Annolies Truman

The Community of Upset General Householders (COUGH) organised a rally outside the Western Australian Department of Health on February 10 to protest the clearing of bushland for the Roe 8 freeway despite clear evidence of large quantities of dumped asbestos littering the site.

Local residents and activists have documented asbestos remaining on site after Main Roads-commissioned clean ups. They are concerned that the movement of machinery and mulching of cleared vegetation with pieces of asbestos has exposed residents to an unacceptable risk. 

On September 2, the Western Australian government moved to compulsorily acquire over 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness on James Price Point, 60 km north of Broome on the Kimberley coast. The land grab was to make way for a $30 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing precinct.

Premier Colin Barnett described the decision as “compulsory acquisition of unallocated Crown Land”, on ABC Kimberley radio that morning. Barnett cited delays and costs to the tax payer of ongoing negotiations with the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) as the main reasons for initiating compulsory acquisition.

On August 12, candidates from the Greens, Socialist Alliance (SA) and newly formed First Nations Political Party (FNPP) spoke to a group of 50 people at La Tropicana cafe in Fremantle.

The forum was organised by SA to highlight environmental and social policies ignored by the major parties in the federal election campaign.

The event was chaired by Fremantle councillor and Western Australian SA co-convenor Sam Wainwright
Kate Davis, Greens candidate for Fremantle, said: “The Greens have a renewable energy target of 100% by 2030.

On July 31, 100 anti-uranium mining protesters rallied outside the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, which was hosting the Australian Uranium Conference.

WA Liberal Premier Colin Barnett lifted the ban on uranium mining in November 2008 soon after winning office.

There are no commercial uranium mines operating in the state but the Australian Uranium Association has identified eight major uranium deposits in WA.

The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA (ANAWA), which organised the protest, said there are 137 mining companies with uranium interests in the state.

On November 18, 200 people rallied outside the Western Australian parliament to protest against the introduction of genetically modified crops. The state government will decide next year whether to permanently lift the ban on GM crops.

On August 6, a general strike in Kanaky (the French colony of New Caledonia) was called off after an accord between the Federation of Unions of Kanak Workers and the Exploited (USTKE) and Air Caledonia was finally signed by the airline.

On July 5, the racist, far-right National Front (FN) was narrowly defeated in the second round of the Henin Beaumont municipal by-election.

The far-right French National Front (FN) won 39% of votes in the first round of the Henin Beaumont by-election in Northern France on June 28. The by-election, in the Nord Pas-de-Calais department, was called after the incumbent Socialist Party (PS) mayor was charged with corruption.

PERTH — A Canadian food safety expert, Dr Shiv Chopra, has claimed the US and Canadian governments are the most corrupt when it comes to unsafe food practices. Australia is not far behind.

In the wake of the inquest into the shocking death in custody of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, more than 1000 people rallied in Perth in rainy weather on June 20. Ward was roasted in a prison van on a four-hour journey on a 42ºC day.

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