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Centrelink robo-debt fiasco an attack on the poor

by Pas Forgione *

Not My DebtIt would surprise the federal Coalition government — that assumes we dislike welfare recipients as much as it does — that one of its biggest problems at the start of the year is the Centrelink debt fiasco.

Over the past six months, 170,000 people received debt notices from Centrelink, with the number gradually rising to 20,000 a week.

By comparison, only 20,000 debt notices were issued for the whole of 2015.

The government’s method of detection is to match Australian Tax Office (ATO) data with Centrelink data, and to use inconsistencies found to calculate how much welfare recipients were over paid.

Earnings reported to ATO are averaged out over 26 weeks by the government’s computers, and then compared with earnings reported to Centrelink. This is where the problems started.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Australian military lets slip the truth about Indonesian military aggression

Bishop denies atrocities in West Papualate last year Indonesia temporarily suspended all military co-operation with Australia after a member of the Indonesian Special Forces, known as Kopassus, saw 'offensive training material' at the Special Air Service base in Perth.

The Indonesian army had officially sent a letter to Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, in December ceasing military ties.

"All forms of co-operation have been suspended," Indonesian military spokesman Major General Wuryanto reported to the international media.

The falling-out was sparked by a grievance in November from an Indonesian military officer who was on exchange in Perth to teach Indonesian to Australian special forces.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Trumping the laws of capital

by Humphrey McQueen

A presentation given to Solidarity Breakfast on Radio 3CR, 17 December 2016

Trump Make America Great AgainThis morning we’re weaving three strands. The first continues our tracking of the on-going blockage to the expansion of capital. The second is the sesqui-centenary of the Das Kapital, next September. And the third is the economic programme proposed by Donald Trump.

We’re not in the least concerned with personalities. We’ll leave such trivia to the deplorables who can’t think beyond 124 characters. Nor are we concerned with the injustice of Trump’s programme.

We’ll leave it to the remnant of bourgeois progressives to point up the inequalities and the criminality. As scientists, Marxists penetrate beneath such surfaces to the unique kind of exploitation that is essential for the expansion of capital.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Pemulwuy's Journeys Art Exhibition

Pemulwuy's Journey

An exhibition by Michael Sagan, held October 28-30, 2016 at the StirrUp Gallery, Addison Rd Community Centre, Marrickville.

After discovering the story of Pemulwuy, Mick Sagan, a Sydney teacher,  painted scenes of this  black warrior journeys of resistance to British colonialism on his land.  Sagan understood Pemulwuy’s journeys were the pathways of his people’s, the Bidjigal, resistance to the theft of their land. Pemulwuy was a Bidjigal caradhy, a justice man, a clever man. His attacks on the British settlers were punishments for their violations of Bidjigal law.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

CUB55 workers – 162 Eureka Anniversary

On the 1 December Spirit of Eureka represenative, Shirley Winton, gave the following tribute to the CUB55 (55 sacked Carlton United Brewery workers)

CUB55 AnniversaryWe acknowledge that we’re standing on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of this land.  We pay our respects to their elders past and present, and the long struggle for justice and sovereignty of this country’s First Nations people.

There’s no better place in Melbourne to commemorate this year’s 162 anniversary of the great Eureka Stockade rebellion, than here at this CUB brewery Abbotsford site of the long and difficult struggle by CUB 55 workers in their Battle of the Breweries.  We honour the 10,000 Eureka rebels, some of whom paid with their lives in the fight for justice and a fair go for all working people. And we pay tribute to the courageous and resolute CUB55 workers who are carrying Eureka’s fighting spirit for justice and fairness for all workers of this country.  The Eureka Stockade is an enduring and inspiring legacy of ordinary people’s struggles for justice, dignity and democratic rights.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content