Issue 221

Australia

By Vaarunika Dharmapala PERTH — Negotiations the claim of the Australian Nurses Federation (ANF) for a wage increase of 10% for all general public sector nurses, and other demands, have ended. The proposals went to state cabinet on February 19.

By Coral Wynter and Kerry Vernon BRISBANE — Fifty people attended the opening of the Bayside Residents Against Toxic Site (Brats) information office at Pinkenba on February 17. Bayside residents have been campaigning for over 12 months against the

By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The Queensland State Public Services Federation has warned the new National-Liberal Coalition government that the union will not tolerate mass sackings or large-scale restructuring. SPSFQ secretary Gordon Rennie said the

By Paul Jones BRISBANE — Staff at Royal Brisbane Hospital report that old mercurial thermometers were replaced last week in many wards with digital equipment. This is the first real change in the management's attitude since mercury spillage and

By Adam Hanieh ADELAIDE — More than 5000 education workers packed Memorial Drive Tennis court on February 23 in the largest education mass meeting ever held in SA. Members of the South Australian Institute of Teachers (SAIT) overwhelmingly endorsed

By Iggy Kim HOBART — The Tasmanian Greens launched their federal election campaign here on February 15 to a packed auditorium of more than 200 people. For the House of Representatives, the Greens' candidates are Karen Weldrick for Denison, John

By Kim Linden MELBOURNE — Health workers in the recently formed North Eastern Health Care Network have stepped up their industrial campaign against the Kennett government's redeployment and redundancy packages, which began to be introduced on

By Bill Mason BRISBANE — "There is no way to achieve social justice and ecological sustainability except through a vast switch in economic priorities. Only the Democratic Socialists are campaigning on a comprehensive platform which links up the key

By Chris Slee Tax Office workers have voted to accept a new agency agreement, replacing the 1990 Modernisation Agreement and the 1994 Agency Agreement. Community and Public Sector Union officials admitted that the new agreement is not a good one, but

By Jorge Jorquera The Democratic Socialist candidate for the seat of Perth, Anthony Benbow, is a union militant with the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union. He is currently on the executive of the CEPU Electrical Division WA. Benbow was

By Norm Dixon and Max Watts A radio operator in the blockaded island of Bougainville has reported a gruesome massacre of unarmed civilians by members of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and pro-PNG "resistance" groups. The killings took place early

By Jonathan Strauss SYDNEY — A February 21 public meeting of more than 250 at the Parramatta Town Hall, called by western Sydney anti-airport noise groups, showed the growing opposition to the proposed construction of a major airport at Badgerys

By Sue Bull CANBERRA — In their first major display of unity, some 2000 ACT government workers crowded into Civic Square on February 21 to campaign for a 9% fully funded wage increase. They chanted slogans calling for the 9%, abused independent MLA

World

BRENDAN DOYLE arrived in France at the beginning of December and witnessed three weeks of strikes and the biggest demonstrations since May 1968. On one Saturday there were 2 million people on the streets all over France, and millions of others

On February 20, five of the East Timorese seeking refuge inside the Australian embassy in Jakarta were escorted to a nearby hospital. Sometime later, their embassy escorts left the hospital. The next morning the five East Timorese, three of them

Support is growing for the call by East Timorese resistance organisations and several Australian supporters for a national day of solidarity with East Timor to demand withdrawal of Australia's de jure recognition of Indonesia's illegal takeover of

By Sean Lavis GLASGOW — More than 300 people crammed into City Hall on February 10 for the founding meeting of the Scottish Socialist Alliance, a coalition of left parties, groups and independent activists. Speakers from various left backgrounds

The colonisation of Palestine by European Jewish settlers in the l920s usually evokes heroic images in Western eyes. However, there were international concerns then about the potential abuse of Arab labour. Concerns were even expressed by the Zionist

[The following is the editorial from the February 15 issue of An Phoblacht/Republican News.] What we hoped would be unthinkable when the IRA's historic and generous cessation was announced in August 1994, has come to pass. It took over 17 months of

By Norm Dixon The International Monetary Fund is standing over the impoverished, war-shattered southern African country of Mozambique because the government has had the temerity to announce measures to try to improve the lives of its people.

Editorial

Politics after elections The ACTU leadership launched into its usual pre-election bluster last week. Addressing an ALP union rally at Melbourne Town Hall on February 21, ACTU secretary Bill Kelty threatened "industrial warfare" and wage claims of

Culture

The Poverty of Dialectical MaterialismBy Eric PetersonSummer Hill NSW: Red DoorReviewed by Rurik Davidson. Not all philosophers are wankers. There have been people who have been genuinely concerned with the big problems for a reason — to use

Lotus WarBy Julie JansonOn Soundstage, ABC FM February 20Reviewed by Brendan Doyle The stage version of this outstanding radio play will open shortly at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and hopefully will move on from there to other capitals. It is a

Bodgie Dada and the Cult of CoolBy John Clare (aka Gail Brennan)UNSW Press, 1995. 218 pp., $39.95 (hb)Companion 2-CD compilation available on ABC Music through EMIReviewed by Norm Dixon Gail Brennan — as writer John Clare is best-known these days

To Die ForDirected by Gus Van SantStarring Nicole KidmanReviewed by Natasha Simons Despite the huge amount of advertising and media hype around To Die For, starring "our Aussie girl" Nicole Kidman, I decided to see the film anyway. What piqued my

Weipa: Where Australian unions drew their 'line in the sand' with CRABy Patrick GormanWeipa Industrial Site Committee through CFMEU Mining Division69pp., $5Reviewed by Jennifer Thompson This book by Paddy Gorman, editor of the CFMEU Mining Division's

SkinSydney Theatre CompanyWharf 2, Sydney until March 16Reviewed by Lisa Macdonald Skin incorporates two very different, tenuously linked plays. The first, Somewhere in the Darkness, written by Ray Kelly, draws on the traditions of Aboriginal

Figments of a MurderBy Gillian HanscombeSpinifex Press, 1995, 264 pp., $16.95 (pb)Reviewed by Kath Gelber Hanscombe has a delightful way of combining conventional narrative with lyrical prose, evident in earlier works including Sybil: The Glide of

Enough Blue SkyBy Mona BrandTawny Pit Press, 283 pp.Reviewed by Dave Riley Australia's New Theatre Movement was born in Sydney during the Great Depression and soon spread to other capitals. Instigated by members of the Communist Party, it was

The Greens, economics and fairytales The GreensBy Bob Brown and Peter SingerThe Text Publishing Company, 1996. 198 pp., $14.95Reviewed by Lisa Macdonald This book by Green Senate candidates Bob Brown and Peter Singer is the first attempt to