Australia

Women seeking a termination of their pregnancy during the second trimester, and beyond, may be denied access to Medicare funding if Tasmanian Senator Guy Barnett is successful in his bid to axe funding for abortions after the 14th week of pregnancy. Currently, women seeking an abortion are covered under the Medicare scheme up until 26 weeks of pregnancy.
Less than a week after declaring that “the soap opera is over” in New South Wales politics, new Premier Nathan Rees had to sack his police minister of three days, Matt Brown, for allegedly drunkenly “mounting the chest” of Wollongong MP Noreen Hay in a “dirty dancing” party in Parliament House during the June budget session of parliament.
“There needs to be action in this country. People like yourselves can make it happen”, Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton, who is facing a jail sentence of 10 years, told a public meeting at the Queensland University of Technology on September 10.
The Stop the Eastern Terminal Substation (SETS) Action Group, in the Perth Hills area, is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by community-based action groups.
Public discussion during Newcastle’s council election campaign has shifted to the left.
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.

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