News briefs

June 21, 1995

News briefs

Prisoners of Progress

Members of non-government and solidarity organisations attended the Melbourne launch of a booklet on Indonesian workers' rights on June 6. Prisoners of Progress is a joint project of the Federation of Dutch Labour (FTV), Indonesia Documentation and Information Centre (INDOC) and the International NGO forum on Indonesian Development (INFID).

It contains information on the conditions suffered by Indonesian workers as a result of the government's export-oriented industrialisation program and outlines the role the military and government trade union, the SPSI, in suppressing attempts by workers to organise. It also details the repression exercised against independent unions. Copies of Prisoners of Progress are available for $10 from Aksi (Indonesia Solidarity Action) on 9329 1277 or ACFOA on 9417 7505.

Discrimination charged

NEWCASTLE — Andrew Hope and William Brown, took insurance company NIB to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal on June 13, claiming discrimination. The gay couple claimed family cover health insurance for themselves and Hope's son in 1993. Hope explained in a written statement to the tribunal that NIB refused to issue a family policy that covered all three because "the fund [NIB] only includes de facto couples of the opposite sex".

Toxic dump

BRISBANE — Greg Spilsbury, spokesperson for Pinkenba Residents Against Toxic Site, said on May 31 that it would be only a matter of time before the Brisbane City Council's hazardous waste treatment plant would have devastating effects on the environment if located at the favoured site — at the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Bayside residents here have been protesting against locating the proposed plant at either Bulwer Island or Luggage Point, both of which are at the river mouth.

'Panic' report

SYDNEY — A report was launched here on June 7 by the Lesbian and Gay Legal Rights Service documenting a community forum at which academics, criminologists, legal experts and activists discussed the use of "homosexual panic defence" in criminal murder trials. A violent reaction to an alleged homosexual advance is being treated in the courts as almost justifiable, with sentencing in such murder cases being considerably more lenient. Some defendants have successfully argued that the killing of another man was justified because it was in response to an unwanted sexual advance.

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