With a population of over 1.2 million people spread across 14 government districts, the suburbs of western Sydney have long been perceived as the impoverished “other half” of Australia’s economic, financial and political hub, serving as a de facto port of entry for incoming migrant workers.
"There is a belief that consent is about saying yes or no, about who wins," observed James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous rights. But consultation with indigenous peoples is a matter of “creating open processes where they can voice their opinions and influence decisions, and where there is the necessary will to seek consensus.”
Some good-byes can actually mean the start of a long road working together. That was how it felt at the end of the World Indigenous Network (WIN) conference in this northern Australian city.
This city in northern Australia brought them together to share their experiences this week. They are indigenous Shipiba people fighting indiscriminate logging in Peru’s Amazon jungle region and delegates from the Ando-Kpomey community in Togo, which created and protects a 100-hectare forest.
“Are you a park ranger?” IPS asked. “No, I am one of the owners of the territory,” Ángel Durán responded in a firm voice. The Bolivian indigenous leader is in this northern Australian city along with 1,200 other native delegates from over 50 countries for the World Indigenous Network (WIN) conference.
Australia’s largest textile workers’ union and activist groups are up in arms that the country’s leading retail chains, who source most of their fashion labels from Bangladesh, are refusing to sign a legally binding accord that will help to improve labour and safety standards in Bangladeshi garment factories.
Mining and port development coupled with decreasing water quality along Australia’s north-eastern coast are threatening the continent’s World Heritage-listed tourist drawcard, the Great Barrier Reef.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments about foreigners taking Australian jobs in a speech made last week in Rooty Hill, the working-class heartland of Sydney’s western suburbs, has brought issues of immigration, asylum and race back into election campaigning.
A growing number of international lawsuits has highlighted an emerging global crisis: the nature and effects of investment treaties signed between governments, which are allowing private companies and investors to sue countries for millions or even billions of dollars.
Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef is dying, and little will be left less than 10 years. More than half of the coral in the 2,300 km long reef has died over the past 27 years, according to a scientific survey
Australia's recent decision to move asylum seekers to offshore detention facilities has alarmed human rights organisations.
The heat wave in the Indian state of Orissa, which saw a 10-degree Celsius increase in summer temperatures last month, claimed 21 lives, according to government sources; unofficial estimates counted 87 deaths.
When Hussain Akhlaqi (17) arrived on Australian shores 11 months ago from Indonesia, on a boat carrying over 100 other asylum seekers, he was immediately placed in the Christmas Island immigration detention centre. Ali Mohammadi (17) from Afghanistan, and Mujtaba Ahmadi (18) from Iran, also endured a risky journey by sea only to meet the same fate.
Malaysians protesting against an Australian-owned rare earth refinery, that will generate radioactive waste, are determined to agitate until the project is abandoned.