Issue 145


Government amends VSU legislation

By Jo Brown

MELBOURNE — Amendments to the Kennett government's voluntary student unionism legislation, announced on May 24, add a number of services to the list that can be funded through compulsory fees

'Operation Sweep' renamed

By Sean Healy

PERTH — Barely three weeks after declaring the suspension of "Operation Sweep", the police intend to relaunch it under the new name "Operation Family Values".

"Sweep", begun in January, was

WA forest blockade planned

By Anne Pavy
and Anthony Benbow

PERTH — Four of the best of WA's last wilderness forests — Hawke, Rocky, Sharpe and Giblett in the south-west of the state — are on the Department of Conservation and Land

Secondary Students Against the Cuts

A large number of secondary students from more than 20 schools attended the rally on May 24. Initiated by Resistance, a Secondary Students Against the Cuts stall was set up and names collected for an active

Rallies and actions around Australia marked the seventh International Day of Action for Women's Health on May 28. The theme for the day, coordinated by the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, was women's right to choose abortion.

DARWIN — Froth and bubble rule in the campaign for the Northern Territory elections on June 4. The incumbent Country-Liberal Party (CLP) accuses the ALP of taking orders from "down south" and not having the expertise to govern. Labor says the CLP

By Ilana Eldridge

The Gulf of Carpentaria country contains wilderness areas of world heritage quality and is the major hunting area for the north Australian prawn fishery. It also comprises the tribal homelands of the Yanyuwa people. Their land

Unionists celebrate defeat of penal powers

By Garry Walters

MELBOURNE — Following the May 26 Victorian Trades Hall meeting, 30 unionists attended a function in the Old Ballroom to mark 25 years since the historic six days of industrial

By Chris Spindler

ADELAIDE — Some 7000 teachers, teacher assistants, students, parents, fellow unionists and supporters gathered at a rally on May 24 to defend the public education system. Two hundred and thirty, schools were closed for the

ATO agency bargain accepted

By Chris Slee

Public Sector Union members in the Australian Taxation Office voted in a series of meetings from May 11 to May 25 to accept the proposed agency bargaining agreement.

The agreement gives a 4%

By Stephen Robson

PERTH — Video footage filmed by Channel 10 camera person Jason Thomas was important evidence at the trial of three people arrested during a protest against Operation Sweep on March 26. The two-day trial concluded here on May

Student union fights fees

By Julia Haire

BRISBANE — The University of Queensland's student union will be taking a submission to the education committee of the academic board on May 30 regarding alleged illegal fees imposed on students for

Illawarra environment day

The second World Environment Day march in the Illawarra, on Sunday, June 5, will be a fun, loud celebration of the theme "Save our coastlines".

"The Illawarra is truly gifted with its escarpment and pristine

By Alison Dellit

CANBERRA — The creation of a separate ACT public service is looking even more doubtful after a mass meeting on May 25 decided to carry out an industrial campaign if outstanding demands are not met.

The meeting followed an


The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating hate crimes committed at bonfires in unionist (supporters of British rule over Northern Ireland’s six counties) areas on the nights of July 11, An Phoblacht said the next day. Bonfires, which are set alight each July 11 by the members of the unionist community, were strewn with election posters for Irish republican party Sinn Fein and other non-unionist groups, as well as Irish flags and various expressions of sectarianism and bigotry.

By Jon Land

Organisers of the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET) in Manila have been issued a court order preventing it from going ahead. The restraining order was taken out on May 27 by a private organisation which claims the

By Jolyon Campbell

As Croatia's autocratic president Franjo Tudjman and his ruling party the HDZ prepared to celebrate their fourth national day on May 30, the people of Croatia had little to be joyous about.

