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The Jackson family and Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) Sydney held a gathering on the first anniversary of the passing of Ray Jackson to Remember Ray FKJ (For Koori Justice). Friends, comrades and supporters came together on April 23 at The Settlement, Darlington, to share a barbecue, music and Jackson's activist legacy in the fight for sovereignty, treaty and social justice. He would have loved the name of the band that played: Dispossessed.
The continued forced removal of children from their families is one of the biggest crises facing Aboriginal communities today. More children are being removed now than at any time in Australia's history, with almost 16,000 Aboriginal children in “out of home care” on any given night. This was the subject of a public forum organised by Grandmothers against Removals (GMAR) Sydney on April 30. GMAR is a national network that was formed by families who have been directly affected by forced removal.
The ACT Labor government has boosted its commitment to renewable energy still further, announcing Canberra will be fully powered by renewables by 2020. The switch to renewable energy began with the decision in 2013 to fund three solar farms. Since then, it has held two wind auctions and signed 20-year contracts with four companies to buy energy for a guaranteed payment from wind farms in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. Environment Minister Simon Corbell said Canberra was leading the nation on renewables, and reaping the benefits.
Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull have delivered a budget for the billionaires. They claim that opposition to their tax cuts for the rich is “class warfare”. But the truth is that they are the ones waging naked war against the ordinary people of Australia. People earning less than $80,000 — the large majority — get absolutely nothing from this budget. The top 10% of taxpayers get three quarters of the benefits while the top 1% get almost half (47%) of the tax cuts.
Pro Choice QLD released this statement on May 5. * * * Pro Choice QLD is today launching the“It's not 1899/Abortion should not be a crime” campaign against laws from 1899 criminalising abortion in this state.
Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, which recently succeeded in a takeover bid for Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield, the company that runs the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, has implied that it will not seek a further contract to run the centres. In a statement Ferrovial noted that providing services at regional processing centres was not a "core part of the acquisition rationale and valuation and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial's portfolio. Ferrovial's view is that this will not form part of its services offering in the future."
A Sydney construction company Romanous Contractors was fined $425,000 in the second largest work health and safety fine in NSW history following the death of a bricklayer on a Hurstville construction site in 2014. Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said: “Romanous were aware of the risk and how to address it after being directed on numerous occasions by SafeWork NSW inspectors to securely cover unguarded penetrations at the site.
The Victorian law making it illegal for protesters to harass people within 150-metres of abortion providers, which were due to start in July, came into effect on May 2. Health Minister Jill Hennessy said: "For too long, women accessing abortion services have been unfairly abused and intimidated, and it's time it stopped. That's why we've fast-tracked the introduction of safe access zones so we can give women the protection they deserve, sooner."
The Victorian budget, presented by Treasurer Tim Pallas on April 27, is in surplus, due largely to a big increase in stamp duty revenue, to a record $6 billion a year. This revenue is a result of Melbourne's real estate boom. House prices have been rising rapidly. But the number of homeless people has also been rising rapidly. There has been a marked increase in the number of homeless people begging on the streets.

Could things get any worse for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the United States and the European Union? On May 2, a hugely damaging leak of TTIP texts confirmed exactly what everyone had feared about the deal — with all its hugely pro-corporate provisions on display for everyone to see.

"The plan for James Packer's Crown Casino at Barangaroo to take over even more public space shows that Packer and his fellow billionaires control the NSW Coalition government and are taking over all our precious state-owned land and assets at a rate of knots," Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney in the upcoming federal election, said on May 4.