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Issue #1735      June 15, 2016


No matter how often you’ll repeat “jobs and growth” in the election campaign, it won’t produce a single job. While we are hearing about some jobs magically appearing in the future, the reality is very different. The Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union was devastated to learn recently that Inghams plans to shut down its poultry processing operations in Cardiff. This will put 350 locals out of work. An international private equity firm TPG Capital bought Ingham Enterprises in 2013 for $880 million. Since then it has been selling off various parts of the portfolio to other equity firms and investment companies. “This is a disgusting, stone-hearted act by an unspeakably wealthy private equity firm who don’t care one bit for the local families and the local communities that they are destroying,” said AMIEU Newcastle and Northern NSW secretary Grant Courtney.

With Tony Abbott gone, it is left to Barnaby Joyce to firmly place his foot in his mouth. One of his latest contributions to diplomacy was to link refugee boat arrivals to Australia’s ban on live cattle shipments to Indonesia. Live cattle exports were suspended in 2011 after ABC’s Four Corners exposed shockingly brutal animal abuse. Joyce seems to suggest that because of the live cattle export ban Indonesia unleashed refugee-carrying boats in response.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has examined environmental policies of the main parties and given the Coalition an overall score of 11 percent on its election agenda. That compared to 53 percent for Labor and 77 percent for the Greens. “It’s possibly one of the worst governments we’ve ever seen in Australia’s history on the environment,” ACF chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said. The Coalition was marked down for its support of coal and uranium mining, lesser targets on pollution and clean energy and its unwillingness to expand regulation over major projects. The ACF scorecard was based on 40 indicators across 10 areas of activity on its 2016 National Agenda. The scorecard came as both major parties pledged more money to protect the Great Barrier Reef which is in peril.

“Girls can do anything and in particular they can do engineering,” said self-declared feminist Malcolm Turnbull at an event in Melbourne celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing. He must have been asleep for decades – “girls” know they can do anything. What they want is for the “boys” like Turnbull not to cut down funding for science, technology and engineering as is being done now. A pretty lame attempt to go for female votes.

Next article – Culture & Life – Trump and Monsanto

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