Australia

The prescription of oral contraceptives to a 14-year-old without her parents’ knowledge has triggered a debate over adolescents’ access to confidential health care. The student of Bellarine Secondary College in Victoria was taken by a school nurse to a doctor, who prescribed the medication.
Young people “are the present … whether we have a future or not depends on what we as young people do or don’t do”, proclaimed student leader and minister for the presidency, Hector Rodriguez, speaking on August 22 to thousands of members of the youth organisation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the PSUV Youth (JPSUV).
On August 29, Dr Mohamed Haneef was officially declared“no longer a person of interest” — after more than 12 months of “investigations” that included detention without charge, the then-federal Howard government revoking his visa, and continual insinuations of “support for terrorism”, at a total cost of over $8.5 million.
On August 28, Gunns Limited announced to the Australian Securities Exchange that there is a possibility the controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill may not proceed.
“The state Labor government’s failure to honor its promise to pay $55.4 million in reparations to Indigenous stolen wages claimants [is] incomprehensible”, Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) general secretary Ron Monaghan said in an August 19 statement.
BRISBANE — ”The Sri Lankan government is a racist regime which has conducted a decades-long reign of terror against the Tamil people”, Dr Brian Senewiratne, a Queensland medical specialist of Sinhala origin, said at a film night featuring My Daughter the Terrorist on August 30.
MELBOURNE — On September 12-13, the Victorian Young Unionists’ Network (YUN) will host a “maintain the rage” conference for young people at Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC). The theme is to serve as a reminder that Work Choices legislation still exists and needs to be fought.
Fairfax journalists, photographers, artists and graphic designers returned to work on September 1 after a four-day strike. The strike affected the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, the Age, the Illawarra Mercury and the Newcastle Herald.
MELBOURNE — Forty people gathered on September 5 outside a Melbourne 7-Eleven to speak out against the convenience store operators’ exploitation of young — particularly international student — workers.
Although it is one of the most commonly performed medical procedures in the world, abortion is still a crime in Victoria under the 1958 Victorian Crimes Act. Women have only been able to access abortion because in 1969 Justice Menhennitt ruled that a doctor could perform an abortion if continuing a pregnancy endangered the woman’s life or health.

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