Australian News

By Lisa Macdonald The Socialist Scholars Conference, held at Melbourne University High on July 18-21 around the theme of Ecology, Socialism and Human Survival, was a resounding success according to both organisers and participants. The second such

By Steve Painter Six of Australia's largest banks and insurance companies stood close to crisis on July 23 as the federal government bailed them out with special legislation immediately freezing withdrawals from several property trusts. The trusts

By Debra Wirth A call for a national public inquiry into the policy of removing Aboriginal children from their families has been launched by the Secretariat of the National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC). Under the assimilationist

Story and photo by Kim Shipton SYDNEY — A group of expectant and fully equipped whale watchers left the wharf at Birkenhead Point at 8 a.m. on July 13 hoping to catch sight of humpback whales as they migrated north from the Antarctic to the

By Frank Zeller CHAELUNDI — NSW Forestry Commission operations in the Chaelundi forest were halted at least temporarily on August 1 by the discovery of a rare beech skink habitat in the path of proposed roading and logging operations.

Setbacks for AIDEX By Tim E. Stewart NEWCASTLE — The Newcastle University Students Association at a meeting last week passed a motion opposing the proposed Australian Industry Defence Equipment Exhibition (AIDEX) in November at Canberra. The

By Bernie Brian. WOLLONGONG — Southern District coal miners will hold stop-work meetings on August 7 to discuss moves by NSW coal companies to deregulate safety conditions in the mines. South Coast District check inspector Glen Dwyer told

Qld Aborigines take fight to UN By Philippa Stanford BRISBANE — In protest against the Goss government's land rights legislation, a group of Aboriginal community leaders have organised a trip to the United Nations on behalf of the Queensland

Rainforest activist jailed By Nick Everett PERTH — A local Rainforest Action Group member, Nancy Rolfe, is serving a 60-day sentence for criminal trespass in Sarawak. She was one of eight protesters arrested two weeks ago during a logging

MELBOURNE — Ford Australia announced on August 1 that it would cut about 550 jobs in its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants partly through voluntary redundancies because it was halving its production of Capri sports cars. The Vehicle Builders Union is

By Jane Beckman NEWCASTLE — An estimated 4000 people marched through the city on July 30 to an open air rally in Civic Park in support of Hunter health services. Hospital workers, public servants and the waterfront unions stopped work to

By Karen Fletcher BRISBANE — "When I become Lord Mayor of Brisbane there will be no dump in Rochedale." So said Jim Soorley at a fundraising dinner for the campaign against the Rochedale dump in Brisbane several weeks prior to the poll at which

By Angela Matheson Juana was repeatedly raped and tortured during her two-year imprisonment in Central America. She is still receiving medical attention for the wounds. Her husband was killed while she was in prison, while her one-year-old

Nuclear-free Brisbane campaign By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — Hiroshima Day was the launching pad for a public campaign to call on the new Labor-controlled Brisbane City Council to declare the city nuclear free. Brisbane's previous nuclear-free

'Don't tax recycled paper' SYDNEY — The Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace last week called on the federal government to retain the sales tax exemption on 100% recycled paper. Their call was supported by

International protesters jailed By Philip Smith BRISBANE — Nancy Rolfe from Perth is among six international protesters serving 70-day jail sentences in Sarawak following anti-logging protests in early July. The convictions were the first in

Qld march for abortion By Anna McCormack BRISBANE — For the first time in a decade, abortion activists are about to take to the streets here. On August 17, the Women's Abortion Campaign will lead a march from Parliament House calling on the

By Peter Boyle The offer by the United States to sell 300,000 tonnes of subsidised wheat to Yemen has sparked outrage from trade minister Neil Blewett. The nation that claims to be the home of free trade had elbowed its loyal partner Australia out

Sand mining blockade predicted By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Queensland conservationists have warned of a Franklin Dam-style campaign against the Goss Labor government's decision to approve mineral sand mining in the Byfield national park region

Residents fight sewage plan By Bill Mason BRISBANE — Gold Coast residents rallied at Southport on August 4 against a decision by the Gold Coast City and Albert Shire councils to pump 60 million litres of treated sewage effluent off the

