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The federal Labor government announced a moratorium on processing claims for asylum for people coming from Sri Lanka or Afghanistan on April 9.
As the Liberal-National Coalition strives to make “border control” a vote-changing issue and the Rudd-ALP government continues to claim its approach is best at keeping the “people smugglers” and the “queue-jumpers” under control, do we face the dark prospect of another refugee-bashing federal election?
“How long must we stay like this, don’t they realise our hardship?”, a Tamil detainee in the Christmas Island detention centre asked when he called Green Left Weekly on April 8.
The following is abridged from an April 7 press release on behalf of Alyawarr walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs and senior Pitjantjatjara elder Murray George.
Disgraced ex-rugby league player turned celebrity Matthew Johns made his return to TV on March 25, with the “family-friendly” Matty Johns Show being hailed a “success” by reviewers.
The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages has refused to change a transsexual man’s documents unless he undergoes life-threatening surgery.
Right-wing Republicans won an important battle in the “history wars” on March 12 when the Texas Board of Education approved a new social studies curriculum.
Australian PM Kevin Rudd’s appointment of Tony Burke as population minister continues the Australian tradition of playing political football with immigration. His appointment came after Treasury estimates predicted that Australia’s population will grow from 22 million to 36 million by 2050.

Coal threatens Queensland

It is not a good look for Queensland internationally and here at home with the Chinese coal ship having run aground on the Great Barrier Reef, leaking oil and about to break up.

The massive mines of the Hancock and Waratah coal companies, together with the coal mines of the Bowen Basin coming through with the Northern Missing Link, mean that upwards of 230 million tonnes per annum of coal will be going through the nationally wetlands of Caley Valley and exported through the newly constructed port at Abbot Point.

On March 18, the federal government managed to pass its new youth allowance scheme through the Senate. The government’s main aim was to tighten eligibility requirements for students getting youth allowance, so that young people now have to work an average of 30 hours a week for 18 months before qualifying for the benefit.

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