic government sells public housing

Dino Varrasso The number of evictions in Victoria has risen dramatically in the past four years – from almost 18,000 in 2012 to more than 43,000 in the 2016-17 financial year. The reason is straightforward: as banks and property developers make astronomical profits from skyrocketing housing prices and rents, Victorians are being priced out of the housing market. Average wages increased 75 percent between 2001 and 2016. B...CONTINUE READING

End of an era as last public housing tenant evicted from Sydney’s Sirius building

Eleanor Morley Last month the lights were finally switched off for Myra Demetriou, the last remaining resident of inner-city Sydney’s Sirius building. Sirius was once home to more than 100 residents in 79 units, but now the last remnants of affordable public housing in the city are to be sold to developers. In 2014, then premier Mike Baird announced the impending closure of the building – an iconic brutalist complex perch...CONTINUE READING

Manus refugees still suffering

Reeshan Zakiyya Behrouz Boochani, a journalist and detainee in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island detention centre, says the conditions for refugees are worse than ever. Last year, the men were beaten with iron bars and bussed to three newly constructed detention camps in the eastern part of Lorengau, the main town on the island. Four hundred people were squeezed into facilities with a capacity of 280. For two nights, 57 men...CONTINUE READING

‘A deadly day’ in Melbourne as tide turns on Invasion Day

Viktoria Ivanova The tide has turned. January 26 is becoming established as Invasion Day. Tens of thousands marched in Melbourne, 15,000 in Sydney and up to 10,000 in Brisbane to support Indigenous rights. “Let’s have a deadly day!”, Wurundjeri man Bill Nicholson said, ending his welcome to country and kicking off the rally in Melbourne. “I haven’t seen a crowd like this since the 1970s”, said Gary Foley. The turnout was a...CONTINUE READING

Fascists frolic on the foreshore

Ben Hillier Nothing says Australia Day like army trucks towing cannon down St Kilda Road and a few haggard RAAF Roulettes manoeuvring over the CBD. After all, colonisation began with a small military garrison asserting itself in Port Jackson. It’s always a curious event, in part because confusion surrounds the celebration’s meaning. Independence Day in the US is clear: the 4 July declaration of 1776. Here, Australia Da...CONTINUE READING

Vic Labor sees ‘dollars, not people’ in public housing sell-off plan

Steph Price The Victorian Labor government continues to face resistance to its plan to sell large plots of public land across Melbourne. The land has been used for many decades for public housing and, in at least one case, was given to the state specifically for that purpose. Under the plan, public housing on 11 inner city estates will be demolished and the land cleared to make way for private developments. The governm...CONTINUE READING

Prison population continues to grow

Incarceration rates are soaring across the country, despite official crime rates falling. Over the last five years, the number of people in custody has jumped 40 percent, from 29,000 to 41,000. The law and order campaigning and moral panics in recent years have been felt on two fronts. First, tighter restrictions on bail have led to an almost doubling of the unsentenced prisoner population, from fewer than...CONTINUE READING

Sudanese youth: over-represented or over-policed?

Viktoria Ivanova Countless articles, with “African gangs” or similar in their headlines, state that Victoria’s Sudanese population is over-represented in crime statistics. According to the latest data by Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency (CSA), Sudanese-born migrants make up 0.1 percent of the general population but account for 1.4 percent of alleged offenders. We should be cautious about these numbers. The CSA relies sole...CONTINUE READING