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“The revelation that Sydney’s Labor powerbrokers are determining exactly what their Newcastle Labor candidate says to the media offers a glimpse into how the Labor candidate would be handled if she were elected in March”, Michael Osborne, the Greens candidate for Newcastle, said on October 29.
In elections held last month for officers and councillors in the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU), all state councillors who are members of the opposition grouping Teachers Alliance (TA) were returned. The group’s candidates won an average overall vote of 25%.
Around 200 people attended Green Left Weekly solidarity fiesta on November 4 and helped raise $2700 for the newspaper’s fighting fund. The event featured greetings from sacked Botany Cranes delegate Barry Hemsworth, who is campaigning for reinstatement, and a passionate statement of support for the Socialist Alliance by NSW upper house candidate Jakalene X-treme. Cuban band Cafesur kept the dance floor alive until late. Upcoming GLW fundraisers in Sydney include a harbour cruise on December 9 and a raffle for a spectacular Christmas hamper. Phone (02) 9690 1977 if you can help.
More than 600 delegates representing 2 million union members met for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) congress on October 25-26.
On November 9, Nicole Watson, an academic from the Jumbunna Centre of the University of Technology, Sydney, condemned the culture of police violence against Indigenous people in Queensland. She was addressing a public meeting at James Cook University attended by 100 people.
Newcastle City Council voted on November 7 to recommend that the NSW government cap coal exports through the Port of Newcastle at present levels. Greens councillor Michael Osborne moved the motion, which was supported by Labor councillors.
On November 10, the Federal Court ordered the reinstatement on full pay and conditions of two retrenched National Union of Workers (NUW) delegates because their employer was unable to prove that its decision to dismiss them was unrelated to their union activities.
The Environment Centre of the Northern Territory and the No Waste Alliance have written to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) urging it not to grant a waste discharge license for a new mine near the town of Batchelor, about 100 kilometres south of Darwin.
On November 3, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), while directing the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) to lift its bans on public school teachers using A-E gradings in end-of-year school reports, refused to grant an order sought by the state Department of Education and Training that subjected the union to fines if it failed to lift the bans.
For the second time in three weeks, a community assembly stopped work at the Port Campbell Woodside Gas Plant construction site in regional Victoria on November 10. People came from Portland, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Geelong and Melbourne to support workers at the site in their campaign against the thuggery of industrial relations consultant Colin Milne. Milne has sacked 150 workers to get rid of union delegates and health and safety representatives, and threatened to sack 10 electricians if they didn’t agree to work a six-day week.

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