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Mining morality or vilifying coal?

Let there be rock

A stake in the business

Churches, universities, superannuation funds – they’re beginning to divest from fossil fuels. And the mining industry doesn’t like it.

IN mid-July, the peak body of the Uniting Church in Australia voted to sell its investments in fossil fuels. The decision was available online for anyone who cared to peruse its minutes, but the church didn’t get around to issuing a media release until a month and a half later, on the last Friday afternoon in August.

“We didn’t think it was the most earth-shattering news, because it’s a pretty mainstream issue in the Uniting Church now,” explains the church’s president, Reverend Professor Andrew Dutney. Yet its resolution included a moral claim that may be confronting for most Australians.

From the centre of a stage to the bottom of a mountain, heavy rock has formed the soundtrack to Andy Walker’s life.

Smith Journal, Volume 11

ANDY Walker pulls into the kerb to pick me up. Rocky, his bullmastiff, stands watchfully in the back of the ute. “If you’re up for it, I was thinking of taking you to Wollumbin tomorrow,” he says, after I’ve settled in. “Early early. Dark early.”

Can new workers' co-operatives bridge old ideological divides?

JOE Caygill and Dave Kerin are the most unlikely of collaborators: one is a conservative-voting small businessman; the other, a Marx-quoting trade unionist.

Caygill has been in the manufacturing industry for 30 years. He’s the owner and CEO of Everlast, a hot water tank manufacturer based in Dandenong. But before long, he won’t be the boss anymore – just a worker-owner like everybody else.