Issue 927

Australia



NSW firefighters held their first all-out strike in 56 years on June 21, 2012 to protest attacks on workers compensation rights by the O'Farrell Liberal-National state government. Firefighters sealed off Macquarie Street, Sydney, and hosed down Parliament House. They won a partial...




The Sydney and Perth components of a June 23 national-wide 'Walk Together' in recognition that "although we've all arrived here via different pathways we share a common Australian journey". Videos by Peter Boyle/GLTV (Sydney) and Zeb Parkes/GLTV (Perth)

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Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on June 25.

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After weeks of enquiries and confusion around the status of the local coal seam gas project, Stop CSG Illawarra has finally received a clear statement from The Department of Planning and Infrastructure. They have...

The nationwide "Walk Together" protests were held on June 23 in recognition that "although we've all arrived here via different pathways we share a common Australian journey". It was organised by GetUp! and sponsored by Mission Australia. This was part of several activities to mark Refugee Week...

As world leaders gather in Brazil for the Rio+20 summit to discuss the pressing environmental issues facing the world, academics, politicians, unionists, climate activists and local resident groups are preparing to meet and work out real proposals for how western Sydney can begin to tackle...

Queensland public sector unions are preparing for an all-out battle with the Campbell Newman Liberal National Party (LNP) government over pay and conditions, as several enterprise bargaining agreements come up for re-negotiation.

The state's public servants are outraged after being...

Opposition to the risks associated with coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and mining is growing across NSW. In northern NSW, thousands of people have rallied in Byron Bay, Lismore and The Channon to demand a moratorium on CSG.

Green Left Weekly’s Pip Hinman spoke...

Unconventional gas fracking is set to go ahead in WA, after the state's upper house voted down a motion calling for a moratorium on the controversial gas extraction process on June 20.

The motion had been put to the state's upper house by Greens MLC Alison Xamon. The Liberal, National...

Labor and independent councillors in Marrickville decided on June 19 against holding a poll on coal seam gas at the same time as the local council elections.

This is despite the fact that the council has had two unanimous votes against coal seam gas exploration.

Non-binding polls...

The search and rescue of some 90 asylum seekers still missing at sea continues after a boat capsized 200 kilometres from Christmas Island on June 21. Sydney's Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on June 22.

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From the timeline of contacts between...

Sydney’s Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) says it will hold a ceremony in Redfern to give out Aboriginal passports to supporters. The ceremony will hand the passports to migrants, refugees and Australian citizens who want to give their support to Aboriginal justice.

Refugees...

Aboriginal speakers lashed out against the Labor government’s five-year Northern Territory intervention at a forum organised by Arena Magazine on June 21.

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a former mayor of Barkly shire in the Northern Territory, said: “A lot of us are going through severe...

Newman to axe 20,000 public servants

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said on June 20 that the state had 20,000 public sector staff it could not afford, based on a report by former federal treasurer Peter Costello. In this year’s election campaign, Newman promised...

Uncertainty and confusion now surround the Apex/Ormil coal seam gas (CSG) project in the Illawarra. The project includes 16 CSG wells scattered across two Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs). But according to the project’s conditions, drilling and operation of the wells must take place within...

The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) launched the Putting Students First Charter on June 19. The charter is a response to the state Coalition government’s plans to radically restructure the education system and cutback teaching an allied support positions.

Teachers called on the...

The editor-in-chief of Wikileaks and Australian citizen Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country yet he now sits alone, abandoned by his government, in the Ecuador Embassy waiting to see if he will be granted asylum.

WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA)...

About 80 people gathered at Victorian Trades Hall on June 20 for a public forum about the United States’ increased military presence in Australia. The forum was organised by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, with the support of Victorian Trades Hall council, the Philippines...

NSW firefighters went out on strike for the first time in 56 years to protest against attacks on workers' compensation rights by the O'Farrell Liberal-National state government. They converged with their firetrucks on Macquarie St, Sydney, and turned the hose on Parliament House to "wash away...

Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney activist Pip Hinman gave the speech below at the Marrickville local council meeting on June 19.

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I am a long-term resident in Newtown, a mother and an activist with Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney.

I want to speak in favor of...

