Action updates


ADELAIDE — Flinders University students gathered at the plaza on February 28 for a "Hunt for Chubb". Students were anxious to hear the new vice chancellor, Ian Chubb's attitude towards the fees issue. He was encouraged to publicly field questions but generally failed to satisfy most students concerns. Following a student strike in October, the university administration agreed to conduct an evaluation of the impact before making a final decision on the imposition of fees for postgraduate courses. A student general meeting on March 2 elected two representatives to the Fees Review Committee.

  • Workers at the Royal Adelaide hospital are continuing bans on cleaning and linen removal following the breakdown of talks with the state Liberal government over their claim for a $20 pay increase.

CANBERRA — A protest against the Russian invasion of Chechnya was held outside the Russian Embassy in Canberra on the afternoon of March 2. Demonstrators, in English and Russian, compared the war to the Nazi invasion of Russia, and to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. The secretary of the Trades and Labor Council, Jeremy Pynam, reminded the embassy of the suffering of Leningrad and Stalingrad in the second world war, and how Russia was now inflicting the same suffering on the people of Grozny. A delegation presented the view of the demonstration at the gate of the embassy, but were not permitted inside.

MELBOURNE — Australian Nursing Federation staff voted on March 2 to strike in support of ANF recruitment officer Louise Ajani, who was sacked by the ANF (Victoria Branch) Council on February 28 for exercising her right to run in the recent ANF federal election. Members have been picketing the Melbourne offices of the ANF since March 2. Ajani ran on a ticket for the position of federal vice president. The opposing right-wing ticket was endorsed by the council. At the picket line, Ajani told Green Left Weekly, "This action is about the democratic right of members to stand in elections without being harassed".

NEWCASTLE — The World Environment Day Convening Group here met for the first time on February 26 to plan actions for World Environment Day 1995. Inspired by the success of the anti-woodchipping demonstration on February 18, the group decided to hold a march, rally and festival on Sunday, June 4. The focus will be on local, national and global environmental issues. The convening group is encouraging local environmental and community groups and interested individuals to participate. Contact David on 294 395, Kamala 616 070 or Alex 682 926.

SYDNEY — The annual general meeting of the Australia Cuba Friendship Society here on March 2 reviewed the activities that ACFS had organised and participated in over the last 12 months and planned its activities for 1995. The feature for 1995 will be the tour of the Cuban foreign minister, Roberto Robaina, in May. Other planned tours include representatives from the Union of Young Communists and the Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, also around May.

  • "Stop woodchipping old growth forests" was the theme of Resistance meetings held on university campuses on March 1 and 2. Fifty students from Sydney University and the University of NSW participated in discussions about the extension of the woodchip licences and what campaigns are needed to stop the destruction of our environment. Future activities include a Resistance meeting on the same issue at Macquarie University on March 7, and Sydney University Greens are planning speakers on the lawn outside Fisher Library.

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