Friday, October 28, 2005

The Western Sydney Peace and Community Group invite you to a public forum:

Your Rights At Work
Going, Going, Gone...

John Howard's workplace laws have been met by unprecedented opposition from churches, community groups and unions, who have all raised fears about the impact on families, young people and those on the minimum wage.

These laws remove most protections for Australian workers, leaving millions with only 5 basic conditions and the prospects of individual contracts that sign away annual leave, public holidays, overtime and dozens of other rights.

Come along to a public forum of local people talking about what these laws mean for them and their families, as well as ideas about what you can do to fight for your rights at work.

Date: Monday 7th November
Time: 7PM
Venue: Rooty Hill Uniting Church (86 Rooty Hill Rd Nth, Rooty Hill)
Speakers include:

  • Adam Kerslake (Unions NSW - "Your Rights At Work" coordinator)
    Adam is currently coordinating the Unions NSW "Your Rights At Work" campaign. He is actively involved in educating the community about the potential impact of these laws, and the need for individuals to get involved and fight for their rights at work.
  • Barry Walker (Penrith Panthers '91 Premiership / owner driver)
    Barry is a former Rugby League player with the Penrith Panthers, and was a member of the '91 Premiership winning team. He is now an owner truck driver who distributes beer for Toohey's. New work laws mean his union, the Transport Workers Union, will no longer be able to negotiate on his behalf.
  • Brett Gay (Crane driver)
    Brett is a crane driver and Glenmore Park local. He is concerned about the Australian Building and Construction Commission which the Howard Government recently created. It can impose $22,000 fines on workers who attend union meetings. It can also jail people for refusing to answer questions.
  • Mark Tough (Minister - St Johns Anglican Church, Minchinbury)
    Mark is a local minister in Minchinbury. He is concerned that new workplace laws will lower the wages of poorer workers and those will less skills. He is fearful that without unfair dismissal laws job security will be lessened. He is also concerned about the impact on families of increased hours of work.
  • Michael De Wall (Local public school teacher - Mt Druitt)
    Michael is worried that IR changes will impact on quality public education and harm local kids. Local TAFE's will be forced to offer individual contracts, and funding will be linked to workplace changes, rather than to serving the best interests of local people.
  • Lee Healey (Community worker - Mt Druitt)
    Lee is the Animation Coordinator with the Mt Druitt Community Ministry. She is worried that people from non-English speaking backgrounds will be taken advantage of. She also worries that people with less education and skills will have many of their conditions slashed.
  • Natalie Lang (Young retail worker)
    Natalie works for a local video store in Western Sydney. When she started work as a 17 year old she was given an AWA (individual contract) to sign that slashed her conditions. As a result of not receiving rest breaks she was hospitalised with a serious medical condition caused by her work.

    More Info? Contact Tim Vollmer ( vollmer@optusnet.com.au / 0404 273 313 )

  • Monday, October 10, 2005

    ASIO and You: Civil Liberties Under Attack 

    Electronic tracking of citizens, people detained for 14 days without charge, random bag searches: not the worst nightmare of science fiction writers, but the reality of Australia in the 21st century.

    The Australian Government has passed more than 20 new laws in response to international terrorism. This public forum exposes what these new laws mean for ordinary Australians.

    Lee Rhiannon (Greens MLC - NSW)

    Cameron Murphy (President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties)

    TIME: 7PM
    DATE: Monday 17th October
    VENUE: Rooty Hill Uniting Church, 86 Rooty Hill Rd Nth, Rooty Hill

    Around the world a network of anti-terrorism and security measures is quietly being constructed. Governments are taking measures to track the movement, communication and profiles of individual citizens.

    In Australia, new terrorism laws severely restrict privacy, freedom of speech, movement and religion. These laws reduce civil liberties by increasing federal police powers to electronically track citizens, detain citizens for 14 days without charge, order journalists and others to hand over documents without a court order and to undertake random searches.

    These laws allow ASIO to spy on citizens for longer and to remove and retain items from citizen's homes - making ASIO more closely resemble a secret police force than ever before.

    Making the situation worse, all State Governments have supported a Federal Government agreement to introduce even more draconian security powers. The Howard Government required the States to agree because these latest changes breach the Constitution, and the Government was unable to implement some sections of the laws.

    Australia has modelled many parts of these laws on the UK. Recent English experiences have already shown serious abuses, including an elderly Labour Party member being banned from a party conference for yelling out his opposition to a certain policy. He is now a regarded as a terror risk.