About 1000 Queensland teachers rallied outside state parliament on June 20 to protest the Campbell Newman Liberal National Party government's "unacceptable" offer on pay and conditions in current enterprise bargaining talks. The government is proposing a 2.7% annual pay rise in return for cuts...

You can sign an online petition to the government of Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa in support of Julian Assange's extradition request.

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To:

Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado
President of the Republic of Ecuador

Ricardo Armando Patiño Aroca
Minister...

The Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition released the statement below on June 21.

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Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory have spoken out against the Stronger Futures laws, which they say continue the discriminatory and racist laws launched with the NT intervention 5...

The Australian Council of Trade Unions released the statement below on June 21.

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Fairfax Media has breached its legal obligation to consult its workers, and failed to explain why it plans to sack thousands of workers, unions will tell a hearing in Fair Work Australia today...

World

There are wildly divergent estimates of the death toll from ethnic and religious violence in the Burmese state of Arakan.

Mainstream media reports and the Burmese government are claiming that fewer than 100 people have been killed in violence they describe as clashes between the Buddhist...

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development took place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil over June 20-22. Known as Rio +20, it takes place 20 years after the first UN Earth summit in Rio in 1992 that was supposed to establish guidelines for sustainable development. Since then, the...

Before the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, that took place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil over June 20-22, the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change against REDD and for Life launched a declaration on June 15 opposing the summit's “...

Palestinians have achieved three consecutive victories in the past few months. In October last year, there was the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in an exchange deal involving the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Then there was a series of individual hunger strikes,...

Official results were yet to be announced on June 24, but it appears Muhammad Morsi, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate, has won the second round of Egypt's presidential elections, held over June 16 and 17.

The election took place amid huge protests in Tahrir Square and...

The governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador strongly condemned on June 21 a parliamentary coup by the Paraguayan Congress against President Fernando Lugo.

BBC news said on June 22 that, after both houses of Congress voted to impeach Lugo, the president was forced to step down. The...

To the great relief of the big financial institutions and European powers, the right-wing New Democracy party narrowly came first with more than 29% of the vote in Greece's June 17 elections. However, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) won nearly 27% on a platform of clearly rejecting...

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange went to the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19 to apply for asylum, after losing his final appeal in British courts against extradition to Sweden.

The extradition to Sweden is nominally over allegations of sexual assault, for which Swedish...

Despite much speculation in the international media regarding the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a mass gathering of supporters accompanied him on June 11 as he registered his candidature for the October 7 presidential elections.

Chavez used the opportunity to address the...

Sudan’s National Congress Party (NCP) regime is facing rising dissent after a new round of youth protests began on June 16 against austerity measures, spreading throughout the week to cities and towns across Sudan.

Protesters and security forces have clashed daily as the government of...

United States President Barack Obama announced on June 15 that deportations of undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children would be put on hold for two years.

During this time, they could apply for work permits. About 800,000 young people could be affected.

To be...

For 9 months, Baba Jan Hunzai and 4 fellow activists have languished in Pakistani jails, charged with terrorism offences, and suffered torture. Their crime? Organising the oppressed local community to struggle for compensation, after their villages were submerged by a climate-change induced...

Analysis

Opposition leader Tony Abbott announced his vision for a “tougher” refugee policy on June 9. Among the plans are to refuse refugee status for those who have arrived in Australia by boat without documentation.

He also said that an Abbott Coalition government would appeal immigration...

Confirmation that billionaire mining boss Gina Rinehart now owns about 20% of Fairfax Media’s shares came as the media corporation announced plans to downsize its major newspapers. The moves spell out the future for Australia’s mainstream media: more corporate-friendly reports and less...

The federal government announced on June 14 that it would create the “world's largest network of marine reserves” in Australia. It will form 33 new marine reserves, adding to the current 27.

Conservation groups have long campaigned for more marine parks that place strict limits on what...

Green Left Weekly’s Patrick Harrison spoke to Shamikh Badra, the youth and students coordinator for the Palestinian People Party in Gaza Strip. Badra will speak at Resistance’s Time of Revolution conference in Adelaide, over July 20-22.

