Monthly Archives: July 2015


Foco Nuevo in August

Foco Nuevo in August 7th August, 2015 8.00 pm Kurilpa Hall 174 Boundary Street, West End (map) After such a wonderful July event, which was packed out (and one of our biggest crowds ever) we’re very much looking forward to … Continue reading

Ten dollar poetry

Shame on the mouth that would deny 
the knotted hands that set us high
                   - Mary Gilmore

“no foe shall gather our harvest, or sit on our stockyard rail” – quote from Mary Gilmore (pictured on $10 note)


Robert Graves once said “there’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money either”. I think that, like the best poetry, there’s a lot of truth in this quote, but one institution that seems determined to prove it wrong is the Australian mint.

When I was a kid, the nearby town of Gulgong announced with pride on signs at the edges of town that the main street was featured on the old paper ten dollar note alongside a portrait of local poet Henry Lawson. With the change to plastic notes in 1993, both Henry and Gulgong were ditched (those signs are still there, mind you) but replaced with two more poets – Banjo Paterson and Henry’s one-time lover Mary Gilmore.

I appreciate that there’s room for something as fiscally unproductive as poetry (Lawson in particular died broke after a lifetime of alcoholism and interpersonal conflicts) on our national currency…

View original post 1,610 more words


Media Watch: does the Courier Mail have an agenda?

Last week it was reported that Joe Hockey told a meeting of tax accountants that it is desirable to reduce the top marginal rate of income tax, currently 47% (including Medicare levy) citing the New Zealand rate of 33% with apparent approval. The G.S.T. rate in New Zealand is 15%. Continue reading

Adani Mine – a train wreck?

[Publisher’s Note: The new Labor government in Queensland is making some big mistakes early, here is one of them. This article is by Michael West of Fairfax, formerly writer of Margin Call in the Australian. One aspect not mentioned in the article is that Adani can’t claim that there lots of new jobs at the Carmichael mine. Sean Ryan (Environmental Defenders Office) said there would be 1,464 jobs on offer if the Carmichel mine project goes ahead not the 10,000 promised by Adani  – Legal Defence of the Environment (Paradigm Shift 24 July 2015)]

Adani shown the door by traditional owners

adani mineAdani’s Carmichael project has Treasury officials perplexed, traditional owners incensed, environmentalists upset and yet Queensland Labor remains a cheerleader.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people gathered two weeks ago at a convention centre in Carseldine north of Brisbane.

They were there to vote on a proposal to make sure those responsible for their native title claim were truly representative of the Wangan and Jagalingou people. These are the traditional owners of the land in the Galilee Basin, precisely where Indian company Adani aims to build Australia’s biggest coal mine, the controversial $16 billion Carmichael project.

Twice in three years, the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) had rejected Adani’s advances to sign a land deal for the mine, and twice Adani had dragged them off to the Native Title Tribunal and sought approval for the state to override their opposition to the mine.

It was just after 9am on Saturday, June 20, when two charter buses turned up at the Tavernetta Function Centre in Carseldine. Adani had bussed in 150 people in a sly bid to force consideration of a new memorandum of understanding they claimed to have with W&J, despite the previous ‘no vote’ from W&J. It was an Adani ambush, and it must have cost a fortune: three days of food, accommodation and transport for 150 people.

“We saw the buses turn up and we were wondering what was going on,” says traditional owner and W&J lead spokesman Adrian Burragubba.

“They tried to organise their own meeting after ours in order to get the people to agree to their MoU – a kind of tricked ILUA [Indigenous Land Use Agreement] when they knew they didn’t have one. Right now we’re in the Federal Court precisely because we refused an ILUA and they have tried to override us.”

But Adani’s cunning stunt backfired. They hadn’t counted on their 150 voters changing their minds after impassioned speeches from the likes of Burragubba. W&J tribal elders are deeply concerned about the effect of the mine on their cultural heritage and the risks it poses to water and wildlife.

