Kevin Rudd is a prime minister in a big hurry. Only a fortnight has passed since the Howard government was thrown into the dustbin, and the new Labor cabinet is already scurrying about its work.
Lex Wotton has been portrayed by the Queensland police, government and mainstream media as the ringleader of the so-called riot that occurred on Palm Island on November 26, 2004. A police station and residence were destroyed after a police report on the death of community member Mulrunji Doomadgee that concluded that his death was an accident was read at a public meeting. Wotton will face court in April 2008. He continues to be vilified in the media. He spoke to Green Left Weeklys Hamish Chitts.
In his election night acceptance speech, PM Kevin Rudd said that all of Labors policy now becomes a plan of action for the incoming Labor government. As to Labors oft repeated promise to tear up Work Choices, their plans as far as they actually go are detailed in the Forward with Fairness: Policy Implementation Plan, released by the then Labor opposition in August.
Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has called on the new Rudd Labor government to scrap the pulp mill that has been approved to be built in northern Tasmania. Brown has pointed to the strong Greens vote that helped the ALP regain all lower house seats in Tasmania as a mandate to stop the mill.
On November 16, NSW deputy coroner Dorelle Pinch ruled that five journalists from Australias Seven and Ten commercial TV networks who died in the East Timorese town of Balibo on October 16, 1975, were not killed by crossfire (which is what Australian authorities have previously maintained) but were deliberately murdered by invading Indonesian forces, on orders from above in what Pinch ruled to be a war crime.
Kevin Rudds election provides an opportunity for Australia and Aboriginal people to repair the damage caused by the Howard years. Rudds intention to apologise to the Stolen Generations already indicates a positive change of national policy towards Aboriginal people and should he remove the NT emergency laws, Aboriginal reconciliation will be further enhanced.
Now that Labor has decisively won the federal election, it is urgent that Australian troops be withdrawn from Iraq as soon as possible, Jim McIlroy, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Kevin Rudds seat of Griffith, said after the announcement that Labor had defeated the Howard government. McIlroy also called for an end to Australian support for the war in Afghanistan. All Australian forces should be brought home by Christmas.
Its time for a new page to be written in our nations history Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd, November 24.
The first negotiations between the state government and Victorian teachers following a 10,000 strong November 21 stop-work meeting bore no fruit according to a November 30 press release by the Australian Education Unions (AEU) Victorian branch.
The November 24 rout of the Howard government owed much to the work of the organised labour movement. Of the marginal Coalition seats targeted by the Your Rights at Work (YRAW) campaign, 20 of 24 have fallen to Labor (including John Howards own seat of Bennelong); the other four remain in doubt. Most of those who voted for Labor did so believing that Labor would abolish Work Choices, as promised by Kevin Rudd on October 14, the official start to the election campaign. Yet Labors industrial relations policy Forward with Fairness promises only minimal changes, replacing the Coalitions legislation with Work Choices Lite.