Issue 140

Australia

Plant ownership laws under review

The Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) Bill 1994, which is to replace the Plant Variety Rights (PVR) Act 1987, is now open for public review.

The name change signals a general shift in focus and intent, according

WA forest meeting well attended

By Anthony Benbow

FREMANTLE — More than 300 people packed the Fremantle Town Hall on April 22 for a meeting discussing the effects of forest destruction and the need for campaigns to stop it. The focus was

By Bernie Brian

DARWIN — Hundreds of Aboriginal people and their supporters gathered on April 15 at Raintree Park to protest against moves by the Northern Territory government to withdraw funding from the Danila Dilba Aboriginal Medical

By Kath Gelber

On 18 April Justice Newman of the NSW Supreme Court handed down a judgment which has ramifications Australia-wide. In it, he confirmed that abortion remains illegal in NSW.

Abortion is, in fact, illegal in every state except

Jervis Bay victory

By Jon Land

The federal government announced on April 20 that it will not go ahead with plans to relocate the East Coast Armament Complex (ECAC) at Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast. The state government has also proposed

Call for church accountability

SYDNEY — A conference that attracted 250 Catholics from across Australia ended here on April 17 calling for far reaching changes in the operation and direction of the church in Australia.

The "People's

By Tyrion Perkins

SYDNEY — "Resource Security Sucks" read the banner over a demonstration against the state government's proposed Timber Industry (Interim Protection) Amendment Bill. About 200 people attended the demonstration, organised by

NSW forest assessment challenged

The North East Forest Alliance has strongly criticised the April 14 announcement that the NSW State Forests environmental impact statement program will be "upgraded". NEFA described this as a token attempt to

Melbourne rally in solidarity

By Ben Reid

MELBOURNE — The national day of action against black deaths in custody on April 20 was marked here with a rally at the Queensland government travel centre. More than 100 people gathered to express

Telecom halts work at old brewery site

By Anthony Benbow

PERTH — Telecom has halted cable-laying at the old Swan Brewery site. The brewery, built on Aboriginal religious ground in the 1890s and virtually given to Multiplex Constructions

45D hits Hindmarsh

By Anthony Thirlwall

ADELAIDE — Residents, conservationists and unionists involved in protests against the building of the Hindmarsh Island bridge will be sued for unspecified damages by property developers Tom and

Controversial film to be screened

SYDNEY — Resistance, a $6 million Australian epic film production, will screen at the AFI Cinema, Paddington Town Hall, on April 30.

This technically superb, wide-screen action thriller tells the story of

By Francesca Davidson

Across the country young environmentalists have begun organising World Environment Day. On June 5 a variety of activities are planned to highlight the need for community action for environmental justice.

June 5 was

Sex information censored in Tasmania

By Jen Crothers

HOBART — The state government has banned posters and displays on sexuality in senior secondary colleges. Secretary to the minister for education and the arts Bruce Davis sent a memo to

NSW 'flouts national forest policy'

Approval for logging of old growth forest and wilderness areas in north-east New South Wales flouts the National Forest Policy Statement signed by the prime minister and the premiers of all mainland states in

By Melanie Sjoberg

ADELAIDE — Chris White, assistant secretary of the United Trades and Labour Council, has expressed concern at the dramatically increased powers of the industrial relations minister under a bill currently before state

Perth action against federal budget

By Sean Healy

PERTH — A public rally and demonstration have been planned for May 5, one day after the launch of the federal government's white paper on employment and five days before the budget.

LAUNCESTON — A decision of the state Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has rendered void hundreds of thousands of Newstart agreements entered into by unemployed people.

The decision, handed down on April 18, resulted from an appeal by

No conscience vote

The ALP, the Liberal Party, the Australian Democrats and the Australian Greens all allow their members a conscience vote on abortion, regardless of the policy of the party.

The Democratic Socialist Party has a clear

Pray for a job
"It is essentially an act of faith that
the Jobs Compact will improve the job prospects of the
participants." — Professor Judith Sloan, of the
National Institute of Labour Studies, on the
government's green paper on

By John Nebauer

BRISBANE — About 1000 people attended a rally called by the Brisbane Aboriginal community on April 20 to protest against the findings of the Criminal Justice Commission into the death of dancer Daniel Yock on November 7.

