NEWSLETTER OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA (SA)
EDITORIAL - SAVE OUR PORT! The long-suffering environment of Port Adelaide is back in the headlines. Electronic waste is ending up in landfill after all. The soil from the Newport Quays development is posing a contaminated dust threat to nearby residents and pupils at the Le Fevre Peninsula Primary School in particular. The operations of Adelaide Brighton Cement continue to disturb locals with dust and noise emissions. Now that the Dock One redevelopment is set to become a reality, the explosion risk of nearby fertilizer stockpiles at Incitec Pivot has finally been recognized. The sales slogan for the Dock One project is “Port Adelaide, the harbor city, has become an exciting residential address.” “Hazardous” would have been a more apt description. The current mess is no accident. Rules were bent and exemptions to environment protection regulations were granted to allow for the sort of development we are now lumped with. The usual response of state authorities to the inevitable complaints is to order the sampling of the air, declare it fit or downplay higher than recommended pollution levels. Problems are set to increase. Residential redevelopment of the inner Port has only just begun. Mineral exports from Port Adelaide are going to increase. Military industries are being attracted to the Techport precinct at Osborne. Greens MLC Mark Parnell has called for a parliamentary inquiry into industrial and residential land uses on the peninsula and surrounds. That certainly should be supported but the crucial thing for achieving a satisfactory outcome is the mobilization of local people. This has already started but if we are to avoid being fobbed off in the usual way, the level of resistance will have to be increased. Residents of the area have suffered a series of defeats over unwanted “development” of the district but have had a number of victories, too. This has happened when local people have been united, active and vocal about what they want. It’s important to remember that lesson. It is how we will save our Port.
LILLYDALE CHICKENS - behind the green label Packs of Lilydale chicken sit on the shelves of the refrigerated cabinets in local supermarkets inviting us to put them in our trolley. The label reassures us that the contents are “free-range”, that the least suffering possible is involved in getting the product into the store.
Last year, the public began hearing a different story. A young worker, Anyuon Mabior, was sacked from his job at the company’s Wingfield factory after he complained about racist emails being circulated among company managers.
Unfortunately, there is no talk of compensation for workers for their treatment under the old arrangements. A number of matters including unfair dismissal and award and agreement enforcement are still with the government’s Fair Work Australia Anyoun’s union, the National Union of bureaucracy. Workers, had been trying to recruit the mostly migrant workforce so that Conditions in the poultry meat industry something could be done to stop the are generally bad and subject of an questionable contracting and labour ongoing union campaign. arrangements that disadvantaged workers at the plant and undermined Late last year, a worker at a Victorian a w a r d s . M a n a g e m e n t a c t i v e l y factory owned by Lilydale parent discouraged union membership, to put company Baiada was decapitated by it mildly. equipment while cleaning down an area. WorkSafe Victoria is now investigating “Spare a thought for the the death of 34-year-old Sarel Singh.
human cost of some of those food-processing jobs.”
So as you roam the aisles of the local supermarket putting the weekly shop into your trolley, spare a thought for the However, following a concerted union human cost of some of those foodand community campaign, Lilydale has processing jobs. agreed to put 100 workers on as permanents and a pay rise is being Better by far, would be a resolution to discussed. Superannuation entitlements support workers and their unions when are being fixed up. they cry out to the public for help. SUMMER 2011
S E Q MILITARISATION OF SA SCHOOLS
The SA Advanced Technology Industry – School Pathways Program, which was announced as part of the Federal Government’s $10.9 million National Partnerships Agreement, is taking shape in South Australia. Four South Australian high schools are now in signed partnerships with defence industry corporations. These are Salisbury High School which is in partnership with Tenix (part of BAE), Aberfoyle Park High School and Valley View High Schools which are in partnership with Raytheon and Le Fevre High School which is now the Naval Academy School and partner in the Advanced Industry Skills program. Hallet Cove High School is now being targeted to go into partnership also.
Greg Combet, former Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science admits in his media release (10th February 2010) that, “South Australia is undoubtedly building itself as a defence state and we want to make sure that young people are in the box seat to take up jobs in this important industry.” Our Government should be ashamed to be encouraging and influencing young people to take part in the defense industry, instead of encouraging open curriculum that will benefit, not damage, our community and future.
The implementation of the defence curriculum in our schools should concern all parents, community members and young people. Please keep this issue in mind when choosing public schools for your children, and ask schools Australians have fought hard for fair, safe schooling if they intend being involved in defence programs. environments, and for policy to control corporations having any impact and influence on the education of Keeping corporations and defence out of our schools Australian children. The federal and state governments are should be a priority of our governments, however this is now encouraging the defence industry to work with not the case, so it is up to the people and community to take a stand. schools to develop curriculums that are based on creating people who are geared to work in the defence industry.
OUR POLLUTED PORT
Following on from our last newsletter, which raised some of the pollution issues facing the Port district, the CPA wrote to the relevant state and federal members of Parliament asking what is being done to protect local residents (particularly students at Le Fevre Peninsula Primary School) from polluted dust coming from the Newport Quays development. At the time of going to press the Hon Kevin Foley, State Member for Port Adelaide had not responded. Although the state government has the responsibility to control pollution in SA. Mark Butler Federal Member for Port A d e l a i d e d i d re s p o n d p o s i t i v e l y a n d h a s s e n t correspondence to the Chief Executive of the Environment Protection Authority wanting answers to 10 important questions that must be fully answered to shed more light on the polluting health hazards posed by industry in the area. However, the questions asked relate generally to air testing results and what are the contents of the pollution from industry. This approach while useful information lacks a complete scientific approach to the pollution hazards. The information gathered from the questions asked could be used to deceive residents into believing that they are safe levels and pose no risk, which may be far from the truth.
