Alex Salmon

Thirty five people attended a forum on June 25 entitled “100% Equality” hosted by WA Greens MLC and spokesperson for diversity, gender and sexuality, Lynn Maclaren.

The forum discussed the campaign for marriage equality and other issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex community.

More than 60 people rallied outside parliament house on June 2 in support of rights for homeless people. This was the largest of three protests organised since the issue was raised in state parliament in April in relation to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Police minister Rob Johnson said on April 7 that homeless people would have to “sleep somewhere else'', implying they would be swept from the streets during CHOGM.

Thirty people marched from the Stirling Gardens to parliament house on May 17 to protest the state governments plans to remove homeless people from the city centre for three days during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Protesters were angry about the fact that $9 million dollars had been earmarked for the refurbishment of Frasers Restaurant in Kings Park for a CHOGM leaders social function. In addition, tens of millions of dollars have been allocated to refurbish ministerial offices.

Meanwhile, 55,000 people are on the Homeswest waiting list for public housing.

On September 22, 20 people protested outside the Western Australian parliamentary hearing into the transportation of detained persons to call for an end to private companies transporting prisoners.

The protest was organised by the Western Australian Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC). The inquiry was held in light of the death of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, who was cooked to death in the back of a private security company van in January 2008.

Members of DICWC and Daisy Ward, cousin of Mr Ward, gave evidence at the hearing and called for justice for Mr Ward and his family.

Opposition has grown to the Western Australian state government’s compulsory seizure of James Price Point, 60km north of Broome, for a $30 billion gas processing project in the Browse Basin. The Kimberly Land Council (KLC), the Greens and the Wilderness Society have all spoken out against the move.

Frank Parriman, the co-chair of the KLC Traditional Owners negotiating committee, accused Woodside, the company that plans to build the project, of orchestrating the takeover.

On September 2, Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett began the takeover of land at James Price Point in the Kimberley so the company Woodside can build a gas-processing hub.

Barnett claims this is necessary, after two years of negotiating with the local Aboriginal community and the Kimberley Land Council (KLC). He said any further delays in the project will lose $30 billion after the $15 billion taxpayers have already spent.

Seventy people attended a memorial service outside Fremantle Prison on October 2 for Aboriginal man John Pat. Pat was found dead in police custody at Roebourne Prison on September 28, 1983. The ceremony was organised by the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee in memory of all the Aboriginal people who have died in police custody in WA, including Pat and Aboriginal elder Mr Ward.

Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson responded to the disastrous August 21 oil spill off the north-west coast of Australia by proposing to set up a new investigative body. The September 7 announcement claimed the new body would have the power to investigate such oil spillages and to “stop it happening again”.

Five Filipino workers holding 457 visas, who were employed at a Fletcher International abattoir near Albany, were made redundant and given 10 weeks’ entitlement pay on June 2.

Fifty people rallied outside the Fremantle Esplanade Hotel on July 22. The hotel was the venue of the Australian Uranium conference. The protest was organised by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group.

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