ACT government workers to strike
CANBERRA — ACT government workers will strike for 24 hours on December 17 if the ACT Liberal government fails to retract the threat of forced redundancies.
Meanwhile, workers in the ACT Chief Minister's Department voted down the certified agreement offered by management by 188 to 118, despite management pressure to accept it. The Community and Public Sector Union was very pleased with the result.
Central America benefit
MELBOURNE — The Committee in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean, in conjunction with members of Hispanic communities and other volunteers, organised an Emergency Committee for Central America to respond to the devastation caused by hurricane Mitch.
The committee organised a fundraising festival on November 21-22, which raised $9000. A huge amount of food and clothing was also collected. A shipping container was donated, enabling the goods to be shipped to Honduras free of charge. The money will be distributed in equal parts among Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala via progressive community development agencies.
WOLLONGONG — On November 29, 200 people gathered at Gibson Park in Thirroul for a public meeting to raise awareness of a commission of inquiry into Wollongong City Council's (WCC) management of the escarpment. It also aimed to make protection of the escarpment an issue in the next state election.
The meeting was organised by the Illawarra Escarpment Coalition (IEC) and the South Coast Labour Council, whose members argue that the council has allowed too much residential and other development on the escarpment and its foothills. The SCLC believes that any critical content in the inquiry may be buried by WCC if there is no public pressure.
The meeting was addressed by councillors Dave Martin and Kerry Christian; SCLC secretary Paul Matters; Barbara Nicholson, public officer of the Wadi Wadi-Coomaditchy Aboriginal Corporation and representing the traditional owners of the area; IEC secretary June Pronk and Greens Senator Bob Brown.
A motion was put calling for the escarpment to be given national park status. Nicholson pointed out that there are numerous significant and sacred sites in the area and all decision making must involve Aboriginal people. The motion was passed with an amendment to that effect.
Transgender women welcomed
PERTH — A November 26 meeting of the collective organising next year's International Women's Day march and rally discussed two major proposals: to encourage all supporters, women and men, to participate in the march and rally; and to make transgender women welcome as equal participants in the organising collective and all IWD events.
The proposal for allowing men to participate argued that building alliances with all those who are prepared to support IWD's demands is a step towards building the strongest feminist movement possible. However, 10 of the 18 women present voted against men's participation in the march. Men will be invited to attend the rally.
The meeting voted overwhelmingly to encourage transgender feminists to join the organising collective, with only four abstentions (no-one voted against). Two participants spoke about the discrimination and abuse they faced as transgender women.