Releasing the Mid Year Financial Report in February, Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said savings required over the next three years would be the equivalent of 2300 jobs. She said she couldn’t rule out forced redundancies in the public service or cuts to frontline services. On May 26, Giddings released a statement to parliament that said: “We have now lost a total of around $1.5 billion in expected GST revenue and state taxes.”
Save the Children recently released its annual “State of the World’s Mothers” report, which, using a wide range of statistics from 164 countries, ranks the best and worst places on earth to be a mother, a woman and a child.
The newly-elected Barry O’Farrell Coalition government in NSW has introduced a bill that gives it unprecedented power over pay and conditions for the state's 400,000 public servants —gutting the NSW Industrial Relations Commission’s (IRC) role.
Child beauty pageants, such as the ones featured on the reality TV show Toddlers and Tiaras, are big business in the United States. The industry is so big that it is expanding overseas. One of the biggest pageant companies, United Royalty plans to stage pageants in all states in Australia. Parents who wish to enter their children in the pageants have to pay $295 just to enter the pageant, plus thousands of dollars on expensive dresses, hairstyles and cosmetics
Gaza flotilla needs our support In a few weeks time, a flotilla will be going to Gaza carrying medical supplies, food and building materials to assist the Palestinian people who have suffered grievously from the Zionist policies of the Israeli government. Green Left Weekly, since its inception, has done a splendid job supporting the Palestinians and exposing and condemning the evil that has been inflicted on them since the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
The statement below was released on May 28 by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. For more information on the AVSN, visit www.venezuelasolidarity.org . * * * On May 24, the United States’ State Department unilaterally imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). The State Department accused PDVSA of undermining the US sanctions against Iran by sending two cargo ships delivering US$50 million worth of reformate ― a gasoline blending component used to improve the quality of gasoline.
An estimated 3500 building workers walked off the job and rallied in Brisbane’s CBD on May 24 to protest sham contracts being imposed by unscrupulous contractors in the construction industry. Building workers from the Gold Coast joined the protest after coming up to Brisbane in a convoy of cars and trucks. Construction unions have shut down the Gold Coast University Hospital site over the issue of "sham contracts, where employers avoid paying entitlements by forcing workers who are legally employees into contracts," the May 25 Courier-Mail said.
From the very young age of seven or eight, Lyndall Barnett exhibited signs of concern about animals, the environment, social justice and women’s role in society. Lyndall also had a rebellious streak from an early age, the sort of rebellious streak that is needed to stand up against social injustice and help change the world. When Lyndall was a teenager, she took action on all these issues. This led Lyndall and a group of high school friends to join Resistance, the socialist youth organisation in the early 1990s, and then the Democratic Socialist Party.
Media reports suggested that US President Barack Obama's May 19 Washington DC speech on the Middle East and North Africa contained a new proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. A look at the content shows this is false. The May 20 New York Times declared: “President Obama, seeking to capture a moment of epochal change in the Arab world, began a new effort [in his speech] to break the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, setting out a new starting point for negotiations on the region's most intractable problem.”
Sydney Stop the War coalition released the statement below on May 26. * * * The death of Sergeant Brett Wood in Afghanistan on May 24 should trigger a radical rethink of this failed war, said Stop the War Coalition today. Instead, PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott continue to peddle the myth that the West's military intervention into Afghanistan still has merit.
The formation of the Mana Party in April marked a “major step forward for a genuine working-class political voice” in New Zealand, the national director of the Unite Union and Mana party member Mike Treen told Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. The Mana Party was formed at a 500-strong conference on April 30. It was called by Hone Harawira, MP for the Maori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau. At the conference, Harawira announced his resignation from the Maori Party and his re-election campaign as a member of the Mana Party in a by-election.
Resistance held its 40th national conference on the weekend of May 6 -8. One-hundred-and-fifty people came over the three days and took part in diverse workshops and panel sessions. One major session featured Matthew Cassel, former assistant editor of Electronic Intifada and an independent journalist, gave an eyewitness account of the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. He said: “Something common among dictatorships in the Arab world and so-called democracies in the West and elsewhere is the lack of accurate information available to most people through the mainstream media.