Australia

Socialist Alliance candidates in the upcoming local government elections are calling for a state-wide referendum on power privatisation to be conducted alongside council elections.
Arctic sea ice reached a record minimum in the Northern summer of 2007, prompting the revision of scientists’ predictions of how quickly it will melt away altogether in response to global warming — perhaps as early as 2010-13, rather than the hundred years later estimated in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.
Some unionists are angry that despite all the warnings about the climate emergency and Australia’s high per capita greenhouse gas emissions, the Victorian ALP government has given the go-ahead to a $750 million 400 megawatt brown coal power station in the Latrobe Valley.
Postal workers protested outside Australia Post HQ on June 25 to voice their opposition to AP’s policy of hiring new employees on lower pay rates and the splitting up their jobs.
Each year, National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week, July 6-13, celebrates Indigenous history and culture, with events taking place in regional and urban places. Organisers say a record number of people took place this year.
Right at the beginning of his draft report on climate change, Professor Ross Garnaut points out that global warming can’t be beaten unless an international “prisoner’s dilemma” gets resolved.
According to the 2006 census, the most commonly spoken language in Sydney households, after English, is Arabic. In Australia as a whole, Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language.
Activists have asked the Federal Court to rule that the recently gazetted NSW regulation declaring that people can be fined $5500 for “annoying” behaviour during July, but especially during the pope’s World Youth Day (WYD) visit, be declared invalid. The case was heard on July 11.
Pope Benedict XVI is coming to town. Sydney is once again to be subject to a special police regime as this saintly, celibate white man bravely preaches the joys of sexual abstinence in the very Circus Maximus of Sin City (Randwick race course).
One thousand Tamils gathered in Federation Square on July 5 for Pongu Thamil (Tamil upsurge). The event included traditional Tamil dancing, music and speeches on the Tamil people’s struggle for self-determination in Sri Lanka.

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