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Corporate Head-kicker Puts Boot in at Adani

By Lindy Nolan

Adani’s recent tactics against First Nations bear the marks of a man well-known to workers in Queensland mines and in the Illawarra south of Sydney.

According to the Financial Review’s Matthew Stevens, Lucas Dow became new Adani CEO in April 2018 after leaving South32, which emerged from BHP Billiton in 2015.

Dow immediately took steps to ensure the struggling Adani project was self-financed, by cutting 50 per cent from initial planned costs. He also took steps to end battles with other corporations.

According to Stevens, Adani had been fighting not only those opposed to the mine, but Australia’s biggest freight operator and Business Council member, Aurizon.

Adani had been refused funding for a potential rail monopoly of its own that would have undermined Aurizon’s.

Dow quickly announced a new plan to link Adani’s rail line to the closest point on Aurizon’s system. This entrenched Aurizon’s position while providing dramatically cheaper result for Adani. Negotiations are ongoing.

In March costs were awarded to Adani after a court battle with yet another corporate giant, John Holland.

Dow stated, "We are close to finalising finance as the recent mine and rail decisions have significantly simplified the finance requirements for Carmichael."

Read more: Corporate Head-kicker Puts Boot in at Adani

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Adani's WorkChoices Law Firm Cops a Defeat

By Lindy Nolan

Corporate law firms, like WorkChoices architect and Business Council of Australia member Herbert Smith Freehills, serve the biggest end of town.

Freehills has hammered workers for years. It helped draft John Howard’s anti-worker WorkChoices legislation.

Former feral Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash, came into parliament straight from Freehills where she was a Senior Associate.

Freehills also had 43 contracts worth nearly $1.4 million with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Only fellow BCA member and corporate law firm Clayton Utz and the Department of Education and Training had more valuable ABCC contracts than Freehills.

Read more: Adani's WorkChoices Law Firm Cops a Defeat

Parent Category: Spirit Content

The seismic shift we can no longer ignore

by Joseph Camilleri *

US Vs ChinaThe acute tensions that disrupted the recent APEC summit, the Brexit fiasco in Britain, the rise of populist discourse and movements in much of Europe, the ‘theatre of the grotesque’ in Trump’s America, are just a few of the symptoms of the seismic shift that has been in the making for over three decades. It is a shift which political leaders, not least in Australia, seem scarcely able to comprehend, let alone address.

A power shift, but much more than that

Experts and commentators – some rather belatedly – have rightly focused on China’s rise. Yet, important as it is, China’s renewed capacity to flex economic muscle does not fully explain the profound changes now sweeping across the globe and reshaping the social and political fabric of many countries.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Journey into Obsolescence: Australia’s Adani Carmichael Mining Project

by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Adani MineThe Carmichael mine being pursued in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland is a dinosaur before its creation.  On paper, it is hefty – to be some five times the size of Sydney harbour, the largest in Australia and one of the largest on the planet.  Six open cut and five underground mines covering some 30 kilometres are proposed, a gargantuan epic.  The coal itself would be transported through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, and would feature a rail line subsidised by the money of Australian taxpayers.

Read more: Journey into Obsolescence: Australia’s Adani Carmichael Mining Project

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Intellectual Freedom at the University of Sydney, “Offensive to Israel”: Prof. Tim Anderson

Provost Stephen Garton’s Overreach

by Prof Tim Anderson

Dr Tim AndersonBy trying to expel me over anti-war statements, University of Sydney Provost Stephen Garton has widened the free speech debate and deepened on campus fears. Since the main criterion for his attack on me was public comments considered ‘offensive’, more students and staff are likely to hesitate before raising their voices on any controversial topic.

On 4 December Stephen Garton suspended me from my position as a senior lecturer and banned me from entering the university I have worked at for more than 20 years. The complaints were over a series of public statements which he saw as ‘offensive’ to Israel, to university managers and to pro-war journalists.

Read more: Intellectual Freedom at the University of Sydney, “Offensive to Israel”: Prof. Tim Anderson

Parent Category: Spirit Content