|Rally Against Racism and Other Activities
|Rally Against Racism
Last night Peace Now along with many other organizations took part in a rally in Jerusalem to protest the recent wave of racism in this country. The rally spoke out against the increased incidents of racism as well as the government’s racist and discriminatory policies. There was a large represntation from various youth groups, including Peace Now’s new Youth movement, Will and Deed. This is especially important as it shows that the youth and the future of Israael will not stand for such racist policies. There were over 1000 people at the rally and it received extensive media coverage. You can read more about it here.
RT @israelnatnews: Expert: Arab Revolutions May Yet Yield Positive Results http://dlvr.it/HXsVb
25 February 2011
Greens commend fast-tracking of aid for Kimberley suicide crisis
The Australian Greens are pleased with the Government’s decision to fast track mental health funding to assist communities being affected by a spate of suicides among young Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.
In response to Senate Estimates questions today from Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues, the Department of Health confirmed that some of the $274 million Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package would be fast tracked to address urgent needs in the region.
“I commend the Government for this action, it makes absolute sense to make some of this package available for the Kimberley,” Senator Siewert said today.
“We hope that this action will allow for the further, timely provision of the resources necessary to assist communities in immediate need.
“We understand that services in the region are working incredibly hard and doing all they can to support their communities. We have nothing but praise for their efforts and it is positive to learn that further support will now be provided” Senator Siewert concluded.
Media Enquiries – Chris Redman
CALLING ALL CREATIVES:
Win a $2000 cash prize by entering
ASCA’s ‘Untangle the Knot’ photographic Competition
Entries open until – 13th May 2011
25 February 2011: Artists and creative thinkers are invited to submit innovative interpretations of the theme ‘Untangling the knot of child abuse’ to ASCA’s 2011 ASCA art competition to raise awareness for adult survivors of child abuse.
Participants are required to submit photographs of any object tied in a knot of any material, which symbolises the tangled threads and lasting impact created by child abuse. Entries for the competition close at 5pm on Friday 13th May and submissions can be made online at www.asca.org.au/competition.
Entrants will have the chance to win a cash prize of $2,000 and have their work on display at an exhibition in Sydney in June. Finalists’ artwork will be sold with fee to artist and proceeds of commission to raise funds for ASCA.
A part of the prestigious Head On Photo Festival, the competition will be judged by well-known contemporary Australian photographer, Mark Tedeschi and curator of photography State Library of NSW, Alan Davies.
The inaugural Head On Photo Festival will launch again in May this year. It features a wide range of photography across all genres with over 80 events at almost 70 venues. The Head On Photo Festival is an innovation of the Head On Foundation, which is a non for profit organisation that aims at raising awareness of important issues through photography.
The winner of the ‘Untangle the Knot’ Competition will be announced at the Frances Keevil Gallery in Double Bay, Thursday 9th June from 6pm, where the finalists’ artwork will be displayed from the 9th-11 June.
ASCA CEO Dr Cathy Kezelman said “We chose a public art competition to encourage thinking, discussion and debate about a challenge faced by more than two million Australian adult survivors and their family, friends and communities. We chose the knot to help explain the struggle or ‘tangle’ survivors encounter as they live with and attempt to overcome the damage inflicted by childhood abuse.
“Our inaugural competition delivered many unique artistic expressions and we had fantastic feedback from survivors and other viewers of the work about its healing impact. We hope 2011 will be bigger and better. We look forward to seeing the results.”
The ‘Untangle the Knot’ Competition’ is an extension of ASCA’s annual ‘Forget me Knot’ Day annual campaign in November when Australians are encouraged to show their support for more than two million adult Australian survivors of childhood abuse.
All Australians are encouraged to take part in The ‘Untangle the Knot’ Competition to help these survivors find their way through the ‘tangle’ of abuse one step at a time.
For more information please visit: www.asca.org.au/competition
Media Contact: Clementine Stuart-Russell: ph: 02 9492 1034
Lara Kamenos: ph: 02 9492 1004
About ASCA: (www.asca.org.au)
ASCA is a charity which focuses exclusively on advancing the needs of the more than 2 million Australian adults surviving child abuse. ASCA was formed in 1995 and its current activities encompass: a 1300 information/support line – 1300 657 380, website, newsletters for survivors and health professionals, workshops for survivors and their supporters, education and training programs for health care professionals and frontline workers. ASCA is currently developing a national network of services and practitioners with the experience and expertise to specifically address survivors’ needs. ASCA is the key national Australian organization to support adults who have experienced all forms of child abuse and neglect, and receives no ongoing government funding.
