- The Guardian
- Issue #2063
The union movement extended its thoughts to the loved ones of the food delivery rider who tragically lost his life in Sydney last week working for UberEats. These tragic instances remind us what’s at stake when workers don’t have the protections they need at work. There is currently no system in Australia to provide transport gig workers with rights like minimum wage, sick leave, workers’ compensation, or protection from contract terminations, which adds pressure to unsafely rush work unsafely just to make a living.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up one-fifth of the nation’s homeless population despite accounting for only 3.8 per cent of the overall population, prompting calls for urgent investment to close the gap. Homelessness Australia and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association are urging the Commonwealth to develop a pipeline of investment in Aboriginal community controlled housing at least at the level of the previous National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing. According to an ABS Census analysis, 24,930 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people were experiencing homelessness on Census night in 2021. Kate Colvin, CEO of Homelessness Australia said a robust response spanning both urban and non-metropolitan communities was needed. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience homelessness at almost ten times the rate of the broader community, which is utterly unacceptable,” Colvin said. “A combination of racism in the housing market, poverty, and disadvantage is badly aggravated by record low vacancy rates. Lack of secure and affordable housing compounds inequalities in health and education. We must invest in affordable, quality homes to achieve justice, health, and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” Rob Macfarlane, Chief Operations Officer for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association said, “No child should have to face the harsh reality of homelessness, and it is our duty to ensure that they have access to safe, stable, and nurturing environments where they can thrive.” Federal investment in Indigenous housing plummeted over the last decade, from $794 million in 2011-12 to only $111.7 million in 2023-24 and zero in 2024-25. While Labor committed $100 million for remote housing in the October 2022 Budget, this investment is limited to remote communities in the Northern Territory. Yet unmet First Nations housing needs and high rates of homelessness are present across the nation in major cities, regional areas, as well as in remote communities.
PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Imagine a health system where parasitic private health insurance companies decide which procedures, tests, and treatments patients can have. Where these private funds undermine the right of patients and their GPs or specialists to decide their course of treatment. This is where Australia is headed with the Albanese government’s drive for the destruction of Medicare. While the media has been focusing on the battle between the Australian Medical Association, the pharmacies, and government over the details of the government’s privatisation agenda, the health system is moving to a US system of for-profit, private healthcare, creating a two-tier health system with privately insured patients given priority over others.