745

Palestine I GLW #743 carried a front cover headline "End Gaza Holocaust", to which I object. There is no justification, factually or ethically, to abuse the memory of the victims of Nazi genocide by describing Israel's actions as a holocaust. This
When the outside world thinks about Australia, it generally turns to venerable cliches of innocence — cricket, leaping marsupials, endless sunshine, no worries. Australian governments actively encourage this. Witness the recent “G’day USA” campaign, in which Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman sought to persuade people in the US that, unlike the empire’s problematic outposts, a gormless greeting awaited them Down Under. After all, George Bush had ordained the previous Australian prime minister, John Howard, “sheriff of Asia”.
On March 13 the Victorian Legislative Assembly passed a bill to establish a relationships register, which will allow couples, regardless of gender, to be formally recognised under Victorian law. However, concerns have been raised that the proposals contain a number of serious shortcomings.
On February 26, Forestry Tasmania, the state-government-run corporation that manages Tasmania’s forests, revealed that it had signed a 20-year deal to supply wood to Gunns Limited’s proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
The March 25 Sydney Morning Herald reported that the site of a planned supermarket development in the northern NSW town of Moree is an Indigenous burial site.
SYDNEY — Hundreds of students from at least five university campuses joined the ’Demand a better future’ rally organised by the National Union of Students on March 19. The rally called on the new Labor government to increase education funding and to scrap the Voluntary Student Unionism legislation that has significantly undermined student organising. A speaker from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union extended solidarity from the trade union movement. The march dwarfed a pro-VSU counter-demonstration organised by Liberal students. There was a rally in Melbourne of 150 people and actions in other cities on the same day.
On March 20, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that federal immigration minister Chris Evans had agreed to “speed-up” the processing of 457 visas, which allow bosses to hire skilled workers from overseas to fill alleged skill shortages.
Events such as the April 11-13 Climate Change — Social Change conference occur very rarely in the intellectual and political life of an Australian city. This gathering in Sydney will bring together an extraordinary range of speakers to tackle the theme of social action to stop climate change.
As part of the former Howard government’s Northern Territory “intervention”, the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) was abolished. The Howard government had planned to abolish it across other states on July 1 this year.
Global warming, General Motors’ vice-chairperson of global product development Robert A. Lutz told reporters in a closed-door meeting in January, is “a total crock of shit”. Within hours the remark was reported on the internet, and spread, as Lutz subsequently lamented, “like ragweed”.

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