Margaret Gleeson

On September 20, days after the passage of the “omnibus” legislation that enabled the implementation of the federal budget, Minister for Social Services Christian Porter released the Baseline Valuation Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as part of the federal government’s “Priority Investment Approach”.

In what amounted to a financial audit of the welfare system, the report focused on the costs to the welfare system over a prolonged period of three categories of recipients: young carers, young parents and students.

The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO), on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), lodged an appeal on September 19 against the Federal Court’s finding in August that then-environment minister Greg Hunt’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael coalmine was lawful.

The appeal challenges the lawfulness of the court’s finding that the minister was entitled to find the impact on global warming and the Great Barrier Reef from the Carmichael mine’s 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions was “speculative”.

On the 43rd anniversary of the coup that ousted the elected government of President Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, a forum “Crisis in Venezuela: An Eyewitness Report” drew parallels with the current situation in Venezuela. 

The forum was hosted by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) Brisbane and Australian Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA).

Just 10 days after dismissing a challenge from a Queensland traditional owner to the granting of mining leases for Adani's Carmichael coalmine, on August 29 the Federal Court dismissed the application by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) for judicial review of environment minister Hunt’s decision to grant mining licences to Adani.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath announced on July 21 that the state government would introduce legislation that will ensure that vehicles with slogans that "fail to comply with determinations by the Advertising Standards Bureau" face deregistration.

The move was a result of more than two years of campaigning by feminist activist group Wicked Pickets, directed at the Queensland-based campervan hire company Wicked Campers. The announcement was welcomed by Wicked Pickets, the RACQ, the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) and the Australian Association of National Advertisers.

The latest in a series of legal challenges to the opening of the Galilee Basin to new coal mines began in the Queensland Court of Appeal on June 7.

In a one-day session, Queensland's highest court heard arguments on behalf of local environment group Coast and Country Association of Queensland against GVK Hancock's proposed Alpha coalmine in the Galilee Basin.

Climate change was a glaring omission from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s address announcing the federal election. It has also been below the radar on the Labor’s campaign trail.

In contrast the Greens launched their election campaign at a protest on May 8 organised by climate group 350.org, which closed down the coal port of Newcastle. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was time Australia got serious about “tackling dangerous global warming”.

On April 3, the Queensland mines minister Anthony Lynham and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk approved the three mining leases of Indian multinational Adani for the Carmichael coalmine and rail project in the Galilee Basin.

Federal approval was granted by federal environment minister Greg Hunt in October.

In the context of the anti-Muslim racism spiked by the recent attacks in Paris, the Electrical Trades Union Queensland and Northern Territory (ETU Qld and NT) has produced a video showing that racism is anti-worker and has no place in the Australian community.

ETU (Qld and NT) Secretary Peter Simpson told Green Left Weekly: “We at the ETU have been watching the impact racism has had on workers for quite a while now.

On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani.

The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.

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