Sydney region: Tuesday, March 11, 6pm: Kings Cross ALP branch "Stop the sell-off" community forum. With Mark Diesendorf, Bob Walker and Betty Con Walker. Reg Murphy Hall, cnr Greenknowe Ave and Betty Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay. Ph Catherine 0421 562
Parliamentarians are grossly overpaid. A backbencher gets paid more than twice median income, and that’s before adding allowances, generous superannuation, free air travel for life, etc. The PM gets double that: $330,356 (before expenses and perks). Last year, and the year before, the pollies awarded themselves a 7% pay rise while average wages rose 3.8%, putting the recently announced parliamentarians’ one-year salary freeze into perspective.
“We start the campaign of 2008 without a pulp mill. Who would have thought that after more than three years [Premier Paul] Lennon and [Gunns Ltd CEO John] Gay would still not have their pulp mill?”, said Bob McMahon, one of the founders of Tasmanians Against The Pulp Mill (TAP).
More than 500 Fire Brigade Employee Union members turned out for a mass meeting on February 22 to discuss the progress of their campaign for a decent wage increase. Five hundred on-duty members voted by fax. The NSW government’s offer of a 4% pay rise with loss of conditions was rejected by a vote of 1025 to two, with 25 abstentions. A further motion endorsing the union’s log of claims including a wage rise of between $218 and $354 over three years was approved by a similar margin.
Federal opposition IR spokesperson, Julie Bishop, formally announced that the Coalition had dropped its opposition to the Labor government’s plan to “abolish” Australian Workplace Agreements (individual contracts) on February 19.
Below is a statement on repression of pro-Palestinian solidarity activists at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontorio, entitled “Defend the rights of student organisers! Our movement will not be silenced!”, by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) on February 19.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is holding a series of forums across the country to get feedback from delegates about the direction that the union is taking. The first was held in Melbourne on February 19, attracting more than 300 delegates from the metals, print, food and T&S divisions from across Victoria.
On February 12 Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, a leader of Hezbollah — which led the successful resistance to Israel’s July-August 2006 war on Lebanon — was assassinated in Syria.
@9POINT = Message Stick: Frangipani Land Forever <197> Until their retirement in 1995, the Mills Sisters helped bring the music of the Torres Strait to the world stage. ABC, Friday, February 29, 6pm. @9POINT = Vera Drake <197> Movie about a selfless working class-woman who secretly visited women and helped them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies in the 1950s. Directed by Mike Leigh. SBS, Saturday, March 1, 9.30pm. @9POINT = SOS <193> Shorts on Screen <197> Gay and lesbian-themed special in time for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. SBS, Saturday, March 1, 11.40pm. @9POINT = Finding Place <197> The issue of maintaining strong male role models is explored by five initiated Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men. ABC, Sunday, March 2, 1.30pm. @9POINT = Showdown with Iran <197> Looks at the a battle for power and influence across the Middle East by United States and Iran, including over nuclear arms. SBS, Monday, March 3, 1.30pm. @9POINT = Endangered <197> Indigenous people make up only 2.4% of Australia's population, and the eligible Aboriginal single man is an endangered species, as Aboriginal women lament in this film. SBS, Monday, March 3, 5.30pm. @9POINT = At Five in the Afternoon <197> The first foreign film to be made in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban tells the story of a young woman who believes passionately that her gender should be no bar to her becoming the president of her country. SBS, Tuesday, March 4, 1pm. @9POINT = The Medicated Child <197> Confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding prescription drugs for troubled children. SBS, Tuesday, March 4, 8.30pm. @9POINT = Shame <197> Tells the story of a Pakistani woman who was publicly gang raped to atone for a crime her brother allegedly committed and the battle for justice that ensued. SBS, Tuesday, March 4, 10pm. @9POINT = Living Black <197> Indigenous news and current affairs program. SBS, Wednesday, March 5, 6pm.
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil corporation, has launched an attack on the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez and the process of social change, known as the Bolivarian revolution, that aims to eradicate poverty and develop Venezuela’s economy along pro-people lines.
The Battle of Vinegar Hill is the name given to the clash between convicts and soldiers on Monday March 5 1804 following on from the Castle Hill uprising the night before. It was the first battle between Europeans on Australian soil.
A February 22 meeting between Western Australian prisons minister Margaret Quirk, Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington and WA Deaths in Custody Watch Committee chairperson Marc Newhouse resulted in some ministerial promises of reforms following the the death in custody of an Aboriginal elder on January 27.
Foods from genetically manipulated (GM) crops and animals are rejected by most farmers, shoppers and food processors around the world. If these mutant foods were fully labelled, as they should be, consumer rejection would ensure that GM food crops were not grown.
In recent weeks, external and internal pressure against Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, as the process of change led by socialist President Hugo Chavez is known, has intensified dramatically.
It seems that Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby wants to be remembered, not as a rational leader advocating solutions to an urgent problem facing the survival of the human species — climate change — but as the creator of some of the most potentially destructive infrastructure projects in the state’s history.
A report released on February 18 in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found massive deficiencies in Aboriginal housing in Australia, and located this as a key cause of Aboriginal disadvantage and poor health. The study was conducted over seven years and looked at over 4000 residences in 132 Aboriginal communities.


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