Proposed laws introduced into the NSW parliament mean that the greater Sydney area will become a police state for two weeks around the APEC summit. The APEC Meeting (Policing Powers) Bill 2007 is expected to be passed without significant amendments.
Michael Bozic, a barrister with the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said on June 20 that the new powers being given to police during the APEC summit would make the conservative former premiers Robert Askin and Joh Bjelke-Petersen proud. Askin, NSW’s Liberal premier from 1965 to 1975, was famously quoted in 1966 demanding that the convoy accompanying visiting US President Lyndon Johnson “ride over the bastards” — anti-Vietnam War protesters.
The June 11 edition of ABC TVs Four Corners confirmed what Australian former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib has claimed since his January 2005 release without charge: that the Australian authorities were complicit in his abduction and torture.
West Australian union official Joe McDonald has rejected calls by Labor leader Kevin Rudd for him to leave the ALP. He insists he will fight moves by the party’s national executive to have him expelled, setting the stage for an important showdown.
Electrical Trades Union Victorian secretary and union militant Dean Mighell was forced to resign from the ALP after a tape recording of an internal union meeting became public. Labor leader Kevin Rudd and his industrial relations spokesperson Julia Gillard slammed Mighell as a union “thug” for swearing about bosses and talking up a pattern-bargaining agreement in which ETU members received a particularly good deal. Green Left Weekly’s Sue Bolton spoke to Mighell about Labor under Rudd, its backflips on IR and how the unions can defend workers’ rights.
About 150 people crowded into the function room of the Lanyon Valley Rugby Union Club in Canberra on June 13 to celebrate the life of Koru Peter Nusa, who died suddenly at home on June 4. At the same time, family and friends gathered for a service in Papua New Guinea.
The recent storms that devastated much of the NSW Central Coast and the Hunter Valley were described by some as a mini cyclone. The fierce gales led to dramatic floods — the most severe since the 1970s, the deaths of several people and the beaching of a coal freighter on a Newcastle reef.
The ABCs 7.30 Report on June 11 reported that 200 miners at BHP Billitons iron ore mine at Mount Newman in Western Australia had signed a petition complaining about an atmosphere of intimidation and victimisation of workers on individual agreements (AWAs). The workers petition complained that management was forcing them to work in unsafe conditions and warned that a serious accident was likely.
The Howard governments so-called fairness test for all new workplace agreements (individual contracts and collective agreements) is destined to become law, with Labor Party support, before the end of June. The legislation, which purports to guarantee fairness to workers who trade off their entitlement to penalty rates, overtime pay and holiday leave loading, passed through the House of Representatives on May 29.
In recent years theres been a concerted campaign by right-wing Vietnamese exiles around the world to resurrect the defunct flag of the old Saigon regime.
The public gallery of the Northern Territory Supreme Court erupted into applause on June 15 when Justice Sally Thomas handed down the sentences for the Pine Gap Four Christians Against All Terrorism members Bryan Law, Jim Dowling, Adele Goldie and Donna Mulhearn who had the previous day been found guilty of 14 charges under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act of 1952.
It has become clear in recent weeks the extent to which the NSW and federal governments want to block protests at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in September.
The NSW government is planning to give police extraordinary powers of arrest and detention around the time of the APEC summit in Sydney in September. Activists planning the protest when US President George Bush is in town say the new powers are about intimidation, not public safety.
Since community opposition stopped plans for a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia, John Howard seems determined to now go for a site in the Northern Territory despite promising not to and opposition from Indigenous custodians.
Under pressure to prove his government has answers to the global warming crisis, on June 3 PM John Howard backed the corporate polluter-friendly recommendations of his Task Group on Emissions Trading, set up on December 10.
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