Melbourne is drowning in cars and choking on petrol fumes. At the same time, the privatised public transport system is in serious crisis.
Around 300 Melbourne Sudanese community members and supporters took to the streets on May 27 to protest the indiscriminate killings taking place in the disputed oil-rich Abyei territory of Sudan.
Local residents, environmentalists and public transport supporters gathered at Debney Park on May 25 to voice their opposition to a proposed tolled east-west road tunnel and a large housing tower development in the local area.
On May 6, five major construction unions met in Brisbane to plan a national campaign to abolish the draconian Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
According to a May 21 Australian article, Dr Paul Mees, senior lecturer in transport and land use planning, intends to sue Melbourne University. Meess pay was cut after a university inquiry found him guilty of making insulting remarks about a state government official.
After a four-hour community blockade on April 9, Melbourne Chef agreed to pay out sacked National Union of Workers (NUW) member Abdelwahab Bekhaled and negotiate a collective agreement at the site. However, the company reneged on the agreement, sparking a month-long union campaign. Bekhaled has finally received a payout that included long-service leave and all his entitlements.
In presenting the state budget on May 6, Premier John Brumby announced that “doing business in Victoria will become even easier”. The ALP government’s pro-corporate measures will cut almost $1.5 billion from taxes and costs for the big end of town.
Five unions met in Brisbane on May 6 to launch a national campaign for the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
The death of the fifth Australian solider in Afghanistan on April 27, followed a few days later by the wounding of another, has refocused attention on Australias involvement in the US-led occupation.
Australia Post is proceeding apace with a restructure ahead of its privatisation. According to Joan Doyle, it intends to close some of its Melbourne delivery centres and wants to replace its full-time workers with casual part-timers.
On April 23, up to 600 public school teachers and their supporters rallied outside state education minister Bronwyn Pike’s electoral office, in the final of their four-hour rolling stoppages. The action was part of the current enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) campaign that commenced on February 26.
On April 23, Chicago-based aerospace and military contractor Boeing reported a 38% jump in first-quarter profits for 2008, amounting to a whopping US$1.2 billion. “We’re off to a good start in what we expect to be another strong year of financial performance for Boeing”, chairperson, president and CEO Jim McNerney said.