Issue 116: 24 to 30 November 2022


The return of public power to Victoria?
Zacharias Szumer | Overland
Labor isn’t planning to take back the transmission and distribution lines, and it has only said that it will ‘consider’ opening a publicly owned retail division. Most of the SEC’s activity will be building solar and wind farms, in which the state will own a controlling stake, with the rest held by ‘like-minded’ private investors—most likely industry super funds. These SEC-super fund renewable projects will compete with private companies selling power into the wholesale electricity market.

Why everyone (except me) was wrong about the Victorian election
Dave Milner | The Shot
This is what happens when the rest of the media treats the Herald Sun as a reputable source of news and not what it actually is: a dossier of Liberal Party campaign material interpreted via the mushy keyboards and mushy minds of the state’s thickest mouthpieces for a ghoulish arch-conservative oligarch. That this class of commentator cannot fathom a genuinely popular progressive-ish government and the willing community buy-in on pandemic health measures in a pre-vaccine world says far more about corporate media than it does about Victoria.

Privatisation has failed. Australia needs to ditch the ‘incentives’ rhetoric and simply spend money on things we need
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
Given that companies like burger chain Grill’d were the largest recipient of the former Coalition government’s “boosting apprenticeships commencement” wage subsidy scheme, and that privatised training colleges had to be banned from offering free iPads to trick vulnerable people into enrolling in inappropriate courses, it should come as no surprise that despite spending record amounts on training, Australia needs to look overseas to provide workers with a huge variety of skills, including electricians, bakers and bricklayers. Privatisation has made a mess of Australia’s vocational training system. But Andrews’s plan to create new “tech schools” to introduce more students to more trades before they leave school is evidence that governments are starting to believe the economics and politics of old-fashioned public spending is a better way to fix problems.

Victoria faces a grave climate and energy crisis. The new government’s policies must be far bolder
Ariel Liebman | The Conversation
Shifting to renewables would also make electricity cheaper than coal and gas in countries with major wind and sun advantages, such as Australia and Indonesia. And it would decouple electricity production from strongly geographically concentrated sources of fossil fuels such as in the middle east. But realistically, in the next two years or so the Victorian and Australian governments can only manage energy prices by curbing the worst excesses of an unfettered free market operation in natural gas and retail electricity.


NDIS fails people living with disability
Sandra Bloodworth | Red Flag
In an interview on the ABC’s Insiders in June, Shorten declared that the NDIS “is a bureaucratic nightmare … a maze of red tape”. This is not just the result of bad management, as he implied. The NDIS is the epitome of the kind of bureaucracy typical of capitalism. Georg Lukacs, the Hungarian Marxist, explained such bureaucracies as “the formal standardisation of justice, the state, the civil service etc”, debasing “all social functions”, which in turn “results in an inhuman, standardised division of labour” typical of a factory. The result is sterile, repetitive uniformity divorced from the needs of individuals and driven by the capitalist mentality that reduces everything to a monetary value. This perfectly describes the reality of the NDIS.

Australia must condemn Turkey, Iran dictatorships’ war against Kurds, says Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alliance | Green Left
Since November 20, the Turkish state has been carrying out relentless air attacks on the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) — also known as Rojava — and against Kurdish and Yezidi communities in northern Iraq. More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes as schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure has been targeted. These are war crimes and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said these attacks are in preparation for a land invasion of Rojava.


Illegal logging prosecution delivers support for Traditional Owners to return to Country
Emma Ruben | National Indigenous TimesCasual University Workers in Australia Are Escalating the Campaign Against Wage Theft
Tony Williams | Jacobin

Activists pushing to save Murujuga from Woodside’s Scarborough Gas need support
Alex Bainbridge | Green Left

WA nurses strike to demand better pay and ratios
Nick Everett | Red Flag