Australia

As a doctor working in the front line of the public hospital system for a decade, I have been watching the debate around health reform with great interest. The phrase “controlled locally, funded federally” has been repeated ad nauseam by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Imagine if we could hear him saying “free universal health care for all ... no more handouts to the private sector ... break the feudal strangle hold of the colleges on the number of specialists being trained ... will include dentistry ... a healthy society ... a shorter working week so we have time to exercise...”.
In protests around the country on Workers Memorial Day, April 28, thousands of workers came out to remember those killed on the job and to protest against the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Speakers pointed out that since the ABCC was formed, deaths in the construction industry had risen from 3.14 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2004, to 4.27 in 2008. The rate peaked in 2006, at 5.6. The Rudd government’s home insulation program, under which four workers died and there have been 120 house fires, also came under attack.
Resistance, socialist youth organisation, held its national conference in the Thirroul Community Centre (Wollongong, NSW) over April 24-26, 2010. Nearly 300 largely young people took part in the event, discussing organising a fight back against racism, war and environmental destruction. The event was filmed by Win TV (regional NSW version of Channel Nine). The news report can be seen below.

Australians voted out the Howard Coalition government in 2007. But the Labor government's decision to suspend processing new refugees arriving by boat from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka means John Howard's racist refugee policies have been revived.

To all Socialist Alliance members and supporters: I am asking for your support for the Resistance national conference, Resistance 2010: The World Can’t Wait!, to be held in Thirroul, New South Wales over April 24-26.To all Socialist Alliance members and supporters: I am asking for your support for the Resistance national conference, Resistance 2010: The World Can't Wait!, to be held in Thirroul, New South Wales over April 24-26. Resistance is a socialist youth organisation affiliated to the Socialist Alliance.

A coalition of community environmental groups has been trying to stop logging in the Mumbulla State Forest in the NSW far south east, with a blockade of about 90 people. The forest contains the last known koala colony between Canberra and Victoria.

The logging is being carried out by Forests NSW, a public trading enterprise under direct control of the NSW state government. Ninety-five percent of felled trees are to be processed at the Eden woodchipping mill, owned by South East Forest Exports (SEFE).

Israeli murders of Palestinian resistance leaders are not normally condemned by Australian government ministers. Not even the 2002 murder of Salah Shehade in Gaza, in which the murder weapon was a one-tonne bomb from an F-16 jet, and 14 other people, nine of them children, were killed.
A sub-editing error in Green Left Weekly #827, in the article “Teacher activists elected to union council”, meant that the article gave the impression that the issue of performance pay leading up to the NSW Teachers’ Federation’s 2009 annual conference was debated at the February 2010 Council.
Campaigning group Climate Action Hobart (CAH) held a ‘Dancing with the “climate” stars’ competition on February 26 to drawn attention to the climate policies of Tasmania’s big political parties.
BRISBANE — Aboriginal rights activists rallied outside state parliament on February 23, calling for official recognition of the Aboriginal flag in Queensland’s constitution. Inside the house, amendments to the constitution were being discussed.

Pages

Subscribe to Australia