Kerry Smith 

Turkey's second largest opposition party — the left-wing, Kurdish-led Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) — elected new leaders at its Third Congress on February 11.

Ireland’s Dail Eireann (its lower house of parliament) voted by a large majority on February 8 in favour of a bill to ban the government issuing new contracts for oil and gas exploration.

As the South Australian government fights a state election where Labor is in a three-way battle for power with the Coalition and Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party, it has announced plans to build a 250MW “virtual power plant”, linking household rooftop solar and battery storage.

The journalists’ union and legal organisations have warned that the federal Coalition government’s latest amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 would make it difficult, if not impossible, to report on what the government does behind closed doors.

Bupa Aged Care has agreed to a wage increase of 11.25% over three years after more than 1000 aged care nurses and carers in Victoria took part in protected industrial action affecting 26 nursing homes.

The new enterprise agreement also includes significant improvements to workplace entitlements and workload management.

About 90 workers at envelope manufacturer Australian Paper’s Preston plant stopped work on January 16 and formed a picket in front of the factory after nine months of negotiations failed to secure a new enterprise agreement.

A group of Christian activists, charged with entering the top secret Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility near Alice Springs, have been found guilty. In a separate trial, a man has been found guilty of the same offence. They all face a maximum sentence of seven years’ jail.

More than 60 Aboriginal community members from across the Northern Territory gathered on Larrakia Country in Darwin over November 18–19 to discuss how to stop fracking from destroying the Territory.

They came from Alice Springs, Borroloola, Mataranka, Minyerri, Maningrida, Marlinja, Tennant Creek, Yuendumu, Jilkminggan and Katherine to demand a permanent fracking ban, saying they fear for the future of their land and culture if the moratorium ends.

Victoria is set to trial a safe injecting room, where users will be able to inject their drug of choice in a medically supervised safe space. The trial will run for at least two years, followed by a review.

It will be the first injecting room in Victoria and the second in Australia, after an injecting room was established in Kings Cross, Sydney, in 2001.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) launched its national boycott campaign against Streets ice cream products on October 29, urging people to “stand up for fairness and commit to a Streets-Free Summer”.

AMWU NSW secretary Steve Murphy said the workers had no choice but to call for a boycott after Streets “hit the nuclear option”.

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