Australia

Issy Wyner, one of the early Australian Trotskyists, passed away on August 13, aged 92.
In Australia today, paid maternity leave is still not adequate, women still do not have equal pay for equal work, and many women, particularly young women, are experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination almost 25 years after the anti-discrimination laws were created.
Farmers in Liverpool Plains, south of Tamworth, are taking on BHP Billiton’s drive for black gold.
A 150-strong community meeting on July 29 called on the NSW government to urgently re-open the region’s only maternity unit, at Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba.
Twenty people discussed the possibilities and challenges for Cuba, socialism and the environment following a screening of the documentary Power of Community — How Cuba Survived Peak Oil at Gecko House in Currumbin on July 27.
WOLLONGONG — More than 200 workers rallied on July 30 as part of actions across NSW in support of all public sector workers currently negotiating with the NSW government over pay and conditions.
NEWCASTLE — “The worst ALP government is as bad as the best Liberal government”, Kevin Maher, Newcastle and Central Coast secretary of the Australian Workers Union, told a public sector pay rally on July 30. About 60 AWU unionists, as well as members of services, teachers and public service unions, rallied outside the office of MP for the Hunter and NSW treasurer Michael Costa.
Remember the “wealth effect”? Rapidly rising housing and share prices made people feel wealthy and so they borrowed big-time and became big-time spenders, and this supposedly makes for an endless economic boom. Just about every capitalist economist was singing from that cheery song sheet — until recently.
SYDNEY — A speakout and concert is being organised for August 16 to unite campaigns for Aboriginal rights in Australia.
Refugee activists have welcomed the July 29 announcement by federal immigration minister Chris Evans to significantly dismantle Australia’s policy of mandatorily detaining refugees. They noted, however, that while the changes represent an important victory for the movement for refugee rights, the struggle is not yet over.

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