Some Important Facts relating to Air testing and Monitoring The correct terminology the scientific community use is that levels are within or above “acceptable levels” they never use the term safe or unsafe levels. Acceptable levels are arrived at by animal testing of very high doses of hazardous substances over a short period of time as the life expectance of animals are much shorter then humans. There are no tests taken of low doses over 10, 20 or 30 years which humans may well be exposed. Acceptable 2
levels are designed for healthy males and may not be levels of contamination, indoor air quality was also taken satisfactory for healthy females particularly when pregnant, resulting in some homes in close proximity to the smelters the elderly, the sick and the young. being demolished others, had soil removed and houses completely decontaminated. The tests showed that while the While a standard is for set for Respirable Particulates there is air quality was within acceptable levels the community was a flawed methodology approach used to asses hazardous still subject to high levels of lead dust pollution which had chemical pollution which requires each chemical to have a built up in houses gardens and playing equipment over many separate standard. In the case of multiple chemical years. exposures such as pollution containing 5 or 6 chemicals each may be below the acceptable standard with no credible Medical checks and Soil testing required formula for multiple chemical exposures and therefore NOW! declared an acceptable exposure. To avoid being misled, the community must demand that soil testing be carried out over a wide area of the Le Fevre Air testing for pollution levels of gas, Peninsula to determine how much contamination has chemicals or dust particulate is only one accumulated over the years, water tanks also be tested for tool used by the scientific community to contamination. Medical monitoring by the health department of children at the primary school as the first step to determine if pollution is harmful or not. determine, any short term ill affects of respiratory illness such as hay-fever, asthma or an increase in bronchitis or An example is the case of lead levels at Port Pirie. For many pneumonia in young children attending the school or living in years residents lived in a town close to the smelters, the air close proximity to the polluting industries. quality was often monitored and when lever became high the company increased the height of the chimney stack so that the wind would disperse and dilute the harmful lead fumes and dust which would be blown over a wider area. It was not until the Health Department conducted blood tests of local children and found in some cases very high levels of lead. The Health Department conducted IQ tests on children and found on average about three percent lower IQ levels than expected, it is well known that high lead levels can affect one’s IQ levels. Soil test were taken and found to be harmful
The Port Adelaide community has a right to know all relevant facts and the right to breath fresh unpolluted air at all times.
A TALE OF TWO STATIONS
PORT ADELAIDE - hold onto those prams and groceries!
MAWSON LAKES - take a lift to the top!
You might be totally dependent on public transport to get to and from work but in Adelaide today your commuting needs are more likely to be met if you live at an affluent address and have a BMW and a four-wheel drive in the garage.
The scene is very different in Mawson Lakes. There are lifts on either side of the line to take passengers from the platform to the overpass above. The state government’s pet tram project now has lifts for travellers between the city and Glenelg as it passes over South Road.
Take Port Adelaide railway station, for example. The station was recently given a superficial, reality TV-style makeover but there was no lift installed. In a community with a high number of residents with disabilities, all travellers must ascend and descend the long, long ramps leading to and from the platforms.
Stations in the working class Port area in general are shabby and lacking in facilities. The area’s loyalty to the Labor Party at election time has not been repaid; it has been taken for granted. There’s been lots of talk about future transport links and related infrastructure but those are a long way off. The Port relies on its rail link right now so let’s have the facilities we need.
WHY WE EXIST AND WHAT WE STAND FOR The Communist Party of Australia believes there is a way to overcome Australia's economic and social problems. To do this it is necessary to change the direction of politics in Australia and, eventually, to replace the capitalist system with a socialist one. The Communist Party is a party of activists who work in trade unions, peace and environmental groups, solidarity organisations and a variety of other community movements as well as running campaigns in the name of the Communist Party. The members of the CPA work to eliminate unemployment, poverty, injustice, homelessness, racism and war. These problems arise from the domination of our society by huge profit-hungry private corporations. We work for a society in which publicly owned enterprises will play the major role in the economy. We encourage the participation of people in democratic decision making and management. We want a society in which Aboriginal people, women, and migrants are treated equally and with dignity. We work for a society where the environment is protected. We believe that the needs of the people should be put first and not the wealth and profits of private corporations. We strive to develop the Communist Party into a party capable of helping to educate, organise, unite and fight together with all the left, progressive and democratic political forces in building a broad people's movement with the working class as its core. Many demands have been won in the past and we believe much more can be achieved by a movement which is united and determined to stand up for what is right. The work of Party members and the Party's policies are guided by a set of ideas which are called MarxismLeninism. Wage and salary earners and their families, professional people, farmers, pensioners, unemployed people, students make up over 85 per cent of our population. They are the overwhelming majority. These are the people suffering because of the exploitation imposed by monopolies, the privatisation of public enterprises, deregulation, cuts in government spending, and unemployment. The Communist Party of Australia is on their side.
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WHERE THE REDS GET THE BLUES
Electoral comment on behalf of CPA authorised by Bob Briton C/- 66 Wattle Ave Royal Park