An August 16 protest in Melbourne against TAFE cuts carried out by the Ted Baillieu Victorian state government.
On August 16, around 4000 people rallied in Melbourne to Save TAFE in Victoria. Staff, students and supporters mobilised from around Melbourne as well as from regional centres such as Ballarat and Geelong. Since the Baillieu government cut $300 million from the TAFE sector, hundreds of teachers and support staff have been sacked, campuses are facing closure, courses have been shut down and fees have been massively increased for thousands of students.
At least eight same-sex couples said “I do” in a mass illegal wedding ceremony on the steps of Melbourne's Old Treasury Building on August 11. More than 3000 people attended Equal Love's annual mass protest in the Melbourne CBD. The protest, which began with a rally at the State Library, was part of a series of actions held in cities across Australia. It has been an annual event since the former John Howard government changed the Marriage Act to say that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.
Students, teachers and union activists protested against the Victorian governments' cuts to TAFE at Melbourne's RMIT campus on August 2. The rally was jointly organised by the National Tertiary Education Union Victorian Division and the Australian Education Union (AEU). Film by Squirrel Main, sqmain.blogspot.com.au
More than 100 students, teachers and union activists heard speakers slam private-sector training at a August 2 protest against TAFE cuts at RMIT’s city campus. Steve Roach from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union’s Health and Safety Unit said he was concerned that the decline of TAFE — and the subsequent privatisation of building industry training — would lead to unsafe working conditions. He said: “We find dodgy tickets of competency floating around our industry ... where all [the students] did was give somebody $140 and they come back in with a card the next day.”
More than 300 supporters of Julian Assange gathered at the State Library in Melbourne on July 1 to call for the Australian government to act to bring Assange home. Speakers included Federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, Wikileaks co-founder Daniel Matthews and singer Natalie Pa'apa.
About 200 people met on June 28 on the steps of Parliament House in Victoria to oppose new coal projects in the state. Speakers spoke out against expanding the brown coal export industry, which would triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse gas pollution. The star of the event was “billionaire” Twiggy Palmcock, representing “the forgotten voices of mining magnates”. He said all coal is good coal, and offered to dig coal mines in a bowl shape for the “Greenie farmers from Bacchus Marsh”.
Opponent's of Victoria's coal industry took their message to the steps of the state Parliament House on June 28. Speakers at the rally said they opposed the state's new coal projects, including a brown coal export industry, which would triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse gas pollution. The protest was organised by Quit Coal.
Aboriginal speakers lashed out against the Labor government’s five-year Northern Territory intervention at a forum organised by Arena Magazine on June 21. Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, a former mayor of Barkly shire in the Northern Territory, said: “A lot of us are going through severe trauma. We live in terror of our language, ceremonies and land being taken away.” She drew parallels between her people’s current nightmare and that faced by the Jews during the Holocaust of World War II.