Australia

News that NSW MLC Fred Nile is using the last sitting weeks of state parliament before the March 2019 election to push his “Zoe’s law” bill — which would give foetuses legal rights — is galvanising those supporting choice.

Thousands of trade unionists marched through Sydney streets on October 23 as part of nationwide “Change The Rules” mobilisations coordinated by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Under the slogan “Australia needs a pay rise”, an estimated 170,000 trade union members and their supporters filled Melbourne’s CBD on October 23 for the Australian Council of Trade Unions-initiated Change the Rules rally.

While the margin by which independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps won the Wentworth byelection may not be as great as the election night count suggested, the result in this historically-safe Liberal seat is a major blow for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal Coalition government.

More than 4000 young people and adults packed into Birrarung Marr park on October 21 for a Children’s March for Nauru, to demand all refugees imprisoned on the Pacific island be resettled in Australia. Chanting “nurture not torture” and “kids out, all out”, participants marched into the city.

In September, the federal Coalition government announced it would provide an extra $4.5 billion directly to fee-charging Catholic and independent schools, to be spent any way they choose.

NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes commented that his government will not sign up to a needs-based, sector-blind funding scheme, but it is neither of those things.

More than 100 people rallied near Regents Park train station on October 20 to demand the Gladys Berejiklian Coalition government restore the Inner West rail line and maintain the T3 Bankstown line, which it plans to replace with a privatised Metro service.

Workers at Alcoa’s aluminium refineries and bauxite mines in Western Australia have voted down a new agreement offered to them after a 52-day strike.

Women’s and legal groups are pushing for the New South Wales state government to amend the sexual consent law to make it clear that consent must be active and voluntary.

Abortion rights advocates are hoping the High Court’s findings will support laws that have assisted access to abortion clinics, after it heard a challenge to safe access zone laws over October 9-11.

Pages

Subscribe to Australia