News briefs

October 23, 1996

QLD Police assault concert

BRISBANE — On October 19, police brutally cleared the crowd from a 4ZZZ fundraising concert in Musgrave Park. "The police, some on horseback and others equipped with riot gear and batons and shields, began picking off members of the crowd and arresting them in a violent manner", said Jon Baird from ZZZ. "The police almost created a full-scale riot out of what was a peaceful, fun day for many young Brisbane people", he added. 4ZZZ is considering a formal complaint to the Queensland Police Service.

SPA changes name

SYDNEY — At its national congress over the Labor Day long weekend, the Socialist Party of Australia voted to change its name to Communist Party of Australia. The SPA split from the CPA in 1971 because of the CPA's criticism of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The SPA paper, Guardian, has recently been featuring articles praising Joseph Stalin's leadership of the Soviet Union.

Greens to block social security cuts

Greens' senators Bob Brown and Dee Margetts have confirmed that they will attempt to block the government's proposed restrictions on the amount of work that people can do without losing their dole, harsher penalties for non-compliance, and abolition of funding assistance for those starting work or education. They have also pledged to oppose the abolition of the Homeless Students' Incidental Allowance, which provides additional funding for text books and other course requirements, and cuts to rent assistance for single people sharing accommodation. "The bill means stripping $750 million over three years out of the pockets of people who cannot get jobs or income through circumstances totally beyond their control", Brown said.

Walla weir go-ahead meets strong protests

BRISBANE — Conservationists, scientists and commercial fishing industry representatives have attacked a federal government decision to give the go-ahead for the $14 million Walla weir project on the Burnett River, fearful that it would wipe out the endangered lungfish species in the region.

Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council vice-president Greg Sullivan said he would seek legal advice to oppose the decision. Queensland Conservation Council coordinator Imogen Zethoven said the lungfish was regarded as a "living fossil" due to its 400-million year history in Australia. It was of huge importance as the "oldest surviving record of the first step towards the evolution of human beings".

Fire sale starts in ACT

CANBERRA — Although the budget has not yet been passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly, the sell off of public assets has begun. Since Canberra had self-government undemocratically imposed on it in 1988, unions have campaigned for staff to be moved into government-owned accommodation to save rent. This was almost achieved, but Macarthur House, newly refurbished with public money, is now to be sold off to the private sector and leased back.

ACT Chief Minister, Kate Carnell, claims that the sale is to fund the budget without borrowing money, but leasing back your own property is the same thing. The newly completed court house and the Action bus fleet will also be sold.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.