Pip Hinman

More than 2000 People's Climate Marches were held over the weekend of November 27 to 29. In Australia more than 140,000 people took to the streets to show they care, passionately, about climate change. They are also angry at government inaction, as illustrated by the many homemade placards and props.

These marches were the biggest national anti-government mobilisations for many years. The Melbourne march — a huge 60,000 people — was the biggest street march there since the anti-Work Choices protests of 2005.

NSW Christian Democrat MLC Fred Nile intends to reintroduce a bill to give personhood rights to foetuses. He has already had several attempts — the last one failing a year ago.

On November 9, Nile sent NSW Legislative Council members notice of his new Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2015.

The Crimes Act currently recognises grievous bodily harm to a pregnant woman if her foetus dies as a result of assault or violence committed against her. The maximum sentence is 25 years’ jail.

Gas miner Metgasco's surprise announcement on November 2 that it was recommending its shareholders accept a $25 million payout for its three remaining exploration licences in NSW's Northern Rivers, near Lismore, was celebrated right across the state.

Anti-fracking campaigners, who have worked hard for more than three years, educating, organising and mobilising communities against the industry, are very relieved.


Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.

Several polls show that the new PM — and by extension, the Coalition — is very popular. Explaining Malcolm Turnbull's high approval rating is relatively easy: it is not too hard to be more popular than the hated Tony Abbott and Labor has long since given up on being an opposition.

According to Newspoll, Fairfax-Ipsos, Roy Morgan and Essential Research, Turnbull's numbers keep improving, even after 6 weeks in office. Depending on which poll you look at, Turnbull's approval is either Mr 52%, Mr 53% or Mr 68%.

George Bender, a 68-year-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade. Described by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the sugar coated bullshit”, George was a fifth generation farmer in the Western Downs. He stood for the right for a farmer to say “no” to the gas industry.

The new federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has affirmed that the Turnbull-led government will not budge from policies that afford maximum profits to the outdated and dangerous fossil fuel corporations.

George Bender, a 68­-year­-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade.

Describe by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the sugar coated bullshit”, George was a
fifth generation farmer in the Western Downs. He stood for the right for a farmer to say “no” to the gas industry.

His family said in an October 20 statement: “[George] was willing to talk openly to anyone who was interested

Two Western Sydney University Resistance activists are running for the editorial board of the student magazine, Cruwsible.

Phil Craig and Ian Escandor, both current Student Campus Council members, believe the student magazine could do much more to encourage activism on campus and better reflect students’ concerns.

“Cruwsible should encourage more activism”, Craig told Green Left Weekly. “But the only way to do this is to have more student consultation.

Metgasco is upping the ante in its bid to drill for unconventional gas in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. Activists are even more determined to protect the region’s land and water.

After Metgasco announced it would be carrying out pre-fracking seismic tests, Lismore council voted 5 to 2 on October 13 to refuse access to the gas company’s equipment.

Pages

Subscribe to Pip Hinman