TAFE4ALL: Skills, Not Bills

TAFE students having their say on the coming fee hike, including a few words from a National-Anarchist currently studying at a TAFE in Victoria. Making education available to people in the community is something National-Anarchists feel strongly about, we will do whatever we can to make education and training available to all those that want it.

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Freedom from Fluoride in Melbourne

fluoridemelbourne

The growing Geelong anti-fluoridation campaign took to the steps of Parliament on Wednesday in order to strengthen the broader campaign, along with fellow groups throughout Victoria. The Barwon Freedom from Fluoridation organisation also presented an open letter to the Minister for Health, Daniel Andrews, demanding the immediate end to fluoridation in the whole of Victoria. The protest was over 100 strong at it’s height and included concerned individuals from Geelong, Melbourne, Castlemaine and various other parts of Victoria. Opposition to fluoridation is definitely not just a small issue hidden away in Geelong, many Victorians are angry that they have not been consulted, let alone given active consent.

National-Anarchists attended the event, taking video footage and distributing informative pamphlets to other protestors and passers by. It is a disturbing reality that since the beginning of this fluoridation campaign, National-Anarchists have been the only radical political movement to become involved and express support against such an attack on democratic and civil freedoms. There has been no support from the wider Anarchist movement, no other Nationalist involvement, the closest to broader political co-operation has been individual Greens members, a Democratic Labor Party MP and individual trade unionists. How can we truly confront the problem of “representative” democracy is we will only co-operate on the really big issues. Fluoridation is an issue that affects people in their local communities, directly in their homes, it touches them much more closely and critically than global capitalism or climate change.

Besides of the let down from fellow anti-establishment activists, the rally was largely succesful. Victorian National-Anarchists have continued to network with people from across the state, also conducting an interview with a popular YouTube journalist. The broader campaign against fluoridation has been let down by the complete lack of mainstream media attention but what more can we expect, the media has no intention of covering real issues – we have the means, we need to make our own media!

Our video of the days events is here, there will be more news on the forced fluoridation issue as it develops.

UNITED! FOR AN ANARCHIST FUTURE!

May Day 2009

mayday09

Click the image above for the PDF.
Our May Day 2009 flier is available for download to mass distribute over the weekend.

Myki Invasion

The following article is an examination and critique of the State governments plan to install a new ticketing system, Myki. The system is based on a debit card that works in the same way as a ticket but contains money. The system has already been trialled in Geelong and has failed miserably.

Written by a Ballarat National-Anarchist, from the Ballarat N-A blog.

myki

Myki is coming to Ballarat on Monday the 6th of April, with it comes confusion and a lot of people wondering why so much money has been chucked at this unnecessary system.  The saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” will be ringing in the back of many people’s heads.  Not only is it useless, it is also more difficult to work than “hand the bus driver change”.  Sure, it’s just like scanning an item at the store and we will learn to adapt and get used to it, but that is not the point.

Learning Curve

A new “swipe card” like system that works on recharging, like prepaid phone credit, it may be easier for some people.  However, the government has left the others behind.  I have heard MANY elderly people complaining about the system and trying to piece it together.  Many have been left asking “what’s the point?”.  How many people will we see struggling just to get on a bus?  Also, disabled and handicapped people will face a challenge reaching for it and need steady hands for it to register.  It seems the neediest are the least cared for.  “Float or drown.” Let’s just see how it plays out.

Waste of Money?

ONE POINT THREE BILLION!!!!  Are you kidding?  Sadly, we are not.  Not only is this practically no better than the system already in place, it also cost a HUGE amount and there are still problems with it.  Apparently there is nothing else Australia could need with that amount of money than a jazzed up public transport ticket system, will it make life easier?  For that price it should serve drinks and tell you the weather for the week.  Could this money have gone to homeless shelters?  Donations?  Bush Fire victims?  Red Cross?  Orphanage?  Zoo?  Hospital?  Children’s hospital? Pot holes?  ANYTHING other than this?!  Set the stack of money alight, it will at least keep people warm.  Pump it into the economy.  Oh and add another $50 to $55 million a year for every year this system is up and running…… A NASA space probe only costs $3 million.  A waste? I will leave it to you to decide.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
– It will calculate the most economical fare to charge (travel within two hours or pay daily fare price)
– One card for both regional and metropolitan areas (hey, doesn’t money have that ability as well?)
– In the future it could be used for such things as: parking and vending machines (hey, my money can do that as well)
– “Has no moving parts to any part of the ticket system, to reduce maintenance costs of future installations.”  Hahahaha, yeah, you really care about saving money on this project.  Here is a money saver tip – never create such an unneeded system again!
– The card can be “recharged” away from the public transport thus eliminating the requirement for cash and reducing queues at vending machines and on buses.  The huge lines at the Vending machines and buses? … Everyone still has to get on and swipe, it seems they are trying to grab on to any reason they can find.  “You will not longer need to carry money and a ticket.” Ha!

There will be even more grand improvements once this actually gets on steady legs.

Cons:
– A big one is the cost, which I have already talked about.
– The government still paying for the existing Metcard systems
– Having to touch off when not used to it will be faced with a maximum fare penalty (I expect to receive this many times)
– “Touch on, touch off” takes longer than it takes to get on and off at the moment
– Losing the card can means losing a lot if you put a lot on there, a lot more than dropping a coin
– Difficult to use for those in wheelchairs or with other disabilities such as those who lack good hand control

You don’t need a scale to see what way this tips.

Final Verdict

After reading many things, talking to people, hearing conversations on the bus.  I deem this a failure, but they had put so much money into it that it would be a bigger waste if they had scrapped it, so it got to a point where they had to bring this out and just try to make it work.  The point is, it is a huge waste of time, resources and money.  They should think twice about something before they commit to it like they did with this, maybe something more useful.

There is no need whatsoever to have this system put in place or have even had the chance to leave the drawing board.  Once again, the government failed to meet the real needs of the people and instead wasted money on something no one wants and no one needs.  We will get told by advertisements it’s a good thing, so at least some people will believe it is.

“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

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