Issue 312


Tax office seeks non-union agreement By Chris Slee MELBOURNE — Australian Taxation Office managers are conducting a staff vote on a non-union certified agreement. The proposed agreement includes provisions that will make it easier to sack
Port Botany picketers demand a fair go By Cameron Parker SYDNEY — Waterside workers at Patrick Stevedoring's Port Botany facility called a week-long strike from March 25. Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members are staffing around-the-clock
Miners protest for payment By Michelle Armstrong CANBERRA — Workers from Woodlawn Mine at Tarago, near Goulburn, rallied outside Parliament House on March 23 to demand federal government action to force the payment of $6 million in entitlements
By Susan Price MELBOURNE — Support is broadening for a pro-choice demonstration on April 4. April has been nominated a "month of pro-choice action" by Melbourne's recently formed Pro Choice Coalition. Abortion providers, ethnic groups, health
By Marcel Cameron MELBOURNE — Students enrolled in the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's Bachelor of Social Science (Psych-Environmental Assessment and Policy) (SEAP) are fighting to save their course from extinction, as university
By Will Williams CANBERRA — On March 26, 500 staff and students attended a rally at the Australian National University to protest against the continuing attacks on education. The rally marched to the ANU Chancellery where it was met by police.
By Margaret Gleeson SYDNEY — A meeting of commonwealth and state housing ministers on March 27 failed to resolve the impasse over financing public housing beyond the current agreement, due to expire on June 30, 1999. Under the agreement the
Jabiluka blockade launched By Tim E. Stewart JABILUKA, NT — The blockade of the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine was officially launched on March 23. More than 50 blockaders now reside at the campsite adjacent to the Jabiluka lease area, with 200
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Bus drivers employed by Brisbane City Council (BCC) walked out for 24 hours on March 26. A Public Transport Union statement released on March 25 noted: "[The strike] is in response to BCC's claims for an increase in
By Jennifer Thompson SYDNEY — TAFE teachers, students and support staff will join the national day of action for higher education on April 1. They will be protesting against federal and state funding cuts to TAFE. The TAFE Teachers Association,
By Jim Green SYDNEY — People Against a Nuclear Reactor (PANR), the group opposing the federal government's plan to build another nuclear reactor in the southern Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights, will boycott the environmental impact assessment set
By Ben Reid MELBOURNE — An estimated 3000 people rallied on March 21 at the GPO to oppose the Howard government's 10-point plan. The rally was organised to promote a statement endorsed by a coalition of groups calling for the abandonment of the
By Bill Mason Hospitality workers will keep their penalty rates for after-hours, weekend and holiday work following a landmark decision by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on March 27. The AIR dismissed an application by the
Green Left Weekly is very proud to be involved in the Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference to be held in Sydney on the Easter weekend, April 10-13. The conference will bring together 66 international guests from many parts of the world. From its
Greens issue urgent Wik warning By Jennifer Thompson The Greens began distributing a national information alert on March 25 warning that, despite widespread community opposition, the Senate is in danger of passing the Wik legislation. The next
Thousands mobilise to defend sub-alpine wilderness By Tony Iltis KOOPAROONA NIARA, Tasmania — Driving to Kooparoona Niara through the spectacular sub-alpine landscape of the Great Western Tiers reinforces the realisation that making the
By Keara Courtney SYDNEY — Adair "Bear" Durie, elected president of the Sydney University Students' Representative Council last year on the conservative Students First ticket, has been removed by an electoral appeal. Late last year, an appeal
Sydney University Resistance club takes off By Marina Carman SYDNEY — The Resistance Club at Sydney University has started the year with a bang with close to 100 people joining during orientation week. Since then, around 30 people have attended
Danger of compromise in WA abortion fight By Sarah Stephen PERTH — When WA parliament resumes on March 31 after a week's recess it will decide on the future of the state's restrictive abortion laws. During the recess, politicians discussed
By Melanie Sjoberg ADELAIDE — The myth, peddled by the establishment press and politicians, that the public service is over regulated, an easy job for life and a haven for incompetent workers, is being pushed here in a new government report
By Barry Healy SYDNEY — Recycling of waste by local NSW councils is in danger of collapse and many councils are threatening to stop collections within weeks, according to the Local Government Recycling Co-operative. The packaging industry has


