Category Archives: sustainable homes

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PShift: End to Country — Energy Policy in Queensland

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“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re heading” — IEA Energy Outlook, 2011 Over the past five years, the Queensland government has spent over $6.9 billion subsidising port, rail, road and other infrastructure for the benefit … Continue reading

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17 Group: 7th of March Meeting

This gallery contains 3 photos.

The March 2012 Meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 7th of March at 7pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St in West End on the topic of energy policy in relation to the Queensland … Continue reading

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BOOK LAUNCH: Solar Electricity Consumer Guide by Trevor Berrill

INVITATION to BOOK LAUNCH SOLAR ELECTRICITY CONSUMER GUIDE by TREVOR BERRILL Book launch speaker: John Grimes the CEO for Australia Solar Energy Society. Date & Time: 30th June 2pm Location: Osprey House, Brisbane Attendance: RSVP Marcus Cundy-Cooper on mailto:mscc%40whichenergy.com.au Advanced … Continue reading

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Greens promise to stop sand mining on Straddie

Will the Greens  stop sand mining on Straddie and restore the land to the Quandamooka people? During the federal election campaign Larissa Waters (elected as a QLD Senator) promised to stop the state government from allowing sand mining on North … Continue reading

Aside

Hi Everyone, Here’s a short video by the ETU, on behalf of Tommy Sebasio. Tommy, an Aboriginal electrician and key figure in his community of Bamaga, worked for Ergon Energy for 20 years, running the power and electricy network for … Continue reading

Aside

On 5 August 2010 the National Press Club hosted a debate about sustainable population in Australia. Neither the Minister for Population & Agriculture, Tony Burke (ALP), nor the shadow Minister Scott Morrison (Lib) made any mention of the original inhabitants … Continue reading

Brisbane Hiroshima Day Rally

Hiroshima Day
Peace Rally and March

1pm

Saturday 7th August

Brisbane Square – George Street
(top o’ Queen St Mall ) Brisbane

Welcome to Country
Music! Combined Unions Choir
Speakers: Darambal Elder – Aunty Jeanette Yow Yeh, a Member of Atomic Ex-servicemen’s Association

and film screening

“When the Dust Settles” a 37 mins DVD unmasking the hidden dangers behind uranium mines…
presented by Peter Simpson – Electrical Trades Union

During World War II, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were destroyed by atomic bombs dropped by the United States military on August 6 and August 9 respectively , killing at least 100,000 civilians outright and many more over time.

Hiroshima Day commemorates the victims and the survivors of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki sixty five years ago.

It is a day to remember the horrific legacy of nuclear armaments and the uranium industry that supplies the fuel for these weapons of mass destruction.

With an expanding uranium industry, a proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory, a “research” reactor that has been used for weapons – related research, and its role in the US military nuclear umbrella, Australia is supporting an ongoing nuclear arms race.

Australia must stop digging itself deeper in to the nuclear nightmare and become a beacon of global hope for peace by refusing to mine and export uranium.

For information contact 3855 9497 jshears28@yahoo. com.au
Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament Inc

Who is killing the Dead Sea?

Who is killing the Dead Sea

From where does change come?

“Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground” — from ‘Fire and Rain’ by James Taylor.

We were reminded yesterday that the Australian people do not choose the Australian Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd was elected as the member for Griffith by about 30 or 40 thousand people voting for him. The ALP won the 2007 election where Howard lost his own seat of Bennelong. It was the ALP parliamentary caucus that elected Kevin Rudd as leader of his party and then the Governor General (the Queens Representative) who made him Prime Minister. Similar machinations occur when the Liberal Party wins an election.

So why was Kevin Rudd, a former public servant in foreign affairs and in Qld government, sacked from the job of Prime Minister by his own party and replaced by Julia Gillard, a former industrial relations lawyer in the 1990s? Was it

A )  The Labor Government’s attempt to introduce a new Mining Tax?
B)   The failure of the house insulation scheme and the subsequent deaths of Australian Workers?
C )  The wastage of money in the building of school halls and libraries in the  ‘building education revolution’?
D )  The failure to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme to slow down Climate Change?
E )  Increased interest rates on home mortgages that are sending working people into more and more debt so that the government can prop up the banking system?
F )  All of the above?

