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The gender pay gap is a serious issue in Australia, and there has been much talk about the 17.9% pay differential. One such effort to educate and open debate, however, was met with alarming backlash. The University of Queensland's annual Feminist Week, hosted jointly by the UQ Union (UQU) and the UQU Women's Collective, held events from April 4 to 8, aiming to educate and broaden the student population's perspective on feminism.
As part of the Sydney Comedy Festival now under way, writers of satirical website The (un)Australian have put together a live show of political satire and sketches for May 3 — which also happens to be Budget night.
The Construction Forestry and Mining Employees Union (CFMEU) has produced this short explanation of what the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is and what it will mean for Australian workers. * * * What is the ABCC? The ABCC, or the Australian Building and Construction Commission, was created by John Howard in 2005. It was abolished in 2012, but now Malcolm Turnbull wants to bring it back — only it’s going to be bigger and more powerful. What does it do?
The revelations from the Panama papers continue to reverberate around the world. While the Australian angle has so far been a bit anticlimactic, it did kick off a discussion about the banking sector and tax havens. Bill Shorten, in an uncharacteristic display of spinal-cord solidification, seized the initiative and announced that the Labor Party would conduct a Royal Commission into the banking industry if elected.
About 200 unionists, refugee activists and students rallying in Melbourne on April 8 outside a Liberal Party fundraiser to celebrate 20 years since the election of the Howard government, were attacked by police on horses and the indiscriminate use of pepper spray.
“The police and military are using every kind of violence against the Kurds. They are using tanks and heavy armoured vehicles. They have flattened houses, historical places, mosques. They use helicopters and technological weapons, night vision binoculars and drones. They don't let families get to the bodies of youths who were killed. Corpses remain on the streets for weeks.” Baran, a Kurdish political activist who now lives in exile, described the massacres taking place in Kurdish cities in Turkey. Baran is from Amed, or Diyarbakır in Turkish.
The Beyond Coal Gas Conference held over April 9 to 11 at Myuna Bay invited many Aboriginal leaders involved in the struggle against fracking or coalmining on their country to share their stories and promote solidarity with their campaigns. Speakers over the three days included Kylie Sambo from SEED, the Indigenous youth climate network; Gadrian Hooson from the NT campaign against fracking in Borroloola and other Aboriginal communities; Paul Spearim from the Gamilaraay People and Clan Groups against CSG and Coalmining; and Balai elder Mabel Quakawoot.
On April 14 hundreds of disability workers rallied in Melbourne against the state government's proposal to privatise disability services. Privatisation will reduce service quality for people with a disability and make job security and wages and conditions less certain for disability workers. Before being elected, Premier Daniel Andrews promised he would not contract out public sector disability services.

About 130 people attended the Socialist Alliance election launch in Sydney on April 15. The night launched the campaign to elect Peter Boyle in the seat of Sydney and the Senate team of Ken Canning, Susan Price, Sharlene Leroy-Dyer and Howard Byrnes. It was a very positive night with Aboriginal activists, unionists and activists signing on to the People's Movement.

In all the official Anzac 100-year commemorations to remember and celebrate the undoubted courage of World War I diggers, there is an extraordinary amnesia about how ambivalent Australians were about that war. This ambivalence grew as mounting casualties affected families all over the country and the 1916 Irish Easter Uprising was brutally supressed.
People gathering in an assembly

Anyone following French politics in recent years should not be surprised by the recent explosion of public protest and resistance across the country. For years, France has simmered with a combination of a deeply unpopular government, a limping economy and a struggling, fed up populace.

The Panama Papers provide proof that many politicians, capitalists and members of royalty use overseas tax havens to escape paying tax on their activities in the countries where they reside. What does the process involve and who benefits at whose expense? The Australian Tax Office (ATO) makes it crystal clear that individuals and businesses are legally obliged to declare all their worldwide income to the ATO every year. “Their” income does not only mean payments received in their name personally, but also includes any kind of income in which they have a “beneficial interest”.