Australia

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.
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.
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.
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.
On March 31, Western Australian treasurer Troy Buswell announced a cap on wage rises for public sector workers.
The Sydney Stop the War Coalition called a snap protest on April 15 against government plans to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan.
On April 16, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd launched the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. The day before, CSIRO scientists told a Senate inquiry that the world needs immediate and significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions to have any hope of preserving a climate that can support humanity.
On April 17 a judge issued an order for seizure of property against Sean Pickard, an activist involved in campaigns for Indigenous rights. This follows his failure to pay fines that were imposed as a result of convictions on five counts of “failing to produce a ticket” on Melbourne’s privatised public transport system.
PM Kevin Rudd likes to tell us he is against “extreme capitalism”. Like US President Barack Obama, Rudd tries to give capitalism a more human face, pretending it’s now something different to the neoliberal nightmare of the past three and a half decades.
On April 16, an explosion on board a small fishing boat, packed with 47 Afghan asylum seekers and two crew, killed five people and injured many more.

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