The campaign to save the homes of public housing tenants at the historic inner city suburb of Millers Point is growing. The NSW Coalition government is pressing ahead with its plan to sell nearly 300 public housing residences, in the face of determined opposition from the community and supporters. The government has successfully pressured some residents to relocate to other public housing areas, but many of the Millers Point tenants are holding firm and refusing to move.
The Tony Abbott government's "asset recycling" bill — in effect an incentive for the privatisation of public property by state governments — has been stalled in the Senate. Amendments moved by the Greens and the ALP were declared unacceptable by the government so parliament went into the winter recess before the bill was voted on.
The Students for Women Only Services Group held a vigil in Sydney on July 24 to protest against the recent decision to defund specialist women’s and children’s refuge centres in NSW. The vigil was attended by about 300 people. Speakers included Asian Australian Alliance convener Daphne Lowe Kelley, United Muslim Women Association CEO Maha Abdo, NSW Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi and Labor MLC Sophie Cotsis.
Joko Widodo, or “Jokowi” as he is popularly known, was confirmed by Indonesia’s electoral commission on July 22 as the winner of the presidential elections. Jokowi defeated, sacked Suharto-era general Prabowo Subianto, by 57% to 43% of the nearly 130 million direct votes cast on July 9. Prabowo has sought to challenge the result. However, supporters of Jokowi, whose campaign aroused enthusiasm among ordinary people hoping for change from elite-dominated politics, are intent on defending what they see as a chance for significantly more democratic reform.
Lock the Gate released this statement on July 29. *** A group of 20 residents living near the proposed Santos Narrabri Gas Project in northwest NSW have returned home in a state of shock after a tour of coal seam gas developments in Queensland. The group took a flight over extensive gasfields south of Chinchilla, spent six hours driving through Santos' “Fairview” gasfields northeast of Roma and have returned determined to prevent a similar invasion in northwest NSW.
Representatives from Irish republican party Sinn Fein are touring Australia from August 30 to September 7, speaking at public meetings in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This year, Sinn Fein has emerged as the largest all-Ireland party on the basis of opposition to brutal austerity measures. In recent weeks, Sinn Fein has increased its solidarity with Palestine, inside and outside parliament, including demands Ireland expel Israel’s ambassador and for an arms embargo on Israel.
Amid asylum seeker polices that grow crueller and more surreal by the day, plans to turn the unemployed into virtual slaves and Christopher Pyne let loose on education, there is, without a doubt, one big question in Australian politics in 2014. And that is: What drugs is Clive Palmer on? And where can we get some? ‘Coz that bloke is clearly off his chops. You never know what the hell he’ll pull next, which makes me worry about what will happen when he finally comes down. Some poor aide is going to have to explain what he got up to.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) gave approval to a uranium mine at Kintyre in Western Australia on July 28. The mine is about 260 kilometres north-east of Newman in the east Pilbara in an area that was excised from the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) National Park to allow mining in 1994. Because it is illegal to export uranium from WA, trucks carrying the uranium oxide concentrate — otherwise known as yellowcake — will have to travel 4600 kilometres from the Kintyre mine to Port Adelaide.
These two resolutions were passed on July 25. *** Australian Education Union The Australian Education Union (AEU) Victoria Branch condemns Israel’s latest horrific assault on the people of Palestine, which has resulted in over 750 deaths in the past three weeks – the overwhelming majority of the dead being civilians, and many of them children. The AEU supports the peaceful community protests called in solidarity with the people of Palestine, to be held on August 1 at 5pm, outside the State Library in Swanston Street, Melbourne.