Kerry Smith

Lovers of the Murray and Darling rivers gathered outside Victorian Parliament on March 7 to call on Premier Daniel Andrews and Water Minister Lisa Neville to save the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Plan.

Victoria's environment department has charged the government-owned logging agency VicForests over its illegal logging of rainforest buffer zones in East Gippsland. The allegations relate to a logging operation in the Serpentine Creek Rainforest Site of Significance near Cann River, which caused serious damage to protected warm temperate rainforest.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) announced on February 28 that Wilson Security will no longer provide it with security services and SecureCorp has been appointed as its long-term security services provider.

Wilson Security has provided security services for the Australian government’s detention centres on Nauru since 2012 and Manus Island during 2014–17. It is notorious for overseeing, perpetrating and attempting to cover up years of abuse against refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru, as many inquiries and reports have shown.

About 90 Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) members at Australian Paper’s Preston envelope factory returned to work victorious on March 6 after an eight-week strike, with most of the workers’ terms being met and the rest to be negotiated.

Two hundred people marched in Kalgoorlie on February 24 to protest the possible parole of a man who deliberately ran down and killed 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in August 2016. The man had pursued Doughty in a four-wheel-drive through bushland in Boulder, 600 kilometres east of Perth, because he believed the motorbike Doughty was riding had been stolen from his home.

Energy Security Board chairperson Kerry Schott told the 150 people attending a public forum on the National Energy Guarantee in Sydney on February 26 and the 500 or so linked through the live webinar: “We’re here to listen”.

But apparently not to the activists from the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), who gate-crashed the event, calling for the proposed policy to be rejected because of its weak carbon reduction target and impact on renewable energy.

Several thousand people from about 30 community groups and trade unions joined forces in the first mass Fix NSW Transport march and rally through Sydney on February 17.

United in anger at the state Coalition government's private tollway frenzy, privatisation of public transport and developer scams parading as infrastructure plans, they called on the government to fix NSW roads and public transport.

About 200 relatives and supporters of the late Patrick Fisher gathered on February 11 to commemorate his life and hold a march calling for justice.

Fisher died on February 7 while fleeing from police who had kicked down the door of his girlfriend's home. He was wanted on outstanding warrants for minor stealing offences.

Police claim he slipped while trying to climb down to another unit and fell from the thirteenth floor balcony of the Joseph Banks Tower in the Waterloo public housing estate.

Police broke up a peaceful blockade of an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland, Victoria, on January 31.

Conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) established the blockade and for 10 days managed to prevent logging of an untouched area of old growth forest.

A man, known as Possum, who was suspended in a hammock hanging from a 10 metre tripod structure that blocked access to the logging site, was arrested. He was charged and will appear in Orbost Magistrates court in April.  

The South Australian government has begun a public consultation on whether to hold a trial of underground coal gasification (UCG). The practice was banned in Queensland after it caused “irreversible” damage to hundreds of square kilometres of valuable Darling Downs farming land.

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