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Free speech not so free at NDU

In August members of the Socialist Alliance group at Notre Dame University raised with me the refusal of the university to let them register their club. They pointed out that Liberal and Labor clubs had been allowed to register but when they raised this with the administration they were told NDU was reviewing its rules for club registration and that these clubs may be disallowed as well.

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The boom, training, 457 visas and migration to Australia

Socialist Alliance member on the Fremantle City Council, Sam Wainwright discusses the "boom", 457 visas, training and migration to Australia.

Read Sam's articles in Green Left Weekly.

More videos from Green Left TV.

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What boom? Training for youth and dignity for migrant workers, not visa rorts

Who really runs this country? The announcement by the federal government that it has struck its first Enterprise Migration Agreement with the world's richest woman Gina Rinehart reveals just how eager our governments are to serve the mining millionaires.

Youth unemployment in Kwinana is at 26.4%. So why a skills shortage?

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Time to put Qantas back in public hands

If you speak out against the widening gap between wages and CEOs’ salaries, the corporate media will accuse you of stoking the “politics of envy”. Workers who dare take industrial action to get a few more crumbs from the bosses’ table are cast as class war dinosaurs.

The Occupy protesters? We’re told they are naive rebels without a clue. But the Qantas lock-out proves otherwise.

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Rail in the Wheatbelt: Why Freo should care

The determination of the WA state government and Transport Minister Troy Buswell to close over 720 kilometres of so-called Tier 3 railway lines in the state's Wheatbelt has put it on a collision course with grain farming communities and threatens to unleash a vast increase in heavy truck traffic and all the problems that go with it.

The lines threatened with closure transport over 92% of grain from the areas they serve to port. This ranges between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes every season. If this task is converted to road, it will generate between 57,000 and 86,000 extra truck movements per year.

This debacle has its origins in the privatisation WA's railways in 2000 by the Liberal Government of Richard Court, in which current Premier Colin Barnett was a minister.

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News Ltd wages war on local council for supporting Palestinian human rights

Last year the Marrickville Council in inner-city Sydney passed a policy resolution in support of the non-violent struggle of the Palestinian people for their human rights. Since then The Australian and other News Limited media outlets have gone into a hysterical frenzy, accusing the councillors of being dangerous naive anti-Semitic extremists. Actually they're just ordinary community members; some of whom are in the ALP, some in the Greens and some who have no political affiliations.

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20 Years of Green Left Weekly

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Sam's speech at rally for democracy in Egypt

Rally in support of the Egyptian revolution, outside Wesley Church, Perth, 5 February 2011. Organised by the Egyptian Community in Perth.

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Stolen Wealth: How Africa feeds Australia

In early November I attended the Wesfarmers AGM at the Perth Convention Centre. Yes that Wesfarmers, the one that owns Coles, Bunnings, Officeworks, coal mines and plenty more. Not my usual sort of haunt, but I was there holding proxy votes for members of the Australia Western Sahara Association.

Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1975 when Morocco invaded the country before a vote of self-determination could be held. This occupation is not recognised by the UN or international law. Yet Morocco has been aided and abetted by Spain, the USA and particularly France ever since. It's much like the bi-partisan support for the Indonesian occupation of East Timor by our government for nearly twenty-five years.

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We should value our local government workers

Fremantle Council is grappling with the rights and conditions of the workers who it expects to implement the city’s projects. I’ve proposed a policy called “Employment Values for the City of Fremantle”. For supporters of workers’ rights, the policy is straightforward and modest.

It seeks to entrench the following principles:

1. Respecting the right of workers to union organisation and representation.
2. Limiting the use of fixed-term contracts and creating a guaranteed path to permanency.
3. Remunerating employees on the basis of equal pay and conditions for work of equal value.
4. Being a leader in “family friendly” leave and other work arrangements.
5. Placing the city in the top third of WA local governments in pay and conditions.

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