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“Something is badly amiss when Queensland bushies embrace Green Left Weekly, and the opposite ends of the political fringe, the Greens and Bob Katter’s Australian Party, find a common cause,” began a February 22 editorial in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, the only national daily newspaper in this country.
A snap rally was held outside NSW parliament house on February 22 to protest a bill proposed by Premier Barry O’Farrell to lift the 26-year moratorium on uranium exploration in NSW. The Nature Conservation Council and Beyond Nuclear Initiative organised the rally. The moratorium on nuclear exploration in NSW began as a bipartisan agreement between Liberal and Labor parties after an investigation found that the effects of mining would be too dangerous.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on February 23. * * * The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network has been informed that an Iranian man attempted suicide today at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC). The man has been detained in the infamous North 2 punishment compound for two weeks. After self-harming during the day, the man climbed onto the roof of North 2, made a noose out of a sheet, and was stopped just before jumping from the roof.
Community feeling was strong in Erskineville as residents gathered to oppose overdevelopment in their neighbourhood on February 22. The Friends of Erskineville (FoE) called the meeting in their local town hall in response to City of Sydney plans to allow nine-storey towers in the Ashmore Estate area, bordering Alexandria.
Liam Flenady, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of South Brisbane in the upcoming Queensland state elections, spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Jim McIlroy about his views on coal and coal seam gas mining in the state. Flenady’s remarks are below. * * *
The Socialist Alliance Queensland released the statement below on February 24. * * * Former Labor Party candidate Jason Briskey has been endorsed to run for the Socialist Alliance in the northern Queensland seat of Dalrymple. Briskey, 28, a devoted sole parent to daughter Shakira, 9, works at RB Communications in the main street of Charters Towers. A long-term Charters Towers resident, Jason's family has had strong ties with the area for more than 90 years. Jason is a committed worker for his local community.
“If changing the f****** leader would change f****** government policy to support the f****** 99% instead of the f****** 1% then we’d be f****** interested in this f****** soap opera!” This tongue-in-cheek Facebook status that I posted on February 21 ended up sparking a bit of political discussion. It expressed what a lot of ordinary people were thinking as round two of Kevin Rudd versus Julia Gillard came to a head.
Rolling industrial action has hit Port Kembla as part of an ongoing dispute between local coal terminal management and workers. Strike action began on February 1 as a result of management scaling back conditions during negotiations over a new enterprise agreement. At any time, up to 15 ships can be spotted sitting on the horizon off Port Kembla. Most of the ships are waiting to access the coal terminal. BHP Billiton operates the terminal on behalf of its owners, which include Xstrata, Peabody Energy, Gujarat NRE and Centennial Coal.
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on February 23. * * * The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is running a campaign to raise the pittance that the unemployed are expected to live on — $243 a week on the Newstart Allowance — by $50 a week.
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on February 22. * * * On February 20, Proactive Investors Australia (and other industry journals) reported that drilling had started on a coal seam gas (CSG) well in the Illawarra Coal Measures in the Burragorang region.
On an oppressively hot Sunday afternoon on February 19, I visited the Villawood detention centre in Sydney’s west, a suburban prison for up to 400 refugees and asylum seekers. At the centre, in the same compound as the maximum-security “Blaxland centre” that holds male refugees, is the Sydney Immigration Residential Housing facility. Six children live with their refugee families in a small row of simple single-storey homes, replete with CCTV, ever-present guards and a spiked fence.
The Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth released the statement below on February 19. The statement was authored by embassy spokesperson Robert Eggington. * * * [Aboriginal warrior from the Nyoongar] Yagan stated: “You came to our country — you have driven us from our haunts, and disturbed us in our occupations. As we walk in our own country we are fired upon by the white man; why should the white man treat us so?”
Stop CSG Illawarra will host a community conference on March 25 to discuss the impacts of the coal seam gas industry and the campaign to halt it in New South Wales. Wollongong's Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery will open the conference, and Wollongong City Council has agreed to waive all fees for the use of the city's Town Hall on the day.
There is a big story the media is missing and it must only be matter of time before a Murdoch tabloid splashes it on its front page. ABC News reported on February 19 that three queue-jumping boat people had escaped from a camp in Darwin. But the left-wing Bolshevik Gillard- and/or- Rudd-loving national broadcaster is hiding the true story!
More than 400 people crowded into a lecture theatre at the University of Technology Sydney on February 17 for a public forum, “Don’t shoot the messenger: WikiLeaks, Assange and Democracy”. The forum was organised by the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition.
More than 400 people crowded into a lecture theatre at the University of Technology Sydney on February 17 for a public forum, “Don’t shoot the messenger: WikiLeaks, Assange and Democracy”. The forum was organised by the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition.

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