Liah Lazarou

South Australians headed to the polls on March 17 to decide whether they would return the incumbent Labor Party to power after 16 years or hand government to Steve Marshall’s Liberals, with Nick Xenophon’s SA Best as a significant political force.

The results saw the Liberals win, overcoming their recent history of factionalism and disunity marked by ongoing leadership battles. Optional above the line preferential voting was introduced this election, but a redistribution of seats proved more detrimental to Labor.

On September 8 about 100 childcare workers stopped work across Melbourne to call for equal pay and recognition for their work.

A number of childcare centres, including Dawson St Child Care Co-operative, Monash Community Family Co-operative, Monash Children’s Centre, Monash Caulfied Childcare Centre and East Brunswick Kindergarten and Childcare Centre, closed at 3pm, affecting about 500 children.

In the lead-up to the federal election, talk of balancing the budget, jobs and growth are centre.
Amid rising unemployment and job insecurity, single parents continue to face both a job market unforgiving of parenting responsibilities and parenting payments that have been consistently attacked and eroded — framed by the false narrative of providing incentives to return to work and finding necessary budget savings.

Domestic violence — or intimate partner violence — represents an increasingly visible crisis in Australia today. Yet policy makers and opinion shapers continue to deny that the system, which profits from sexism and misogyny, is responsible for perpetrating it. Instead, they blame individuals.

This year, two women have been killed every week — double the rate compared to 2014. One in four women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. For women aged between 15 and 44 years' old, domestic violence is the leading cause of death, illness and disability.

Hundreds gathered on May 6 to fill Adelaide's Tandanya National Indigenous Cultural Institute for the forum “An Aboriginal Perspective on Inequality, the Intervention, Racism and Struggle”.

It was jointly organised by the South Australian Aboriginal Coalition for Social Justice, SIMPLA (Stop Income Management in Playford) and the Socialist Alliance. It explored a cross-section of the most pressing issues facing Aboriginal people in Australia, such as racism, the Northern Territory intervention, inequality, the need for struggle and youth activism.

Forty people gathered on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House on November 27 to protest against a new law that would make it an offence to cause serious harm to a pregnant woman. It was defeated by a single vote.
 
Introduced by Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire, the bill seeks to introduce "foetal personhood”, with penalties as severe as life in prison for causing what is termed in the bill “the death of the unborn child”.

Fifteen hundred people rallied on September 30 in Adelaide to support solar thermal power in Port Augusta to replace the ageing coal stations, set to retire.

They welcomed about 80 people who walked the 328-kilometre journey from Port Augusta to draw attention to the issue. Protesters rallied to show their support for a switch to solar thermal and becoming a world leader in renewable energy, rather than replacing dirty coal with gas.

On August 28, federal environment minister Peter Garrett announced the expansion of the Beverley uranium mine, situated in South Australia’s far north-east.

On July 3 a funeral was held for Bruce Trevorrow, who passed away peacefully on June 20 after being admitted to intensive care in Sale, south-western Victoria, and suffering a heart attack from which he did not recover. He was surrounded by family members and his wife Veronica.

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