By the end of the day, Adani’s reps had been asked to leave the meeting. Of the W&J’s 12 “new applicants”, or claim representatives, at least seven were against Adani, despite all the money flying about to skew the vote, and three were in favour. The views of the other two appear in the balance.

Burragubba says Adani has been engaging in tactical skulduggery for years, excluding him from meetings as he represented families which were not in favour of Carmichael.

“They claimed I was disruptive,” he told Fairfax Media.

“But they need all applicants in a meeting to do a deal. So there cannot possibly be a legally binding agreement.

“Adani has been conniving with these other two people [other Indigenous applicants] to try to get an agreement and undermine the Native Title process and our right to free prior informed consent.”

Before the showdown at the Carseldine convention centre, Adani had co-opted two of the W&J applicants, also directors of the trustee for the W&J’s Cato Galilee Trust.

Adani failed to respond to questions on Friday as to its arrangements with Cato Galilee and with the W&J applicants.

Its latest public missive on the subject came three days before the W&J meeting: “Adani deepens partnership with Traditional Owners.”

As far as W&J are concerned nothing could be further from the mark. While Adani has signed up ILUAs with other Indigenous groups – the Juru, Birriah and Jangga Aboriginal people – whose land lies either on the rail corridors from the Galilee or on the coast at Abbot Point where the coal is to be shipped to India, there is only a draft memorandum of understanding intended for the W&J, and one which is not representative of the majority of families at that.

It is getting messy. W&J now has a claim before the Federal Court alleging Adani misled the W&J people. The Native Title Tribunal and the state of Queensland are also listed as defendants for failing to properly follow process.

So here we have a deal which is no only an utter white elephant on a financial basis but which does not have consent from the traditional landowners in the Galilee Basin. They say the mine will destroy their land, yet the Labor government of Queensland came out this week in ardent support of it.

We welcome the “sustainable development of the Galilee Basin”, was the line from Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Wednesday, notwithstanding revelations in Fairfax Media the day before that Queensland Treasury thought the project unbankable.

There is zero chance of “sustainable development”. Adani’s own financial modelling assumes coal prices have to double for the project to make money.

As one incredulous hedge fund source pondered this week: “Peabody does 36 million tonnes per annum and they’d take $2 billion any day of the week … what am I missing here? Money laundering?”

By week’s end the Peabody reference was even more poignant. Here was the US coal giant, with huge mining operations in Australia, desperately fending off its creditors.

Its share price sank another 20 per cent this week, hitting a record low and a market cap of $US520 million ($680 million). It is down 40 per cent for the month, is carrying $US5.5 billion in debt and is on the hook for nearly $1 billion in mining rehabilitation costs in Australia alone.

If Adani had the remotest interest in sane investment and value creation for its shareholders, why would it not just bid for Peabody’s mines?: buy immediate cash flow, eliminate project risk, and get higher quality coal at a fraction of the price.

In fact, the value equation is 10 per cent less tonnage for four times the price. Adani’s plan is to build a 32 million tonne per annum mine, stage one (versus Peabody’s production of 36 million tpa).

They still need to spend $3.5 billion to build the mine, then another $3.5 billion to build the rail line and then $3 billion for the port expansion.

This is far too sensible for Adani and the government of Queensland, who prefer to pursue a project with no prospect of success, unless the coal price miraculously doubles, and with enormous environmental risk in the face of trenchant community opposition.

Even if it did succeed, against all logic, the job creation would be less than one-fifth what Adani claims; that is, 1400 versus Adani’s ambit claim of 10,000. And if it did ever make money, thanks to the structure of Adani Mining any profits would wend their way via Singapore to Mauritius.

Queensland, the Peabody share price is telling you something, you are riding a white elephant with wings way above a magical landscape of dreams.

Michael West


The 17 Group: Out of the Sandstone and into the Streets …


Day of Action to defend West End from Developers

This gallery contains 1 photos.

