Paul Oboohov

David McBride, a former Australian military lawyer and whistleblower on alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan spoke to media outside the ACT Courts on August 22. He was there for a preliminary hearing on charges he is facing for theft of commonwealth property, breaching the Defence Act and unauthorised disclosure of information. If convicted, this 55-year-old could spend the rest of his life in jail.

Several hundred people from the Yuin nation and their supporters gathered next to the fishing trawler wharf for Survival Day on January 26 and listened to poetry, rock bands and several solo musicians including a didgeridoo player.

Organiser Rodney Kelly told Green Left Weekly he wanted to bring the NSW South Coast Aboriginal and the wider community together to promote the South Coast Aboriginal community, its history and what it means to be Aboriginal in the region.

The federal Attorney General’s case against a defendant dubbed “Witness K” began in the ACT Magistrates Court on September 12. Media reports say Witness K is a serving Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer. 

We don’t need to pray for rain, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested, we need to take serious climate action now, was the blunt message farmers delivered to federal parliament on September 10. 

The farmers said the drought gripping NSW and Queensland had to be a wake-up call for politicians to take climate change seriously.

They also raised concerns that the Coalition government is attempting to stymie the development of wind power, which provides income for farmers and rural communities when agricultural income falls.

Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) covering more than half the public service are planning a series of half-day strikes to attend mass meetings around the country between June 18 and 26. The industrial action is to protect their rights, conditions and pay from federal government attacks.
A casual glance at the ALP’s federal budget would have you believe that there will be a net loss of 1224 public sector jobs over the next financial year. That figure, derived from an actual cut of 5061 jobs, balanced by 3837 new jobs, belies what will happen.
Since the November federal election, the federal Labor government has moved to re-engineer the federal public service. In early December it re-shuffled portfolios to create new departments including the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), with deputy prime minister Julia Gillard as its minister.
“If you can’t stand up and say what you feel and believe, then you’re a slave. And I ain’t no slave”, said one of the building workers prosecuted by the Howard government for withdrawing labour after the unfair dismissal of his shop steward.
ACT government ACTION bus drivers held a snap strike on September 20 to protest against service cutbacks that would reduce some drivers’ extra shifts and pay. The action was taken following the failure of negotiations with the ACT government’s municipal services department and despite a Transport Workers Union warning that the strike would be illegal and could result in fines of $4000 for each worker.
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