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What will it take to end Aboriginal disadvantage, the inequalities and the various crises?

By Gerry Georgatos - Courtesy of The Stringer - - The Fred Hollows Foundation’s CEO, Brian Doolan said, “There are no excuses for Australia to be the only developed country in the world where people still suffer from trachoma, where Indigenous men in areas such as the east Katherine region have an average life expectancy of 46 years, where babies are dying at a rate three times higher than babies born to non-Indigenous born to non-Indigenous parents.”

Six homeless children fighting for a better tomorrow

By Gerry Georgatos - courtesy of The Stringer - - The remote is an idea romanced by Governments when it comes to tourism but when remote communities ask for quality schools, utilities and services, Governments cold shoulder them. Families who want their children to someday have an equal footing to other children are leaving remote communities for the towns and cities, but they are paying a high price – homelessness.

Nothing will be done about suicides crisis

by Gerry Georgatos - March 8th, 2014 - courtesy of The Stringer - - On October 23, the chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine responded to this publication’s sustained coverage of the horrific suicide crisis among First Nations people and to my research. Mr Mundine committed the Indigenous Advisory Council to the urgent need to address the pernicious and endemic crisis.

Ongoing Vigil for Asylum Seekers in Detention - Casseleden Place - 24 February to 25 March 2014

In response to the murder of Kurdish Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati in the detention centre on Manus Island last week a small group of protesters has established an ongoing vigil outside the Department of Immigration office at Casselden Place. While determined to maintain the action regardless, they would welcome support and ideally for others to join them. There is a Facebook page here:

Toxic Hazelwood fires threaten our health

February 17 by Maude Farrugia of Korumburra, South Gippsland

It’s been over a week now that CFA crews have been battling the 1.3km blaze at Hazelwood coal mine. It’s also been over a week now that the surrounding areas of Southern & Western Gippsland have been blanketed in a fine haze of toxic smoke. And it’s not likely to stop anytime soon with predictions the fire could burn for weeks, months or even decades if it gets deep into the coal seam.

Related: ABC - Air quality continues to deteriorate at Morwell, Traralgon, as mine fire continues to burn | The Age - Health fear rises over Morwell mine fire | Environment Victoria - Hazelwood fire highlights persistent problems and failures of Latrobe Valley coal mines | Flickr - Hazelwood Mine Fire Photos | VOST Victoria - Morwell Open Cut / Hazelwood Mine Fire Info

Australian state government bolsters “move-on” police powers

Published in the World Socialist Website

The Liberal government in the state of Victoria has moved to enact sweeping antidemocratic legislation targeting demonstrations and workplace pickets. The proposed laws give police wide discretionary powers to “move-on” people from designated areas, and have the courts ban individuals from these areas for up to 12 months. Anyone violating such an “exclusion order” can be imprisoned for two years.

Related: Photos from Feb 18 Rally |

Moreland Council calls for greater heatwave emergency planning

Welcome to the new normal with stinking hot summers, as heatwaves hover over and amplify the urban heat island effect in cities like Melbourne bringing the heat from central Australia. Most of Victoria is feeling the heat, which has come despite ENSO being in a neutral phase. So far the State Government lead by Premier Denis Napthine has made only Token efforts in managing heatwaves despite predictions by climate scientists that heatwaves increasing faster than average temperatures and becoming more frequent and intense. At least my local council, the City of Moreland is taking heatwaves seriously investigating what it can do and calling for greater heatwave emergency planning by the state government.

Hundreds rally to oppose brown coal allocation and export from Victoria

Hundreds rallied outside the Victorian Parliament House opposing plans for brown coal allocation and development for a coal export industry from the La Trobe Valley and Gippsland.

Currently 13 billion tonnes of brown coal is being considered for allocation by the Napthine conservative state Government, despite the impact of this in carbon emissions on climate change and increasing temperatures and extreme weather. As well as the allocation of coal licences, $90 million of Federal and State subsidies are also up for grab. Does subsidising brown coal make sense when we should rapidly be transitioning to renewables?

Photos at Quit Coal Campaign Victoria Photoset at Flickr | Youtube Video

Major uranium leak endangers Kakadu - but played down

Gerry Georgatos - courtesy of The Stringer - - A million litres of radioactive slurry has contaminated Kakadu National Park from a burst tank at Ranger uranium mine. It is a significant toxic accident but it has surprisingly generated relatively minimal news coverage. It took the local Traditional Owners to break the news to Australia.

Eureka Curse on Maurice Newman in Effigy burning at 2013 Eureka Dawn Vigil

Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott's chief business advisor, was cursed at the Eureka Dawn Vigil on December 3 when an effigy of him was burnt.

Lantern, banner and effigy maker Graeme Dunstan selected Prime Minister Tony Abbott's chief business advisor Maurice Newman as the candidate for an effigy to be burnt at the 2013 Eureka Dawn vigil on December 3 in Eureka Park at Ballarat.

Related: Takver's Photos of Eurekaday 2013 | Eureka Commemoration News