Issue 285


LEO WALLIN works in Telstra's commercial and consumer business unit as a customer sales representative. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's JAMES VASSILOPOULOS about Telstra's new work regime and the enterprise bargaining proposal. Wallin says working in
Nurses continue fight for pay and conditions By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE— Victorian nurses voted on August 6 to close 20% of hospital beds as part of their long-running dispute with the state government over pay and staffing. All public
High school walk-out called By Aimee Lipscombe and David Steinberg MELBOURNE — Resistance is calling on high school students to walk out of class and join the education national day of action rally at the Museum at 1pm on August 20.
Free speech debated at Anti-One Nation rally By Martin Iltis CANBERRA — Around 400 people attended a rally outside Woden Library on August 4 to protest against a One Nation branch meeting. The rally, organised by the Campaign Against
Darwin rally supports indigenous Australians By Tom Flanagan Darwin — More than 1200 people turned out here to express solidarity with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders on Saturday, August 2. "Walking Together", a march and concert,
Rally for justice and land rights planned PERTH — The coalition Action Against Racism is organising a rally on Saturday, August 30, under the title "Rally for Justice and Land Rights". It will primarily call for rejection of Howard's 10 point
Fighting racism at Melbourne University MELBOURNE — Strategies for students fighting racism will be discussed at a student general meeting (SGM) to be held on August 13 at Melbourne University. There is strong opposition to racism and the
Kennett's Coode Island betrayal condemned By Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — On August 3, Footscray residents expressed their anger at the Kennett government's announcement that it would not honour its promise to move the Coode Island chemical
Rally against the youth allowance By Alison Dellit MELBOURNE — Around 100 people gathered on August 6 to protest against the federal government's common youth allowance (CYA) for all young unemployed and students. Speakers at the rally
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — The dispute between electricity supplier Citipower and the Electrical Trades Union has entered its 13th week. ETU members voted on August 5 to stay out until the issue of job security has been resolved. The
James Vassilopoulos Secret Australian Workplace Agreements (individual contracts) obtained by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations and Training (ACIRT) debunk industrial relations minister Peter Reith's claim that no worker would be
Sydney Campaign Against Racism meets By Shane Bentley SYDNEY — The Campaign Against Racism meeting at the University of Technology, Sydney, on August 5 went ahead with organising the "No to Hanson and Howard's Racism" rally planned for
By Mathew Munro HOBART — Around 300 people attended a rally on August 6 at the University of Tasmania to protest the administration's move to reduce "swot vac" (the exam study period) from nine days to four, and to hold three exam sessions per
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — Following threats by the Victorian government to close down public transport services if unions did not lift maintenance bans, the Public Transport Corporation announced on August 6 that it would close the
By Marina Cameron Four states intend to trial changes to the young homeless allowance which require 15 year olds to have regular meetings with a family go-between before they can receive their allowance. According to the Australian, WA family
WOLLONGONG — On August 7, 50 people who had gathered in the southern highlands town of Robertson to protest peacefully against the inaugural meeting of the One Nation party were assaulted by racists. Activists from Resistance, Youth Against Racism,
By Tim E. Stewart DARWIN — The campaign led by the Education Action Group (EAG) to reverse cuts to faculty funding at Northern Territory University won important ground last week. At the NTU Council meeting on August 7, students won one third
Inactive student guilds face active opposition By Corinne Glenn PERTH — In the lead-up to the national week of action against education cuts and up-front fees, you could be forgiven for thinking that student unions were banned and working
By Sunny Wignall HOBART — The lack of youth rights has been highlighted by the city council's decision to ban skateboarding in the central business district. On July 8, the Mercury reported that skateboarding would be banned within the CBD.
ice MELBOURNE — More than 150 people loudly protested outside the Frankston meeting of the One Nation party on August 6. The protesters represented a cross-section of the community and outnumbered the mainly older, mainly male One Nation
By Therese Moore Social security minister Jocelyn Newman paved the way for state and federal governments to silence community groups critical of their policies by abolishing funding to the national peak housing group, National Shelter, on June
By Tony Iltis HOBART — A government-commissioned report has delivered a big business wish list for the state budget. The report, by senior National Party member Peter Nixon, recommends large scale privatisation of public assets, cuts to public
Fighting Racism Conference in Perth By Arun Pradhan PERTH — Plans are well under way for a Fighting Racism Conference here on September 20 and 21. The conference, to be held at the Fremantle Education Centre, will end with a "Reggae
By Zanny Begg BRISBANE — On July 25, the Ipswich branch of One Nation attempted to hold its first meeting in a hall managed by the Ipswich City Council. The meeting had to be rescheduled when the council cancelled the booking. Then Lord Mayor


