Issue 23

Australia

By Steve Painter At present, if a person visits a doctor who bulk bills, Medicare covers the full cost, and the patient pays nothing directly (though they do through the taxation system). The Hawke government's proposal to impose a fee (probably

By Peter Boyle The offer by the United States to sell 300,000 tonnes of subsidised wheat to Yemen has sparked outrage from trade minister Neil Blewett. The nation that claims to be the home of free trade had elbowed its loyal partner Australia out

By Bruce Threlfo SYDNEY — Around 230 people attended the Living in Sydney conference, held on August 3-4. Initiated by the New Left Party, the gathering attracted a range of activists and people working in various fields of urban and social

BYRON BAY — The arrest of three boys for allegedly photocopying and attempting to use a $100 note has raised many questions. The boys, aged 13-16, have been living under the care of Kids off the Streets (KOTS), Mullumbimby. They were arrested in

'Welcome' for Bush By Dick Nichols SYDNEY —Twenty-five years after Lyndon Baines Johnson, the last president of the United States to visit these shores, was met with mass demonstrations, the Hawke government has invited his successor, Emperor

By Peter Boyle The unemployment rate jumped from 9.3% to 9.8% in July, dampening weeks of media speculation that an end to the recession was in sight. Some 83,000 more jobs were lost, bringing the total number lost in the last year to 305,000.

By Adam Hanieh ADELAIDE — Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iran were the big winners in the Middle East as a result of the Gulf War, Dr Robert Springborg told a 200-strong public meeting here on August 5. The meeting was organised by the Gulf Peace

Qld march for abortion By Anna McCormack BRISBANE — For the first time in a decade, abortion activists are about to take to the streets here. On August 17, the Women's Abortion Campaign will lead a march from Parliament House calling on the

By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The process of bringing corrupt Queensland police, politicians and racketeers to book in the aftermath of the Fitzgerald Inquiry reached its biggest milestone so far with the conviction of former police commissioner

By Chris Kearney SYDNEY — Public transport here is inaccessible to almost 70,000 people who have a mobility handicap, according to Citizens for Accessible Public Transport (CAPT). CAPT convener Ian Cooper told Green Left that all urban and

By Barry Healy Public Servants are facing massive attacks on their working conditions, extraordinary leaked documents have revealed. The papers are the offers put to the government on July 28 by officials of the Public Sector Union in wages

International protesters jailed By Philip Smith BRISBANE — Nancy Rolfe from Perth is among six international protesters serving 70-day jail sentences in Sarawak following anti-logging protests in early July. The convictions were the first in

Residents fight sewage plan By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Gold Coast residents rallied at Southport on August 4 against a decision by the Gold Coast City and Albert Shire councils to pump 60 million litres of treated sewage effluent off the

'Don't tax recycled paper' SYDNEY — The Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace last week called on the federal government to retain the sales tax exemption on 100% recycled paper. Their call was supported by

MELBOURNE — Job cuts promised by the Victorian Labor government in its coming budget have already begun. The western regional office of the Ministry of Education has written to all school principals directing them to offer voluntary redundancies to

By Dean Geoffrey Tribespeople in the mountainous rainforests of Sarawak have been battling logging companies with a network of blockades for four years. Australian and other international activists recently participated in the protests, and

Solidarity at ANU By Anthony Hayes -1>CANBERRA — Forums, films, stalls, demonstrations, music and social events were part of International Solidarity Week, at the Australian National University August 5-10.0> -1>Forum topics covered

Alternative plan for Newcastle Story and photo by Stephen O'Brien NEWCASTLE — "Don't bulldoze what is unique", appealed community activist Doug Lithgow at the launch of the "Old Newcastle" strategy in the city's historic East End on August 7.

