Around 40 people attended a screening of Who Killed the Electric Car on April 18, hosted by the non-profit, community run Western Region Environment Centre in Werribee. The film was followed by a very lively debate about issues such as industry’s drive for corporate profits, the lack of leadership from federal and state governments to provide solutions to climate change and the need for community action.
Describing the situation as “unprecedentedly dangerous”, PM John Howard announced on April 19 that no water will be allocated to irrigators in the Murray-Darling basin after June 31, unless there is substantial rainfall and therefore water inflows to the basin in the next six weeks.
Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and formerly US President George Bush’s deputy secretary of defence, doesn’t seem to comprehend why he is in trouble. He has admitted to ordering a US$60,000 pay increase for his lover, a World Bank employee, before seconding her to the US State Department as part of a generous compensation package.
The eight-day trial against seven people facing charges relating to a February 2006 protest against Kerry Packer’s taxpayer-funded state memorial has concluded with the dismissal of one or more charges against each defendant. Four defendants decided to plead guilty to one minor charge each.
The 2007 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras award for “Most outstanding political comment” was awarded to the “Bring David Hicks home” float.
It is 20 years since the release of Australia Reconstructed, a policy report that came out of an Australian unionists’ tour of Western Europe in 1986. It is also 25 years since Australia On the Rack was published by the metalworkers’ union (now the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union - AMWU). Back on Track - A Way Forward for Australia is the latest such policy offering.
Tens of thousands of people joined a march on April 22 against the Howard government’s anti-worker laws, followed by an afternoon “Rockin for your rights” concert. In Melbourne, more than 1500 people gathered at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
new front in the battle against the Howard government’s anti-union laws has opened with a push by federal workplace relations minister Joe Hockey for local councils to sign their employees up to the new Work Choices legislation.
The federal government must take a “strong and principled” approach to opposing the death penalty whenever and wherever it is applied, former ALP national president Barry Jones told a public forum attended by more than 100 people on April 19. The forum was organised by Australians Against Capital Punishment.
The federal Coalition government is proposing to bar the entry to Australia of migrants and refugees with HIV, supposedly to contain HIV rates.
Workers at Wangaratta fabric manufacturer Bruck Textiles defeated a second attempt by management to implement a non-union agreement in votes held on April 19 and 20. Bruck tried to entice workers to sign its sub-standard non-union agreement with a 3% annual pay increase that wouldn’t even keep up with inflation.
A snap candlelight vigil was held on April 20 against PM John Howard’s proposal to ban refugees and migrants with HIV/AIDS from entering Australia. The protest, attended by around 100 people, was organised by National Union of Students queer officer Peter Johnson and endorsed by the Queer Students Network, Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) Sydney and the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC).