Posts in: International

Your Say

Summer/Autumn 2008

Proposed Vic Relationship Register Hazy The Victorian government recently introduced legislation to Parliament for a relationships register. But how adequately does it support same-sex couples? The Brumby government has announced plans to improve IVF and surrogacy laws. But adoption was handballed to the national Council of Community Services Ministers. This will, at best, delay or,… Read more »

Bernie Banton 1946 — 2007

Summer/Autumn 2008

They gave Bernie Banton a state funeral. (“They” meaning the government of New South Wales.) It would have been a much better gift to Bernie and his family if they and their predecessors had, a quarter of a century before Bernie was born, made laws that kept asbestos in the ground. A better gift indeed,… Read more »

Red Earth: Don’t forget the cities!

Summer/Autumn 2008

Hands up who hasn’t had a gripe about one or more of the following, lately: roads, public transport, schools, hospitals, housing, water shortages, power/gas supplies, telecommunications? A lot of raised hands, I guess! All of these are examples of the essential infrastructure that keeps our cities and towns going. Their failure is an important environmental… Read more »

Union Eyes

Summer/Autumn 2008

The ABCC must go! The Howard government has gone, but one of its most repressive anti-worker bodies — the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) — remains. Established in October 2005, this body was given sweeping powers that remove the most basic of civil rights from building workers. In gathering evidence, the ABCC operates in… Read more »

After the Howard disaster: Indigenous leaders look to the future

Summer/Autumn 2008

Many Australians were jubilant to see former Prime Minister John Howard lose his own seat of Bennelong at the 24 November federal election. But for the Indigenous rights activists holding a sovereignty vigil outside the old Victorian Aboriginal Health Service building in Fitzroy on election night, the news that Mal Brough — architect of the… Read more »

Single-issue survey denies unionists a real voice

Summer/Autumn 2008

Shortly after the federal election, I received an electronic survey from my union, the Australian Services Union. The leadership was asking for members’ feedback on the election and the Your Rights at Work campaign. I thought: this is great — members get to say what we think. Since the union movement’s focus on the Your… Read more »

Election result will not improve life for Thailand’s poor

Summer/Autumn 2008

Thailand has a turbulent political history — it has seen 24 prime ministers and 18 coups in the past 75 years. On 23 December 2007, voters again went to the polls but the result, a strong vote for the People’s Power Party (PPP) that gave it the most seats but left it just short of… Read more »

April 2008 national day of protest demands: Drop the Charges Against Lex Wotton Now!

Summer/Autumn 2008

A campaign to throw out all charges against Palm Island Aboriginal leader, Lex Wotton, is gaining momentum. Wotton participated in the November 2004 protest against the killing of his friend Mulrunji, a respected community member and father, while in police custody. Singled out in the crackdown that followed, Wotton faces charges of “riot with destruction”… Read more »

Communities unite against misuse of terror laws – Union organiser, Louisa Jones, draws lessons from the struggle

Summer/Autumn 2008

On Monday 15 October 2007, a massive wave of state repression swept across New Zealand. Teams of more than 300 paramilitary police launched unprecedented, politically motivated raids. By the end of the day, homes had been searched in Auckland, Whakatane, Ruatoki, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch. Seventeen people were arrested and threatened with charges… Read more »