Australia

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.
The Socialist Alliance has condemned NSW Premier Morris Iemma’s latest bid to rush through enabling legislation to sell off the state’s energy retailers and generators.
The people of El Salvador will go to the polls on January 18 for the legislative elections, then again on March 15 for the presidential ballot.
The following is based on the Socialist Alliance’s campaign leaflet for the September 6 Western Australian election.
PERTH — Workers at the AMCOR factory in the suburb of Canningvale protested on August 19 to support their campaign for wage rises and a new enterprise agreement. The plant, which manufactures steel cans, had been assessed as one of the most productive in the world but now faces decline because of management intransigence, workers told Green Left Weekly outside the factory gates.
MELBOURNE — Two hundred Tamils gathered outside Victoria’s parliament building on August 22 to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced by fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
PERTH — “The Cuban people work in the interests of humanity. They do not work only for themselves, but for the wellbeing of the people of the world”, Hilda Chacon, Asia-Pacific representative of the Cuban Federation of Workers, told an audience of around 30 at an Australia-Cuba Friendship Society function on August 18.
PERTH — With a state election set for September 6, the WA Labor government last week pledged a four-year extension of the current moratorium on GM (genetically modified) crops and a limit on GM canola trials to 10 hectares.
When you see the line-up of candidates running for Newcastle council in the September 13 elections, you notice the average demographic is seriously out of whack with that of the region.

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