News briefs

Issue 

Recharge team makes gains in CEPU election

PERTH — Candidates for the Recharge team have won all major positions other than state secretary in the Western Australian Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union election.

Incumbent state secretary Bill Game scraped home against Recharge challenger Les McLaughlan, the margin being five votes. However, McLaughlan was elected to the union's national council, while Game was not. Recharge candidates also gained 10 of the 16 state councillor positions.

Amended relationships bill passed

HOBART — Tasmania's conservative upper house passed an amended relationships bill on August 28 giving the state "one of the best relationship laws in Australia and some of the best in the world", according to Rodney Croome of the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group.

This followed a rally of almost 200 people on August 23 calling for the legislation to be passed.

Croome said in a media statement that the new legislation, which gives virtual equality to a wide range of different relationships including same sex relationships and institutes a relationships registry, is one of the most important developments in Australian social policy and gay and lesbian human rights for many years.

ACTU supports anti-nuke campaign

MELBOURNE — The ACTU voted at its August 18-21 congress to support the campaign against the federal government's planned nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

The ACTU's decision was welcomed by Friends of the Earth national nuclear campaign organiser Dr Jim Green. "This resolution is an important step in the campaign against radioactive waste transport and dumping in South Australia", Green said. "It is also further evidence of the growing gap between the federal government and the community on this issue."

Rally against deportations

CANBERRA — Fifty refuges' rights supporters attended an emergency protest against the deportation of refugees on August 25.

The rally was called by the Refugee Action Committee following indications that Iranian refugees would be forcibly deported back to Iran from the Baxter immigration detention centre.

Defend Medicare forum

BRISBANE — A panel of speakers, including representatives from the Doctors Reform Society and the Queensland Council of Unions, opposed the federal government's threats to Medicare at a public forum held in the Brisbane City Hall on August 25.

The forum was organised by the Public Hospitals, Health and Medicare Alliance of Queensland. The Queensland Nurses Union has agreed to host the PHHAMAQ's campaign material on its web site at <http://www.qnu.org.au>.

From Green Left Weekly, September 3, 2003.

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