Australia

On March 16, Tasmanian timber company Gunns' Ltd withdrew its legal case against the Wilderness Society (TWS), and now has to pay $350,000 in costs.

Maintenance workers from Foster’s Carlton and United Brewery have had a partial victory in their dispute with Foster’s over jobs. The workers are covered by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

Mitch, an inspiring Arrernte/Luritja author, poet and artist, and an important voice against the NT Intervention, together with Sam Watson, well-known Aboriginal activist, Brisbane community activist and Socialist Alliance national spokesperson on Indigenous rights, will feature on a panel titled “From Invasion to Intervention: Indigenous Australians speak out”.

The Western Australian Liberal government and sections of the corporate media have responded to the March 12 acquittal of three people charged with assaulting police, by mounting a populist campaign for mandatory sentencing of people convicted of assaulting police.

A boat-load of asylum seekers believed to be from Afghanistan has been “intercepted” by the Australian navy and sent to the Christmas Island detention centre.

The scientist appointed by the federal government to monitor the environmental impact of the Northern Territory’s Ranger uranium mine, Alan Hughes, confirmed at a March 12 Senate hearing that contaminated water was leaking into rock fissures beneath Kakadu National Park.

Escorted by more than 400 police and Road Traffic Authority personnel, truckloads of nuclear waste were secretly transported through the streets of Wollongong on March 16, despite massive community opposition.

The Maldives government has announced the country will transform its economy to become carbon neutral by 2020.

After the Australian Jewish News decided on March 11 to pull a paid advertisement for the upcoming lecture tour by Professor Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the Emanuel Synagogue, which had agreed to have Halper speak to a class of 12 people, suddenly withdrew its invitation.

A protest was held outside Rio Tinto’s Melbourne offices on March 13 to launch a campaign against multinationals investing in Colombia. Rio Tinto has several exploration projects in Colombia and it plans to start mining next year.

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