On October 10, 50 people joined a memorial service at Melbourne University to commemorate the drowning of 353 refugees when their Indonesian boat — the SIEV X — sank in international waters off Christmas Island in October 2001. A year after the sinking, a Senate select committee investigation concluded that it was “extraordinary that a major human disaster could occur in the vicinity of a theatre of intensive Australian [border patrol] operations and remain undetected until three days after the event, without any concern being raised within intelligence and decision making circles”.
For the second consecutive year, Grassroots, a broad left-wing ticket has won a majority on the governing council of the Wollongong Undergraduate Students Association (WUSA). The elections were held on October 3-5.
Imagine If: A Handbook for ActivistsBy Joy Noble and Fiona VerityWakefield Press, 200656 pages, $9.95
The NSW Labor government has been forced to partially back down on its plans to enforce the educationally unsound A-E report system.
The report handed down by Queensland deputy coroner Christine Clements on September 27 found that Palm Islander Mulrunji not only died in police custody on November 19, 2004, but died at the hands of the arresting police officer.
It Just StoppedWritten by Stephen SewellDirected by Neil ArmfieldWith Kim Gyngell, Rebecca Massey, Catherine McClements and John WoodCompany B at the Belvoir Street Theatre, Surry Hills, SydneyUntil November 5
Technicians employed by Radio Rentals who were locked out of work for a month have returned to work after the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the company agreed on an enterprise agreement that was better than Radio Rentals’ original offer.
When invited to address an October 12 rally in defence of women’s right to abortion, both Labor Premier Steve Bracks and state Liberal Party leader Ted Baillieu declined to attend. The rally, held on the steps of the state parliament, was initiated by the Socialist Alliance.
People charged over their involvement in a February protest outside PM John Howard’s state memorial service at the Sydney Opera House for media mogul Kerry Packer have called a protest demonstration on the first day of their three-day trial, which begins on October 27.
Fast Food NationDirected by Richard LinklaterBased on the book by Eric SchlosserWith Kris Kristofferson, Greg Kinnear, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Catalina MorenoIn cinemas October 26
Changes to Australia’s “landmark” environment and heritage law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, will give the federal environment minister more discretionary power to reject public nominations to protect areas of natural and cultural significance. The proposed amendments were tabled by the federal government in parliament on October 12 in a 414-page document.
“Ain’t that the truth”, said the Socialist Alliance’s lead upper house candidate in next March’s NSW state election, Susan Price. “And it sums up why we’re running against them.”