Anti-Poverty Network SA hosted the “Stand Up! Speak Out!” conference in Adelaide on October 16 and 17. The grassroots gathering of welfare recipients, community workers and activists from South Australian and Victorian groups was part of Anti-Poverty Week. One of the highlights was the “War On The Poor” session. Rob Graham from Green Left Weekly and Pas Forgione from Anti-Poverty Network SA spoke to Owen Bennett from the Australian Unemployed Workers' Union and Kerry Arch from the Australian United Sole Parents Network about the attacks on welfare recipients.
Workers in the South Australian retail sector — particularly young, casual workers — could lose their penalty rates thanks to a deal between retail employers and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).
Port Adelaide's Newport Quays luxury apartment development has run into difficulties. The release of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report reconfirmed high levels of industrial air pollution in the port and LeFevre Peninsular areas. The report was presented to the Development Assessment Commission on July 15, but released only after a successful request by Greens parliamentary leader Mark Parnell. The Land Management Council has refused requests to release 27 of 28 further documents on pollution in the area.
The campaign against South Australian Labor treasurer Kevin Foley's latest budget is gathering strength. The second rally protesting against the wide-ranging budget cuts — particularly to the public sector — organised by SA Unions, attracted up to 10,000 people on 14 October. Members of the Legislative Assembly were invited to speak, including independents, the Liberal Party and Family First. The campaign has called on the Upper House MPs to block the legislation.
South Australian Treasurer Kevin Foley’s September 16 budget faces widespread opposition. The budget would slash $2 billion from public spending over four years. A leak to the September 15 Adelaide Advertiser of the Sustainable Budget Commission's report showed recommendations for wide-ranging spending cuts and the closure of schools, hospitals and police stations. Not all of the recommendations will be implemented, but 35 of the Commission’s 43 general recommendations will be acted on.
On October 23, tyre manufacturer Bridgestone Australia announced to a shocked workforce that the Adelaide factory would be closing in April 2010. Six hundred workers will lose their jobs.
More than 100 people gathered at the Woodville Town Hall on October 14 to hear speakers opposed to the proposed Cheltenham Park Racecourse redevelopment.