World

All opinion polls for the last 12 months have shown that the ANC is close to winning the vital two-thirds majority in the national assembly. If it breaks this barrier, the ANC will be in a position to write the final constitution without requiring

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's prisoners again must embark on a campaign of mass action to win their right to vote, Golden Miles Bhudu of the South African Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights (SAPOHR) told Green Left Weekly.

By Max Lane

On April 3 Leopoldo "Comrade Hector" Mabalingan, a former commander of the Benahaw New People's Army (NPA) command, was shot dead by NPA units under the command of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Gregorio Rosal.

GLOW backs ANC

JOHANNESBURG — The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witswatersrand (GLOW), one of South Africa's two main gay and lesbian rights groups, has endorsed the African National Congress in the elections. GLOW activist Simon Nkosi

By Michael Karadjis

When the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declared independence in 1991, it appeared to most a simple matter of self-determination. A referendum endorsed it, and the majority of the people in the state have long called

Grosby workers demand jobs

By Ray Fulcher and Rachel Evans

MANILA — A picket of workers retrenched by the Australian-owned company Grosby GTP Footwear has been encamped outside the factory in southern Manila since losing their jobs on

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — The African National Congress' ambitious Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) — the cornerstone of its election campaign — would be funded in part by major cuts in military spending and the nuclear

By Michael Karadjis

The impression that Greeks are unanimously behind the Greek government in its campaign against Macedonia has been widely fostered in Australia, by both the Greek media and the establishment media. The reality is vastly

By Pip Hunter

On April 10, more than 100,000 people rallied in Mexico City in front of the National Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of nationalist hero Emiliano Zapata. Tens of thousands also demonstrated in Michoacan, Jalisco,

US environmentalists oppose GATT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — US environmental groups have announced their opposition the Uruguay Round Agreement of GATT because it lacks measures to protect the environment and promotes policies that will contribute to

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi's surprise decision to have his Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) participate in the national and provincial elections and both the levels was announced on April 19. The Inkatha leader

By Peter Montague

The David and Goliath battle of the century is shaping up over a synthetic hormone called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) that was approved by federal officials in February for use in milk cows in the US.

David is

By Alex Harmoko in Jakarta
and Max Lane

Tension has spread in Jakarta in the wake of six days of demonstrations and rioting by angry factory workers from the industrial estates around Sumatra's largest city, Medan. In Jakarta, rumours spread

Green Left Weekly's Johannesburg correspondent NORM DIXON talks with JEREMY CRONIN, South African Communist Party (SACP) central committee member, and editor of the African Communist, about South Africa's transition to democracy and the prospects for

Call for labour unity

By Ray Fulcher and Rachel Evans

MANILA — A press conference of six union organisations here on April 18 announced the formation of a Caucus for Labour Unity (CLU) with the aim of unifying the Philippines labour

Editorial

Peace in the air, but not on the ground

The visit to Bougainville by an Australian parliamentary delegation, although allowed to see only what the Papua New Guinea authorities chose to show it, was an important step forward on the road to peace

Culture

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — One of the things that doesn't vary much from country to country is the speeches record company executives make at album launches. There they stand amongst the music journalists and photographers and musicians,

A Season Inside God's Bunker: The Story of the Hebron Massacre
By Micha Peled
SBS TV, Tuesday, May 3, 8.30pm (8 Adelaide)
Reviewed by Nikolai Haddad

This documentary is a chilling look at life in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba,

Blue Murder
By Beatrix Christian
Starring Lucy Bell and Jacek Koman
Belvoir St Theatre until May 1
Reviewed by Mina O'Shea

Billed as "a contemporary Gothic peepshow", Blue Murder is a play haunted by women dripping with blood and a

That Dangerous and Persuasive Woman: Vida Goldstein
By Janette M. Bomford
Melbourne University Press, 1993. 264 pp., $29.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

In 1913, one conservative rural gentleman in Bairnsdale, Victoria, refused to attend

Where the Boys are: Cuba, Cold War America and the Making of a New Left
By Van Gosse
Verso, 1993. 270 pp., $49.95 (pb)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

On January 1, 1959, the Batista-Mafia alliance that ran Cuba fell under the weight of its own

Film slams police harassment

By Sean Healy

PERTH — A new community-produced film, slamming the treatment of young people at the hands of Perth police, particularly through the infamous "Operation Sweep", will be launched on Friday, May