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Green Left Weekly’s Jay Fletcher spoke to Wendy Bacon, a Walkley award-winning journalist and professor at UTS’s Australian Centre for Investigative Journalism, about the crisis in Australia’s mainstream media

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The big...

Locals from the WA town of Gingin, and visitors from Perth including members of the groups No Fracking WAy and Doctors for the Environment, left a June 22 community forum on unconventional gas fracking scratching their heads in bewilderment.

The forum, facilitated by National Party MPs,...

Coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and mining poses significant risks. Yet licences have been issued and development approved in vital drinking water catchments in NSW.

The promise

Before the last state election, then NSW opposition leader Barry O'Farrell made a...

Churchgoers all over Sydney heard official statements from their denominations on June 17 with a firm and united message: “Marriage is only for heterosexual couples.”

I needed to see this for myself, so I and four gay Christian friends summoned our courage and attended the evening...

Socialist Alliance member on the Fremantle City Council, Sam Wainwright discusses the "boom", 457 visas, training and migration to Australia.

Visit Sam's website: www.FreoReport.net

Read Sam's articles in Green Left Weekly.

More videos from Green Left TV.

Socialist Alternative members Vashti Kenway and Corey Oakley released the open letter below to Victorian Trades Hall on June 21.

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Letter to Victorian Trades Hall re: cancellation of our room booking for Racism and Police Violence.

We are writing to object in...

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre released the statement below on June 21.

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Michael Mansell today said the forest Bill introduced into the Tasmanian Parliament “is a straight betrayal of Aboriginal people”.

Mansell said: “The Bill represents a rejection by the...

The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 19.

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Message of solidarity to anti-war and progressive movements opposing the Philippine-Australia Status of the Visiting Forces Agreement

The Socialist Alliance in Australia stands in...

Editorial

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange is right to seek political asylum in Ecuador. He was left with no other choice after the Australian government made clear it would do nothing to prevent his extradition to the United States on espionage charges.

His real “crime” is groundbreaking...

Letters

Rewrite the Constitution

What a brilliant 6-1 decision by the High Court on the federal funding of the chaplain program. The dysfunctionality of the federal constitution and the federal system couldn't have been made more obvious.

The major parties now have to,...

Culture

Forever Sky'high
Sky'high
Elefant Traks
Released May 25, 2012
Stream the whole album at:
www.skyhighforever.com

Rapper Sky'high is a strong, Black woman surrounded by strong, Black women. "This is correct," she tells Green Left Weekly. "My...

Mark Stewart
The Politics Of Envy
Future Noise Music
Released March, 2012
http://www.markstewartmusic.com/

"Genius and lunatic are two sides of the same coin," says Mark Stewart. The post-punk pioneer is telling Green Left Weekly about "Method to The Madness", a...

Sky'high
Forever Sky'high
Elefant Traks
Released May 25, 2012
Stream the whole album at:
http://www.skyhighforever.com/

Rapper Sky'high is a strong, Black woman surrounded by strong, Black women. "This is correct," she tells Green Left Weekly. "My family's...

Co-editors Jeff Sparrow and Antony Loewenstein discuss their new book with contributors Tad Tietze and Larissa Behrendt at the June 14 launch at Sydney's Gleebooks.

The book's essays seek to spark a wider discussion about an Australia where "crisis stalks the old political order and yet...

Struggle For Freedom: Aung San Suu Kyi
By Jesper Bengtsson
Fourth Estate, 2011, 308 pages, $35 (pb)

Aung San Suu Kyi’s entry into political activism in Burma in 1988 quickly met the fate of so many other pro-democracy opponents of the Burmese...

Bindi-eye Bop: Singable Songs for Aussie Kids
Margaret Bradford
http://margaretbradford.com

Bindi-eye Bop is a delightful collection of songs for kids and kids-at-heart. Most of the songs are Margaret Bradford’s original songs and the words...

The Party: The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume II: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988, A Political Memoir
By Barry Sheppard
Resistance Books (London), 2011
345 pages

Malik Miah

The first volume of former United...

Fighting Fund

Our persistent supporters who take Green Left Weekly out into the street week after week (yes, even on the chilliest of winter days) have received a few more smiles, nods and words of encouragement as, out there in the corporate media, the billionaire bosses have been mercilessly...