Aussie politics update

Latest report from the fascist state of Australia.

Last night they banned compulsory student unionism. That’s right, banned it. No giving students the option or anything, just an outright ban. I think it’s absolutely outright fucking outrageous, and I’m amazed the students of Australia haven’t been more outraged by it all.

The other piece of enlightened Australian news is that some federal government consultants just put out a report on the Aboriginal Tent Embassy that’s been outside parliament in Canberra for the last 33 years. They have decided that the Embassy should move on and they’re going to put a visitor information and education centre there instead. Deb Foskey from the Greens put it best:

“The living conditions of Indigenous people still trail so far behind those of other Australians; and Canberra people and visitors alike need to be reminded of the work still to be done” Dr Foskey said today.”This is a federal government which cannot tolerate living reminders of the inequalities in our society, even though it is increasing them.”

“The idea is that there will be an education centre there in place of the living Embassy. This is clearly a step towards a bureaucratised and sanitised centre that will allow residents and tourists alike to pretend that the struggle of Indigenous people in this country is a thing of the past.”

“It is a tragedy that Indigenous people need an Embassy in their own land – but until their human rights and entitlement to land are recognised, they do.”

I was thinking about heading to Canberra soon with some of the Black GST crew to do some filming and I think now might just be a better time than ever.

Finally, some Tasmanian news (I’m in Hobart at the moment).. One of the big international paper pulp companies has announced that they want to start bringing in three carriage trucks to get logs etc around the island because the train infrastructure is a bit fucked. This will require changes in legislation, and about $200 million in road upgrades. Even the head of the local Chamber of Commerce saw the blatant stupidity in this idea. He said what’s the point in spending all that money and time when for the cost of about $80 you could just fix up the rail infrastructure. Well, yeah. If the local business people get it, let’s hope the politicians do.

But they’re all a bit wack down here. The Greens have about a 20% support rate here but they are demonised way more than I’ve seen anywhere else. I was at a Green function last night and someone told me that they heard someone on the radio say that the Green Party has stopped people talking to their neighbours. Well, naturally, the Green Party having this maajor objection to the concept of community and all… But yeah it’s mad. There’s small towns here that won’t serve you in any of the shops if you look remotely like a hippy. Bizarre.

So I’m in Hobart until Wednesday. It’s very pretty and I’m thinking about moving here, looking for jobs this afternoon! I’ll put some pics and video up on the film site later.

xox

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4 responses to “Aussie politics update

  1. Last night they banned compulsory student unionism. That’s right, banned it. No giving students the option or anything, just an outright ban.

    Um, thats the whole idea. You know, give students a choice whether to join or not.

  2. Deb Foskey from the Greens put it best:”The living conditions of Indigenous people still trail so far behind those of other Australians; and Canberra people and visitors alike need to be reminded of the work still to be done” Dr Foskey said today.

    Vanstones suggestion that hundreds of remote outposts are not viable and shouldnt be subsidized is a good start. Time for some “reality based, progressive” thinking here.

  3. anon 1: that’s not the choice I was talking about. Students should have the choice if they want a collective voice and services or not. VSU means that some services that are supplied by student unions such as discount/free medical care etc vanish and someone has to pick up the bill, usually students. The thing that I experienced during VSU and CSU was that a lot of students who claimed never to use student union funded services discovered that they in fact did when it came to paying for them under VSU. In fact some services you couldn’t pay for them, you just lost them.

    In Aotearoa all of the student unions that went voluntary have gone back to compulsory bar one. And most students on those campuses who have been enrolled under both regimes prefer compulsory.

  4. anon 2: I don’t know your reference, could you please email me more information? kakarikioteao@nospambro!gmail.com

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