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To the Longford maintenance workers

The following is an open letter from Spirit of Eureka to the striking Longford maintenance workers delivered on June 28, 2018 marking one year in their ongoing fight against ExxonMobil and contractor UGL.

For background information on the dispute go to


To the Longford maintenance workers,

It was seven months ago when we had the honour of awarding you the annual Spirit of Eureka Award in recognition of the inspirational struggle you are waging. At the time, how many of us could honestly have imagined that you would still be continuing the fight after more than 365 days. It would be a cause for celebration if only it wasn’t also a travesty. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity for some reflection on what is taking place and the legacy that your struggle will leave.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Dark Precedents: Matteo Salvini, the MV Tampa and Refugees

by Binoy Kampmark

In August 2001, Australia’s dour Prime Minister John Howard demonstrated to the world what his country’s elite soldiers could do. Desperate, close to starvation and having been rescued at sea from the Palapa I in the Indian Ocean, refugees and asylum seekers on the Norwegian vessel, the MV Tampa, were greeted by the “crack” troops of the Special Air Services.  

A bitter, politicised standoff ensued.  The Norwegian vessel had initially made its way to the Indonesian port of Merak, but then turned towards the Australian territory of Christmas Island.  Howard, being the political animal he was, had to concoct a crisis to distract.  The politics of fear had a better convertibility rate than the politics of hope.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Banks and Commissions

More Marxist missiles

by Humphrey McQueen

10 June 2018

Terms of Reference

Banking CommissionThe terms of reference for this Commission are to investigate financial ‘institutions’. The remit for the 1935-6 one was to report on the ‘Monetary and Banking Systems’. Contrast institutions with system. We’ll start by setting out from how limited are the ‘institutions’ in the current case, before showing what an inquiry into the entire system would mean.

The institutions under investigation are the Banks and the Superannuation Funds. Neither functions without a battery of other institutions: accountants, actuaries, auditors, rating agencies, lawyers, lobbyists and Business Schools. Furthermore, all those of auxiliaries are directly engaged in Stock Exchanges, Foreign Exchange and Futures markets. Many are global enterprises. In particular, the banks are locked into foreign banks for fund-raising. The price-fixing scam between ANZ, Deutsche, Citibank and JP Morgan is exceptional in terms of how little money was involved.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Unmissable and inspiring struggle against fracking’s ‘Sacrifice Zone’

by Lindy Nolan

Fracking Pilliga

Producers and farmers Megan Kuhn (left) and Anne Kennedy (centre) with Liverpool Plains farmer Margaret Fleck (right). Photo Tree Faerie

‘Sacrifice Zone’, a documentary directed by David Lowe and Eve Jeffery, premiered as the Labor administration opened 51 per cent of the Northern Territory to fracking on First Nations’ lands. More is planned for South Australia and Western Australia.

The film systematically unfolds the reality of fracking and the dignity and determination of those standing against it, especially in the Santos Narrabri Gas Project in north western NSW.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Latest conqueror's memorial ignites history wars

In late April the Coalition government announced another Captain Cook memorial will be built to commemorate the 250th anniversary of his landing at Kamay/Botany Bay. It will be part of a $50 million redevelopment of the site where the English explorer and the crew of his ship Endeavour, first set foot on Australian soil.

An "aquatic monument" of Captain James Cook, a museum, visitors centre and ferry wharves, costing $3million, will also acknowledge Cook's 'encounter' with the First Nations at Kamay/Botany Bay. Prime Minister Turnball, as is his habitat, spoke aphorism's a plenty to describe the significance that Kamay/Botany Bay has for him.

Read more: Latest conqueror's memorial ignites history wars

Parent Category: Spirit Content