Australia

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has attacked a Senate inquiry’s recommendation for national container deposit legislation, calling the approach “inefficient” and likely to cause price increases.
On September 5, the government’s climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, released his recommendations for medium-term cuts to Australian greenhouse gas emissions.
On September 4, the federal Labor government introduced a bill in parliament to partially end discrimination against same-sex couples.
Information released under freedom of information (FOI) laws shows that NSW Police is keeping detailed documentation about numerous groups and individuals on the political left. Police intelligence assessments have targeted a variety groups, including Mutiny and Greenpeace.
The dumping or resignation of half a dozen ministers from the NSW Labor government over the last fortnight — brought on by internal warfare over the cabinet’s refusal to scrap its electricity privatisation plan — has still not convinced the new premier and ALP power-brokers to drop the plan altogether.
People in Australia are being urged to pressure the federal parliament to pass a resolution calling on the Japanese government to apologise and provide compensation to the “comfort women” of World War Two.
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.
Public discussion during Newcastle’s council election campaign has shifted to the left.
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.

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