Australia

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.

Thirty people gathered at the Governor of Hindmarsh Hotel for the second Politics in the Pub hosted by the Socialist Alliance on September 11. The topic — “Can we solve the water crisis?” — was addressed by Peter Laffan, chair of the Save our Gulf Coalition, and Bernie Laidlaw of the Socialist Alliance.

The Stop the Eastern Terminal Substation (SETS) Action Group, in the Perth Hills area, is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by community-based action groups.

“There needs to be action in this country. People like yourselves can make it happen”, Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton, who is facing a jail sentence of 10 years, told a public meeting at the Queensland University of Technology on September 10.

Bruno, a supporter of Green Left Weekly, said to me last week that the political situation today reminded him of a famous quote from a story about a Sicilian prince at the time Italy’s feudal principalities were being challenged by Giuseppe Garibaldi’s “Redshirts”:

Nothing is beyond big business in its unscrupulous drive for profits.

Public discussion during Newcastle’s council election campaign has shifted to the left.

BRISBANE — ”The Sri Lankan government is a racist regime which has conducted a decades-long reign of terror against the Tamil people”, Dr Brian Senewiratne, a Queensland medical specialist of Sinhala origin, said at a film night featuring My Daughter the Terrorist on August 30.

MELBOURNE — On September 12-13, the Victorian Young Unionists’ Network (YUN) will host a “maintain the rage” conference for young people at Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC). The theme is to serve as a reminder that Work Choices legislation still exists and needs to be fought.

Fairfax journalists, photographers, artists and graphic designers returned to work on September 1 after a four-day strike. The strike affected the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, the Age, the Illawarra Mercury and the Newcastle Herald.

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