WORDS by Anna Glen and Patricia Grigoriou


Queensland election: A win for Labor and women in politics

Annastacia Palaszczuk has replaced Premier Campbell Newman after a tremendous 37-seat swing to the Labor party.  This is the second greatest landslide in Queensland history, only surpassed by Labor’s crushing defeat in 2012 where the party gained just 7 seats.

In an Australian first, the cabinet hosts a female majority, with eight women in a cabinet of fourteen. The Minister for housing and public works, Leeanne Enoch, is of indigenous heritage and is a proud Nunukil/Nughi woman.

Given the Queensland parliament was built without female toilets in the 1850s and indigenous peoples did not gain the vote until 1967, Queensland has come a long way. Go Queensland!


Get ready to vote: the New South Wales election has arrived  

Enough about Queensland, the New South Wales election is on Saturday March 28. Don’t forget to vote or you will be hit with a $55 dollar fine.

Privatisation is set to be the major issue of the 2015 election. Liberal Premier Mike Baird as proposed a partial privatisation of the electricity network in order to fund secondary education, the arts and road upgrades.

Labor leader Luke Foley says the Liberal party has “blackmailed” voters into the benefits of privatisation but has not detailed how his own policies will be funded, which include an increase to the nurse-to-patient ratio and greater funding to education.

The Labor party has the added pressure of overcoming the corruption of its past. Commenting on the matter, Labor leader Luke Foley told the ABC “For NSW Labor, the last four years has beena journey back to the people, a journey back to our origins to find our best self.”


Student Opal Cards have arrived   

The student concession Opal Card has been officially rolled out to all participating universities.

Benefits: no more queuing at Macquarie University station, 30% discount on off-peak train fares, single fare price for journeys within the same hour, free travel after eight paid journeys, $2.50 Sundays and a maximum total expenditure of $30 per week.

Disadvantages: you will be sacrificing your privacy. The Opal concession card requires the university to give your student ID and date of birth to Transport NSW. More importantly, unlike paper tickets, you cannot travel anonymously as journeys are recorded and police and the council can access this information without a warrant.


Australia to join The Eurovision Song Contest

For the first time in Eurovision history, Australia will be one of 40 countries invited to join the extravaganza as part of the contest’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Guy Sebastian is set to represent Australia, telling the ABC he is “pumped” and “200 million [viewers] beats the local RSL”.

Described by organisers as a ‘one-off event’, managing director of Australia public-service broadcaster SBS Michael Ebeid, sees Australia’s invitation to participate in the contest as a “historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage” attracting an audience of 195 million people. Australians will also be able to vote, yay!


My Kitchen Rules in Macquarie Park

Controversial contestants on Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules Nikki Sephar and Katie Brooke are in fact students at Macquarie University. The pair study double degrees in business administration and psychology and became friends after realising they both had part time jobs as butchers.

The students have received some unwelcome attention after being branded as the token nasty couple on the show. We knew they’d want some villains, and we expected it would be us.” Brooke said.

What’s more, contestants Shanelle and Eel Lim have opened a new Asian fusion café called KIN, located next to Macquarie University on the corner of Herring Road and Saunders Close.  Suitable for students, Shanelle said she wanted to café to be a place “where you could just hang out.”


Students’ savvy savers for travel

Australian students save on average $363 per month with travel funds being their number one priority, new research from Westpac has revealed.

The study found just 18% of students needed to borrow money from their parents, a 17% decrease from previous generations.

Students are saving largely by remaining in the nest, leaving home at approximately 23.2 years of age compared to 21.5 years in previous generations.


Abbott says Intergenerational Report shows need for greater cuts

Australia’s population will grow to 39.7 million in 2055 and the number of people over 65 will double, according to the Government’s most recent 170 page long intergenerational report.

The report is released every five years to assess the long-term impacts of government policies, population growth and demographical change.

Tony Abbott says the findings show greater budget cuts are needed to avoid “intergenerational theft”. It is likely these cuts will affect students, as Christopher Pyne has vowed to push through his higher education reforms, and other savings measures such as the GP co-payment have been dropped.

The report has been criticised by Labor and the Greens for failing to adequately address the issue of climate change, with just three pages dedicated to the matter, compared to 74 mentions in the last 2010 report.