Victorian state government enterprise VicForests tabled its annual report in parliament in October last year, revealing that, for the sixth year running, the corporation had failed to pay a dividend to the state for being allowed to log publicly owned forests.
Two protesters chained themselves to a gate, preventing VicForests contractors from accessing a logging coupe for the day in the Toolangi State Forest north of Melbourne, on February 7.
The Toolangi State Forest is one of the few areas of forest unburned by the 2009 Black Saturday fire. Environmental campaigners have called for its incorporation into a proposed Great Forest National Park. It has been estimated that only 1% of the old growth tall forests of the central highlands area is left.
The union representing ambulance employees in Victoria has abandoned talks with the government, saying that Ambulance Victoria and the government arrived at negotiations on February 3 with an offer of a pay rise half that of previous negotiations.
Ambulance Employees Australia secretary Steve McGhie told Green Left Weekly: “This offer is an insult, it's disappointing that they have moved backwards rather than moved forward.
“They reduced their wage offer by half, only offering 6%. Our members rejected a 12% pay rise offer, you can imagine what they would say to this.
Unions and community groups have strongly criticised a bill that aims to give Victorian police unprecedented power to disband protests and ban individuals from taking part in protest activity.
The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013 will increase powers available to police under “move on” laws.
Australian activists have written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott calling on him to recognise East Timor's rights under international law to oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.
The Melbourne-based Timor Sea Justice Campaign is calling on Australia to “enter discussions about the establishment of permanent maritime boundaries in accordance with current international law. In situations such as this, current international law overwhelmingly favors a ‘median line’ solution – a line halfway between the two coastlines.”
The Socialist Alliance is running two candidates in the Tasmanian state election on March 15.
Whether Labor or the Liberals form government after March 15, Tasmanians can expect to see “prioritising of big business over the interests of the general public and the continuing privatising of essential public services,” Jenny Forward, the Socialist Alliance's candidate for the electorate of Franklin, told Green Left Weekly.
Every day at 5.30am, residents and supporters gather in the Collingwood area around Alexandra Parade to protest against test drilling for the government's proposed East-West Link tollway tunnel.
Keith Fitzgerald stands to lose the house he has lived in for 69 years if the tunnel is built. He told Green Left Weekly the protests are about more than just his home.
“They've got no right to take our heritage, our history, our parks and our clean air away from us. These are the vital things that we're fighting for and will continue to fight for.
About 400 members of the National Union of Workers took a day's strike action on January 17, with a picket line at the Coles/Linfox warehouse facility in Truganina, on the western fringe of Melbourne.
The strike action was in support of the union's demand for a site agreement, something other Coles warehouses have. The workers are asking for a range of improvements in conditions, including an extra paid rest break per shift and a fair pay rise.
NUW delegate Mathew Davies told Green Left that the workers are demanding “fair pay for everyone.”
Gelliondale Resources, a subsidiary of Melbourne company Ignite Energy Resources Limited, have applied for a “retention licence” for a project to mine brown coal at Gelliondale, in the South Gippsland region.
The application includes a work program of “field exploration activities such as drilling, sampling, excavation of costeans or pits and surveying,” according to the company website.
After negotiating for 16 months, the Ambulance Employees Australia in Victoria say they are not much closer to securing a contract that gives them the pay levels they are seeking and protects the quality of their service to the public.
On December 4, the union rejected the latest offer from the state government for a 12% pay rise over the next three years.