Fiji sugar strike ends after 16 days SUVA, Fiji — A strike by more than 2500 members of the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union (FSGWU), on strike since July 22, ended on August 5 following threats by the Fiji government and courts. Union
Blair attempts to end free education By Marina Cameron Following the release of the Dearing review report on higher education, on July 24 the Blair Labour government announced a new policy for higher education in Britain. The policy
Nike workers arrested, injured, fired A Bangladesh newspaper, the Independent of Dhaka, reported on July 14 that nine workers from the Youngone factory were in jail, 300 injured (50 seriously), 97 fired and 800 charged with criminal offences
How the coalition collapsed By Allen Myers @box text intro = The armed conflict in Phnom Penh in early July was in many respects simply a renewal of the earlier conflict between the Cambodian People's Party forces and FUNCINPEC, which in
Chinese workers defend right to work By Eva Cheng Seven Hong Kong-based organisations have called for international solidarity with the estimated 100,000 workers in Mianyang, in the Chinese province of Sichuan, who protested for days in
Suharto moves to silence critic By James Balowski On August 5, the private secretary of one of Indonesia's best known statespersons was brought to trial for "insulting" President Suharto. Thirty-four-year-old Buyung Rachmat Buchori is being
By Norm Dixon Supporters of the leader of the Kinshasa-based establishment "opposition", Etienne Tshisekedi, have called for armed struggle against the government of Laurent Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Five anti-nuclear protesters were hospitalised, and at least 30 more were left bruised and bloodied, after hundreds of thugs on July 29 staged an organised attack on a blockade outside the soon-to-be-completed Rostov
By Sujatha Fernandes On August 15, 1947, India won its independence from Britain. With independence came not only the promise of freedom from servitude to the British masters, but also the hope of an end to grinding poverty, hard labour and
By James Balowski While attention has been focused on South African President Nelson Mandela's recent meeting with jailed Fretilin leader Xanana Gusmao, and Mandela's offer to "contribute" to UN-sponsored negotiations between Portugal and
By Adam Hanieh JERUSALEM — On July 30, two bombs ripped through a crowded marketplace in west Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu demanded that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat close down the organisational structures of
Teamsters' strike gathers strength James Vassilopoulos Some 185,000 members of the Teamsters Union in the United States began a nationwide strike from midnight on August 4. This is the first ever national strike against the United Parcel
By Eva Cheng After failing to stop the limited democratisation of Hong Kong's political order in the territory's final colonial years, Beijing threatened to roll back those changes after it took control on July 1. It has been doing that over the


By Norm Dixon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, one of Africa's most popular, courageous and politically outspoken musicians, has finally been silenced, much to the relief of Nigeria's corrupt political and military elite. Despite having suffered decades of
Contemporary Australian Feminism 2Edited by Kate PritchardHughes Longman Australia, 1997. 352pp., $29.95 Review by Melanie Sjoberg In my paid employment as a trade union industrial officer, I come into contact with a wide range of people. Union
Joke of the week PM John Howard went to a primary school to address a group of children about tragedies. Before he started, he asked the children to give him an example of a tragedy. Several students raised their hands and he selected a little
Weevils at Work: What's happening to work in Australia? An oral recordBy Wendy LowensteinCatalyst Press240pp., $24.95 (pb) Review by Gerry Harant In 1978, Wendy Lowenstein published an oral history of the 1930s depression called Weevils in the
Comment by Denis Olsen Many readers no doubt appreciate the critical edge pursued in Green Left Weekly's Cultural Dissent pages. It's nice to know that at least somewhere there exists a forum that argues for an aware culture, one that tries to
Left On-line Anti-Hanson web site ( — The creators of this page want this site to be a platform to show Australia and the world that a majority of Australians are strongly opposed to the One Nation party and
Sade/MaratPACT in association with UNSW Theatre and Film Studies FacultyDirected by Christopher RyanPACT Theatre, Railway Pde, Erskineville, SydneyUntil August 16 Review by Brendan Doyle Good news! Theatre is not dead! It's alive and kicking in
Wild words and free jazz Song of BaobabVernon Frazer with Thomas ChapinVFCISend US$20 to Echolaia Press, 132 Woodycrest Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118, USA Review by Norm Dixon Song of Baobab is a challenging CD that combines Vernon


Nonsense about taxes @box text intro = What do the following have in common: (a) the tax situation before the High Court's August 5 overturning of state taxes on petrol, tobacco and alcohol; (b) the tax situation after that ruling; (c) the


By Graham Matthews The national campaign to save the Hinchinbrook wilderness has escalated following Keith Williams' Cardwell Developments getting the green light from the federal government to develop its Oyster Point holdings. On July 19, 600