Australia

A medical professional from the Sunrise Health Service has attacked the Rudd government for continuing with the NT intervention policy. Instead of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health outcomes, the intervention has made Aboriginal people less healthy, she says.
Following the rich and inspiring World at a Crossroads conference, socialist youth organisation Resistance held its annual national conference on April 13 in Sydney.
Every week it seems as if a new law in NSW is passed which rolls back civil liberties. This time it is “anti-bikie” gang laws which, despite assurances, can be used against any sort of organisation, including activist or pressure groups. Other states have said they may copy the laws.
On April 18, the revolutionary and progressive governments of Latin America were waging a battle against the US at the Summit of the Americas. On the same day, Luis Bilbao, an active participant in the Venezuelan revolution, addressed a public meeting in Sydney on the topic of “Latin American integration at a crossroads”.
Young Tamil activists Sutha Thanbalasingam, Mathivannan Sinnathurai and Pratheepan Rajathurai were prepared to starve to death in the face of Australian government inaction over Sri Lanka’s genocidal war against the Tamil people. They began a hunger strike on April 11 in Parramatta, Sydney.
The NSW government has decided to pour $5.1 million into the expansion of a rifle range in the state’s Southern Highlands, despite opposition from residents.
In the aftermath of industrial action by Qantas workers at airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on March 30 over plans out-source jobs, Qantas announced on April 14 that 1750 jobs would be cut.
RailCorp NSW has announced that it intends carrying out a staff review at CityRail stations under provisions in the current enterprise bargaining agreement. This could mean massive job cuts, including up to 71 positions at Central station alone, according to the April 7 ABC Online.
A seven-week industrial dispute between building industry giant John Holland and 39 sacked workers from the West Gate Bridge reconstruction project has entered a new stage. Workers and their supporters unanimously supported a moratorium on further protest actions against the company at a meeting on April 17.
The Sydney Stop the War Coalition called a snap protest on April 15 against government plans to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan.

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