Australia

Queer community must fight for refugees

It’s impossible to ignore any longer just how cruel and irrational the government’s war on refugees has become after violent attacks in the Manus Island detention centre left one dead and scores injured.

The threat of expulsion to Manus Island is particularly terrifying for some asylum seekers given the criminalisation of homosexuality in Papua New Guinea. Amnesty International said last year that staff would be forced to report suspected same-sex activity in the detention centre.

PNG can prosecute same-sex people with a penalty of 14 years jail.

Refugee group calls for boycott of Sydney Biennale

Calls to boycott the Sydney Biennale unless it cuts ties with major sponsor Transfield — which holds government contracts to provide welfare services in immigration detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island — have been gaining momentum.

A group of high-profile artists involved in the Biennale have written to the festival’s board of directors, calling on them to withdraw from the funding agreement with Transfield.

WA calls re-election, putting Liberal seats at risk

The High Court declared last year's senate election in Western Australia void on February 20.

Western Australians will head to the polls as early as March 29 to re-elect six senators, because after 1300 ballots went missing during the count, it was impossible to determine the last two senate spots from the election.

Abbott ignores climate during drought tour

Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently toured drought stricken areas of north-west New South Wales and southern Queensland, promising that his government was close to finalising subsidies to farmers affected by the drought.

The National Climate Centre says in the past two years “most of Queensland and New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range as well as much of South Australia have received less than 70% of their long-term average rainfall, with a substantial area having received less than half the average for the period.”

Three weeks to reach funding target

In the first issue of Green Left Weekly for this year, we announced the campaign to raise $100,000 in pledges for GLW by its 1000th issue, due March 12.


 Congratulation messages for Green Left Weekly, 1000th issue celebration details, and more here.


NT gov't to further cut bilingual education

The Northern Territory government released the draft report of the independent Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory on February 7.  The government’s website says the review aimed to “get an informed understanding of the impact of current programs and initiatives”.

If the report’s recommendations are indicative of government intent, education for remote Aboriginal children in the NT looks set to suffer more blows.

Seaspray locals condemn fracking ban loophole

Seaspray locals have pledged to resist resources company Lakes Oil, which has applied to undertake horizontal drilling for tight gas near the Victorian town in East Gippsland.

The state government has a moratorium on fracking — hydraulic fracturing underground to release gas held in rocks or coal seams. But it does not apply to horizontal drilling, which in some cases can be enough to release gas from the rock.

Green Left and the long fight for climate action

As approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. This week we look at climate change.

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When Green Left Weekly first hit the streets in 1991, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was the biggest climate-related worry for most people. Twenty-three years later, most people accept that climate change is, to quote Kevin Rudd, the biggest moral challenge of our generation.

PHOTOS: Justice for T J Hickey 10th anniversary protest

"February 14 is celebrated as a day of of love by many people, but for us it is a day of grief" said one of the Aboriginal speakers at the start of the rally and march to mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of Aboriginal youth TJ Hickey in a police pursuit in Redfern. The protest began at the spot in where TJ was impaled on a fence after being thrown off his bicycle. The Hickey family, including mother Gail, where out in force. "Its been 10 long years but I am not giving up the fight," she said.

Photos below by Peter Boyle


Abbott’s Aboriginal policy: more police and truancy cops

At a major speech in parliament on February 12, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government was “serious about Aboriginal policy … no less serious than it is about stopping the boats”.

He pledged to close the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous outcomes in health, education and employment.

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