The Guardian • Issue #2038


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2038

As the Albanese government pours billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money into fuelling the war in Ukraine it is offering the fossil fuel miners $500 million to placate the gluttonous demand for never-ending profit increases. The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has urged the government that its proposed supply incentives to energy companies must benefit workers and not become a Qantas-style corporate handout to highly-paid coal, oil and gas CEOs. “… reports that up to $500 million will be set aside as ‘supply incentives’ for coal companies raises concerns that more public money will go into the pockets of some of the wealthiest CEOs in the country,” warns the union. “The median pay of energy CEOs rose nearly 50 per cent last year. Any supply incentives must have proper governance and accountability measures in place to make sure the energy price cap does not become another corporate raid on public funds. Any public funds given to energy companies must come with enforceable commitments that the money is invested in Australia’s energy workforce – and does not end up in CEOs’ pockets.”

In a statement last week, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) announced that it “stands in solidarity with the Gomeroi people in their fight for land rights and opposition of the expansion of fossil fuel extraction in Narrabri, on Gomeroi land. Nurses and midwives will always proudly advocate for real action on climate change. Nurses and midwives truly understand the impacts of climate change; the impact on our personal health, the health of our communities and the health of our land and water. We see our members, and their communities, affected by extreme weather events – through heatwaves, drought, fires, and floods, which are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity. Within health services, we see an increase in illness, injury and death from these extreme weather events. As health professionals, nurses and midwives have a responsibility to educate the community about the health effects of climate change that are already being felt. Nurses and midwives must use our voice to advocate for real action on climate change – this means no new fossil fuel extraction should occur. The NSWNMA commits our ongoing support for the right of the traditional owners of this land to have their voice heard.” Nurses and midwives took part in a community gathering last week by the Gomeroi people of Coonabarabran, protesting the native title tribunals’ decision to throw out their native title claim.

PARASITE(S) OF THE WEEK: Amazon and Microsoft are cutting 28,000 jobs to, as Amazon put it, “continue investing in low prices and fast shipping that our customers love.” And as Microsoft described it in corpspeak – “We will have to do more with less – we will have to show our own productivity gains with our own technology,” just one of the growing number of job losses as the global crisis of capitalism deepens.

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