Sand mining blockade predicted By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Queensland conservationists have warned of a Franklin Dam-style campaign against the Goss Labor government's decision to approve mineral sand mining in the Byfield national park region

World

By Norm Dixon The collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Europe "forced a serious rethink on all aspects of the South African Communist Party's policies and we are still going through a process of quite developed debate", Ismail Momoniat told a

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — In the still-raw atmosphere of Soviet parliamentary politics, charges of "totalitarianism", "Stalinism" and even "fascism" are not unusual. In May, a scandal erupted in the Moscow city soviet when Socialist deputy

By Karen Wald HAVANA — After three decades of supporting the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa — sometimes with their lives — the Cuban people expressed one of the most heartfelt welcomes they have ever bestowed on a visiting foreign

By Sally Low LONDON — Standing on a creaking escalator descending into King's Cross Tube Station, next to the one that had stopped working altogether, I fought back a feeling of panic. It wasn't just the thought of the terrible fire some years

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — A new law on employment came into force on July 1 in the Russian Federation. For the first time since the late 1920s, the terms "unemployment", "unemployment benefits" and "labour exchange" are part of the official

Young Soviet protesters jailed Two young Moscow anarchists have been imprisoned awaiting trial for three months, and may face prison sentences of up to seven years after being arrested at a demonstration near the offices of the KGB on March 12.

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — There is little chance the temporary cease-fire, negotiated on August 6 by the Yugoslav federal presidency to stop fighting in Serb-dominated areas of Croatia, will hold. The low-level civil war is being used to give

Indonesian prisoners released Two Indonesian Communist Party political prisoners, Rewang and Martosuwandi, were unexpectedly released from Cipinang Prison, Jakarta, on July 24, apparently on the orders of President Suharto. Rewang should have

By Randy Thomas WALBRAN VALLEY, British Columbia — Fletcher Challenge has handed legal writs to tourists in British Columbia's Walbran Valley. The lawsuit claims "nuisance" and "intimidation" of the New Zealand-based logging giant's efforts to

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — One of the USSR's most militant workers' organisations has resolved to shift into open political organising and campaigning. At a meeting here on July 17, leaders of the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions (MFP)

Editorial

Outing a media beat-up On July 23 Franca Arena, a Labor Party MP with a reputation for a generally positive stance on democratic issues, blotted her record with an outburst against supposed gay domination of the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON). She

Culture

Resources The Banana Republic: A left analysis of Australia's economic problems, is a set of 10 audio cassettes featuring discussions with Ted Wheelwright, Tricia Caswell, Frank Stillwell, Sue McCreadie, Evan Jones, Jack Mundey, Rhonda Sharp and

By Melanie Sjoberg As The Mirror Burns A film by Christina Pozzan and Di Bretherton Exclusive season Aug 23 to Sept 1 at the State Film Theatre, Melbourne Sept 6-21, AFI Cinema, Paddington Reviewed by Melanie Sjoberg "I was deeply shocked

By Pete Malatesta Kuepper's gig at Sydney's Annandale hotel on August 2 was an eagerly awaited show. The hotel filled early giving, the support act a good audience. Juliet Ward played acoustic guitar and sang, accompanied by the plaintive guitar

By Frank Noakes PERTH — What have unionism, opera, internationalism and local government in common? Answer: Australian Railways Union (WA) assistant state secretary Tony Costa. Tony is a colourful character, always ready with a witty quip or

By Susan Mackie SYDNEY — Tahir Hussan comes from the Darfour area of western Sudan. A rich cattle growing area on the banks of the Nile it is the home to the delicious cuisine served at his new cafe, Taste of the Nile, just off Oxford Street at

By Vannessa Hearman MELBOURNE — The Australia-Cuba Friendship Society here presented a series of documentaries, "Images of Cuba", on July 27 at Carringbush Library in Richmond. The Australian premiere of these Cuban documentaries was part of the

Think of Those Who Have Died em = By Ernesto Cardenal Translated by Allen Jennings When you receive the nomination, the prize, the promotion, think of those who have died. When you are in the reception, the delegation, or the commission, think