Brewery protests continue
By Leon Harrison
PERTH — The WA Labor government is in bed with Multiplex boss John Roberts over the development of the old Swan brewery site, well-known environmentalist and former union leader Jack Mundey told a gathering of more than 3000 here on June 18.
Construction, Mining and Energy Union leader Bill Ethel added that his union would continue to oppose the development and support Aboriginal people in their struggle to have the building demolished.
Mundey said Roberts was a key figure in the WA Inc disaster. The government of Premier Lawrence was acting ineptly in lining up with "one of the close friends of Burke, Connell and Bond".
Mundey said the brewery redevelopment could set a precedent for further buildings on the Swan estuary. More than work and jobs was involved: "If workers are going to build a secure future, they can't rely on the whims of Multiplex and other developers".
Aboriginal leader Robert Bropho thanked the protesters. He said the destruction of Aboriginal culture must end, and the struggle against the brewery development could help to achieve that. The rally concluded with speakers urging continued picketing.
A small counter-demonstration of about 100 Builders Labourers Federation members, conservative Aborigines and businessmen heckled speakers at the rally. The BLF members argued that because jobs are scarce, the redevelopment is more important than Aboriginal heritage. n