Issue 153


By Kate Minnett

CAIRNS — The federal minister for environment, John Faulkner has announced he will visit the construction site of the $30 million tourist Skyrail in early August to make a first-hand assessment.

Conservation group and

By Peter Perry

SYDNEY — On July 13 CityRail cleaning staff at Sydney Terminal and several other depots were called together an hour before "knockoff" to hear management's announcement that their jobs had been privately contracted. Many stood

Electrical workers fight for jobs

By Chris Spindler

ADELAIDE — One thousand Electrical Trades Union members are taking industrial action over the proposed introduction of contract labour by the Electricity Trust Supply A. An 80-member

BRISBANE — August 8 is a national day of action on abortion rights. Speakouts on campus, as well as a 4.30pm speakout in the Queen Street mall have been organised by the University of Queensland's recently formed Pro-choice Club together with

Hiroshima — Never Again!

August 6 marks the 49th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on the Japanese people in Hiroshima. Since then the development of atomic weapons has continued at an alarming rate. Further, since

By Robynne Murphy and Stefan Skibicki

WOLLONGONG — In recent weeks, the media has devoted a fair amount of time to "multiple recruitment" or stacking in Labour Party branches, particularly in the Illawarra. The sudden growth of membership

Student council sacks staff

By Alice Barker

MELBOURNE — Action taken by the student union executive council at the Victorian University of Technology to force staff redundancies may be a sign of what is in store for student unions under

Student environment conference

By Carla Gorton

SYDNEY — More than 350 students and environmentalists from around Australia attended the fourth annual Students, Science and Sustainability Conference, held at Macquarie University from July

Ambulance drivers win fight over emergencies

By Gail Lord
SYDNEY — Last week New South Wales ambulance officers were in dispute over the failure of hospitals in Sydney's West to take emergency patients. Drivers here had have been moving from

By Jenny Long

SYDNEY — A $50-per-head lunch attracting 430 guests was held on July 29 to mark the achievements of ten years of the federal Sex Discrimination Act. Pioneers and beneficiaries of the legislation were presented with awards by ALP

Nurses seek wage justice

On July 29 the Australian Nurses Federation (ANF) announced that it will pursue wage increases for 90,000 nurses covered by federal awards across Australia. The claim in the ACT, Northern Territory private sector, South

Strike over redundancy packages

By Chris Spindler

ADELAIDE — Workers in the Engineering & Water Supply department have struck over the state government's refusal to extend conditions provided to other government workers in separation

High Court to consider Timor Gap Treaty

By Bernie Brian

DARWIN — According to Darwin-based Queens Counsel, Alastair Wyvill, the High Court is taking the upcoming hearings on the Timor Gap Treaty very seriously. Speaking at a public

Campaign opposes privatisation

By Maurice Sibelle

BRISBANE — Ian McLean, state secretary of the Communications Workers Union, and a former long-serving president of the state Labor Party, is prepared to fight the party's moves towards

WA forest blockade debated

By Mark Lockett and Anne Pavy

PERTH — Western Australian Conservation Council president Beth Schultz has accused the department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) of running a disinformation campaign on

Macedonians march against discrimination

By Ray Fulcher

MELBOURNE — Forty thousand Macedonians and supporters marched on Parliament House on July 30, demanding that the federal Labor and state Liberal governments end their discrimination

By Nick Everett

BRISBANE — The oil company, Petroz N.L. in conjunction with BHP Petroleum, are about to start drilling for oil in the Timor Gap. While Petroz, which is based here, is not new to exploration in the Timor Sea, this latest venture

Melbourne's public transport 'at the crossroads'

By Alex Cooper

MELBOURNE — Two hundred people packed the Assembly Hall on July 28 to hear Mike Colle from the Toronto Transit Commission urge people to defend Melbourne's public transport

By Daniel Board

MELBOURNE — A 1000-strong, spirited demonstration was held here on the July 28 by students outraged at the prospect of losing their student unions. This rally was part of an ongoing campaign for the repeal of Victorian


By Phil Clarke

LONDON — Britain is experiencing the world's worst ever asthma epidemic as high summer temperatures smother big cities in petrochemical smog and ozone. The epidemic began after violent thunderstorms on June 24; at its height,

By Reihana Mohideen

Despite heavy rains around 40,000 people protested in Manila against the Filipino version of a consumption tax, the Value Added Tax (VAT), which the Ramos government is threatening to introduce during the next session of

By John Hallam

In writing this article, I have elected to say relatively little about the matters that have received the greatest press attention, namely the threat of war, sanctions, the sanity and personal habits of North Korean leaders and

By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW — Whoever was destined to head the polls in the second round of the Ukrainian presidential elections on July 10, the real winner was never in doubt. That was to be the "party of power" — the layer of high-placed

[This is the edited transcript of a talk given by Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood at a panel sponsored by Monthly Review during the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City in April.]

Four years ago, I sat on one of these panels


Rwanda: how Canberra can really help

Canberra's belated decision to spend $10 million for aid to Rwanda, although welcome, is a pittance compared to the amount rich Australia could and should contribute. Putting the figure in proportion, $10


Best catch in years

Go Fish
Directed by Rose Troche
Produced by Rose Troche and Guinevere Turner
Reviewed by Kath Gelber

The world of lesbian feature films is not very large. As a result, the community has tended to be fairly

Retro pop out of control

By Bernard Wunsch

The Gilberts, a five-piece Brisbane pop band, have just released their first CD, Life Is Just This Very Big Thing And It's All Getting Out Of Control. They started out at the University of

By Frank Noakes

"Sydney's City Court in 1938 was a dreary place through which passed an endless procession of drunks, prostitutes, perverts, drug addicts, petty criminals and car thieves. So what a change, what a dramatic change then, when a

By Jill Hickson

SYDNEY — Juan Jacinto Herrera, a Cuban percussionist, singer, pianist and composer has teamed up with some of Sydney's top Latino musicians in Cubana-Oz for a Cuba-Australian experience at the Latin American Dance Fiesta at the

intro = The Balkanisation of the West
By Stjepan G. Mestrovic
Reviewed by Phil Clarke

In 1989 US state department academic Francis Fukuyama shot to fame proclaiming "the end of history" in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Soldier E SAS: Sniper Fire in Belfast
By Shaun Clarke
Cox and Wyman
283 pp., $12.95
Reviewed by Catherine Brown

The publisher's notes for potential reviewers, with its bland reference to the "secretive and controversial" history of the

'Without culture you have nothing'

By Gillian Hector

PERTH — Fatima Dike, the renowned South African poet, playwright and actor, spoke on July 17 at an event sponsored by Cultural Dissent and the Western Australian South African

Give-aways to Go Fish

Go Fish, an all out lesbian date movie, is a hip lifestyle comedy that follows the lives of five women as they go on dates, have fashion crises, oversleep, wish for and deal with love. Rose Troche's stunning directorial

Poets and Presidents: Selected Essays 1977-1992
By E.L. Doctorow
Papermac, 1994. 206 pp., $24.95 (pbk)
Reviewed by Phil Shannon

E.L. Doctorow is one of the few American writers today who does not shy away from novels about people's social