News briefs

Issue 

Irons for prisoners

Prisoners chained in leg-irons at Barwon prison are considering action against the Victorian Department of Correctional Services on the basis that the use of leg-irons is an abuse of human rights. The Victorian Criminal Justice Coalition, the State Public Services Federation and the ALP have suggested that the use of leg-irons contravenes UN conventions on the treatment of prisoners. Amnesty International has also released a statement condemning the use of leg-irons in prisons.

Cleary puts child labour bill

Independent MP Phil Cleary has called on federal parliament to ban the import of goods made by child labour. In India alone there are 5 million children working as indentured labourers. By introducing a bill on the matter, Cleary says he is giving "parliament a chance to put words into action".

Vic electricity sale

The Victorian government plans to sell the State Electricity Corporation of Victoria (SECV). The independent member for the federal seat of Wills, Phil Cleary, claims that the leading tenderer for the sale is Electricite de France, a French state-owned company that runs nuclear power stations and would be the major scientific beneficiary of French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Cleary called on the Keating government to oppose both privatisation and French nuclear testing by referring the sale to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Vic ALP on privatisation

MELBOURNE — The ALP on June 27 launched an appeal to the public to invest in its "pre-election" campaign against the Kennett government's plan to sell the state's electricity supplier. In statements to the media ALP state secretary John Lenders said, "We see the next state election as a referendum on privatisation". Ironically, the ALP to date has backed away from any public commitment to buying back the state's electricity corporation if elected.