Activists in Melbourne braved rain on October 31 to remember Shaun Coolwell, who died after being restrained by police in Kingston, south of Brisbane, on October 2. His brother died in similar circumstances four years ago. The rally called for an end to deaths in custody and for the Deaths in Custody Royal Commission's recommendations to be implemented. The rally noted that not a single police officer or prison officer has been convicted for any of the 99 cases of Aboriginal deaths in custody between January 1, 1980 and May 31, 1989 that were investigated by the Royal Commission.
The Age published a comment piece on October 26, called “Australia, we need to talk about the way we speak”. Author Dean Frenkel, lecturer in public speaking and communications, argued the Australian accent developed when “our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns”.
When it was revealed last month that Malcolm Turnbull has significant investments in the Caribbean tax haven of the Cayman Islands, I'll admit I felt some relief. At least our prime minister appeared committed to helping someone's economy, even if It was just a banking system once described by Barack Obama as “the biggest tax scam on record”.
NSW Christian Democrat MLC Fred Nile intends to reintroduce a bill to give personhood rights to foetuses. He has already had several attempts — the last one failing a year ago. On November 9, Nile sent NSW Legislative Council members notice of his new Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2015. The Crimes Act currently recognises grievous bodily harm to a pregnant woman if her foetus dies as a result of assault or violence committed against her. The maximum sentence is 25 years’ jail.
Border Force staff, who imposed work bans in support of their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement on November 4, were stood down without pay by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), despite the industrial action being authorised by the Fair Work Commission. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) condemned the department's action as a heavy-handed escalation of the long-running dispute.
This is an edited version of the speech given by Jackie Kriz, the president of Geelong Trades Hall Council, at the Geelong Reclaim the Night rally on October 31. * * * I would like to thank the women of Reclaim the Night collective who, with support from Geelong Trades Hall, have worked tirelessly for months to organise this rally.
I spent much of the last two weeks in Brisbane’s Land Court, listening to a Central Queensland grazier — Bruce Currie — and a couple of conservation groups — North Queensland Conservation Council and the Coast and Country Association of Queensland — trying to persuade the court that GVK Hancock’s proposed Kevins Corner mine in the Galilee Basin is neither viable nor desirable.
The Central Intelligence Agency was set up in 1947 as the key agency for US Cold War operations. From its inception, it intervened in the trade union movement and workers' political parties throughout much of the world, including Australia. One of the first post-World War II US policy objectives was to counter the newly-formed World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) to which the Australian union movement was affiliated through the ACTU.
Gas miner Metgasco's surprise announcement on November 2 that it was recommending its shareholders accept a $25 million payout for its three remaining exploration licences in NSW's Northern Rivers, near Lismore, was celebrated right across the state. Anti-fracking campaigners, who have worked hard for more than three years, educating, organising and mobilising communities against the industry, are very relieved.
So the Malcolm Turnbull-led government thinks we need to reform the tax system. When looking at the extent to which multinational corporations are shirking their responsibilities in Australia, this sounds like a good thing.