Issue 81

News

Groom's Christmas present — 174 workers sacked By Dave Wright HOBART — According to Liberal Premier Ray Groom 174 construction workers will be sacked before Christmas because not enough have taken voluntary redundancy. The minister for
APPM delivers ultimatum to workers By Dave Wright HOBART — An APPM internal company memo from their Tasmanian paper manager Ken Henderson described the Burnie mills performance in September as a "disaster". In it he says "we simply can not
By Sean Lennon MELBOURNE — A ministerial briefing document produced by the Public Transport Corporation (PTC) for Victorian transport minister Alan Brown has outlined drastic cuts. Under the plan, which the Liberals are quite likely to adopt,
Women's Electoral Lobby reborn in SA By Connie Frazer ADELAIDE — About 100 women, young and old, white and Aboriginal attended a Women's Electoral Lobby conference in Adelaide on the weekend of November 14-15. Also invited to the
By Rob Graham ADELAIDE — Australia's prison system, and the attitude of a large percentage of the population to those within it, are inherited to a large degree from Australia's English colonial past, said Tim Anderson at the second public
By Steve Painter SYDNEY — Ten mineworkers are sitting in underground at the NSW central coast colliery of Newvale in protest against plans by the state-run Pacific Power/Elcom to close the mine on January 31, with the loss of 114 jobs. The
By Sean Lennon and Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — Industrial action involving a wide range of public sector unions has followed the 200,000 strong November 10 strike and march because the Kennett government is refusing to back down from its plans to
By Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — The Kennett government anounced on November 20 that it would close 56 state schools, abolish 4000 teaching positions, sack 3760 school cleaners and 830 administrative staff. Among the schools closing is
WA Inc behind health minister resignation? By Jonathan Strauss and Anthony Benbow PERTH — Controversial health minister Keith Wilson resigned from state cabinet on November 13, ostensibly due to his opposition to the federal government's
Victorian Liberals gut FoI By Pip Hinman MELBOURNE — A new law which restricts freedom of information access to the records of hundreds of state authorities was passed here on November 17. Scrutiny of any state government business enterprise
By Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — Independent Senator Janet Powell described the November 21-22 conference of the New Zealand Alliance, which she attended as an observer, as "really magnificent" and an inspiration for people active on the progressive end
Indonesian military captures Fretilin leader By Vanessa Hearman Xanana Gusmau, the leader of the East Timorese liberation movement Fretilin, was arrested on November 21 by the Indonesian occupying forces. Fretilin has called on the Australian
Multiplex may withdraw from Swan Brewery development By Sarah Harris and Anthony Benbow PERTH — A loud and colourful protest by 50 people on the morning of November 17 at the Swan Brewery site showed that the struggle for the sacred site of the
By Karen Fredericks SYDNEY — The headquarters of the NSW Forestry Commission was occupied for over four hours on November 18 by 30 activists from the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) who, from their position in the Forestry Commissioner's office,
Rally in solidarity with Cambodian hunger strikers By Mike Karadjis SYDNEY — About 50 people, mostly from the local Cambodian community, rallied outside Auburn Hospital in solidarity with three hunger strikers. The three women, aged in their

World

By Steve Painter The South African government has got itself into deep trouble by failing to dismantle the apartheid system's death squads and other secret organisations of political destabilisation, says South African mineworkers' union leader
Jeanette Fitzsimons, a long-term environmental and social justice activist, was elected deputy co-leader of the NZ Alliance at its inaugural conference in Auckland in November. She spoke to Green Left Weekly's Kath Gelber. Why did you get involved
By Harry Blutstein This year Canada hoped to celebrate the anniversary of 125 years of confederation by resolving its festering constitutional sore, and once and for all end talk in the French-speaking province of Québec of splitting off to
By Reihana Mohideen AUCKLAND — Despite predictions by the media pundits of "blood letting rivalry" on the conference floor, the first national Alliance conference of New Zealand's five alternative parties held in Mount Wellington over the weekend
By Frank Noakes PERTH — No longer on the fringes of Scottish politics the Scottish National Party, is projecting itself as a party preparing for government. The SNP is a party that takes its task and itself seriously, and is gaining in influence
Sandra Lee, from Mana Motuhake, the Maori movement for self-determination, was elected deputy co-leader of the NZ Alliance at its inaugural Conference. She spoke to Green left Weekly's Kath Gelber. How would you describe the aims of Mana Motuhake?
By Peter Anderson Richard and Toby Weibe live in San Francisco but over the years they have spent some time in Germany, studying at the University of Münster in 1959 and visiting Berlin in 1987. Last year they went back to see what changes
By Frank Noakes LONDON — English Heritage is set to hive off half of its ancient monuments and properties and sack 25% of its workforce in a move prompted by the Tory government. In three years time all remaining 300 Heritage craftspersons will go
By Tom Jordan and Norm Dixon Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Paias Wingti is to continue his government's push to crush the Bougainville independence movement militarily. During a brief visit to Buka Island, north of the Bougainville mainland,
By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — How did women live in the USSR when perestroika was in the future, and when the word "market" referred only to a large covered space where foodstuffs cost more than in the shops? Considerably worse than men, if the
By Kjell Pettersson STOCKHOLM — The famous Swedish "model" is being torn down. Unemployment is close to 10%, up from less than 2% not long ago. Youth unemployment is over 15%. Mass sackings are expected in the public service sector. Trade
HAVANA, November 10 — Washington's 30-year blockade against Cuba will be up for discussion at the UN General Assembly session on November 24. Cuban foreign ministry official, Juana Silvera, told reporters that the US delegation is already
By Frank Noakes LONDON — "It is a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty's subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions." So said Winston Churchill on introducing wages councils in 1909.

Culture

Luka Bloom Enmore Theatre, Sydney, November 20 Reviewed by Bernie Brian This was Luka Bloom's first concert in Australia but judging by the audience response he already has many fans here. He has built his reputation on two acclaimed albums,
Romper Stomper Reviewed by Nick Fredman Romper Stomper is a powerful, shocking, and flawed film. The story of the violent downfall of a group of Melbourne fascist skinheads, manages to be an apparently authentic portrayal of a subculture, while
First and Last Warning Made and performed by The Sydney Front The Performance Space, Sydney Nov 19 to Dec 6 Reviewed by Karen Fredericks The publicity material for this "theatre work" proclaimed "... the audience is divided. Those who can
>Romper Stomper Produced by Daniel Scharf and Ian Ringle Written/Directed by Geoffrey Wright Starring: Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock and Jacqueline McKenzie Reviewed by Jeremy Smith Violence on TV, in the cinema, is often bemoaned by the media

Editorial

Beyond the lesser evil The GST, John Hewson's industrial relations policy and Kennett's even more extreme version of the same, will drive many people to vote against the conservative Coalition at the next federal election. But this should not