Kerry Smith

The walls of the National Gallery of Victoria ran red on October 14 as activist group the Artists’ Committee, an informal association of artists and arts workers opposed to the detention of asylum seekers, continued its project to pressure the National Gallery of Victoria to immediately end its contract with Wilson Security.

Wilson Security provides security services to both the gallery and Australia’s offshore detention facilities on Manus Island and Nauru and is known to have committed human rights abuses against asylum seekers and refugees.

The Federal Court has dismissed a legal challenge by United Voice and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to the Fair Work Commission's (FWC) decision to cut penalty rates for pharmacy, hospitality, retail and fast food workers.

The court found on October 11 that the commission met its legal obligations when it decided in February to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full- and part-time workers.

Delegates to the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) National Council, the union’s annual conference, condemned Murdoch University and Victoria University managements’ anti-union attacks and called for enterprise agreements to be terminated only where workers and unions agree.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) warned that the Queensland government’s September 29 proposal to significantly expand the Port of Townsville, will further damage the ailing Great Barrier Reef.

Socialist Alliance candidates for Brownbill Ward in the Geelong Council election, Sue Bull and Sarah Hathway, who were among the first women candidates to nominate, have released their preferences, with the top seven positions going to progressive female candidates.

About 20 people attended a “Straight Lives Matter” rally organised by the far-right Party for Freedom in a Sydney park on September 23.

By contrast, about 10,000 people took part in Brisbane’s Pride march on the same day and 30,000 attended Sydney’s “Say Yes” rally on September 9.

A stage had been set up for Nick Folkes to address the anticipated throng, but the crowd was sparse, massively outnumbered by the 60 police assigned to keep order.

During the 2015 Queensland election campaign, the then-Labor opposition promised to prohibit trans-shipping operations within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, as part of its commitment to protect the Reef.

September 5 was a big day for Victoria’s extreme Right.

In the morning, three fascists, United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell, the Party for Freedom’s Neil Erikson and supporter Christopher Shortis, were all found guilty of inciting serious contempt of Muslims.

In the evening, nine protesters from Party of Freedom, armed with megaphones and clutching signs reading "Love it or leave it", stormed the Yarra Council meeting to oppose its decision to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day and to cease holding any citizenship ceremonies on that day.

The Resources Regulator Lee Shearer revealed in a Budget Estimates hearing on September 1 that it is investigating whether Korean mining company KEPCO is fit and proper to hold a mining licence in New South Wales, after serious international fraud and corruption allegations against the company were made.

KEPCO is proposing to develop two open-cut coalmines in the beautiful Bylong Valley, about 55 km north-east of Mudgee in north-western NSW. The mine is expected to produce up to 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year for 25 years, commencing early next year.

The descendants of Gurindji workers who participated in the historic walk-off at Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory have used its 51st anniversary celebration to endorse the Uluru Statement from the Heart and call for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in parliament.

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