Australia

Kuwaiti-born doctor Ghaleb Jaber is prepared to follow in the footsteps of overseas-trained doctors (OTDs) who went on hunger strike in 1997 in Sydney and Melbourne to fight for their rights. Jaber set up the Overseas Trained Doctors Network of Victoria five years ago. This network is organising a conference on July 26 to raise the issues facing overseas-trained doctors in the lead up to the federal election. “We want them to listen to us this time,” Jaber told Green Left Weekly.

Kevin Rudd's astounding announcement that all boat arrivals "from now on" would never be resettled in Australia, and subject to a jerry-rigged offshore dumping deal with the Papua New Guinea government has shocked many. Every asylum seeker that arrives by boat for at least the next 12 months would be sent to Papua New Guinea, with no cap on the number. In exchange, Australia would pump money into PNG's government for apparent health and education reforms.

The Nyoongar Tent Embassy has rejected an updated offer by the state government to extinguish native title, reiterating that recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty is the goal of their campaign. The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and the state government had negotiated a $1 billion package. Premier Colin Barnett upped the offer to a $1.3 billion package on July 5.
Vincent Emanuele, 29, fought in the Iraq war, was forced to kill people and suffers post-traumatic stress. Yet he remains a leading activist with the US Iraq Veterans Against the War. On tour through the eastern states of Australia, Emanuele told a Sydney public meeting jointly hosted by Stop the War Coalition, Marrickville Peace Group and StandFast, that the anti-war movement urgently needs to build resistance to the “insane system that leads to wars and drives ecological destruction”.
This statement was released by Gomeroi traditional owners of north-west NSW on July 8. *** More than 50 Gomeroi traditional owners, senior elders, elders, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members and families have formed a picket line at Whitehaven Coal near Gunnedah in north-west NSW [on July 9] amid a stopwork action in protest against the Maules Creek coalmine and the incomplete and disrespectful cultural heritage process.
John Shipton, a founder of one Australia's newest political parties, the WikiLeaks Party, will be the keynote speaker at Green Left Weekly's annual dinner in Sydney on July 27. Pip Hinman, a spokesperson for Green Left Weekly, said: "As the world watches to see if Edward Snowden manages to leave Moscow's airport to claim asylum in Venezuela, or another Latin American country, it is clear that there is widespread alarm at the news he's broken about the extent of the US spying ability.
All this outcry over Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's plan to award state politicians a 42% pay rise is a bit rough. The rises would result in MPs getting an extra $57,000 a year, ministers an extra $90,000, and Newman's pay would rise by $117,000 to $398,000 a year.
Environment Victoria released this statement on July 13. *** Environment Victoria has described news that the owners of Yallourn power station are seeking payment for closure as a desperate measure that is unlikely to succeed.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on July 12. *** The Socialist Alliance recognises and welcomes the June 30-July 3, 2013, popular mobilisations of the Egyptian people, led by youth, for democracy, human rights and social and economic justice that brought down the regime of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Newcastle resident, hip-hop performer and socialist activist Zane Alcorn is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Newcastle in the next federal election. Leela Ford spoke to Alcorn about the politics and messages he will bring to his campaign. *** How long have you been involved with the Socialist Alliance and activism in general?
In a massive win for people power, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) disapproved a project for 16 coal seam gas (CSG) wells in the Illawarra in and around drinking water catchments for greater Sydney. Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore said: “This is huge win for the campaign to stop CSG and protect our water. "It is the result of the extraordinary and tireless efforts of so many in the Illawarra community. It is the result of a powerful community campaign that has brought people together to stand up for what's right.”
A sign reading “Moreland City Council welcomes refugees and asylum seekers” has been erected outside the council's office in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg, on July 4. The motion to install the sign was moved by Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, and passed council vote on May 8. The council also committed support to the World Refugee Day rally in Melbourne, which called for an end to mandatory detention and deportations, and the closure of Nauru and Manus Island detention camps.