I thought you might be interested in signing this e petition called ‘Objection to development application at 93 Boundary Street, West End’. You can find the epetition at This developer is proposing 25 storeys right in the heart of … Continue reading


Unions and Community rally against imperialist ‘Free Trade’ deals

On 24 July, more than 300 unionists and community members attended an enthusiastic rally outside the Labor Party National Conference in Melbourne to oppose the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The rally was … Continue reading

#TURC The law as the disorganiser of labour

“Whilst there is an attempt by some to associate Lomax with Halafihi Kivalu an ex-CFMEU official who is accused of acting corruptly for personal benefit and has subsequently been expelled from the CFMEU this seems to be nothing more than a simple smear (CFMEU 2015b). “

The Word From Struggle Street

Construction workers march in the city centre in Melbourne, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The CFMEU today marched on Grocon sites calling for improved safety. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING Construction workers march in the city centre in Melbourne, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The CFMEU today marched on Grocon sites calling for improved safety. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING

John Lomax, a CFMEU official, has been charged with blackmail. The CFMEU reports that ‘Mr Lomax was told by police that he was accused of forcing an employer to enter into an EBA and that as a result the employer suffered financial loss due to paying workers higher wages’ (CFMEU 2015a). Lomax has not yet appeared before the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption however ‘ACT police said his arrest was “in relation to the Canberra hearings” of the royal commission’(2015). Whilst there is an attempt by some to associate Lomax with Halafihi Kivalu an ex-CFMEU official who is accused of acting corruptly for personal benefit and has subsequently been expelled from the CFMEU this…

View original post 1,435 more words

Bolivar – the Liberator

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) invites you to the premiere of:


(EL LIBERTADOR – Venezuelan film)
to celebrate Latin America’s Unity
Free event

Sunday 16 August 2015, 3:00 pm
The New Globe Theatre
220 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
(a few doors down from Railway station)

You are invited to some nibbles and a complimentary glass of champagne
Book your seat by visiting: Eventbrite

For more information phone:
Margaret: 0439 411 330 I
Eulalia: 0424 364 588

Sponsored by the Embassy of Venezuela in Australia


Unions oppose China Free Trade Agreement

What is ChAFTA? The China-Australia free trade agreement is a wide-ranging agreement between Australia and China that was negotiated in secret without public or parliamentary input. It gives Chinese companies preferential treatment in Australia. Some clauses contained within the agreement … Continue reading


Avalanche of events redefining the balance of power in the Middle East

How prescient was Sharmine Narwani when she wrote “Security Arc” forms amidst Mideast terror in December 2013! Now in mid-2015 what she described is developing before our eyes: “… the Russian-brokered destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, a US-Iranian rapprochement, the … Continue reading

Legal Defence of the Environment

Paradigm Shift

[Paradigm Shift broadcast 24 July 2015 on 4 triple z (FM 102.1 Fridays at noon)].

Today’s show was about using the law to defend the environment.

Andy, Merret (sp?) and Ian discussed this issue.restreamer

The show began with Andy interviewing Sean Ryan from the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). Sean spoke about Legal remedies regarding the coal mines in Queensland contribution to Climate Change.

Specifically Sean spoke about the Wandoan coal mine; the Alpha coal mine that is being mined by Hancock coal; and about the Adani’s  Carmichael mine owned by Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.
They briefly discussed New Hope’s plans to expand Acland mine on the Darling Downs.

Sean commended the Queensland Government on its reinstatement of the right of the community to object on the basis of environmental impacts.

Andy and Sean discussed an environmental group called “Agenda”. This group, based in the Netherlands,  sued the Dutch government…

View original post 483 more words


Posts from The Arab Daily News for July 2015

The Arab Daily NewsOriginal news & features on Arab Americans Middle East Christians get training to reinforce faith By Managing Editor on Jul 22, 2015 10:53 pm The Ecumenical Institute for the Middle East will launch a new program to … Continue reading


Appeal to free Ross fails

The ladder of law has no top and no bottom – Bob Dylan ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ At a late hearing in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, 22 July 2015, Mr Justice Morrison dismissed an appeal to … Continue reading

Cop shows support for racist


Turnback policy is pandering to the politics of fear

This gallery contains 1 photos.

