Australia

Melbourne is drowning in cars and choking on petrol fumes. At the same time, the privatised public transport system is in serious crisis.
Tasmanian Labor Premier Paul Lennon resigned suddenly on May 26, after an opinion poll revealed his popularity had dived to just 17%, and 39% of voters would have preferred Liberal leader Will Hodgman as premier.
On May 23-25, 160 Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists gathered in Sydney for the Unite and Fight conference, organised by the Sydney Aboriginal Rights Coalition. The conference was intended to update people on the impacts of the ongoing Northern Territory intervention and plan the campaign against it. A key priority coming out of the conference was to build large community rallies around the country on June 21, the anniversary of the announcement of the NT intervention. Natasha Moore and Wayne Collard, two Nyoongar members of the West Australian Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC-WA), attended the conference and caught up with Green Left Weekly’s Annolies Truman, also an ARC-WA member, on their return to Perth.
“The Venezuelan revolution is slowly going forward, despite problems. President Hugo Chavez hasn’t stopped for a minute in pushing the process ahead, in the face of serious challenges”, Coral Wynter, co-leader of the Australian May Day 2008 solidarity brigade to Venezuela, told a meeting of the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network on May 26.
After a vibrant protest on May 26, the Gold Coast Bulletin and Channel Nine news reported that “people power” had won out over a new council policy that banned protests in almost all public parks in the Gold Coast.
Local residents, environmentalists and public transport supporters gathered at Debney Park on May 25 to voice their opposition to a proposed tolled east-west road tunnel and a large housing tower development in the local area.
As Victoria’s parliamentary debate on abortion decriminalisation nears, pro-choice activists are stepping up their clinic defence against anti-abortion zealots. On the fourth Saturday of every month, pro-choice activists stand outside Melbourne’s Fertility Control Clinic to keep anti-abortionists on the other side of the street.
The Parramatta Your Rights At Work committee held a candlelight vigil to highlight the increased dangers of power failure in a privatised electricity market. The group is organising a \"Stop the Sell-out\" public meeting at the Parramatta Town Hall on June 3 from 6.30pm. The meeting will feature NSW MPs Linda Voltz and John Kaye, along with a delegate from the power industry.
NSW teachers are not only against the Labor government’s staffing changes in public schools: they oppose the Department of Education’s (DET) move to strip union representatives from selection panels determining teacher transfers.
Qantas engineers stopped work for four hours at Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney airports over May 29-30. The workers are campaigning for a 5% wage increase.

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