786

As the Western Australian Coalition government slashes the state budget, vital community services for refugees are feared to be among the first to go.
A March 2 open letter to minister for climate change Penny Wong has described the federal government’s climate policy as “completely out of step with both current climate science and targets in other developed countries”. The open letter was endorsed by 65 climate action groups (CAGs).
Greens councillor Linda Eisler moved a motion titled Support for Palestinian Territories at a Canterbury council meeting on February 26.
On February 20, more than 200 workers were fired without pay from the Lavington-based Drivetrain automotive parts factory in Albury, New South Wales, as the company entered receivership.
In the face of the Rudd government’s refusal to confirm whether federally-funded maternity leave will be included in the upcoming May budget, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has retreated from its previous stance calling for immediate implementation.
Maintenance workers at the Foster’s Abbotsford plant voted on March 3 to accept redundancy packages from the company.
The article below, by Jamal Juma, is abridged from <http://www.electronicintifada.net>. Juma is the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (visit http://www.stopthewall.org). A leader of the South African Palestine Solidarity Committee mentioned in this article, Salim Vally, will be a guest speaker at the World at a Crossroads conference, Sydney Girls High, April 10-12. For more information, or to register, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.
National accounts figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on March 4, showed that the Australian economy contracted by 0.5% in the three months to December, despite the federal government’s $10.6 billion stimulus package, which was paid out to pensioners and families before Christmas.
Five hundred women marched in Sydney on March 7 to celebrate International Women's Day. Speakers demanded six months' paid maternity leave for all women; free, safe abortion on demand and free, quality child care. Other speakers urged women to fight
As Gaza struggles to rebuild despite Israel’s ongoing near-total siege, more than 300 people in more than 100 vehicles are leading a convoy to bring aid and hope to the Palestinian territory.

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