By Chris Kearney SYDNEY — Public transport here is inaccessible to almost 70,000 people who have a mobility handicap, according to Citizens for Accessible Public Transport (CAPT). CAPT convener Ian Cooper told Green Left that all urban and

By Adam Hanieh ADELAIDE — Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iran were the big winners in the Middle East as a result of the Gulf War, Dr Robert Springborg told a 200-strong public meeting here on August 5. The meeting was organised by the Gulf Peace

BYRON BAY — The arrest of three boys for allegedly photocopying and attempting to use a $100 note has raised many questions. The boys, aged 13-16, have been living under the care of Kids off the Streets (KOTS), Mullumbimby. They were arrested in

Alternative plan for Newcastle Story and photo by Stephen O'Brien NEWCASTLE — "Don't bulldoze what is unique", appealed community activist Doug Lithgow at the launch of the "Old Newcastle" strategy in the city's historic East End on August 7.

By Dean Geoffrey Tribespeople in the mountainous rainforests of Sarawak have been battling logging companies with a network of blockades for four years. Australian and other international activists recently participated in the protests, and

By Barry Healy Public Servants are facing massive attacks on their working conditions, extraordinary leaked documents have revealed. The papers are the offers put to the government on July 28 by officials of the Public Sector Union in wages

By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The process of bringing corrupt Queensland police, politicians and racketeers to book in the aftermath of the Fitzgerald Inquiry reached its biggest milestone so far with the conviction of former police commissioner

By Peter Boyle The unemployment rate jumped from 9.3% to 9.8% in July, dampening weeks of media speculation that an end to the recession was in sight. Some 83,000 more jobs were lost, bringing the total number lost in the last year to 305,000.

'Welcome' for Bush By Dick Nichols SYDNEY —Twenty-five years after Lyndon Baines Johnson, the last president of the United States to visit these shores, was met with mass demonstrations, the Hawke government has invited his successor, Emperor

By Bruce Threlfo SYDNEY — Around 230 people attended the Living in Sydney conference, held on August 3-4. Initiated by the New Left Party, the gathering attracted a range of activists and people working in various fields of urban and social

By Steve Painter At present, if a person visits a doctor who bulk bills, Medicare covers the full cost, and the patient pays nothing directly (though they do through the taxation system). The Hawke government's proposal to impose a fee (probably

Solidarity at ANU By Anthony Hayes -1>CANBERRA — Forums, films, stalls, demonstrations, music and social events were part of International Solidarity Week, at the Australian National University August 5-10.0> -1>Forum topics covered

MELBOURNE — Job cuts promised by the Victorian Labor government in its coming budget have already begun. The western regional office of the Ministry of Education has written to all school principals directing them to offer voluntary redundancies to

Democrat referendum Further moves towards a merger between some greens and the Australian Democrats seem likely following a report in the August 17-18 Australian that Democrat senators are preparing a referendum on the question, and comments by

By Pat Brewer SYDNEY — The repeatedly postponed national gathering to discuss a national green party took place on August 18-19. On the agenda were structure and proscription of membership in other political parties. Agreement to some form of

Another protester jailed in Sarawak By David Brazil Gold Coast environmental activist Anja Light has joined Australian Nancy Rolfe and six other protesters from four countries in a Malaysian jail after being found guilty of criminal trespass. She

Court action moves closer to victory By David Brazil Actions against logging in the Chaelundi State Forest continued last week both in the courts and in the forest. With the August 15 granting of a further extension of the injunction against

By David Brazil Australia has the opportunity to make an important stand in the fight to save the remaining rainforests of Sarawak and other parts of the world on August 21, when federal parliament considers the Customs (Rainforest Timbers)

Parliament House staff fight for jobs By Sue Bolton CANBERRA — Catering staff at Parliament House have set up a picket in an effort to protect their jobs and working conditions. Catering services are being privatised. Workers have been told

By Peter Boyle The latest national account figures confirm that Australia is still deep in recession. Gross domestic product over the 12 months to June contracted by 0.9%, and unemployment is set to continue at around 10% well into next year. Yet

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