Kerry Smith

Figures released by the Howard government’s Workplace Authority on November 9 showed that almost half of the industrial agreements so far vetted by the authority since the government introduced its “fairness test” in May have been rejected by the authority.

Australia’s peak nature conservation groups — the conservation councils of NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, Environment Victoria, the NT Environment Centre and Environment Tasmania — have launched a website to promote Walk Against Warming 2007, which will be held on the Sunday two weeks before this year’s federal election.

“We need someone to take the pressure off us”, an exhausted Liz Skerrett told an electorate officer outside PM John Howard’s Sydney office on September 25 during a protest by carers and the disabled calling for more government assistance.

More than 500 people rallied in Darwin on September 15 to support the rights of Indigenous people in the Northern Territory and to oppose the federal government’s intervention into NT Indigenous communities.

After an inquiry ordered by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione cleared police of any wrongdoing during the September 8 APEC protest against US President George Bush, Human Rights Monitors have published more than 200 photos of officers who failed to wear visible identification.

The Socialist Alliance’s new Welfare Rights Charter was launched on September 14 to an enthusiastic audience at the Southport Community Centre.

On September 11, the Mudgee District Environment Group (MDEG) denounced the NSW Labor government’s approval of the Moolarben coalmine, 40 kilometres north-east of Mudgee on the Goulburn River, as “a reckless act that shows no regard for our environment, viability of our rivers and water resources, cohesion of our rural communities or global warming”.

For nearly seven years, the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy has guarded the Kuradji man burial site, artefacts and middens at Sandon Point at the bottom of Bulli Pass, in the northern Illawarra. Planning minister Frank Sartor, using recently legislated powers, has given approval to Stockland and the Anglican Retirement Village Trust for a huge development the size of a suburb on the site.

A four-day rooftop protest by three detainees at Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre ended peacefully on August 21. The three detainees — New Zealand men Montana Kelly, 27, and Bruce Ngaromo, 32, and 30-year-old Vietnamese man Van Nguyen — scaled the roof in protest at the cancellation of some visiting and excursion rights after a detainee failed to return from day leave.

On August 17, Ali Humayun, a Pakistani gay man locked up in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, received a report from the federal ombudsman recommending he be released into the general community while he waits for the High Court to hear his appeal against a decision by a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) to reject granting him refugee status.

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