The Guardian • Issue #2022


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2022

In a sign of widespread frustration, nurses and that midwives in NSW took 24-hour strike action on the 1st September over their demands for safe staffing to be guaranteed in all NSW public hospitals and health services. NSW Nurses and Midwives Association general secretary, Shaye Candish, said nurses and midwives could no longer put up with the dangerous staffing levels and unsustainable workloads. “Our members are angry, and they’re fed up with being ignored. We indicated to the NSW government earlier this year that we needed an open and meaningful dialogue with them about safe staffing. We still don’t have mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in our public hospitals or health facilities and this is putting patients at risk. The NSW government is ignoring what’s desperately needed to ensure patients are getting the best possible care in their local hospitals. Our members are frustrated more than anything else because their concerns for patient safety have not been heard, and their professional perspectives and pleas for short and longer-term safe staffing solutions are not being acknowledged.” The union will confirm details of public rallies to be held locally alongside community supporters. During the 24-hour strike, life-preserving services were maintained in all public hospitals and health services.

There are no such life-preserving notions coming from Defence Minister Richard Marles as last week in an Apocalypse Now scenario of Australia being attacked by an unnamed rival, he gave forth a proclamation. “We need to make sure that our defence force is potent […] to make it a difficult proposition for any adversary.” Marles then talked up the acquisition of ever higher levels of destructive force, such as long-range hypersonic missiles to go with the long-range nuclear submarines. Then it was off to Darwin for the minister to attend Project Pitch Black, an Air Force training exercise involving, among others, Australia, the US, France, Germany, Japan, and Singapore. At this point a comment on sovereignty and independence and servile governments is required, from Turkish Communist poet Nazim Hikmet, from his poem A Sad Freedom – “You love your country as the nearest, most precious thing to you/ But one day, for example/ they may endorse it over to America/ and you, too/ with your great freedom – you have the freedom to become an air force base.”

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: The Adani Carmichael coal mine has fired up production, with rocketing coal and power prices producing massive profits for recourses companies. The big polluters are doubling and tripling returns. Adani’s Carmichael mega-mine threatens not only the Galilee Basin and the Great Barrier Reef, our health and our climate, destroys the ancestral lands and waters of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, and allows 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year.

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