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STAND WITH TESS

Hundreds of artists, staff and students support UNSW Art and Design Director of Indigenous Programs Tess Allas, whose contract was terminated in October.

Wran, The Balmain Boy Gone Bad

If you believe the generous tributes to Neville Wran, NSW under his government was a paradise. In reality, corruption and dirty deals were rife, writes NM contributing editor Wendy Bacon.

Why I Supported March In March

March in March was a resounding success because of its diversity, not in spite of it. It should move us to do more for those suffering under Tony Abbott, writes NM contributing editor Wendy Bacon.

Why Hockey Really Blocked The GrainCorp Sale

Joe Hockey's refusal to sell GrainCorp to a foreign agribusiness giant wasn't just a cave-in to the Nationals. A history of corruption and sensitive politics were also involved, writes Wendy Bacon.

Reform? What NSW Reform?

Kevin Rudd's intervention in the NSW ALP is welcome. But the secret approval process for Packer's casino proves it's business as usual for the mates who run the state, writes Wendy Bacon.

Conroy's All Or Nothing Media Reforms

Yesterday, Stephen Conroy announced an ultimatum: if his media reforms aren't accepted verbatim in parliament, he'll dump the lot. Is there anything in the package worth defending, asks Wendy Bacon.

Australian government risks lives of Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Yesterday, in a dramatic backdown, the Australian government agreed to allow 56 Tamils asylum seekers who were due to be deported to Sri Lanka to make applications to be granted asylum as refugees. Today, the Australian government is once again planning to deport another group of Tamils who have been subject to a "screening out" process which denies them the right to proceed with a a full refugee application.

Australian psychiatrists speak out against Pacific Solution 2

On November 30, New Matilda published a report by Adam Brereton and myself  which included the comments of Professor of Developmental Psychiatry Dr Louise Newman who explained  how detention centres like the ones on Nauru and Manus Island produce feeling of abandonment, despair and psychiatric disorders. On the same day, Dr Michael Dudley is Chairperson of the Suicide Australia Prevention Board since 2001 spoke at a protest rally outside the Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek’s office. As he spoke scores of asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on the Pacific island nation of Nauru were on hunger strike with one, Omid laying critically ill in a small Nauru hospital after refusing food for 50 days. A few hours later he was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Brisbane.

Communities planning rights under attack from NSW government

A big issue in the NSW state election in 2011 was the Part 3A planning law which handed development consent for many major projects over to the Minister for Planning backed up by selected panels of experts. Councils and communities felt betrayed by Labor and hoped for something better from the Liberals, who promised to return rights to the community. Now eighteen months later, those same communities and Councils are fighting proposals put forward in an O'Farrell government  Green Paper that look even worse.

Big Plans For NSW Development

A promised overhaul of NSW's planning framework has drawn the ire of resident and environment groups, whose contributions have been scrapped in favour of cosier relations with developers.

Asylum Seekers protest against indefinite detention on Nauru

Earlier in the year, I prepared a timeline covering the events for the period between 2001 and 2007 during which the Australian coalition government locked-up people seeking asylum on the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, 4000 kilometres away from Australia. I prepared the timeline because I was upset by the way the Australian media failed to inform the public about the history of detention on Nauru at the time when the Gillard Labor government decided to restart the so-called Pacific Solution by opening detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG.  After all, people who are eighteen now were still in junior high school when the earlier events occurred. This lack of backgrounding by the media makes it easier for politicians to mislead the public. By presenting the news in a very narrow frame, significant issues are made invisible. 

The Three Waves Of Nauru Anguish

Is Nauru the answer to the political impasse over asylum seekers? We must not forget the brutal realities of detention on Nauru and the trauma associated with it. Wendy Bacon continues her timeline.

Breaking through Nauru amnesia

In June, the Australian parliament debated refugee policy proposal put forward in a private member's bill by Independent member Rob Oakshott which if passed would have meant asylum seekers arriving by boat would be sent to  Malaysia or to the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, which had played  a key role in the notorious Howard government's  Pacific Solution.

Our Nauru Amnesia

Nauru is back on the agenda. Have we already forgotten the Howard years? Wendy Bacon has delved into the archive to recover a blighted history. Part one of NM's Pacific Solution timeline today.

Newcastle Business Lobby Targets Labor MP

This NSW election New Matilda story by  Nicole Gooch and I was about a Hunter Valley lobby group Newcastle Alliance which declared itself as a 'third party organisation' and ran print and radio ads urging voters not to vote Labor. The Non- Labor candidates included Mayor John Tait and Liberal Party candidate, Tim Owen, previously the deputy commander of Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What Will The Libs Do About Part 3A?

In the lead-up to the NSW 2011 State election, Nicole Gooch and I published a number of stories about the notorious Part 3 A leglislation which took power of planning decisions away from Local Council and gave it the Minister for Planning and panels appointed by the Minister. After the election, the new Liberal and National Party government is repealing Part 3A but it is not yet clear what form its replacement will take.