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Friday, February 25, 2011
Telecommunications complaints increase 9 per cent, TIO reports
There has been a disappointing 9 per cent increase in new complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), as reported in the latest issue of TIO Talks, released today. The rise in complaints had mostly been driven by a 20% increase in mobile phone service issues.
The Ombudsman’s office received 87,264 new complaints between 1 July and December 31 2010, up 6,957 on the first half of 2010. Ombudsman Simon Cohen said: “The increase, entirely reversing the positive trend seen in the first half of 2010, is extremely disappointing.”
New complaints about Vodafone were up 5,370 in the second half of 2010 – an increase of 96 per cent. Apart from mobile telephone coverage issues, Vodafone customers complained about long wait times, failing to act on promises and not being able to contact Vodafone at all.
“Customer frustration with Vodafone is understandable,” Mr Cohen said. ‘It is one thing to have a service problem. But what is particularly concerning is when consumers cannot contact someone to have their problems sorted out.”
TIO Talks also reports on the intricacies of international roaming for mobile phones. These charges are one of the causes of telephone bill shock.
“Using a mobile telephone overseas can be very expensive. Consumers can be liable for not only for calls they make, but also for calls they receive, and for data downloads from using a GPS,” Mr Cohen said.
TIO Talks includes questions consumers should ask their telephone company if they don’t understand the possible costs of international roaming.
In addition TIO Talks also includes:
• advice on contacting the TIO’s dedicated hotline – 1800 046 686 – for consumers affected by natural disasters
• an update on revised laws and codes to better protect consumers of telephone and internet services
• information about TIO outreach to regional and indigenous consumers.
TIO Talks is available online at www.tio.com.au
For further information please contact the TIO’s Communications Manager, Mirjana Jovetic, on 03 8600 8378.
This email was sent by Communications, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to serve.tony
Freedom of information laws will apply to NBN – Greens
Media Release – Thursday February 24th, 2011
The Australian Greens have secured an agreement with the Government to subject the NBN Co to freedom of information laws.
Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, negotiated amendments to NBN Co’s governance arrangements after raising concerns about the multi-billion dollar public company being exempt from the transparency rules.
“The NBN Co should be held to the same standards of transparency as any other government company,” said Senator Ludlam. “We have negotiated with the Government and they have agreed NBN Co will be listed as a prescribed authority under the Freedom of Information Act.”
Senator Ludlam said that while activities carried out by the NBN Co on a commercial basis would be subject to FOI, they could be exempted if the NBN Co successfully argued the material was commercial in confidence.
“Effectively this means NBN Co will be subject to the same level of transparency as Medibank and Australia Post and also provided the same level of protection for material that is genuinely commercially sensitive,” he said.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre
Greens warn of extreme police powers in WA
Media Release – Thursday February 24th, 2011
The WA and federal Greens have warned that a Barnett Government proposal to radically increase police powers for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting could lead to abuses of power, and the changes being made permanent.
Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the CHOGM (Special Powers) Bill 2011 now in WA’s state parliament was “extreme and draconian”.
“This law would give the Police Commissioner the power to publish a hit list of ‘excluded persons’ considered a threat to the meeting, and once on the list, you would be banned from areas designated by the Commissioner. Who decides the composition of this list? Will it be restricted to people charged with conspiracy to threaten the meeting? Will it be restricted to known criminals?” said Senator Ludlam. “It is a bizarre power and just the tip of the iceberg.”
The bill introduced yesterday also allows police to use special powers normally reserved for high-level investigations into organised crime bosses.
“This proposed law states that areas in which citizens can be searched by police and forced to hand over identification could be kept secret,” said Senator Ludlam. “These are the Barnett Government’s failed Stop and Search powers back from the dead but made worse by applying in secret areas.”
Greens WA spokesperson on justice, Giz Watson MLC, said the proposed laws exposed the dishonesty of the Barnett Government during the Stop and Search debate last year.
“The State Government gave very clear assurances that those powers were intended only for use in trouble-spots like Northbridge and never to be used to interfere with the democratic right to protest. Now, that is precisely what these powers will be used to do,” she said.
Senator Ludlam said the penalties incurred for vaguely defined offences were severe.
“Police will be given the right to access powers held by the Corruption and Crime Commission. People who enter a security zone illegally, disrupt an event, fail to identify themselves or give false identification papers face 12 months jail. How is ‘disrupt an event’ defined? We are talking about one year in prison for ‘disrupting an event’.”
“One report said ‘most’ of the powers would expire on November 5. Which ones will not expire?”
Ms Watson said the laws would need to be subjected to intense scrutiny.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre