Independent MP for Cairns Rob Pyne was once again the lone voice in the Queensland parliament against the Adani coal mine on August 30. While 300 people protested in the city centre at 24 hours notice, the Queensland parliament was considering a motion to "support the development of Adani's Carmichael mine". The motion was moved by notorious mining industry apologist Andrew Cripps from the LNP in the wake of a federal court decision in favour of the mine.
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) commissioned a study into transport affordability and found that an average family spends up to $420 a week just to get around. Hobart was the cheapest city, at $14,000 a year, and Sydney the most expensive, at $22,000. The national average of about $330 a week is a significant figure in anyone's budget. It means an average household spends 13% of their income (17% in Sydney) on transport, compared with 1–3% on power, water and telecommunications.
"We can't afford your units and we can't afford the bus; if you keep ignoring us, we're gonna make a fuss!" rang through the streets of West End as 150 people marched against the proposed development of the old Absoe site on August 21. Greens councillor on the Brisbane City Council and one of the organisers of the rally, Jonathan Sri, told the crowd that the original proposal for the site involved seven tall buildings with no connection to the street or the surrounding community.
"We can't afford your units and we can't afford the bus; if you keep ignoring us we're gonna make a fuss!" This chant rang through the streets of West End in Brisbane as 150 people marched against the proposed development at the old Absoe site on August 21. The action began with a community breakfast aimed explicitly at developing community connections.
At least 170 people protested against land clearing outside the Queensland parliament on August 17 ahead of a bill which would have required landholders to prove they had not illegally bulldozed their land. The Palaszczuk government's bill was aimed at restoring stronger tree clearing laws and would have reversed the legislation brought in by the conservative Cambell Newman government. That change resulted in almost 300,000 hectares of native woodland being cleared each year.
Hundreds of people marched in Perth on July 23 to say that #BlackLivesMatter. The rally included strong expressions of solidarity with Nyoongar and Aboriginal campaigns for justice and sovereignty as well as expressions of anti-racism. Here are some of the photos from the event.
Murri leader Sam Watson does not have a high opinion of Pauline Hanson's intellect or her lack of substantial policies. However he told Green Left Weekly that “she can't be ignored”. “I was very pleased to see in the last few days when she went to appear on Q&A that there were comrades on the street to challenge her,” he said. He was also pleased when First Nations activist Murrandoo Yanner ordered her out of the building at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. “She is evil and we need to confront that evil and challenge that evil.”
The WA government released its plan for remote Aboriginal communities on July 14. The spin is all about “better living conditions”, “supporting families” and “more opportunities”. However the substance is still entirely about penny pinching and withdrawing resources. Communities will close if it is implemented. When WA premier Colin Barnett first announced that up to 150 communities would be forced to close, people responded with a massive, international protest movement to save the communities.
A public forum on abortion decriminalisation held at James Cook University in Cairns attracted more than 80 people on July 13. The night before, a public forum also took place in Brisbane organised by Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose, attracting about 150 people. The JCU meeting was organised by Pro Choice Cairns to inform the discussion around the Abortion Law Reform (Women's Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016 which was tabled in parliament on May 10 by Cairns MP Rob Pyne.