Dave Riley

The economic meltdown on Wall Street and its massive repercussions world-wide won’t be going away in a hurry.

The Queensland Greens now have their first MP in the state parliament, after Ronan Lee, ALP member for Indooroopilly, announced on October 5 that he was defecting to the Greens.

Lee won his seat from the Liberal Party in the Labor landslide of

Over 70% of long-day childcare services in Australia are delivered by business, according to Professor Deborah Brennan of the University of NSW’s Social Policy Research Centre, writing in the February 29 Melbourne Age.

The recent collapse in ABC Learning Centres’ share price generated a media frenzy. Director Eddy Groves was reputed to have lost $45 million in just two hours of trading. For a time it looked like many centres would close their doors.

In a new initiative for a political party in Australia, the Socialist Alliance is using the web to open up the organisation of its federal election campaign. Mainstream parties have generated a lot of media attention with their self-promotion on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, but the alliance is enabling open access to the way its campaign is run.

On July 20, 80 people rallied outside the Brisbane immigration department offices to protest against the detention of Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef. The rally was called by the Stop the War Collective.

The Queensland Police Union (QPU) has launched a series of radio advertisements that accuse the state Labor government of political interference in the case of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley. A jury returned a verdict of not guilty for Hurley on June 20 in the Townsville Supreme Court. Hurley had been charged with the assault and manslaughter of Mulrunji Doomadgee, a 36-year-old aboriginal man, at the Palm Island police watch-house in November 2004.

The 1967 referendum on Aboriginal rights — in which more than 90% voted in favour of including Aboriginal people in the census and giving the federal government the power to override racist state laws and legislate for Aboriginal people — has “enormous importance for Aboriginal people and our struggle”, Queensland Indigenous leader Sam Watson told Green Left Weekly.

The week before the March 24 NSW state election, the Socialist Alliance launched an initiative for a three-month trial of free public transport. Alliance members and supporters mass leafleted bus terminals and railway stations across Sydney on March 20, calling on the incoming government to undertake the trial and weigh up the cost and the environmental health benefits.

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