Australia

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released this statement on January 30. *** Mothers in Darwin detention centres are growing increasingly despondent as immigration minister Scott Morrison’s cruel suite of policies takes effect. Darwin detention centres are increasingly being used as holding centres for pregnant women who, six weeks after they give birth in Royal Darwin Hospital, are removed back to Christmas Island and the threat of deportation.
January 26 is officially celebrated as Australia Day, but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (and anyone who values the truth) it is known as Invasion Day or Survival Day. This is the day when British colonial authorities arrogantly laid claim to this continent, opening an era of brutal dispossession, genocide and racism.
I am clearly a pretty tough guy. I mean I must be, seeing as I've been going out and getting drunk quite frequently in Sydney for years now and have never once been assaulted. True, I don't exactly “work out”, and I look more like a deflated beanbag than a Mr Universe contender, but as anyone who reads the Daily Telegraph will tell you, the city is in the grip of an out-of-control tidal wave of drunken violence.
Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings sacked Greens ministers Nick McKim and Cassie O’Connor from cabinet on January 15 — the same day that she announced a state election would be held in March. The Greens have shared power with Labor since a minority government was elected in 2010. But the deal has proven unpopular with Labor voters and Giddings has ruled out a power-sharing deal with the Greens in future.
As Green Left Weekly approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. *** When Green Left Weekly was launched in 1991, it was conceived as a way to bridge the gap between ecological and socialist politics. At the time, environmental politics had emerged as an important new force, which was not always taken seriously by the existing left.
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett's unpopular shark cull policy is facing legal and political hurdles as activists plan protest actions for February 1. On January 22, the media reported that an unidentified fisher had been contracted to administer the baitlines along the south-west coast of WA, even though he admitted to have “practically no experience as a shark fisher”. He had a “direct line” to police should his activities be interfered with, he said.
It has been a long and horrifying two months for refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia. Many new directives, plans and an increasingly brutal border control regime have led to a mounting crisis that legal experts are increasingly referring to as criminal. Here are five ways the government have made the treatment of asylum seekers worse. CLOSING DETENTION CENTRES IN AUSTRALIA TO EXPAND OFFSHORE
When the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that former union official, John Maitland, and former NSW ALP minister for primary industries, Ian Macdonald, had engaged in corrupt conduct over the granting of a coal exploration licence at Doyles Creek, they said the licence was tainted by corruption and should be declared void.
A private member’s bill was successfully passed on November 21 last year to remove abortion from Tasmania’s criminal code. Tasmania has joined the ACT and Victoria in decriminalising abortion. Until then, the criminal code set out the limitations of when an abortion is not lawful and when and how it can be lawfully obtained. Mandatory counselling was also imposed on women. These limitations were so restrictive that abortion access was minimal and women and doctors faced the real or perceived threat of criminal charges being laid against them.
SOMETIMES in life, you can feel pretty helpless. That said, I’m a privileged white guy in a privileged white society. So for me at least, it doesn’t happen very often. It happened last year. John Pilger is a journalist I grew up reading, and a large part of the reason why I entered journalism. Pilger was back in Australia making Utopia, his fourth film about the plight of Aboriginal Australians. He asked me to work on it with him.
Tamil people and their supporters rallied on January 20 against the detention of 46 refugees who have been held for years even though they have been recognised by the Australian government as genuine refugees. Most of these refugees are Tamils from Sri Lanka. They are being held because they have negative security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Negative ASIO decisions have, in effect, condemned these refugees to a life sentence.
On February 14, 2004, as a consequence of a police pursuit, a Redfern police car driven by Constable Michael Hollingsworth rammed TJ Hickey’s bicycle. As a result, he was impaled on a spiked metal fence. The police did not follow proper medical practice and he died in hospital the next day. This year will be the 10-year anniversary of his death. The Hickey family, with the support of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, will be rallying at the fence line on the corner of George and Phillip streets in Waterloo to mark the occasion.