By James Balowski Last October, the Far Eastern Economic Review warned, "The strong winds of market demand and the smouldering coals of collusion are likely to keep the fires [in Indonesia] raging for many dry seasons to come". Three months later,
By David Bacon TIJUANA — Garrett Brown calls the working conditions at the Han Young plant "a catastrophe waiting to happen". In his day job, Brown is a health and safety inspector for the California Occupational Health and Safety
By Barry Sheppard Despite sabotage from Washington, some 1500 people registered for a successful conference sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley on March 19-21. Cubans prominent in their fields were invited to participate in panels
By Boris Kagarlitsky MOSCOW — On the morning of March 23, no-one in Moscow was expecting anything special to happen. But at 11 o'clock, radio and television reported that President Boris Yeltsin, after meeting with Prime Minister Victor
By Max Lane Fears are held for the physical safety for Andi Arief who was kidnapped at gunpoint from a house in Lampung, South Sumatra, at 10.30am on March 28. Arief is the chairperson of Students in Solidarity for Democracy in Indonesia and was
By David Bacon TIJUANA, Baja California — Norberto Cordoba sacrificed his job, trying to end conditions in his factory so dangerous he was afraid someone would die. Cordoba was employed at the Han Young plant in Tijuana, making truck chassis and
By Norm Dixon Soon after US President Bill Clinton departed from the tiny Ugandan town of Mukono, a poor peasant named Paladi surveyed his shattered two-room house and his meagre possessions strewn about the chook yard. A huge wind caused by the US
JAKARTA — From left to right: Jacob (Free West Papua movement, sentenced to 17 years jail); Wimandjaya (on trial for assisting in the publication of banned booklet); Nuku Suleiman (Pijar, sentenced to five years jail); Bungkus (Indonesian Communist
By Malik Miah SAN FRANCISCO — Congressional outrage. Anger from human rights activists. Protests from democratic forces inside Indonesia. That has been the response to the revelation that the Pentagon continues to train Suharto's notorious army.


City of Green — Green Ban Songs and BeyondCD by Denis Kevans and friendsSend $20 (plus $3 postage) to 63 Valley Rd, Wentworth Falls NSW 2782 Review by Alex Bainbridge City of Green is not the sort of album likely to have a place in the charts —
Crow Fire MusicWaak Waak JungiLarrikin Music through Festival Review by Barry Healy This unpretentious recording of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal music gently pushes back the parameters of what is generally understood as "tradition". It
10-point plan By Geoff Francis and Peter Hicks Little Johnny is selling a 10-point planTo resolve the ownership of the landHe says it's fair to everyone,And its genius is great.But as you count from one to 10Then slowly back to one againAsk
By James Vassilopoulos People Against Rio Tinto Zinc and Subsidiaries (PARTiZANS) publish a newsletter of the same name. The latest issue contains much useful information. PARTiZANS is the group which produced the book Plunder, detailing the
By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE— The 12th Melbourne International Comedy Festival, beginning April 1, features a mind-boggling array of events. From well-known international celebrities such as Julian Cleary and Sean Hughes, and popular Australian
Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are WorthBy Marilyn WaringWellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1997(Originally: Allen & Unwin NZ, 1988)$24.95 Review by Greg Ogle It is 10 years since Marilyn Waring published Counting for
Arriesgaré la Piel (I Will Risk My Skin)By Inti-IllimaniXenophile Records through Festival Review by Barry Healy If Augusto Pinochet is the great survivor of Chilean right-wing politics, then surely Inti-Illimani rank with the great
By Kathy Pinkus HOBART — A Bed Of Roses, a women's writing exhibition, to open shortly, has been the long-time dream of women's refuge workers, Anne and Lilly. They feel it is a way of "opening doors into women's lives". The exhibition comprises
Sri Lankan warmth By Kathy Pinkus HOBART — Ray Pereira's band Bongo Fury brought some Sri Lankan warmth to the crowd here on March 26. The song, "There are many people out there like you", made the point that people can draw inspiration from
Have play/will travel By Al McCall The New World Order Theatre is a new venture and, as it turns out, a rather unusual one. Instead of being tied to the normal paraphernalia and formality of main stage theatre, New World Order Theatre reckons it


Editorial: Transport madness Transport madness In Sydney last week, haze from bushfires hung over the city, mixing with "normal" pollutants to produce a pollution index reading more than double the "acceptable" limit. Coincidentally, the Sydney