Australian News

GLW Issue 806

Premier Anna Bligh was put on the spot on ABC television’s Q & A on July 30 when asked about a young Cairns couple facing charges for procuring an abortion.

On July 28, Castlemaine members of the Support Association for the Women of Afghanistan (SAWA) organised a birthing kit assembly day at the local hospital.

A pledge to create 50,000 new green jobs was a showpiece announcement in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s speech to the ALP national conference on July 30.

In the midst of enterprise bargaining, members of the National Tertiary Education Union at the University of Melbourne were shocked by a management proposal to cut at least 220 full-time positions by the end of 2009. The university claimed the sackings were due to the economic crisis.

GLW Issue 805

On August 1, thousands of supporters of same-sex marriage rights rallied around the country demanding equal rights for gay and lesbian relationships. On the same day, the ALP national conference passed a policy motion supporting the recognition of same-sex relationships but opposing gay marriage.

Environment groups are organising a “peaceful community mass civil disobedience” at the Hazelwood coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley on September 13.

Victoria’s record six-month dry spell has raised fears that the summer of 2009-10 will be worse than last year, when hundreds died in the Black Saturday bushfires and the record-breaking heatwave that preceded them.

The Palestine solidarity group Students for Palestine organised a successful fundraising dinner at the Rockdale Town Hall in Sydney’s south on July 24. Indigenous activist Jenny Munro delivered a welcome to country to kick off a fabulous night of entertainment, food, culture and fundraising.

Speakers from Micronesia, Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Torres Strait Islands described how climate change affects their everyday lives at meetings of 180 people in Brisbane on July 28 and 170 people in Melbourne on July 30

“Help us, do something for us — but the way we want them to be done. Talk to us”, Alice Springs town camp resident Audrey McCormack pleaded of ALP conference delegates.

GLW Issue 804

The Alice Springs council will fine beggars $130 following new bylaws passed on July 20. The new bylaws also banned camping, lighting fireworks and holding protests without a permit.

A man from the remote indigenous community of Warburton caught fire after WA Police used a Taser on him on July 20. He was airlifted to a Perth hospital with burns to 20% of his body. The July 21 Age said he was in a critical condition in the hospital burns unit.

The Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) is assessing a new pay offer put forward on July 24 in the Industrial Relations Commission by the Anna Bligh state Labor government.

Residents on income management will be unable to use their Basics cards at the Darwin Show, a Crikey.com article said on July 23.

A small group of activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network South Australia (CLEAN SA) were threatened with ejection from the Art Gallery of SA grounds, during the recent Adelaide Festival of Ideas, for handing out flyers.

Fifty people attended a rally at Redfern station on July 18. The protesters said Railcorp’s proposed staffing cuts were unjustified and put commuters at risk.

A damning report from the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has revealed widespread misconduct by Queensland police in recent years

The picket against construction company Thiess in Rhodes, Western Sydney, has continued for more than a month. On July 23, protesters gathered at the picket in support of the four recently sacked workers.

British filmmaker Ken Loach’s decision to withdraw his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has led to a storm of debate.

New anti-terrorism laws have been signalled in the immediate aftermath of the July 17 terrorist bombings in Jakarta.

Fifty people rallied outside the Fremantle Esplanade Hotel on July 22. The hotel was the venue of the Australian Uranium conference. The protest was organised by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group.

GLW Issue 803

The Sydney Nuclear Free Coalition organised a protest at the Marrickville office of Federal ALP MP Anthony Albanese on the morning of July 15. They called on Albanese to call for a repeal of a bill that allows radioactive waste dumps in the Northern Territory.

“We as human beings tend to confuse the unprecedented with the improbable”, former US vice-president Al Gore told the July 13 launch of the new environmental NGO, Safe Climate Australia (SCA). Present were 1000 invited guests including environment activists, business representatives and professionals working in related fields.

The New South Wales Teachers Federation annual conference was from July 12 to 14. Of the many issues discussed by delegates, two stood out as big threats to public education, requiring strong union opposition: the introduction of school league tables and attacks on special education.

About 5000 people turned out for the government-organised Harmony Day march through Melbourne on July 12.

Cindy Shelley had worked for Thomastown-based tooling specialist Sutton Tools for more than 20 years when she was told that her job was gone.

“Under your intervention team's poor management, my people and community is in disarray”, said Ampilatwatja community spokesperson Richard Downs, reported the July 16 Sydney Morning Herald.

GLW Issue 802

Australia’s unemployment rate has risen to a six-year high say Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released on July 9.

Ratepayers in Perth’s southern suburbs are counting the cost of the collapse of the federal government’s Greenhouse Friendly voluntary carbon offsets trading scheme.

On July 10, 100 people rallied for Aboriginal rights as part of National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week.