Australia

Cairns Action for Sustainable Transport formed at the start of last year. CAST advocates a sustainable transport system — urban mass transit, regional rail and bus services and rail freight, all powered by renewable energy, and bikeway and pedestrian access networks. Green Left Weekly’s Jonathan Strauss spoke to CAST activists Renee Lees, Svargo Freitag and Stacey O’Brien about CAST’s aims.

Two hundred workers and supporters protested outside the Pacific Brands factory in Wentworthville, Western Sydney on March 6 in response to the clothing company’s plans to slash 1850 jobs around the country.

Deputy PM Julia Gillard’s outspoken support for Israel’s attack on Gaza earlier this year prompted angry criticism from many, including from inside her own party.

Actions by construction giant John Holland have led to 40 workers being sacked from the Melbourne Westgate Reconstruction project because they did not accept an agreement that would mean they earned less than the standard industry rate.

Across university campuses, students are organising in support of Palestine. A big focus will be Palestine Solidarity Week, an international week of action beginning on March 30.

More than 4000 signatures on a petition in support of Gaza were handed over to ALP federal MP Julia Irwin outside her Cecil Hills office on March 7. They were collected over the last two months. Irwin has pledged to table the petition in parliament.

"Democracy, yes! Dictatorship, no!", chanted protesters outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney on March 4, where visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was staying. The protest was organised by the Korean Resource Centre.

Commonwealth prosecutors have dropped nine of the charges against three Tamil men, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan.

Sacked shop steward and OH&S representative Joe Angelino has been re-employed, ending a two-week standoff between the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union and his employer, Caelli Constructions, at the construction site for the new children's hospital in Parkville.

Greens councillor Linda Eisler moved a motion titled Support for Palestinian Territories at a Canterbury council meeting on February 26.

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