Labor’s first federal budget in 13 years was well received by much of the welfare lobby, despite its shortcomings. “The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Rudd Government’s first Budget because of its focus on helping disadvantaged Australians to overcome poverty and achieve their aspirations”, Tony Nicholson, BSL executive director said in a media release on May 13. “Robin Hood may have just fired off his first humble arrow”, said Dr John Falzon, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society, in his statement on the budget.
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) president Professor Ian Lowe called on Australians to mutiny against government inaction on climate change, at a public forum on May 17. Forty people attended the event organised by Friends of the Earth (FoE).
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), based in Fitzroy, and started by Koori activists in 1973, is threatened by funding shortfalls.
According to a May 21 Australian article, Dr Paul Mees, senior lecturer in transport and land use planning, intends to sue Melbourne University. Meess pay was cut after a university inquiry found him guilty of making insulting remarks about a state government official.
Only 35 of the 7500 Aboriginal children examined as part of the federal government’s Northern Territory “intervention” have been referred to child authorities for suspected abuse, according to figures released by the federal health and reported in the May 19 Brisbane Courier Mail.
A rally against a ban by the Gold Coast City Council on demonstrations in the citys parks is being held on May 26 outside the Gold Coast council chambers in Surfers Paradise.
Ali Humayun, a queer Pakistani, was recently granted permanent residency after spending more than three years locked up in Villawood Detention Centre. He made the following statement to Green Left Weekly on May 23.
The following abridged statement was initiated by participants at the Climate Change — Social Change conference, hosted by Green Left Weekly in Sydney, April 11-13, 2008.
Despite the April 27 death of Lance Corporal Jason Marks, the fifth Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion, and subsequent allegations of the mistreatment of Afghan prisoners of war by Australian troops, the there are no plans to withdraw any of the 1000 Australian troops from Afghanistan.
Anti-desalination plant campaigners rallied at the Victorian Labor Party conference in Melbourne on May 24. They were protesting against the state ALP governments construction of a large desalination plant at Wonthaggi on the South Gippsland coast.
With his May 15 announcement that legislation to enable electricity privatisation will be introduced into the June session of parliament, NSW Premier Morris Iemma started the countdown to the most decisive days of the struggle to date.
On May 22, 40,000 public school teachers in NSW took 24-hour strike action in opposition to the Labor state governments refusal to negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) over the way teachers are allocated to public schools.
The opening night of the first conference of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), held in Australia Hall on May 23, drew 170 activists from around Australia.
The Socialist Alliance is joining the growing number of people and organisations campaigning for a big increase in all pensions and other welfare benefits. It is outrageous that people on welfare were almost totally ignored in the recent federal budget.
@9point non = BRISBANE Get on the phone to all your relatives, friends and those you know in El Salvador to urge them to vote for the FMLN in the elections in 2009\", Jorge Shafik Handal Junior, a leader of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, told a 60-strong audience of mainly El Salvadoran migrants at a public meeting on May 17. He also called on Australian supporters to visit El Salvador next year as international observers, to limit the right-wing ARENA governments attempts to use fraud to prevent an FMLN victory in the January parliamentary elections and the March presidential election.
The Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP), the group that initiated Green Left Weekly in 1991 as a broad left newspaper, has suffered a political split with minority critical of its continuing support for the Socialist Alliance as a new party project. This follows a nearly three-year internal debate in the DSP.