The Left has spent a lot of time and resources to change the ‘Kevin Rudd’ Labor Party on Palestine, on the environment, on the stolen generations, on union rights, on workers wages and conditions, on refugees  — but all this becomes a high risk strategy in the world of parliamentary politics. There is even doubt that the the elected parliamentarians are in control of the process of reform. For example, much of the tax review was left in the hands of Ken Henry and his bureaucrats.

‘Electorialist’ politics deliver dubious outcomes for those who wish to bring about fundamental change.

Perhaps it was the mining companies that got rid of a Prime Minister? Indigenous people know that the mining companies control their land. Home owners know that banks increase interest rates. And workers know that the means of production is in the hands of the bosses. Big corporations run the country

Only workers who produce the benefits we enjoy can change the world for the better. That is if you accept that society is run on class lines.

With this in mind it is workers we should be speaking and organising with.

The Labor government votes for laws that discriminate against workers. It set up the Australian Building and Construction Commission that ignores serious breaches of workplace safety (i.e. the faulty installation of insulation batts in homes) yet attempts to prosecute rank and file unionists for calling for a OH&S committee on a construction site at Flinders University in South Australia [the case of Ark Tribe].

ACTU Congress in Brisbane (2009)

The current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, voted for these discriminatory laws that mean a worker can be jailed for refusing to dob in his union. So did Kevin Rudd [see Inside the ACTU].

A number of different responses by organised workers are possible:

1. Accept the IR legislation and the current system
This means seeking to reform the anti-union laws through parliament. This was tried with the Rudd government but failed. Now we are expected to accept Simon Crean as the replacement for Gillard. Crean is a former ACTU secretary who sold out the SEQEB workers in Qld by calling off a transport workers blockade against the Bjelke-Petersen government. Can we trust him during a recession not to use Industrial Relations laws against unionists like Ark Tribe?

2. Defy the laws in a piecemeal way

This is what the building unions have done with the Ark Tribe campaign. It has been effective in highlighting the nature of the ABCC but has resulted in activism confined to court wins (Noel Washington) with little change on the ground i.e. workers are still dying on construction and mining sites at the rate of one per week (says Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)  federal secretary, Dave Noonan).

3. Defy the laws in a concerted campaign

This strategy presupposes the only weapon that workers have to stop the government and employers’ attacks is their unions’ industrial power. It recognises that union power based on collective bargaining is stronger than organisation based on enterprise bargaining. How to go about this is outlined in courses of action

Please incude comments below on how the organised Left should respond to these immediate challenges.

Ian Curr
June 2010

References

Inside the ACTU

After the Waterfront – the workers are quiet – courses of action

Gillard accused of soft line on Tel Aviv


Dr Strangelove solves climate change

On 10 February 2010, Dr Tom Blees (an honorary doctorate), a former commercial fisherman ‘has given up fishin’ for fission’.

Tom Blees, standing over 2 metres tall, addressed an assortment of scientists, physics students and staff at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on how nuclear power is an answer to climate change.

The event was sponsored by a local group, ominously called ‘Safe Radiation’.

Former National Party senator for Queensland Bill O’Chee from the Australian Nuclear Association Inc gave the 50 or so guests (nearly all men) a hearty welcome saying that all he was qualified to do was to invite us to partake of refreshments in the foyer.

His speech reminds me of the Brave New World portrayed by Aldous Huxley: Continue reading

Sustainable Homes Program – Oct, 2009

Location:         69 Thomas St., West End

Dates/Time:     Saturday, 17 Oct, 9am to 3.30pm

Sunday, 18 Oct, 9am to 1pm

Cost: $120 per person (cash only)

tberrill@powerup.com.au

Ph. 07 3207 5077 or Mob 0400 177 283 Continue reading