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Victorian Premier John Brumby announced on May 5 that a deal had been struck with the Australian Education Union. While Mary Bluett, AEU branch president, described it as “the deal we were fighting for”, many union members are furious with the agreement made on their behalf.
The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) is a response to the calls of people on low-lying islands in the Pacific about the ravages of climate change — more storm surges, longer droughts, tides rising higher, shores eroding, coral reefs bleaching, water supplies and soils becoming contaminated by salt water, breadfruit and banana trees dying and taro pits being destroyed.
MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering) took its opposition to genetically modified food to the streets on May 21, to coincide with a May 21-22 GM crops summit in Melbourne.
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).
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.
According to a May 21 Australian article, Dr Paul Mees, senior lecturer in transport and land use planning, intends to sue Melbourne University. Mees’s pay was cut after a university inquiry found him guilty of making insulting remarks about a state government official.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), based in Fitzroy, and started by Koori activists in 1973, is threatened by funding shortfalls.
A rally against a ban by the Gold Coast City Council on demonstrations in the city’s parks is being held on May 26 outside the Gold Coast council chambers in Surfers Paradise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anti-desalination plant campaigners rallied at the Victorian Labor Party conference in Melbourne on May 24. They were protesting against the state ALP government’s construction of a large desalination plant at Wonthaggi on the South Gippsland coast.
Shostakovich: A Life
By Laurel E. Fay
Oxford University Press, 2005
458 pages, $47.95 (pb)
Songlines of a Mutti Mutti Man
Produced by Ilbijerri Theatre
Devised by the Edwards Family Collective
Directed by Kylie Belling
Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
May 26-31
Bookings 03 9639 0096

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