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On June 6, 120 people attended a public meeting, organised by Peace Convergence Melbourne, against Talisman Sabre 2007. Involving 14,000 US and 12,000 Australian troops, Talisman Sabre will be the largest joint military training exercise in Australia’s history. Areas in central Queensland and the Northern Territory (including the Great Barrier Reef and Indigenous heritage sites) will be centre stage.
Veteran Aboriginal activist Kevin Buzzacott has been awarded the Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) 2007 Peter Rawlinson Award for his work over two decades highlighting the impacts of uranium mining and promoting a nuclear-free Australia.
More than 500 protesters from around NSW assembled at a property near the proposed new Anvil Hill open-cut coalmine in the Upper Hunter over the June 2-3 weekend. The state government approved the mine on June 7.
SYDNEY — On June 9, 100 people rallied in the rain at Town Hall, part of an international week of action to mark the 40th anniversary of the June 1967 war and to demand an end to the Israeli occupation. Protests, public forums and other events also took place in cities around Australia.
Forty protesters were met by hundreds of police — including members of the riot squad and mounted police — as they gathered to picket PM John Howard’s attendance at a $250-a-head Asia Society function on June 6.
Cuban newspaper Granma reported on June 6 that Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, had called for an expansion of ALBA — the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a solidarity-based alternative to US-backed bilateral “free trade” agreements and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Chavez made the call during the closing of the first meeting of ALBA’s Council of Ministers in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
Since federal ALP leader Kevin Rudd outlined Labor’s “Work Choices lite” on April 17 — promising that a Labor government would maintain the Coalition’s ban on strikes outside of bargaining periods and secret ballots — Labor’s full-scale retreat on industrial relations has continued.
When the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest national accounts last week it was revealed that the corporate profit share of all Australian income had risen to 28.1%, well above the long-term average of 20%.
The Australian government has recently come under fire for the inefficiency of its overseas aid programs, particularly in the Asia Pacific. The June 4 Sydney Morning Herald reported that more and more aid destined for the region was being lost in administrative costs or dished out to private corporations in the name of “development”.
At midnight on June 4, around 2800 kitchen staff, orderlies and hospital cleaners were set to be locked out of their workplaces by four contracting companies — Spotless, OCS, ISS and Compass — in hospitals across New Zealand. However, last-minute negotiations between the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) and the District Health Board averted the lockout.

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