    Last month a British journalist waiting at a railway station was arrested by anti-terrorism police, had his unit ransacked, as detained overnight, and had his mobile phone confiscated because he was 'acting suspiciously' while waiting for a train, and had a black backpack on which contained a laptop.

    He had committed no crime, yet the police have refused to remove references to his arrest from his record, which is available to the law enforcement agencies of all other nations that he travels to in future.

    Come along and defend your civil liberties!

    Contact: Tim on tvollmer@nsw.cfmeu.asn.au / 0404 273 313

    Monday, September 06, 2004

    The Western Sydney Peace Group and Blue Mountains for a fairer Australia.

    Defending Our Democracy

    A Community Forum on Ethics in Government

    With Guest Speakers:

    John VALDER AO

    - Former President of the Liberal Party

    Merlin LUCK AO

    - Big Brother evictee and Refugee Activist

    Sister Susan CONNELLY

    - Mary MacKillop Institute

    Lindsay MCDOUGALL

    – Frenzal Rhomb and ‘Rock Against Howard’

    MC - Maree O’HALLORAN

    - President NSW Teachers Federation

    DATE: Saturday 18th September, 2004
    TIME: 2pm - 4pm
    WHERE: Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 597 High St Penrith

    Plus Meet the Candidates for Lindsay:

    Jackie KELLY

    - Liberal - Member for Lindsay

    David BRADBURY

    - Labor - Mayor of Penrith


    - Greens

    Geraldine WATERS

    - Democrats

    Geoff BROWN

    - Save the ADI Site Party – Senate Candidate

    Do you want to have a real say in how your country is run?
    Do you want to see honest in government?
    Do you want both major parties to return trust to politics?
    Do you want to make sure your vote counts in the Federal Election?

    Then this forum is for you. This is an attack on the apathy of many local voters, and it is a real opportunity to hear some great speakers talk about the importance of ethics in government. It is also a chance to meet the local candidates, hear what they have to say, and ask them questions about the issues that matter to you.

    To find out more or to help out contact Tim Vollmer
    Phone 0404 273 313 – Email timothy.k.vollmer@uts.edu.au

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    The Western Sydney Peace Group invites you to attend a public forum on:

    "Refugees and Indigenous People in John Howard's Australia"

    with guest speakers:

    Senator Aden Ridgeway - (Democrats Senator for NSW)
    Merlin Luck - (Big Brother Evictee and Refugee Activist)
    Farshid Kerohallpour - (Iranian refugee)
    Phil Glendenning - (Director of the Edmund Rice Centre)

    Monday August 23rd – 7pm
    St Marys Memorial Hall
    Cnr Great Western Hwy and Mamre Rd, St Marys

    The Indigenous and refugee rights movements in Australia have different histories and current realities. But the root cause of the problems is the same – expedient racist policy which ignores human consequences. Come along and get the latest information on these important issues.

    About the speakers

    Politician - Senator Aden Ridgeway, the only Indigenous Federal parliamentarian, visits Villawood immigration detention centre and is a vocal critic of current refugee and Indigenous policy. Senator Ridgeway will discuss the proposed abolition of ATSIC as well as current refugee and Indigenous policy changes being fought for by the Australian Democrats.

    Advocate – Phil Glendenning is the director of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education He is also the National President of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) and has extensive experience in both Indigenous and refugee advocacy.

    Refugee – Farshid Kerohallpour is an Iranian refugee who was detained in Curtin detention centre. Farshid uses his experiences to speak out against human rights abuses in current refugee policy.

    Activist - Merlin Luck is travelling around the country talking at public events to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and Indigenous peoples in Australia. Merlin used his airtime on the Big Brother TV show to make a stand about refugee detention and Indigenous policy.

    Details: 0404 273 313 – timothy.k.vollmer@uts.edu.au

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    Hiroshima Day Rally 


    FRIDAY 6 AUGUST 2004 - 6PM

    Candlelight March to Archibald Fountain

    Speakers include:
    Senator Kerry Nettle, James Courtney, Peter Woods, Chris Harris, Bronwyn Marks

    Contact: Bronwyn Marks 9982-4192

    Cant make it into the city?

    Join the Parramatta Peace Group for a candlelight vigil to mark Hiroshima Day

    Friday August 6th - 5-7pm
    Church St Mall, Parramatta

    Bring a candle, and/or a placard.

    Phone 0405 224 070 for more details.

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