Australia

The article below is the Socialist Alliance’s updated Climate Charter. For more information, visit the Socialist Alliance website. * * * For years, climate scientists have warned us that we need to act on climate change. Now, science is saying that climate change is taking place more rapidly than everyone previously thought. The warning signs are obvious. April and May were the world’s hottest months since records began. This year’s Arctic ice sheet melt is taking place at a pace never seen before.
In her speech to the National Press Club on July 15, Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw down the gauntlet to the labour movement. In a speech outlining the plans for a second-term Labor government, Gillard promised to run a regime of “reforms” that would entrench greater competition and privatisation. There should remain little doubt about Gillard’s intentions. Her speech was aimed directly at the wallets of big business.
Supporters of the Addison Road Centre in Marrickville met on July 15 to discuss a plan to sustainably deal with the centre’s waste and turn ARC into a leader in environmental sustainability. The centre was built in 1914 as an army barracks. The NSW Lands Department handed it over to the community in the late 1970s after a long struggle. For 30 years, ARC has provided a large community space in inner-western Sydney. A law preventing local councils from providing waste services to non-ratepayers has meant ARC faces a huge cost for waste removal.
Resistance has always championed solidarity with refugees, in a political arena of racism and fear-mongering. Resistance is committed to building campaigns demanding dignity, respect and human rights for asylum seekers. Recently, we have been reaching out to refugees who are detained like prisoners for legitimately seeking asylum in Australia. Group visits to Villawood detention centre in western Sydney were initiated by Sydney Resistance about three months ago. Wollongong and Newcastle Resistance branches have also been involved.
Forty activists held a protest on July 15 against the expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine. They blockaded the entrance to highlight the catastrophic effects the mine and its expansion would have on traditional owners, their land and future generations. Catrina Staurmberg, at the protest, said: “This is a toxic mine, no one is safe. Radioactive material does not discriminate. If the open-cut expansion or any kind of uranium mining continues it will put many lives at risk across the country.
On July 17, unionists and residents from Forrest, a small town in the Victorian Otways region, converged on the shire office at Colac to protest against an Optus communications tower being placed in the middle of their town. The community picket line was established on the site for the new tower two weeks earlier. The community sought support from the construction unions, which it has received from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union and the Electrical Trade Union.
Network of Women Students of Australia is an annual feminist student conference. This years conference was held in Newcastle from July 14-18 with the theme “intersections”. Eighty students attended. Mish from sex-worker peak body Scarlet Alliance spoke about trans and sex worker rights. Rachel Evans spoke on behalf of Socialist Alliance about the same-sex marriage campaign.
Work at all P&O Automotive and General Stevedoring (POAGS) wharves shut down nationwide in all 15 ports for 24 hours at midday on July 14 after the death of another waterside worker. It was the third this year, the second at POAGS operations and the third fatality at Appleton Dock in seven years. A 41-year-old Melbourne waterside worker, Stephen Piper, was crushed to death that morning at Appleton Dock.
Last year, 20-year-old Aboriginal dancer Rarriwuy Hick was put on welfare quarantining under the Northern Territory intervention. The difference was that she was living outside the government's prescribed zone — in New South Wales. Hick spoke to Ash Pemberton, from Green Left Weekly and Resistance about her experience with welfare quarantining and the affects of the intervention on her home community of Dhalinybuy in east Arnhem Land. *** What led to you being put onto welfare quarantining while you were living in NSW?
Hundreds of angry Queensland nurses rallied outside Queensland parliament on July 14 to protest against the ongoing pay debacle caused by problems with the new computerised payroll system. Queensland Health introduced the system four months ago. Problems have included health workers being underpaid or not being paid at all, ABC Online reported on July 15. The rallying nurses chanted "No pay, no work!", and many threatened to quit if the errors were not fixed soon.

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