Well, it certainly was a big year in NSW politics. From the Liberals we had Premier Barry O’Farrell’s continuing agenda of privatization and austerity.
While former Labor ministers were caught up in one of the biggest corruption scandals to ever engulf the party.
So as 2012 draws to a close 2ser’s Rory O’Gorman spoke with NSW Greens MP John Kaye about his thoughts on the shape of NSW politics in 2012 and what he’s expecting will be the big issues in the new year.
The New South Wales/A.C.T. Alcohol Policy Alliance have released a report which claims that based on patterns from previous years, there will be around 300 deaths and 12 000 hospitalisations from heavy drinking this Summer.
One of the recommendations of the report is that Sydney venues follow the model employed in Newcastle that was set-up to counter the violence there and has been moderately successful.
The Newcastle model includes measures like earlier closing times, a 1am lock-out and no shots or strong drinks after 10pm.
2ser’s Matt Hogan spoke to Michael Thorn, the Chief Executive from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
The Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at Sydney University has vowed to continue its support for the international boycott of the Israeli government, despite more than a week of negative coverage in the Murdoch press.
The Australian newspaper has run ten straight days of critical coverage of the centre and its Director, Associate Professor JAKE LYNCH.
Lynch declined to assist an Israeli academic with an education exchange application, saying he supports the international BDS movement, which stands for boycotts, sanctions and divestment.
Despite immense pressure Lynch says he won’t back down to bullying and is sticking with the campaign.
He told 2SER’s Mark Robinson that international opinion is turning against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
Australian’s love a swim at the beach and the lifeguards in Sydney are considered among the best in the world.
In fact many of us would be hesitant to go swimming at the beach and would have serious second thoughts about letting our children swim if there wasn't any lifeguards on-hand to protect us.
But what many of you might not know is that some of Sydney’s most popular beaches, Bronte and Tamarama are not patrolled over the Winter months from the beginning of June until mid-September.
During this time, many rescues go on by local surfers, or off-duty lifeguards.
Many of these locals feel it will take a catastrophe before lifeguards are employed full-time at these beaches.
Matt Hogan has the story.
The internet has become as much a part of our daily lives as driving and eating.
But who actually controls the internet?
The International Telecommunications Union or the ITU is the United Nations agency responsible for information and communication technologies.
Recently the ITU hosted the World Conference on International Communication where 178 countries met to update a treaty on internet security originally signed in 1988.
However, many people have voiced their concern that this conference was just an opportunity for powerful nations and multi-national corporations to seize control of the internet.
2SER’s Joel Moss spoke to Associate Law Professor, Melissa de Zwart, from the University of Adelaide, about the World Conference and the fight for internet control.
As the Doha round of negotiations on Climate Change continue, the CIA have released a report on the likely impacts a warming climate will have on the world.
The report, based on a variety of sources including the most comprehensive study of ice core samples ever conducted, found that during the last century the planet heated up faster than at any other time in the earth’s history and that trend is set to continue.
The report states that international governments are ill-prepared to deal with the catastrophic weather patterns and as such Climate Change is set to become one of the leading threats to national security and world peace in the 21st century.
2ser’s Rory O’Gorman spoke to the author of the CIA report John D Stienbrenner director of the centre for international security studies at the University of Maryland.
Relations between Australia and Israel remain tense after the Foreign Minister Bob Carr called in Israel’s ambassador on Tuesday, to convey strong concern over plans to expand settlements on Palestinian land.
Carr told the ambassador that building new settlements threatens the viability of a two-state solution.
Israel announced the plan just a day after the historic vote to give Palestinians observer status at the UN.
In that vote, Australia abstained, which was viewed as a shift away from always supporting Israel on the international stage.
So why is the Gillard government taking a different approach to Israel and will it have any lasting impact?
2SER’s Mark Robinson spoke with journalist and author Antony Loewenstein.
Washington has become the first US state to legalise the recreational use of Marijuana.
Those over the age of 21 are now able to possess and use up to 28 grams of the drug in private areas.
Although some US states do allow cannabis use for medicinal purposes, Washington is the first to legalise it for entertainment.
2SER’s Sam Buckingham-Jones spoke with Professor Alison Ritter, Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.
The Randwick City Council has announced a campaign to stop back-packers setting up in popular beach-side car-parks this Summer.
The campaign focuses on dawn patrols by Police to enforce the no-camping policy in areas such as the Clovely beach car-park and at Coogee.
Randwick Mayor, Tony Bowen, said that back-packers were disturbing the areas with excessive littering, loud noise and even leaving toilet waste near where they stay.
Mayor Bowen says this is unacceptable and that rate payers should not have to pick up the cleaning bill.
However, moving back-packers out of one area might just be creating a problem for another area.
2ser’s Matt Hogan spoke to Bondi resident, Prue Clarke about the issue
Since being elected into office in 2011, Premier Barry O’Farrell has made many changes to environment laws resulting in the reduction of wildlife protections.
Many environment groups and politicians have raised concerns over the approval of amatuer hunting in national parks, and a rally was held on Wednesday to tell Barry O’Farrell that they’re not happy.
Katie Hale reports.