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Retired Teachers Association news
Why join the Retired Teachers Association?
Have you recently retired or are about to retire? The Retired Teachers Association provides an opportunity for you to maintain an involvement in public education and offers regular social outings to exhibitions, places of interest and organised lunches. With more than 5000 current members, you will be warmly welcomed. Contact Federation for further information.
Challenges to the ABC
Ed Davis, President of ABC Friends NSW and ACT, spoke at our October meeting and described 2018 as being a year of many challenges for the national broadcaster. The ABC has been regularly attacked by Coalition MPs while budget cuts, threats to sell it and the sacking of the managing director have all formed part of the environment it has had to deal with. It is no surprise that government expenditure on public broadcasting in Australia is well below that of many other countries.
There has been determined resistance to these attacks with increased memberships in ABC Friends organisations and strong public support via nationwide rallies. Ed stated that major political parties are now beginning to voice their support for the ABC. The ABC is unique in that it speaks to the public as citizens and not consumers.
Ron Denham reported from the Combined Retired Union Members Association (CRUMA) that the National Parks and Wildlife Service has agreed to erect a plaque in the Gardens of Stone in recognition of the environmentalists Joy and Vern Moffit, who fought to have the area protected. Senator Kristina Keneally recently met with retired unionists to discuss how she can support the preservation of the gardens. CRUMA is organising another visit to Lithgow in the first week of December.
Dr Patricia Ranald, in her recent article titled “Corporate favours masquerading as Free Trade” (michaelwest.com.au), debunks some myths about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11). One example is the premise that Australia must support the partnership as a symbol of free trade against the rising global tide of protectionism. However, trade agreements that entrench monopolies are the opposite of free trade.
Ian Massingham alerted members at our October meeting to the fact that the TPP-11 still allows global corporations to sue governments over health, environmental and other public interest laws. In 2011, the Ecuador Supreme Court awarded damages of $US9.5 billion against Chevron over claims of pollution. Chevron initiated an Investor State Dispute Settlement claim against the government of Ecuador alleging that an agreement, signed in 1995, prevented such claims. The tribunal decided on 30 August this year that the Ecuadorian Government should have stopped the claim and must now pay Chevron compensation and costs. A nation’s sovereignty once again comes second to a trans-national corporation.
Opera House outrage
Enid Hokin presented a motion condemning Gladys Berejiklian and Luke Foley for supporting the promotion of a horse race by using the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Both the Premier and Leader of the Opposition should undertake to never again endorse the Sydney landmark being so abused. The motion also included an expression of disgust that our new Prime Minister referenced the Opera House as “Sydney’s biggest billboard”. Enid’s motion was carried unanimously.
Our first meeting for 2019 will be at Federation House on Friday, 8 February. This meeting will commence with lunch at 12.15pm, followed by a guest speaker at 12.45pm and conclude with a general meeting starting at 2pm.
To all retired teachers, best wishes for the festive season and a happy and healthy new year.
Paul Regan is the Administrative Secretary, NSW Retired Teachers Association