Woodchipping giant Gunns Ltd’s proposed $1.4 billion pulp mill in northern Tasmania continues to be the subject of controversy. Gunns has expressed impatience over the delays in the assessment process and threatened to axe the project if government approval is not given within six months.
George Browning, the Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, said on January 11 that it would not be morally responsible to vote in the next federal election for any party that did not have a credible climate change policy. He was speaking at the “Australia as a Neighbour” conference in Melbourne, organised by Initiatives of Change, Australia, and attended by 300 people from 17 countries.
For the first time since the foundation of the National Union of Students (NUS) 15 years ago, Labor’s right-wing student faction, Unity, was ousted from the office of general secretary at the NUS annual conference, held in Ballarat on December 4-7.
The Wilderness Society has called for more government funding and support for the Indigenous Protected Area program following the release on January 9 of an independent report that concludes that IPAs are one of the most effective initiatives in environment protection in Australia.
Three more people, including a teenager, have been charged following the November 19 protests against the G20 financial ministers’ summit in Melbourne, bringing the total number of participants charged to 11. The following is an abridged version of a statement Resistance issued in response to the arrests.
The decision this month by Bankstown City Council, in Sydney’s western suburbs, to cancel the venue for the January 27 Khilafah Conference “speaks volumes of the empty rhetoric surrounding the supposed noble epitomes of western liberal democracy”, said Wassim Doureihi, spokesperson for Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, in a January 10 media statement.
Invasion Day — January 26
Pat Robinson of Oatley won the first prize — a spectacular $350 hamper — in Sydney’s 2006 Green Left Weekly end-of-year raffle. She told GLW that her win was a “total surprise” because she didn’t even know that she’d entered the raffle. The winning ticket was purchased as a gift by GLW subscriber and Socialist Alliance member Noel Hazard.
Last September, Queensland’s acting state coroner Christine Clements ruled that Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley, a police officer working on the Palm Island Aboriginal community, had caused the death of Aboriginal man Mulrunji while in his custody
US President George Bush used a January 10 “address to the nation” to declare that 2007 will be another year of war. His decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq — despite opposition from the overwhelming majority of people in the US, including sections of the military — indicates his government’s arrogance, and its unwillingness to learn any lessons from history.
Climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle wants the proposal for the contentious Anvil Hill mine proposal to be assessed under Commonwealth law. Apart from its impact on species and ecosystems protected under the Commonwealth environment act, Rising Tide believes that the proposed mine would impact on World Heritage areas protected under the act.
Pressure is mounting on the federal Coalition government to bring David Hicks home. On January 2, the Australian Defence Force director of military prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, described the treatment of Hicks as “abominable”. A week or so later, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and PM John Howard said that they were concerned that Hicks had still not been tried, but that they were certain he would be charged in the next few weeks.