About 2000 people rallied in Melbourne on March 26 to support equal marriage rights. Speakers included Sally Goeldner from Trans Victoria, comedian Joel Creasey and James Campbell from the Melbourne-based gay and lesbian underage group and Minus-18. Protesters marched to the Marriage Registry at Treasury Place. For more information on the campaign, visit www.equallove.info
Australian tour Star Fucking Hipsters w/ AC4 April 7-14, www.newnoiseagency.com www.myspace.com/starfuckinghipsters Star Fucking Hipsters are a New York-based punk band. It was formed in 2005 by members from other punk acts, including Leftover Crack, Ensign and The Ergs! The band’s third album, From the Dumpster to the Grave, is due for release this year.
MELBOURNE — About 200 people marched against the NT intervention and for equal pay and jobs with justice for Aboriginal workers on March 4. The rally was organised by the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective. It demanded an end to the exploitation of Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory. The intervention, which quarantines the welfare payments of targeted people, has meant that Aboriginal people are in effect working for rations cards while living in extreme poverty.
Hundreds of University of Melbourne students have been told they are no longer eligible for public transport concession fares. This is a result of the new "Melbourne Model" at the university, which now defines several courses (such as medicine and law) as postgraduate study. The March 2 Age said the changes made “the full-time students ineligible for student concession cards and forced to pay double their previous public transport costs".
More than 400 people attended a February 7 forum that condemned the federal government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The forum was organised by Concerned Australians. It coincided with the launch of a public statement addressed “to the people of Australia” by seven Indigenous elders. The statement asked for support to “help to put an end to the nightmare that Northern Territory people are experiencing on a daily basis”.
Climate activists gathered outside the Melbourne head office of mining giant BHP on January 21 to show solidarity with victims of the recent floods in eastern Australia. Evidence has emerged linking severe flooding in Australia with human-induced climate change. Shaun Murray, an activist from the Switch off Hazelwood group, said: "The recent catastrophic floods are the result of human-induced climate change. “As coal is the biggest contributor worldwide to emissions, the coal industry should pay the cost of clean-up and reconstruction for these disasters.”
Over October 8-9, about 70 people attended the Latin America Solidarity Conference, organised by the Latin America Forum in Melbourne, under the theme “Challenging corporate globalisation: people’s power is changing the world”. Feature sessions looked at various issues affecting Latin America today, including “Imperialism, war and resistance”, “Popular power and people’s governments”, and “The battle for environmental justice and survival”.
On October 10, the international day of climate action, climate activists will converge on Hazelwood, Australia’s dirtiest power station. Each year, Hazelwood burns 17 million tonnes of brown coal and consumes 27 million litres of water (the equivalent of using one month’s worth of Melbourne’s water supply every day). It accounts for 15% of Victoria’s emissions and 3% of Australia’s emissions.
On October 10, climate activists will converge on the Hazelwood power station in the Latrobe Valley in eastern Victoria. They will use mirrors to try to create Victoria's “first solar thermal power” station at the Hazelwood gate, to show solar is a viable alternative. Shaun Murray from campaign group Switch off Hazelwood told Green Left Weekly: “Hazelwood is the most carbon-intensive power station in Australia relative to its output, and has been an ongoing target by climate campaigners.”