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“If you are still in the Labor Party today, you should be ashamed of yourself”, 71-year-old Aboriginal activist Pat Eatock called out to delegates entering the stage-managed proceedings of the first day of the ALP national conference.

MELBOURNE— On July 29, 40 supporters of Aboriginal rights gathered in front of the ALP Victorian headquarters in West Melbourne. They protested against the federal ALP government’s planned takeover of the Alice Springs town camps.

“Help us, do something for us — but the way we want them to be done. Talk to us”, Alice Springs town camp resident Audrey McCormack pleaded of ALP conference delegates.

“We've had the gun at our head.” This is what William Tilmouth, Tangentyere Council CEO, said in response to Aboriginal affairs minister Jenny Macklin's triumphant July 29 announcement that the council had agreed to lease Alice Springs town camps to the federal government for 40 years in exchange for $135 million in housing upgrades

FigureheadBy Patrick AllingtonBlack Inc, 2009239pages, $29.95

Former Queensland Labor cabinet minister Gordon Nuttall was sentenced to seven years jail on July 17. He was found guilty of corruptly receiving secret payments from two Queensland businessmen.

Slaughterhouse FiveBy Kurt VonnegutFirst published in 1969224 pages, $24.95

To win the battle to stop climate change, climate activists in Queensland have an important part to play. The Queensland ALP government is a strong backer of Australia’s biggest polluters.

The Spartacus WarBy Barry StraussWeidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009240 pages, $55 (hb)

The Tasmanian Liberal Party, now in opposition, is running with a new youth-bashing policy in the lead-up to the next state election. The election will take place early next year.

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