Workers employed in the Corporate and Technical Division of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) will vote on a new enterprise agreement during the two weeks beginning on August 31. The Corporate and Technical Division includes non-firefighting employees of the MFB, such as payroll and finance staff and computer technicians.
The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a ruling on July 26 that confirmed an earlier General Court decision removing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the EU's list of "terrorist organisations".
The LTTE was an armed organisation fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka. It was formed in response to decades of discrimination and repression against the Tamil minority by the Sri Lankan government.
More than 100 people attended a public meeting called by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) on July 24 to discuss how to break bipartisan support for offshore processing. The discussion focused on ways to change Labor Party policy.
Chairperson Margaret Sinclair read a message from Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus, who said Australia has a "responsibility to take a greater number of refugees than we do". She said the current intake is "shameful".
A rally called by the Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka was held in Federation Square on July 16. Protesters are opposed to the creation of a private medical college, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine. The Government Medical Officers Association has called for SAITM to be nationalised.
Speakers condemned police attacks on students, doctors and others protesting against the privatisation of medical education, including when 96 students were injured during a police attack against a demonstration on June 21.
Tamils from the village of Thunnaalai on the Jaffna Peninsula of northern Sri Lanka took part in angry protests after the murder of a Tamil worker by police on July 9.
Tamilnet said: “A police post was smashed by angry villagers on Sunday and there were also incidents in which SL police vehicles were stoned by the public in the area. Traffic remained blocked as the protesting villagers had put tires ablaze across the roads.”
Eighty tenants and supporters rallied at the Northcote public housing estate on June 24 to protest plans to evict the tenants and demolish their homes.
Northcote is one of nine public housing estates the Victorian Labor government wants to demolish. It wants to sell the land to private developers who would build high rise units. Some "social housing" would also be built.
Addressing the rally, Aboriginal activist and public housing tenant Viv Malo linked the planned evictions to the history of dispossession of Aboriginal people.
A proposed law restructuring Victoria's fire services has been referred to a parliamentary select committee, and will not be put to a vote until parliament resumes in August. This follows the expression of "concerns" about the law by conservative crossbenchers in the upper house.
The proposed law would end the antiquated situation where regional cities and a large part of the Melbourne metropolitan area are covered by the Country Fire Authority (CFA), and receive an inferior service.
The Victorian Labor government has announced its plans for restructuring Victoria's fire services.
Currently, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade covers only part of the Melbourne metropolitan area, while the Country Fire Authority (CFA) covers not only rural areas but also regional cities and many of Melbourne's suburbs.
The proposed law would create a new body, Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), which would cover the whole Melbourne metropolitan area and regional cities.
The Fair Go For Pensioners coalition organised a rally on May 24 in response to the federal budget’s significant new restrictions for those on Centrelink payments, including older Australians.
Their main concerns are with the change to the pensioner assets test, attacks on Medicare, the threat to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and a reduction on the right to overseas travel. The rally also addressed issues faced by the unemployed on Newstart, those on disability support and single parents.
The Victorian Labor government is considering a restructure of Victoria's fire services, according to a report in the May 9 Herald Sun.
Victoria has two fire services — the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The boundaries between the zones covered by these two bodies have not been changed for many years. With the expansion of Melbourne, many outer suburbs are covered by the CFA. So too are large towns such as Ballarat and Bendigo.