22 July 2015 Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles are pandering to the politics of fear by supporting the forced turnbacks of asylum seeker boats, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says. “The Australian Labor Party, … Continue reading


Workers oppose Free Trade Agreements

TPP & ChAFTA RALLY @ ALP NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL YOU STAND WITH OUR UNIONS AND COMMUNITY? Friday 24 July, 8am – 9.30am, Melbourne Convention Centre Organised by TPP-Unions and Community Roundtable Coalition; and ETU, CFMEU, TWU, AMWU, TCFUA, MUA, AWU. … Continue reading

Benefit Concert fot Gaza

Benefit Concert for Gaza
Middle Eastern Dinner
7 pm Saturday the 29th of August 2015
Kurilpa Hall 174 Boundary St, West End.
Featuring: The Firedrakes, Phil Monsour, Al Zayton Palestinian Dabke Troupe.
$25/$20con (Children Free) Ticket includes dinner.
Bookings essential for catering – Please email
Facebook Event:
All proceeds to relief efforts in the besieged Gaza strip through Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA’s
Gaza Emergency Appeal.

Al Zayton share the Palestinian Folk Dabke dance through performances both traditional & contemporary
Phil Monsour Singer songwriter and activist.
The Firedrakes a duo from Brisbane, who play Middle Eastern inspired folk music.
For more information


Don’t push back Viet boat: – Vietnamese Community speak

This gallery contains 1 photos.

VOICE Australia calls on the Australian government to process Vietnamese asylum seekers on the Australian mainland, and especially NOT to push back boats from Vietnam. No Vietnamese has ever come to Australia by boat as a joy ride, all did … Continue reading

Wicked Picket on Saturday 25 July 2015

Make the Link: Wicked Campervan slogans denigrate women and encourage rape culture. They incite violence against women and trivialise the murder of women. We call on the Qld Govt to outlaw vilification on the ground of sex.

Saturday 25 July 2015
at 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Reddacliff Place

6 Queen St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4000

Our rally speakers include: Paula Orbea, the Sydney woman who last year initiated the 127,000 strong petition calling on Wicked Campers to stop denigrating women and girls; Betty Taylor, women’s rights activist of more than 25 years and founding member of the Qld Domestic Violence Death Review Action Group; Adela Brent from Australian Solidarity with Latin America; and Jennifer Howard, Ipswich MLA. Entertainment will be provided by Jumping Fences and Tikal. Be there if you care.


Gulf War: Reflection on Unions, Punks, Pilgrims, Peace and Protest

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I do remember a particular day when we marched (in thousands) to Albert Park in 1991 to protest against the Gulf War after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The march was led by Cheryl Kernot, later leader of the Australian Democrats, and later shadow minister in the Labor opposition in 1998. The march was not as big as in 2003 but it was sizeable considering the nature of Australian involvement and that there was a Labor government at both state and federal levels. Continue reading


Young Labour History Symposium

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Talisman Sabre 2015

[Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 17 Jul 2015, fridays at noon]

The Talisman Sabre joint military exercises are now into their 10th year of training for interoperability between the Australian and US military. This year a total of 27 000 troops took part, including 18 000 US soldiers and a handful of Japanese. The exercises in the northern territory and central qld also attracted a small but dedicated group of peace activists, 18 of whom were arrested trespassing on the shoalwater bay base during the war games. Andy spoke to Margaret Pestorius, Lucy Allan, AJ Van Tonder and Sam Quinlan about the peace convergence and about taking direct action against war.

USS Blue Ridge is the flagship of the 7th fleet which was born in Brisbane during World War II during the battle of the Coral Sea. At that time, US General MacArthur decided to draw a line through Brisbane and give the northern part of Australia up to Japanese imperial forces.

It was called the Brisbane Line.

At that time a family member told me that, as a boy, from his back steps in Camp Hill, he saw ambulance after ambulance carrying wounded soldiers from the battle of the Coral Sea. This sad spectacle continued throughout the day along Old Cleveland Road to the US military hospital at Carina. It planted a life long memory in Elice who died only recently.

