Kerry Smith

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.
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.

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