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Issue #1760      December 7, 2016


Lots of promises are made before elections. One of the practices that makes voters see red is donations to political parties from big business and property developers which are rightly regarded as buying influence in case of a win. Pauline Hanson and her party promised voters they would shake up mainstream politics. Not quite, it turned out. They accepted nearly $70,000 in donations and in-kind support from a major property development company. “Despite claiming to stand up for marginalised Australians, One Nation is acting just like the other big parties who take money from property developers and big business instead of speaking for communities”, said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters. “This company has recently expanded into Brisbane where property developers already ride roughshod over the community and its director freely admits the donation was made to buy influence.” Political donations from property developers, gambling, alcohol and tobacco companies are banned in NSW but not nationally.

There are reports the NSW government is ready to hand bus services over to commercial operators which will lead to fewer bus stops, fewer buses and bus drivers, and longer journey times. Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s bus division, Chris Preston, said Sydney buses have been in public hands for almost 80 years and unions will fight to stop the NSW government from slashing bus services. “We call upon Mike Baird to rule out the privatisation of Sydney Buses. We are worried about the cuts in services, the cuts in wages and conditions of drivers who live in the most expensive city in Australia”, Preston said.

The mural which paid tribute to five Aboriginal activists was removed from Wayside Chapel in Bondi last week. Celebrating Social Justice for All Indigenous Australians was the inscription on the mural which had portraits of Vincent Lingiari who is remembered for fighting for workers’ rights; Mum (Shirl) Smith – a fighter for welfare rights; Eddie Mabo – land rights hero; Faith Bandler – a champion for voting rights and Charles Perkins – an equal rights campaigner. The mural was one of the few, if any public tributes to prominent and respected Indigenous leaders. Its destruction is an act of vandalism. The mural was commissioned by the Uniting Church in 2013 and painted by Etienne Cohen and Aboriginal artist Paul Davis.

Next article – Culture & Life – The system is rigged

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