It’s been 18 months since Victoria was rocked by the Black Saturday bushfires which left over 150 people dead and thousands of homes destroyed. But despite government commitments to improve firefighting facilities, serious questions remain over whether the state is prepared for another scorching summer.

The recent disaffiliation from the ALP of the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is the most significant example so far of the tensions between the modern Labor Party and the more dynamic sections of the trade union movement.

The Australian Federal election held on August 21 delivered a hung parliament – the first in 70 years. Neither the Labor Party led by Julia Gillard nor the Coalition led by Tony Abbott won the 76 seats required to form a government. The result is both a reflection of the lack of enthusiasm people have towards the...

Committee for a workers' International publications

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