Australia

MELBOURNE — A union meeting at the University of Melbourne on June 3 voted for work-bans and a four-hour stop-work on June 15, should there be no substantial progress in collective agreement negotiations.
On June 3, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its estimates of the national accounts for Australia for the January-March quarter. Following on from a small overall drop in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.6% for the December quarter, a fall in the March quarter would mean that Australia had entered a “technical” recession.
On the morning of May 31, international students in Melbourne began a powerful protest against the recent street violence that has targeted South Asian international students in particular.
SYDNEY — More than 160 people, mostly from Sydney’s Latin American and Arabic communities, celebrated 61 years of Palestinian resistance on June 6.
On May 29, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told radio 3AW that his government has “absolutely no plans to make any change” to the superannuation preservation age — the age at which workers may access the superannuation paid into a super fund by their employer.
NEWCASTLE — Fifty people marched on the Newcastle legal district on June 10 to protest changes to the Family Court system initiated by former PM John Howard.
PERTH — Organic growers from WA’s south west mounted a silent protest on June 10 on the steps of the state parliament. They condemned the government’s attempt to keep the locations of genetically modified (GM) canola trials secret.
With more than 20,000 extra US soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan, a member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) argues that eight years of foreign occupation has made life worse for ordinary Afghans.
More than 200 people packed into the Brisbane city hall on June 1 for a public forum on why individual rights in Australia needed to be enshrined in a Human Rights Act.
Two Australian peace activists, Emma King and Jessie Boylan, took part in a 300-strong protest in Gaza on June 9.

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