Monday, July 5, 2010

WA writers on the failure of the market economy to deliver social and economic and environmental justice

Western Australian writers and thinkers continue to write about the market and corporate economy and issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

Sarah Burnside has published recent pieces in online publications New Matilda and Online Opinion. In New Matilda she challenges the idea that the majority of Aboriginal people benefit from the mining and resources industry. In reviewing a recent Australian monograph on Indigenous people and the mining industry Sarah suggests that there little evidentiary support for the idea that mining is clearly good for Aboriginal people.

On his blog Neville Numbat, Piers Vertegen continues to write important pieces on environmental issues. His most recent piece, also published in the online publication Wangle, discusses the likely impact of Julie Gillard's ascendancy for climate change policies. Piers argues that based on her past record the new PM appears unlikely to support real action to address climate change.

In other articles Piers writes about a recent WA Auditor General's report on the failure of WA government agencies to reduce energy consumption and the lack of tangible action and commitment by the Barnett Government to take action to reduce the alarming growth in carbon pollution in WA.

Colin Penter has published this piece in Online Opinion contrasting the ways that civil society groups are whistleblowers are criminalized, while corporations that break the law regularly avoid any substantial penalty. The tenets of limited liability and corporate personhood are used to enable corporations to avoid facing the full force of the law for their criminal behavior. This is a protection not available to individuals and civil society and violates the idea of equality before the law.

Perth based journalist Vicki Laurie has published a long essay in the July edition of the Monthly on the response of WA government agencies to Aboriginal disadvantage. Using the lived daily experience of one Aboriginal family, Vicki demonstrates the enormous gulf between the policy rhetoric of politicians and government agencies and the realities of life for Aboriginal families.

Disability activist Erik Leiopold has published a number of recent pieces in the West Australian and Online Opinion on the private members bill on Euthanasia currently before the WA Parliament. Erik's piece draws on his new book, based on his PhD thesis, which explores the links between market values, disability and euthanasia.

Academic and Director of the WA 2020 Project Peter McMahon has published an Op Ed piece in the West Australian (Monday July 5 2010) on the coming energy crises and its likely impact on Perth. Perth is one of the least sustainable cities in the world and Peter's article describes the energy challenges facing the State as a result of dwindling oil reserves and climate change.

In the lead up to NAIDOC Week Myrna Tonkinson from the University of WA has written this piece in Eureka St lamenting the lack of progress and commitment by Governments in addressing Aboriginal disadvantage.

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