Australia

One hundred people gathered on March 17 at the Wollongong City Diggers Club to celebrate the life of NSW Public Service Association (PSA) activist Anne Meehan who passed away on March 12 after a long illness.

A protracted industrial dispute between construction giant John Holland and 39 sacked workers at the West Gate Bridge reconstruction project in Melbourne continued on March 27, with a vibrant demonstration by union members and their supporters at the bridge.

The workers temporarily called off their three-week community protest at the John Holland worksite after the company finally agreed to enter into negotiations early last week.

The workers, however, pledged to continue their demonstrations every morning at the bridge until a satisfactory settlement is reached with the company.

Australian agriculture both contributes to climate change and is adversely affected by it. Any campaign in to force urgent government action on climate change has to include a demand for the radical transformation of rural land use and farming systems to be ecologically sustainable.

Climate activists have been campaigning against the government’s so-called Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) long before the exposure legislation was tabled in parliament on March 10.

The federal ALP government’s Fair Work Bill passed through the Senate on March 20 after intense wheeling and dealing with Family First Senator Steve Fielding and independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

A March 18 emergency community meeting called by the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee attracted more than 35 people.

On March 16, Tasmanian timber company Gunns' Ltd withdrew its legal case against the Wilderness Society (TWS), and now has to pay $350,000 in costs.

Maintenance workers from Foster’s Carlton and United Brewery have had a partial victory in their dispute with Foster’s over jobs. The workers are covered by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

Mitch, an inspiring Arrernte/Luritja author, poet and artist, and an important voice against the NT Intervention, together with Sam Watson, well-known Aboriginal activist, Brisbane community activist and Socialist Alliance national spokesperson on Indigenous rights, will feature on a panel titled “From Invasion to Intervention: Indigenous Australians speak out”.

The Western Australian Liberal government and sections of the corporate media have responded to the March 12 acquittal of three people charged with assaulting police, by mounting a populist campaign for mandatory sentencing of people convicted of assaulting police.

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