Kerry Smith

Five months into its term the Rudd government delivered on one of its pre-election promises and ended the Temporary Protection Visa program. The TPV program was hatched by the ultra-racist Pauline Hanson and introduced by the Howard government in 1999. It placed successful asylum seekers on three year temporary visas, having to endure the horror of being reviewed and possibly deported after three years.

At least 100 Indigenous people were arrested in Alice Springs during “military-style” police raids on the evening of April 3, according to an April 4 media release issued jointly by Vince Forrester, an elder of the Mutitjulu community at the base of Uluru, Greg Eatock from the Sydney-based Aboriginal Rights Coalition and Marlene Hodder from the Alice-based Intervention Rollback Working Group.

The March 25 Sydney Morning Herald reported that the site of a planned supermarket development in the northern NSW town of Moree is an Indigenous burial site.

The Melbourne Age reported on February 27 that child abuse charges against an Indigenous woman from the NT had finally been dropped after two years. The woman’s son has still not been returned to her by Family and Children’s Services Northern Territory (FACS), however.

The February 1 West Australian newspaper’s website reported that police refused to reveal the results of a post-mortem examination on the body of an Aboriginal elder who died in police custody while being taken to Kalgoorlie in the back of a van.

An Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) spy told a NSW Supreme Court judge on December 4 that Australian counter-terrorist authorities had no evidence that Mamdouh Habib had engaged in terrorist-related activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan before he was abducted by US authorities in October 2001.

ABC Online reported on November 29 that the Australian Capital Territory’s attorney-general, Simon Corbell, intended to introduce a bill that would give legal recognition to same-sex “civil unions”.

Members of grassroots climate change action group Rising Tide chained themselves to a coal train on November 19 to stop the train reaching the port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export port, with a record 80.8 million tonnes being shipped in the 2006-07 financial year.

Indonesian activists in the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS) continue to face government-sponsored thuggery and have appealed for support from Australian activists to help them defend their democratic rights.

The housing affordability crisis is serious enough for both Labor and the Coalition to promise home-buyers financial support in the present election. According to official statistics it has never been harder for first home buyers to acquire a home.

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