The fight to defend public education is shaping up to be a key campaign against the cutback agenda of the Colin Barnett government in Western Australia. Thousands of teachers and education assistants rallied outside state parliament on September 3 in two separate mobilisations and further industrial action is planned. The government claimed it has not cut education funding. However, the central issue is not about overall funding but the cuts to staffing levels. In August, the government announced they were planning to cut 500 education assistants and other support workers.
Western Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett admitted on August 21 that his government faced a tough start to its second term. This followed fee rises and controversial attacks on the public sector in the August 8 state budget, which provoked a backlash including an August 30 decision by school teachers to plan an industrial campaign.
At every election since its founding in 2001, the Socialist Alliance has decided preferences on a principled basis, by giving preferences to other parties based on how closely their policies and actions align with its own. This federal election, the Socialist Alliance is running two candidates in the NSW Senate and six candidates in lower house seats around the country. In the NSW Senate, the Socialist Alliance has preferenced Ron Poulsen of the Communist League second, followed by candidates from the Greens and then the WikiLeaks Party and other small progressive parties.
Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson unveiled the state's worst-kept secret on July 30, when they announced their plan to slash the number of councils in Perth from 30 to 14. Buoyed by the two-thirds parliamentary majority the conservative parties gained in the March 9 state election, they junked the explicit pre-election promise they made that there would be no forced council amalgamations. The move rescinds the provision that allows a council to refuse a merger if it has been rejected by a majority of residents in a referendum.
The Nyoongar Tent Embassy has rejected an updated offer by the state government to extinguish native title, reiterating that recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty is the goal of their campaign. The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) and the state government had negotiated a $1 billion package. Premier Colin Barnett upped the offer to a $1.3 billion package on July 5.
Hundreds of people turned out in Perth, Australia on June 23 to support the Brazilian protests.
Greg Barns from the WikiLeaks Party addresses the GetUp candidates forum in Perth on June 14.
World Refugee Day rally in Perth. Features music from Junkadelic and speeches by Tamil and Hazara refugees, Amer Saabi from the Palestinian community, Rob Callan from Refugee Rights Action Network and Greens senator Scott Ludlam.
Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle, Sam Wainwright introduces the Socialist Alliance campaign to a packed out candidates forum organised by GetUp. The forum was held in the state library theatre on 14 June 2013.
Julia Gillard was greeted by a vibrant protest by students, unionists and Aboriginal activists when she spoke in Fremantle on June 12. As Labor party faithful -- who paid up to $250 per head -- waited to hear her talk, protesters took aim at some of the worst policies of the Gillard government.