It was only 50 years ago that the US took Australia into its longest war in Indo-China during the 1960s and 70s. A war that killed millions of Vietnamese people.

It seems the war as never ended for the warmongers, the US wishes to use Australia to protect its strategic interests in the Pacific and South China Sea after conducting murderous wars of aggression in the middle east over the past 10 years. It has a new base in Darwin and runs exercises in Queensland with uncritical support from Queensland hob nobs, Governor Paul de Jersey and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, who were on-board the command ship of the US Navy’s seventh fleet as it sailed under the Gateway Bridge before docking at Hamilton.

As part of a PR campaign, some of the 170 officers and 800 enlisted men and women will spend the next few days visiting schools and hospitals across Brisbane.

For mine, US troops and bases out!

But what of China? No to capitalist China.

And a truly independent Australia in the Pacific and Indian Oceans is the way forward …

Andy Paine & Ian Curr
July, 2015



USS Blue Ridge flagship of the 7th fleet

Sister Rosetta Tharpe sings ‘Didn’t it rain’
Jumping Fences ‘Candile de Nieve’


Reef Defenders – from Pit to Port

Juru and Birri Traditional Owners, whose lands are covered by Adani’s planned projects, have traveled with Reef town locals down to Brisbane, to visit Adani’s HQ. They are delivering pledges from 1000s of Australians, who have all pledged to take part in peaceful civil disobedience to stop the Galilee Basin mega coal mines.

Pledge to become a Reef Defender and participate in dignified, peaceful civil disobedience to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the climate by stopping the financing and construction of Abbot Point coal port and the associated rail and coal mines in the Galilee Basin. It’s time to show our leaders that we won’t accept the fossil fuel industry trampling the rights, safety and future of all Australians.

Pledge on our website here:

The Adani mining company received more than 2,000 handwritten messages this morning and a pack of protesters yesterday in opposition to its plans for coal mining projects in Queensland (image source: Facebook: Reef Defenders – from Pit to Port)

Starting in local news ….

Adani mining company receives more than 2,000 handwritten protest letters

The Adani mining company received more than 2,000 handwritten messages this morning in opposition to its plans for coal mining projects in Queensland.

In coordination with the messages, more than 150 protesters briefly occupied the steps to the Indian company’s Brisbane CBD office to speak out against the projects planned for the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point.

The messages were delivered by Aboriginal elder Carol Prior who says peaceful protest is the most effective way for the message to get across.

“Rather than going in screaming and yelling it’s best to sit down and talk in a civil tone and act like human beings,” says Prior. She added that the mines would devastate the environment and destroy sacred Indigenous sites.

Source: 4ZZZ Zedlines


Queensland: Robbin’ Peter to pay Paul?

This gallery contains 2 photos.

You can’t make figs blossom and fruit on barren trees – Ernie Lane in Dawn to Dusk, reminiscences of a rebel Annastacia Palaszczuk, on her first overseas trip as Queensland Premier, took a delegation of Queensland business leaders to the … Continue reading


Unemployment Union response to ‘Job Search’ fines

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Australian Unemployment Union – Brisbane Br… Saturday at 1:00pm 18 July 2015 Meeting to discuss “Fight the Fine” protest for next week. Meeting Room 4.A at State Library of Queensland.


Forget the ‘war on smuggling’, we need to be helping refugees in need

This gallery contains 2 photos.

A MUST READ article “The crisis in the Mediterranean, which has led to more than 1,700 deaths already this year, has evoked an immediate response from European political leaders. Yet the EU response fundamentally and wilfully misunderstands the underlying causes. … Continue reading

Pay the Rent!

If we are to survive, let alone feel at home, 
we must begin to understand our country. 
If we succeed, one day we might become Australian. 
                              - Bill Gammage
Pay the Rent

“You Are On Aboriginal Land”, 1981. Poster production in support of Mimi Aboriginal Arts and Crafts, PO Box 318, Katherine, NT, 5780, Australia.

