On August 8, 1000 people packed into the Brisbane City Hall for a public forum on "Australia at the Crossroads: A New Direction". Organised by the Just Peace and the Just Rights groups, the forum was sponsored by a wide variety of peace, environment, social justice and political organisations.
The forum was addressed by professor Ian Lowe, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation; Jacqui Katona, a former representative of the Mirrar Aboriginal people in their campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine during the 1990s; ACTU president Sharan Burrow; human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC; and Nobel peace prize nominee and anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott.
Burnside told the audience: "What we're witnessing at present is an unprecedented power grab by the executive government over the parliament and the judicial system". Caldicott denounced the Howard government's move toward nuclear power and the further expansion of Australian uranium mining. "But what is Labor leader Kevin Rudd going to do? Has he got the guts to act?" Caldicott asked. "If not, we need a revolution."