Farida Iqbal

Residents are organising to stop mining company LD Operations plans to start a new coal mine next to the town of Margaret River in Western Australia. Margaret River is five hours south of Perth famous for its wineries, surfing spots and outstanding natural beauty. A public meeting on August 1 with only one day’s notice drew 60 people. It is a sign of strong community opposition. There are plans to hold a demonstration as part of the national Walk Against Warming rallies on August 15.
Canberra’s bus service, Action, is trying to impose a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) on bus drivers to undermine their rights at work. Under the current EBA, 40% of Canberra’s bus drivers are part-time and have to wait four years until they can get full-time work. If the part-time to full-time ratio that Action wants is implemented, workers will have to wait seven to eight years for a full-time job. “We’re fighting to protect bus driving as a profession”, one bus driver said.
On July 25, climate change minister Penny Wong, Australia’s first openly queer government minister, came out against equal marriage rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. “On the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious, historical view around that which we have to respect”, she told Channel 10. Wong’s statement dramatically shows the utter moral bankruptcy of the Labor Party on the issue.
May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The day of protest began in 2004, and has been held every year since. This year, IDAHO events will be held in more than 60 countries.
In 2004, the Coalition government, with Labor support, banned marriage for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. This year, the Greens introduced the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill to federal parliament, to try to overturn the ban.
The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly passed a civil unions bill on November 11 to allow same-sex couples the right to legally binding ceremonies. Civil unions with ceremonies have been a key demand of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) movement in the ACT since 2006.
Eighteen-year-old South African athlete Caster Semenya has done nothing wrong. Yet she has been accused of deceiving the world about her gender. There is nothing wrong with Semenya’s body. Yet her body has been paraded in front of the world by the mass media as if she were a sideshow freak.
In June, a raft of new legislation was presented to parliament to in effect, outlaw homebirth midwifery in Australia. Indemnity insurance would be a legal requirement for medical practitioners, under a new national registration and accreditation scheme.
The August 1 national day of action for equal marriage rights was the biggest demonstration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Australian history.
A high number of homeless youth in Australia are lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or intersex (LGBTI).
Over the past year and a half, Australia’s rental crisis has hit Canberra especially hard. The nation’s capital has the highest rents in the country.
Plans are underway for the fifth national day of action for same-sex marriage rights. Rallies are already planned in seven cities across Australia on August 1.
One hundred and fifty people protested in Canberra on March 21 against federal government plans to introduce a national internet filter. The protest was organised by the Digital Liberty Coalition.
The refugee policy of the Kevin Rudd Labor government has been slammed in a new report released by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
New legislation granting parenting rights to same-sex couples was passed in the Senate in October 16. The legislation grants legal recognition to children of same-sex parents born through IVF or surrogacy.
Around 600 members of the Australian Tamil community converged on Canberra on October 14 to protest Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama’s visit to Australia to meet with foreign minister Stephen Smith. Bogollagama was addressing an invite-only audience of Australian journalists inside the National Press Club.

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