Jim McIlroy

Residents gathered at several sites near entrances to the environmentally and socially disastrous WestConnex tollway tunnel on July 13 to protest the opening of the NSW Coalition government's signature $27 billion transport nightmare.

South Korean company KEPCO is proposing to open up a mine that would have drastic impacts on local agriculture and water and the iconic natural and cultural heritage of the region, including Aboriginal sacred sites.

"We are resisting", is the answer that Venezuelan-Australian activist Eulalia Reyes receives when she speaks to friends and family back home. "Right now, international solidarity is so important for the Venezuelan people, who are fighting against US sanctions and threats of military intervention", she said.

The Mascot Towers debacle in inner-southern Sydney is a clear sign of the deep and many-sided housing crisis facing the city.

Residents in the 10-year-old, 122-apartment block were left without homes on June 14 after being evacuated due to widening cracks in the building's foundations. It has been alleged that the cracks could be related to impacts from the construction of a nearby apartment building.

The NSW Coalition government’s 2019 budget, handed down by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on June 18, proposes to slash almost 3000 public service jobs over the next four years to fund its modest election promises.

The government has also vowed to continue its effective wage freeze by maintaining its 2.5% cap on public service wage rises.

Despite all the Coalition rhetoric about “balancing the budget”, the budget predicts government debt will rise to almost $39 billion over the next four years.

"Australia may be the world's most secretive democracy," the New York Times reported on June 5.

The US newspaper was commenting on the raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on a NewsCorp journalist and then the head office of the ABC. They were looking for evidence of information provided by whistleblowers that was used in articles exposing possible crimes by the Australian military and other authorities.

More than 60 people gathered outside the electoral office of Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher in the northern Sydney suburb of Lindfield on June 11 to demand the federal Coalition government protect press freedom.

Up to 1000 people marched through the streets of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, on June 9 to oppose the NSW Coalition government's plan to raise the wall of the Warragamba Dam by 14 metres.

About 60 people attended a forum organised by Right to Strike NSW on June 4 where a panel of union activists discussed the struggle for union rights after the re-election of the Scott Morrison Coalition government.

The 2019 Rich List, published by the Australian Financial Review in late May, revealed that the wealth of the 200 wealthiest people in Australia has increased by more than 20% over the past year. Their combined wealth totalled a massive $342 billion.

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