Australia

Soubhi Iskander is a candidate in the September 13 Blacktown City Council elections. He is standing on a Socialist Alliance ticket, which includes fellow Sudanese activist Hassan Elnour Abaid and queer rights activist Rachel Evans.
If the firm Altona Resources has its way, South Australia within five years will have a major new source of base-load electricity, set to feed into the power grid for many decades to come. Not only that, but the firm promises to supply the Australian market with as much as 10 million barrels per year of diesel fuel.
On August 27, education minister Julia Gillard tabled legislation enabling welfare recipients’ payments to be denied for up to three months if their children were regularly absent from school.
Green Left Weekly’s Chris Williams spoke to Graham Larcombe, secretary of Wollongong Against Corruption, about the process underway in Wollongong to develop a new, democratic vision of local democracy.
The federal government’s climate adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, told the National Press Club on September 5 that while climate change is “diabolical”, “intractable” and “daunting”, Australia is a “special case” and cannot be expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions to the same extent as other “wealthy nations”.
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.
On September 9, the Victorian parliament will start debating the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008. The bill will make abortions up to 24 weeks of gestation lawful.
On August 28, federal environment minister Peter Garrett announced the expansion of the Beverley uranium mine, situated in South Australia’s far north-east.
David Spratt co-wrote Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action with Philip Sutton. The book has been recently published and a review can be read in GLW #764. Spratt spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Ben Courtice about the need to move beyond “business as usual” immediately if we’re to avert climate catastrophe.
On August 27, outside a "Defence White Paper community consultation", Stop the War Coalition held a protest. Inside, peace activists made up about 40% of an audience of about 100.

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