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Five thousand people attended the vibrant Climate Emergency Rally in Melbourne on June 5. Grassroots environment activists and groups came from all over Victoria to protest numerous environmentally destructive projects currently underway or proposed, demanding action instead be focused on renewable energy and public transport.
Professor Ross Garnaut’s draft review of climate change policy options for the Australian government was released on July 4, with climate change minister Penny Wong due to release a green paper canvassing policy options on July 16. Garnaut’s report looks at the “costs” and “benefits” of mitigating drastic climate change through a carbon polluting trading scheme. It suggests tax cuts and “welfare reform” to compensate low-income households, which will be hit hard by energy price rises.
As Malaysian opposition parties and social activists, emboldened by advances in the March general elections, prepared to hold a giant protest against recent oil price hike (petrol up 41%, diesel up 67%) in Kuala Lumpur on July 6, a series of disturbing events unfolded.
A public meeting on June 24 against the proposed desalination plant drew 500 people. The gathering, 12 months after a 700-strong public meeting that kicked off the campaign, vowed to continue the fight against the energy-inefficient and costly non-solution to Melbourne’s water crisis.
More than 200 people from across Australia turned anger into action at the Resistance National Conference, held in Sydney from June 27-29. Activists met to discuss everything from revolutions in Latin America to the next steps in the climate change campaign.
On June 24, more than 10,000 workers picketed a power loom factory in Sadhar Faisalabad for more than eight hours. They were demanding the arrest of the owner of the factory and his gangsters.
Employees and Australian Workers Union (AWU) members at CSR’s Yarraville sugar refinery are in dispute with management over a log of claims for their enterprise bargaining agreement.
This article is based on a talk given by Naomi Rodgers-Falk to the closing session of the Resistance National Conference, held at the University of Technology, Sydney, on June 27 to 29.
A political economist and activist who directs the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, Patrick Bond was a featured guest speaker at the Green Left Weekly Social Change — Climate Change conference held in Sydney in April.
On June 26, NSW Nurses Association branches voted in favour of the pay and conditions offer and classification review offer made by the NSW health department. The first 3.9% pay rise will happen in early July. There are some improvements to conditions; notably, part-timers can choose to increase their contracted hours to the average actually worked over the preceding 12 months.

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