Australia

The Socialist Alliance has condemned NSW Premier Morris Iemma’s latest bid to rush through enabling legislation to sell off the state’s energy retailers and generators.
On August 18, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib was fined $400 in the Ryde Local Court for offensive language and behaviour towards police. The ruling will be appealed in the Parramatta District Court on September 11.
The following is based on the Socialist Alliance’s campaign leaflet for the September 6 Western Australian election.
Wollongong residents, concerned and angry about the systemic corruption of the local council, its subsequent sacking and the prospect of another fours years without democratic representation in the region, met on August 16 at the Fraternity Club for a major anti-corruption conference.
The people of El Salvador will go to the polls on January 18 for the legislative elections, then again on March 15 for the presidential ballot.
PERTH — Workers at the AMCOR factory in the suburb of Canningvale protested on August 19 to support their campaign for wage rises and a new enterprise agreement. The plant, which manufactures steel cans, had been assessed as one of the most productive in the world but now faces decline because of management intransigence, workers told Green Left Weekly outside the factory gates.
MELBOURNE — Two hundred Tamils gathered outside Victoria’s parliament building on August 22 to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced by fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
PERTH — “The Cuban people work in the interests of humanity. They do not work only for themselves, but for the wellbeing of the people of the world”, Hilda Chacon, Asia-Pacific representative of the Cuban Federation of Workers, told an audience of around 30 at an Australia-Cuba Friendship Society function on August 18.
PERTH — With a state election set for September 6, the WA Labor government last week pledged a four-year extension of the current moratorium on GM (genetically modified) crops and a limit on GM canola trials to 10 hectares.
Documents leaked from Telstra’s human resources department and released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to the Sydney Morning Herald on August 14, show that the company wants to bypass unions and impose a non-union collective agreement on its 32,000 employees, thereby cutting its annual wages bill by $50 million. On August 13, Telstra announced a $3.7 billion profit for the 2007-08 financial year.

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