Australian News

Government backs down, keeps late night trains

Thousands of people threatening to hold a late night pyjama party at Perth train station have forced a backdown from the state government.

State transport minister Dean Nalder issued a media statement on March 3 promising that late night trains on Friday and Saturday evenings would remain.

Previously the Public Transport Authority had announced that the 1am and 2:15am train services would be cancelled.

Redfern tent embassy is 'not laying down'

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) is working hard to defend its right to stay at its current location following being served with an eviction notice from the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) on February 20.

The eviction orders mobilised a number of supporters and media to defend the site during the past week. So far, AHC head Mick Mundine has not called in police to shut the embassy down.

Perth rally demands justice for Miss Dhu

A crowd of up to 80 people rallied on the steps of Western Australian parliament house on February 25 to demand justice for the family of Miss Dhu.

Dhu was a 22-year-old Aboriginal woman who died in police custody on August 4 last year. She was imprisoned in Port Hedland for non-payment of fines.

MUA victory at Port Kembla

On the evening of June 1, international shipping company Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) announced it was backing down after a tense four-day stand-off with Port Kembla members of the Maritime Union of Australia. Garry Keane, Port Kembla MUA branch secretary, reported to jubilant wharfies and community supporters that CSL had agreed to let “shore-based labour” unload the bulk carrier Capo Noli.

Bali duo fall victim to ‘war on drugs’

The impending execution in Indonesia of two Australian drug couriers — Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan – has focused Australian media attention on the horrors of capital punishment. Their lawyers, families and supporters, particularly artist Ben Quilty, have ensured that the two have been humanised.

Public servants fight to keep conditions, pay

The Australian Council of Trade Unions says the federal government has cut 8000 public sector jobs since coming to power and plans to slash another 8000 more.

Now the government is making a pay offer to public servants that the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says is, in effect, a pay cut.

The government’s offer of a 3.25% pay rise over three years to employees in the Department of Human Services (DHS) is below the inflation rate — 1.7% according to Trading Economics.

Workers’ rights in government firing line

Workers in Australia are under an unprecedented and multi-fronted attack, designed to strip away hard-fought wages and conditions, including penalty rates and industrial rights. This attack is part of a drive by Australian capital to shore up profits in the context of a global economic slow down.

Redfern Tent Embassy fights eviction attempts

The Redfern Tent Embassy survives, a week after an eviction notice was served demanding that they vacate by February 23. For four long days, locals and supporters have kept watch to protect the Block from an expected hoard of Redfern police coming to enforce the eviction.

About 20 people gathered at the embassy on Monday after the initial 5am call out for supporters, and about 150 people were at the embassy after Mick Mundine, the Chief Executive of the Aboriginal Housing Corporation (AHC), said on NITV that he would “definitely be coming in the afternoon”.

Fee deregulation passes despite huge opposition

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance released this statement on February 25.

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Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance condemns the passing of the Higher Education and Research Amendment Bill, which included fee-deregulation, in the House of Representatives on February 25.

This legislation has passed despite the ongoing opposition from students, the National Tertiary Education Union, economists and progressive political parties.

Job agencies found to be as useless as everyone says

In the past three years, the Australian government has recovered more than $41 million that had been fraudulently claimed by private employment agencies.

These for-profit employment agencies were found to have submitted forged and doctored records and lodged inflated fee claims. One source, a former agency employee, told ABC’s Four Corners that they had seen “thousands” of jobseeker records modified by the agency to support suspicious claims against the taxpayer.

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