“What we are now seeing is a clear choice for voters at the next election”, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) president Sharan Burrow said on April 17, referring to the industrial relations policy that Labor leader Kevin Rudd received support for at the party’s national conference at the end of April. A slight choice may be a more accurate description.
Christmas Island, 2800 kilometres north-west of Perth, 2500 kilometres from Darwin and 500 kilometres from Singapore, is one of Australia’s most remote Indian Ocean territories. It is where many asylum seekers first make their refugee claims. But since the 2001 arrival of the Tampa and the island’s excision from Australia’s migration zone, the island has been pivotal to the Howard government’s heartless response to asylum seekers.
John Pilger is an award-winning journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s. He has been a foreign correspondent and a front-line war reporter, beginning with the Vietnam War in 1967. He is an impassioned critic of foreign military and economic adventures by Western governments.
Environmentalists and anti-nuclear campaigners are disappointed but not surprised by the ALP national conference decision on April 28 to drop its no new uranium mines policy. This allows state Labor governments to approve new mines, a policy backed by the South Australian and Queensland premiers.
We know more about energy policy than the government does We know where every skeleton in the closet is most of them we buried, boasted a member of the self-described greenhouse mafia, a group of lobbyists comprising the executive directors of the coal, oil, cement, aluminium, mining and electricity industries, said Clive Hamilton, executive director of the Australia Institute.
The following appeal by Ali B. Humayun, who has been detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney for more than a year, was sent to Community Action Against Homophobia. It has been abridged for publication.
This year’s proposed US spending on the Iraq war is larger than the military budgets of China and Russia combined. The combined spending requests would push the total for Iraq to US$564 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).
It now appears certain that the ALP’s national conference, to be held in Sydney from April 27-29, will drop the party’s “no new uranium mines” policy, adopted in 1998. This will satisfy the big mining companies’ desire to expand uranium mining. Labor leader Kevin Rudd and his “left-wing” deputy, Julia Gillard, are leading the push to scrap the policy.
It is 20 years since the release of Australia Reconstructed, a policy report that came out of an Australian unionists tour of Western Europe in 1986. It is also 25 years since Australia On the Rack was published by the metalworkers union (now the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union - AMWU). Back on Track - A Way Forward for Australia is the latest such policy offering.