Action for workplace safety
Workers covered by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union at the Western Australian government's Belltower project walked off the job for seven days from January 25. Black flags were hoisted over the site.
Three workers have died on the job in the last three weeks, and the January 25 action was organised to highlight the need for safety in the workplace. CFMEU assistant state secretary Joe McDonald said, "We are targeting this site because it's [premier] Richard Court's pet project — it should get his attention".
The union is demanding more action from the government and Worksafe WA to ensure job safety. McDonald said, "We aim to show that one organisation in this town is committed to workplace safety, and that is our union". The union plans to extend the action this coming week.
Since January 20, activists have prevented logging in national park areas at the Boorara Forest, near Northcliffe in Western Australia's south-west. Access roads are being built through the area; they are believed to be for logging operations in nearby forests.
Reports from the Wilderness Society state that activists are using a tripod and chaining themselves to machinery to prevent logging from continuing. WA forestry officers are trying to have the state government declare the protest site a "temporary control area" so that police can remove the protesters.