December 2014

This is a disgusting and self evidently racist attack on Aboriginal peoples in remote communities.

From the ABC:

Job seekers in remote communities will face tougher rules than those in the city under a new work-for-the-dole program, as the Government tries to end “sit-down welfare”.

The Federal Government’s new scheme will force job seekers aged 18 to 49 to do work-for-the-dole activities for up 25 hours a week.

Nearly 30,000 people living in remote communities will have to work five days a week, 12 months a year under the program, to start in July next year.

The scheme already running in selected city and regional areas requires job seekers to take part for only six months a year.

The idea of “job seeking” in remote communities is absurd. This is a policy that will either lock indigenous people in remote areas into permanent service to the government, or force them out of their communities and off their lands.

Forced labour, or be driven from your lands. I imagine our government would be reasonably happy with either outcome.

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December 1985 issue of Unemployement Action, paper of the Unemployment Workers Union in Launceston. Click to download PDF.

December 1985 issue of Unemployement Action, paper of the Unemployment Workers Union in Launceston. Click to download PDF.

This weeks document is the December 1985 issue of Unemployment Action, the newspaper of the Unemployed Workers Union in Launceston, Tasmania.

This document was located in the archives of the Melbourne Anarchist Club, along with a variety of material from the Unemployed Workers Union in Victoria, which I hope to share more of later.

The document highlights struggles around changes in the way the dole was paid, job search requirements, and interactions with a HR representative at local chain store. Of particular interest today is it’s focus on the first iteration of Work for the Dole in Australia and criticism of the now ubiquitous traineeship scheme.

Download a pdf of Unemployment Action, Dec 1985, here.

I’ve typed up one article from the issue below:

75,000 Unemployed to be Conscripted into Contract Labour ‘Work for Dole’ Scheme

The Launceston U.W.U. will continue to campaign against youth ‘Traineeships’, in their present form, until we are assured that they are not going to be used as a cheap labour scheme to reduce unemployment statistics without creating any jobs.

The campaign to date has consisted of gathering information and informing the community & trade unions of th reality behind the federal government’s public relations hype. We have campaigned publically through radio, T.V. and the newspapers, as well as attending conferences and meetings. As the truth has sunk in, the oppositions to traineeships has steadily mounted.

When the State A.L.P. announced their support for traineeships, we met with Wriedt and Michael Field (Emploument spokesperson) to outline our concerns. It was not a pleasant meeting as we found outselves being abused and lavelled as bludgers. We were shocked at the lack of information and forethought that had gone into adopting traineeships as part of their employment policy.

Attendance at the national youth workers conference in Orford in October also proved to be frustrating. The Dep’t of Employment & Industrial Relations had sent a top level bureaucrat, Chris O’Conner, to defuse any opposition from youth workers to traineeships. O’Conner visible related and moved out of prominence when these welfaries, unable to gain any consensus for or against traineeships, moved onto ‘safe’ ground of aiming to get themselves onto traineeship committees. As well he would, their representation on such committees merely adds credibility to traineeships and defuses opposition. Unemployed workers were sold out by the welfare sector yet again. They refused to even discuss what demands their representatives should make.

However, much has been achieved in the last 3 months. The welfaries are now running to maintain their credibility and a number of trade unions are taking up their responsibilities to safeguard their members and act with unemployed workers to counter this current attack

Concerned community groups and Unions, including the Liquour Trades, Miscellaneous workers, A.C.O.A. and the T.T.L.C. have published a leaflet about traineeships which has been distributed through CES offices and schools. Aimed at school-leavers, it gives some of the information that the Government left out of it’s glossy 6 page brochure.

A.C.O.A. members also voted to place bans on traineeships in nearly all C.E.S. offices in Tasmania until the Government agreed to;
* 100% additionality
* payment of full award wages.

Bans were also placed in C.E.S. offices in Sth Aust. and Q’land, until the national executive of the union ordered that the bans be removed.

The State Council of the metalworkers union has supported the U.W.U.’s objections to the traineeships and expressed it’s opposition to the Fed. Gov’t. And one of the key unions, the Shop Distributive & Allied Industries Employees Union has refused to have anything to do with traineeships, saying they are inappropriate for their industry.

BY Killer Buckley.

From the Archives is an irregular series of posts where I share primary source material I have located whilst researching the history of anarchism and related politics in Melbourne and Australia.


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On the morning of 19 November 2004 Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley arrested Mulrunji Doomadgee. Hurley took Doomagee to a cell. By 11:30am Doomagee was dead.

There are many people who still believe Mulrunji Doomadgee’s singing of the reggae song “Who Let the Dogs Out” to senior sergeant Chris Hurley simply cut too close to the bone. Less than an hour after being placed in a cell the 36-year-old was dead – with his liver almost split in two, four broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, severe bruising to his head and a torn portal vein. – National Indigenous Times, reproduced on

To this day Chris Hurley remains an officer in Queensland Police, and if the following is to be believed, he still doesn’t take kindly to behind taunted or sworn at.

From today’s Courier Mail:

THE police officer acquitted of manslaughter over a high-­profile Palm Island death in custody case has been questioned in court over his use of force against a man who allegedly swore at him on the Gold Coast.

Luke Cole is accused of assaulting Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley after swearing at him from a car in Robina on November 15 last year, but Cole alleges the police officer put him in a “choke hold” before he was even told he was under arrest.

Ten years after the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee, Chris Hurley still walks or streets, armed with a badge and a gun.

Fergusen really isn’t that far away.


Gold Coast Bulletin 5 December 2014, ‘Cop Chris Hurley did not have reason to put a Gold Coast man in chokehold during scuffle: Court’:

A COURT has found a police officer was acting outside his duties when he pushed a man up against a car and choked him on the Gold Coast.

Magistrate Kerry Magee told the court she considered aspects of Snr Sgt Hurley’s story lacked credibility or were implausible.

Ms Magee said there was no reason for the police officer to demand Mr Cole get out of the car and said he had no warrant to arrest him.

“This is at a point where he hadn’t even asked the defendant his name,” she said.

Ms Magee questioned Snr Sgt Hurley’s explanation that his hand “slipped” up to Cole’s neck and did not accept the claim that Cole came at the police officer aggressively.

She said Cole showed a “reasonable response to the assault upon him” when he pushed Snr Sgt Hurley.

Not the first time that a member of the judicuary has pointed out that evidence given by Chris Hurley lacked credibility:

Senior Sergeant Hurley did respond to Mulrunji’s punch by himself punching Mulrunji. I am satisfied that this was somewhere to the body area rather than to the head and occurred as the two men struggled outside the station. I reject Senior Sergeant Hurley’s denial as untruthful.

I conclude that these actions of Senior Sergeant Hurley caused the fatal injuries.

From Inquest into the death of Mulrunji, Ms Christine Clements, Acting State Coroner, Coroners Court of Townsville and Palm Island, 2006.

This man is still walking around with a badge and a gun.

River of Tears – Kev Carmody

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