Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Monday, 30 July 2012
Dr Vandana Shiva in conversation with Dr Susan Hawthorne
at Montsalvat in Eltham Victoria Australia on July 17 2012.
These are two passionate, intelligent and caring women fighting
for the rights of mother earth and all her inhabitants, including human beings.
Presented by the Eltham Bookshop
The audio is not the best due to the poor quality public address system in the hall.
Video is unedited save for the start and end.
Filmed by United Natures Independent Media
Your chance to become a movie co-producer.
Support needed for a very important documentary and cause.
United Natures - a United Nations of all species, featuring Dr Vandana Shiva.
Anne Summers to speak at the University of Newcastle : Her Rights Ar Work? The Political Persecution of Australia's First Female PM
Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture
The Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture series is one of the University's flagship events.
The series was inaugurated in 2001, and has been held annually since then. The lecture series was established to provide an opportunity for members of the University and the wider community to reflect on issues of social justice that challenge Australia.
(This is a free public lecture)
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Thursday, 26 July 2012
I posted yesterday about goings on in a proposed merger between Xstrata and Glencore - particularly involving a major shareholder, Qatar Holding. To-day The Network is having a closer look at Glencore.
Are money and morals mutually exclusive when money is large, omnipresent, and the clear focus of the actors involved? This question can be asked of many corporate players but, in researching Glencore, questions of ethics and morality come up time and again - across the globe. I think Australians should look closely at this corporation because, if the much mooted merger of Glencore and Xstrata comes into play after meetings in September, Glencore and Xstrata will become the third largest minerals and mining company in the world and a rival for BHPBilliton and Rio Tinto.
Check these links below
In Australia, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has looked at the proposed merger and won't intervene to stop it. What a surprise!
Seems to me that we need a body that can look at corporate ethics and whether corporations are worthy of receiving social licence/certification to carry out their operations in Australia. Sometimes one thinks it would be just as easy for Hitler Inc to come into the country and build gas ovens. Why do nations everywhere have to open wide their doors to corporate cowboys simply because they are now wearing city suits and steering, not horses, but fancy motor vehicles?
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Does your waste collection, your water involve Veolia? A share holder is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Down at Wonthaggi, the world's fifth largest desalination plant is under construction. The major water technology player is Suez. A share holder is QIA. Enjoying, like mois, the professionalism of English language telecaster AlJazeera? Look behind and you will find QIA. A subsidiary of QIA - Qatar's sovereign wealth fund - is Qatar Holding (QH). If you have been reading Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, QH is right there. QH will pop up again in the course of this post.
And now let's take a look at the Land of Oz. If political and corporate players are learning to speak Mandarin, Cantonese or Shanghainese, I can't help wondering what politicians or business executives speak Arabic? You see, while the Chinese frequently make the news in relation to mining and agricultural investment, the subsidiaries of the Qatar Investment Authority scarcely rate a blip on the national radar.
BTW, you might like to take a look at the Board of Qatar Holding. If you think women are having trouble getting on Boards in Australia, my guess is that Qatar won't be having any women on any boards any time soon.
Now for what I consider the really important stuff as far as Australia is concerned.
QH is the second largest shareholder in international mining conglomerate Xstrata. I am embedding below an Xstrata Zinc Sustainability Report from which, Networkers, you will be able to ascertain not only the extent of Xstrata business in Australia, but its international presence as well. Please note the marvellous picture (somewhat manipulated, methinks) of Mount Isa in north-west Queensland. Please go here and insert "Australia" to find more about Xstrata in Australia.
It seems Asia hasn't made it on to the Xstrata scene yet. Funny that...!
At the moment, Xstrata is being being courted. All was a-flutter earlier this year with a Glencore-Xstrata merger looking highly likely. Shareholder meetings to ratify the merger have been postponed but now a meeting looks likely to proceed in September. That was reported on July 12. To-day, it is reported that Qatar is active in the market buying shares. There is a lot at stake in this stoush. Synergies are being touted as a plus for the merger: Xstrata's mining and Glencore's marketing. Glencore clearly has ethics problems and seems to be a corporation prepared to do whatever it takes. Clearly, Qatar does not want to be squeezed out even if or, more likely, the proposed merger of Xstrata and Glencore if and when established will rival BHPBilliton for size and reach. If Qatar is active in the market, it is clear that QH does not wish to be left an also ran in the race.
So, Networkers, keep eyes and ears peeled on this latest saga impacting on Australia's mining boom.
Oh, a political footnote. Remember back to the mining tax ruckus which resulted in Rudd's resignation (or doing-over depending on your point of view)? The ruckus, you will recall, was mainly caused by the "junior miners" such as Twiggy, Gina, Clive and their friends. The "senior miners" like Rio and BHPB act a bit differently. The "senior miners" are the ones who got to the negotiating table and Twiggy, Clive and Gina didn't. They have been sour about this ever since. However, the then new Prime Minister Julia Gillard negotiated not only with Rio and BHPB. Xstrata quietly came to the table.
My view is that Xstrata was not only there because of its size. It was there because of its relationship with the Australian Workers Union (AWU), particularly in connection with the Mount Isa facility. The AWU put Gillard where she is so that a pragmatic version of the mining tax could be sorted out and the AWU could have a role without being forced backwards in the deal. A clever use of this blog's search and label facilities should flesh this idea out for you, Networkers.