You are on Aboriginal Land

Pay the Rent‘ is a political demand for land rights over property never ceded.

Aboriginal society has very careful rules about the ownership of land – there are distinct property rights held by clans and tribes and this has been worked out over many thousands of years.

The establishment of property rights is a feature of human society generally, these are the rules whereby land was acquired with the spread of human society out of Africa. It defines human civilisation.

Aboriginal cave paintings depict people coming by boat to Australia.  From that time a sophisticated process of land acquisition developed. Aboriginal management of the land on this continent survived an ice age, megafauna and beyond.

Archie Roach said it very well in Musgrave Park during the 2015 NAIDOC concert yesterday:

“People do not realise the ground they walk on here, we must tread softly on this place and be gentle with it cos we don’t know what has come before. We must respect the land because we come from it.”

Another, Adrian Burragubba is curently fighting to protect the land of the Wangan Jagalingou people from Indian coal company Adani. Adrian told me he and his family have moved back Clermont in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin to protect the land and particularly the water from the ravages of coal mining.

Adrian said:  “We want to link up with the pastoralists to defend the land against the coal miners.” So the Wangan Jagalingou people are prepared to form an alliance with pastoralists whose predecessors took their land in order to defend it against transnational businesses like Adani.

So sacred is the land. It has always been thus.

My neighbour, Cosimo, quotes his father, a peasant farmer from Calabria:

“ If you do not eat the earth, the earth will eat you.”

Thus describing the importance of land to our survival.

The core dispute between the colonisers and the aboriginal people is about how property was acquired from the original owners, the tribes and clans that walked this earth for thousands of years.

When Captain Logan came to Brisbane and squatted with his troops and convicts on the south bank of the Brisbane River they displaced the Jagera people from their land.

For thousands of years, the Jagera people celebrated the sunrise at Kangaroo Point, a special place. Last Sunday, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane can claim to celebrate the building of the Story Bridge from Kangaroo Point only 75 years ago.

In an instant Jagera were driven from their land by the British interlopers. They were pushed from their place onto the lands of others, Turrbul, Djindubari, Dalla, Manunjali, Gubbi, Undanbi and others.  They became refugees from their own country into the country of other tribes.

When Dundalee fought for land rights uniting the Dalla, Djindubari and other tribes together to fight Captain Logan and his troops that resistance was a recognition of the injustice that had been done to all by displacing people from their land without negotiation and without treaty.

The tribes never ceded the land despite the brutal hanging of Dundalee in Post Office Square in Brisbane city on 5 January 1855. But they did lose it. It is little wonder that to this day you hear ‘Pay the Rent’ from the descendants of these tribes.

‘Pay the Rent’ is used more broadly to apply to other things that are not property. For example it is incorrect to apply it to manufactured goods and devices that have come from the labour of workers using a variety of designs and raw materials. The term ‘Pay the Rent’ does not apply to the labour that produced commodities, that demand is for land rights not for commodities.

Commodities are the product of workers labour. Some of these workers are aboriginal people whose parents had their wages stolen. So the union movement on behalf of workers, recognizing this injustice, have demanded the repayment of stolen wages to aboriginal workers and their families.

The property system that did exist in this place, exists no more; yet injustice remains.

To resolve this matter requires a recognition of prior ownership and compensation for its loss providing an economic base for the survival of traditional owners.


View from Mistake Mountains. Photo: Ian Curr, 2004

Until the political process deals with that issue, there can be no progress from a colonized state to a society that shares its wealth with original owners and workers alike.

Ian Curr,
July 2015


Israel Will Invade Gaza Again — the Only Question Is How Soon

ONE YEAR ago today, Israel began its 51-day aerial and ground offensive against the besieged population of the Gaza Strip. During the military campaign, Israel concentrated the population into the center of the territory, thus exacerbating its severe density; sealed … Continue reading


Independent and Peaceful Australia Network Program

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Click on image to enlarge and print.