October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Abby Martin speaks with Margaret Flowers, Organizer for Popular Resistance about why fast tracking the Trans Pacific Partnership is so dangerous to the democratic process, and why everyone should care about this “free trade deal”.
October 8, 2013 § 3 Comments
Dear Mr Robb,
I am concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA), involving 12 nations across the Pacific, which is in its final stages of negotiation.
The TPPA is not only about trade. The United States, on behalf of its major industries, wants to change Australian law in many areas of domestic policy. These policies should be decided through public and parliamentary processes, not through trade negotiations conducted behind closed doors. I ask you to reject proposals which could:
– Extend patents on medicines leading to higher medicine prices
– Reduce the ability to keep medicines affordable through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
– Extend copyright at the expense of schools, libraries and consumers
– Remove our protections for Australian cultural industries
– Undermine government regulation of food labelling
– Reduce our ability to regulate in the interests of public health and the environment
I am especially concerned about proposals which would enable foreign investors to sue governments for millions of dollars of damages in international tribunals if government regulation is seen to “harm” their investment. These proposals are known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
ISDS reduces the ability of governments to regulate the activities of foreign companies even if these activities harm our health or the environment. The Philip Morris tobacco company is currently using ISDS in an obscure Australia-Hong Kong investment agreement to sue the Australian government over its tobacco plain packaging legislation.
Canada signed on to ISDS provisions in a trade deal with the United States, and now the Quebec provincial government is being sued by a US-based energy company because it is conducting an environmental review of shale gas mining. In a similar way, farmers and community members in NSW and Victoria have influenced their state governments to review and introduce new regulation on Coal Seam Gas mining. I am concerned that if Australia agrees to this proposal in the TPPA, governments could be sued for millions of dollars because of such regulation.
The Howard Coalition Government rejected this proposal in the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, and I ask you to do the same in the TPPA and all trade agreements.
I also ask you to support enforceable workers’ rights and environmental protections, and to release the text of any agreement for public and Parliamentary discussion before it is signed by Cabinet.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://aftinet.org.au/cms/node/627
October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
On October 12 2013 as part of Occupy Sydney 2nd Anniversary Celebrations will join with Community to Protest PM Abbotts intention to sell the Australian Public out in the Secret Trans Pacific Partnership.
New PM Tony Abbott has not yet recalled Parliament. To our knowledge . And why bother? Like his predecessors back to at least the Fraser years (and possibly further) Abbott acts not in the interests of the Australian public, but of Huge multinational corporations and foreign governments. His style represents a new low in Government transparency for Australia at the same time when his government are continuing the Howard/Gillard attack on Social Welfare Claimants.
The Australian Public were NOT asked to approve this international agreement which guarantees international corporations profits and affords them the ability to be compensated for loss from tax revenue FOR WHATEVER REASONS.
- In the USA Corporations such as Monsanto and Haliburton were priveleged to be given access and input on the Formative TPP long before Congress.
- The TPP has been negotiated in Secret Meetings behind Closed doors.
- Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.
- TRANSPARENCY: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.
- Australians and Citizens of the other #TPP countries will lose the right to question Corporations business methods even when they potentially impact the local environment or community as Fracking and Tar Sands extraction do.
- SIGN THE AUSTRALIAN PETITION http://aftinet.org.au/cms/node/627
- SEE MORE Here….
- Join us and PROTEST the TPP in Australia Sat Oct 12 2013 as we March Against Monsanto
June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
In light of Anti Homeless campaigner Councillor Christine Forsters successful motion to remove Occupy Sydney using Police or Government Agencies Occupiers are enjoying a groundswell of anti Council support from an empathetic and incredulous public.
Liberal Party voters are vowing to turn their backs on City of Sydney Liberals in retaliation for the deputy Mayors
June 27, 2013 § 1 Comment
Occupy Sydney have recently launched a 24 hour seven day Homeless Food and Resource Centre as a major activity of the 600 plus day old Occupy Sydney Occupation Protest in Martin Place, Australia’s Wall Street. The Resource Centre has been busy since its inception as word filters out to the Sydney Homeless Community.Operating totally without funding from businesses or government departments, the Occupy Sydney Homeless Resource Centre have distributed 100s of meals snacks and hot drinks daily as well as keeping pace with the steady demand for more blankets clothes and shoes for our Homeless Community struggling to cope with extreme costs of daily living and the burden of Marginalised people monetising Job Network Agencies hell bent of using unemployed people as tokens to share around their Training side partners- while in some cases providing consulting services to businesses of
The Queens birthday weekend was particularly hectic as again the poverty industry flush with additional funding from the 2013 Federal budget took the luxury of holidays unfortunately the homeless never have.
To the surprise of no-one at the Occupy Sydney occupation the Poverty sector and its attendant government counterparts have admitted that there is a rise in Homelessness in Australia.
Their statement according to this article though , must relate to a parrallel universe City of Sydney. It may have something to do however with their flawed “Homeless Count methodology, an amusingly unscientific process by which they count Homeless “Rough Sleepers” over a three hour period from we understand between 11pm and 2am or thereabouts and count only those sleeping in public space.
Most of Sydneys elderly long term homeless sleep by day when it is warm and ride trains or buses at night when it is cold.There is a widely held view that sleeping in the Day is safer.There are several compelling reasons. Younger homeless people too tend to be more active by night and relaxed by day.
With 1128 Homeless rough sleepers counted on the recent Sydney Homeless 24 hour rough sleeper poll of the City of Sydney area,there is a marked discrepancy with the official figures showing an unbelievably low 269 rough sleepers at about the same time.
May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Big Budget winners are once again the Kiddy Farming and Poverty Industries. While people starve due to artificially inflated food prices and freeze because only the rich can afford heating The 2013 Federal Budget includes a 9billion handout to the kiddy farming industry and further increases in handouts to perennial beneficiaries of government largesse, the Poverty Industry, again in the name of Homeless people.
- The Budget rationale proves again that the Carbon Tax which has morphed into REDD downunder is really just another tax and in as linked to emissions reduction as Politicians are to people—not at all.
- While Big Corporations and Banks continue to boast record profits and record tonnages of Australias mineral wealth vanish overseas the Federal Government attacks among the most marginalised in Society who must cop the losses-Austerity for the people fuels prosperity for Corporations.
- The Kiddy Farming Industry will be readied with $9billion of Government largesse to receive the more revenue as single parents are forced into wage slavery or onto NGO enriching Newstart.
Students Parents and Centrelink Claimants have all come under attack. A National Disability Scheme will enrich NGOs as they seek more control over the lives of and work performed by Australia’s disabled. The messsage of the 2013 Federal budget is Concern for the Rights of Corporations and indifference towards the plight of the people.
- In short…politicians are so inseparably part of the problem that they should NOT be part of the solutions… Trust only Grassroots organised Community based groups to stand up for what you and they believe in.
When are the people going to realise that Governments obsessed with Keynesian Economics will ensure that laissez faire capitalism flourishes amidst heavily constrained personal incomes- or robbing the poor to benefit the rich.