One hundred activists of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) attended the Pushing the Boundaries climate change conference over April 28-29. The two days of talks, vibrant debate and action-based workshops set a progressive agenda for ongoing union environmental activism and marked the NTEU as the left pole of the global warming debate in the union movement. NTEU national president Jeannie Rea opened the conference by drawing attention to the special place of the NTEU in the debate about global warming.
The federal election result and the surging Green vote have livened up the Victorian election campaign. The latest Newspoll figures show 19% support for the Greens, the and major parties are struggling to work out whether to launch a full-frontal attack or whether that would deliver more votes to the Greens. The Greens are eating into Labor’s support base on the left and Labor is worried.
In the following article Margarita Windisch explains why she is running as Socialist Alliance candidate for Footscray in the November 27 Victorian election. Socialist Alliance’s other candidates are Mitch Cherry for Bellarine, Trent Hawkins for Brunswick and Ron Guy for Melton. * * * I moved to Australia from Austria in the late ’80s and currently teach welfare work at Victoria University TAFE in Footscray. There I have had firsthand experience of the Brumby government’s misguided “skills reform” agenda for the sector.
At dawn on August 20, the offices of Kurdish groups in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne were raided by Australian Federal Police and state police. Police alleged the groups were linked to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which struggles for self-determination for the oppressed Kurdish minority in Turkey. The PKK was listed as a “terrorist organisation” by the Australian government in 2005. Kurdish leaders in Melbourne, along with the association’s lawyer Chris Ryan, questioned the timing of the raid, coming as it did the day before the federal election.
Ben Courtice, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Gellibrand, launched his election campaign on July 31 outside the Maribyrnong Detention centre. Courtice told Green Left Weekly the Socialist Alliance calls for an immediate end to mandatory detention and off shore processing. It also supports an increase to the currently low refugee intake to a minimum of 20.000 per year .
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s July 5 announcement that she would solve the refugee crisis by being tougher on refugees did what former PM John Howard failed to do in his 11 years of conservative rule. She has made former One Nation MP Pauline Hanson feel at home. Hanson announced she wasn’t emigrating to Britain, as planned, saying she was in “total agreement” with Gillard’s plan to “sweep political correctness from the debate”, the Australian said on July 6. Gillard’s main proposals cast refugees as a problem to be solved — and blame the refugees for that problem.
On December 16, the Victorian state government passed the Summary Offences and Control of Weapons Acts Amendment Bill 2009.
Results of the recent elections for branch council and senior officer positions in the Australian Education Union Victoria branch were released on October 29. The incumbent union leadership was challenged by the Teachers Alliance, a rank and file group of AEU members that campaigns for an active and democratic union.
A November 18 report by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) titled Building on Our Strengths confirmed that the experience of racism has serious health implications for Indigenous and migrant communities in Australia.
At first, the flow of people fleeing horrors like the Sri Lankan government’s concentration camps for Tamils and Afghanistan’s killing fields didn’t test the capacity of the Christmas Island detention centre
The Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2009 is scheduled for Senate debate on October 26. The bill would change the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act). This would affect the building and construction industry’s watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
On October 30, construction worker Ark Tribe will go to court in Adelaide. Workers will take solidarity protest actions across the country to show support for their fellow worker. Tribe has been unjustly targeted by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
Every three years the Australian Education Union (AEU), which covers teachers and other eduction workers in government schools, holds elections for all union representatives in the four sectors (early childhood, primary, secondary and TAFE). The elections include all senior officer positions and the AEU state branch council.
“If you don’t give a shit, that’s what you get”, was a favourite chant of striking Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) city campus staff at their picket lines on September 16.
On September 1, thousands of people rallied in Melbourne for safe workplaces. The rally was in opposition to the federal government’s proposed national occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.
Ark Tribe is a South Australian building worker and member of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU). He has been charged for refusing to answer questions by the Australian Building Construction Commission (ABCC) over a 2008 workplace safety dispute