With a third of Croatia's

By Paul Clarke

Eighty Nazi skinheads went on the rampage, attacking Turkish and African immigrant workers in the German city of Magdeburg on May 12. Far from stopping the attack, at one point police joined in, holding down the victims while

Attempt to kill Nidia Diaz

Maria Marta Valladares (Nidia Diaz), former rebel commander and current Assembly vice president in El Salvador, has charged that four death squad members shot 22 rounds at her vehicle on May 19, wounding her

By Norm Dixon

JOHANNESBURG — "The government I have the honour to lead and, I dare say, the masses who elected us to serve in this role, are inspired by the single vision of creating a people-centred society [whose purpose] shall be the

Xanana stands firm as arrests increase

By Jon Land

Xanana Gusmao, imprisoned leader of the East Timorese resistance, has rejected an offer of release into exile. The special adviser of the Indonesian government on Timorese issues, Francisco

Peacekeeping force for Bougainville

By Frank Enright

Mike Forster, the Bougainville Interim Government's United Nations representative, speaking in Sydney on May 27, welcomed the announcement of a South Pacific peacekeeping force for the

By Max Lane

MANILA — Following a demonstration of 200 activists from worker, student and urban poor organisations outside the presidential palace on May 28, the Free Lagman Movement was launched. On May 26 agents of Naval Intelligence arrested

By Paul Clarke

While Palestinian police were gradually replacing the withdrawing Israeli soldiers in Jericho and the Gaza Strip, Israel launched new terror raids against Arab towns in Lebanon and the West Bank, under the pretext of hunting down

By Ian Powell

WELLINGTON — The major industrial dispute is under way between the recently privatised New Zealand Rail company and the ferry crews it employs. NZ Rail operates the ferries that ship passengers, vehicles and freight between New

By Paul Walker

LONDON — Outside there were 150 protesters shouting, "Suharto, Major, CIA — how many kids have you killed today!" Inside there were 20 token shareholders making life hell for the British Aerospace board.

Shareholders at

By Michael Heaney

Talks between the Irish and British governments, which culminated in the signing of the Downing Street Declaration last December, took a new turn on May 14.

The British government announced the receiving of a detailed list

By Kirill Buketov

MOSCOW — "So far this year we've sold some 100 firms through national auctions, and we'll sell 200 enterprises in the coming months", a Russian government privatisation official exulted to journalists at the end of March.


Reinventing the Liberals

The ousting of John Hewson from the Liberal leadership represents more than a shuffling of the pack. Installing the media's "youth ticket" of Alexander Downer and Peter Costello marks a sharp turn to the right of the


Blues on the road

In My Time
Charlie Musselwhite
Reviewed by Jill Hickson

Here is an album of acoustic blues, '50s swing-style blues and contemporary blues played with remarkable clarity and rhythm.

In this

Eldest Son: Zhou Enlai and the Making of Modern China, 1898-1976
By Han Suyin
Jonathon Cape, 1994. 483 pp., $39.95 (hb)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

For better or, mostly, worse, the Chinese Revolution has exerted a magical spell over many

Leon the Pig Farmer
Produced and Directed by Gary Sinyor and Vadim Jean
Written by Gary Sinyor and Michael Normand
Featuring Mark Frankel, Brian Glover, Maryam D'Abo and Connie Booth
Reviewed by L. Pradhan

Leon the Pig Farmer is the

Written by James Gaddas
Performed by Robert Morgan
Directed by Bruce Myles
Napier St Theatre, South Melbourne
Tuesday to Sunday until June 12
Reviewed by Helen Buday

"The strongest thing I got from researching and

ABC-TV, Monday
Reviewed by Dave Riley

This is true: my jaw dropped during the first episode of Frontline and I still can't pucker up. In my prepubescent foolishness, I once kissed the TV screen during The Mickey Mouse Club in the

Frogs at science show

By Benyardo Rodriguez

MELBOURNE — The Great Australian Science Show will be held at the Science Museum at Spotswood between June 3 and 5. Unlike other science shows, it boasts that it provides a forum for "working

Pleasure plays World Environment Day

Pleasure for the Sixth Sense is an ever-changing and growing organism. Since its inception two years ago, it has strived to constantly redefine and re-invent it musical identity.

Born from Brisbane's

Presumed Guilty
SBS television
Tuesday, June 7
Reviewed by Paul Clarke

Australia's legal system is modelled on Britain's, and for anyone watching Presumed Guilty, that is not a reassuring thought. The British legal system has been