Australia

“The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have got it right on the ABCC [Australian Building and Construction Commission]”, wrote Wilhelm Harnisch, Master Builders Australia’s (MBA) chief executive officer, on August 28 on the ABC Unleashed website.

On the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day this November, Adelaide was due to play host to the largest military corporations in the world, who would be displaying the most sophisticated weapons that have ever been created. The planned fair was cancelled on September 7 by the South Australian government on grounds of supposed “violent protests” being planned.

On September 2, 20,000 teachers across New South Wales stopped work for two hours.

In the lead-up to last year’s federal election, the then-Labor opposition worked furiously to narrow the policy difference between itself and the Howard government.

The overwhelming public opposition to electricity privatisation in NSW has claimed the political scalps of former premier Morris Iemma, hated treasurer Michael Costa and deputy premier John Watkins.

The University of Western Sydney Student Association (UWSSA) has launched a new campaign for better quality education, with speak-outs, information stalls and open forums that are drawing many students into action.

On August 21, deputy PM Julia Gillard announced that the federal government would change how student services at universities are funded. However, there appears to be no intention to abolish the Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) laws introduced by the former Howard government.

Students from Melbourne’s Collingwood College protested on August 21 in defence of a student who was threatened with suspension for wearing a "Free Tibet" T-shirt.

Among the crowd of some 2000 protesters in front of South Australia’s Parliament House on August 1, eco-activists in jeans and windcheaters mingled with people in Akubra hats and Driza-Bone jackets. Mentions of Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, federal water minister Penny Wong and South Australian Premier Mike Rann drew sustained jeers.

On August 7, the Western Australian ALP government called an early election for September 6.

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