Kerry Smith

The Greens are calling for state-of-the-art mobile medical clinics as a means of extending city-based services to rural and remote areas of NSW. The call is part of the Greens’ NSW election policy for health, launched by MP Sylvia Hale on March 16.
At noon on March 8, 50 protesters gathered outside James Hardie Industries’ Pitt Street offices to express outrage at the company’s decision to lock out 12 maintenance workers at its Rosehill plant in western Sydney and to strip them of entitlements.
A satirical website created by climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle (RTN) has twice been shut down by the powerful coal industry lobby group, the NSW Minerals Council.
On March 5, maintenance department workers employed at James Hardie Ltd’s Rosehill site took protected industrial action for 24 hours. They were supported by activists from Worker Solidarity, who organised a community picket on the day
On February 24, the Refugee Council of Australia called on PM John Howard’s government to grant “full and fair hearing” in Australia to any claims for asylum by a group of 83 Sri Lankans rescued off Christmas Island by an Australian naval ship.
On February 6, 400 people converged on the lawns outside the national parliament building in Canberra to protest of the continued detention of Australian citizen David Hicks at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The February 6 Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that “Australians yet to establish a view on the Venezuelan president will have the opportunity to do so in person if the organisers of an online petition inviting him to visit get their way”.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Greg Combet expressed “great pride” in the role played by trade unions and union members in achieving justice for the victims of James Hardie’s asbestos products.
On February 19, campaigners for the repatriation to Australia of David Hicks again demanded that the Australian parliament seeks his immediate release from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Releasing a report on mainland immigration detention centres on January 19, human rights commissioner Graeme Innes said that, while some improvements had been made, Australia’s mandatory detention laws should be repealed.

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