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Australia

Yearbook 1998

Australia. In February, a special Constitutional Assembly proposed that Australia, which is part of the Commonwealth, should free itself from the United Kingdom and, in 2001, establish a republic with an elected president as head of state instead of Queen Elizabeth. At the end of 1999, residents are expected to vote on the changes.

1998 AustraliaThe battle over Australia's treatment of its aboriginal people, the Aborigines, continued. Mining companies and farmers welcomed a contentious parliamentary decision in July to limit aboriginal land rights in large parts of the country. Amnesty International branded the government's refusal to compensate "the stolen generation", the hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal children who were taken from their parents before 1970 and coerced into white families. In May, however, for the first time, National Excuse Day was celebrated, dedicated to the adopted children.

1998 Australia

In the state of Queensland, the One Nation Party dissatisfaction party, led by Pauline Hanson and by many labeled as racist, took almost the fourth vote in the June 13 election. Its unexpected success also marked the fight for the federal re-election on October 3. It was a long time in voter support between Prime Minister John Howard's conservative government coalition and the opposition with the Social Democrats (Australian Labor Party) under Kim Beazley, but when the votes were counted, the government could remain - albeit by a slight margin. One Nation was given only one mandate and party leader Hanson stepped out of parliament.

According to Countryaah, a major conflict broke out in April between the Port Workers' Union (MUA) and the stowage company Patrick Stevedores, which received government support. The company laid off its 1,400 unionized workers and deployed unorganized labor. MUA responded with a port block which crippled Australia's exports. Only since the Supreme Court ordered the company to reinstate the dismissed did a negotiation solution reach in June.

A series of explosions and fires in the state of Victoria's largest gas plant on September 27 took two lives and cost society and business billions in energy losses.

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