Listening Notes: 'Devastating!' cuts to Australia's world class environmental studies courses; Defence Amendment Bill threatens civil liberties; Getting active with the Commons Social Change Library

Monday, 26 October 2020 - 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Silencing environmental science

The Federal government has cut funding for environmental studies courses by almost 30%, more than any other university course. Professor Dianne Gleeson is a wildlife geneticist at the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra and President of the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors. She joined me to talk about what the funding cuts will mean for Australia’s world class environmental studies programs. The paper she wrote with her colleagues Devastating!’: The Morrison government cuts uni funding for environment courses by almost 30% is available here.

 

Proposed legislation could see foreign troops on Australian soil to deal with undefined 'emergencies'

The Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020 here has been passed without amendments and little debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is now with the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee. Critics of the Bill point to the delegation of too much responsibility for the call out of ADF forces to a single minister, the potential deployment of foreign troops and police on Australian soil and the impact on civil liberties.

 

Individuals like lawyer Kellie Trantor here and groups such as Australians for War Powers Reform (WPR) here and the Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD), have raised their concerns in submissions to Senate Committee. The results of the Committee's deliberations will be released on November 4th. Romina Beitseen, secretary of CICD, joined me on Listening Notes to discuss the potential impact of the Bill.

 

Getting active!

The Commons Social Change Library is an online collection of educational resources on campaign strategy, community organising, digital campaigning and media. It's been in operation since April 2019.  The Library collects, curates and distributes resources of progressive movements around Australia and across the globe. Holly Hammond is the Director and she joined me on Listening Notes to explain how it all works.