The Pilliga State Forest in northern NSW will be turned into a gas field if the government approves Eastern Star Gas's (ESG) mining proposal for the region. The proposal set out by ESG seeks to develop the Pilliga into the state's largest coal seam gas (CSG) project. The development would include the drilling of more than 1000 gas wells and the clearing of vast stretches of native bushland to make way for gas pipelines and other associated infrastructure, such as a water treatment facility and access roads.
About 50 people rallied on June 16 under the slogan, “Don’t derail Altona. Save our trains.” The rally was called to protest the Victorian government’s cuts to rail services on the Werribee line’s Altona Loop. The service cuts mean the Altona Loop will lose direct access to the city loop and all of its express trains. Services will be cut from 20 to 22-minute intervals during peak periods. Outside peak periods the service will be cut to a train shuttle from Laverton to Newport so most passengers will have to change trains.
About 150 representatives engaged in the campaign against coal and coal seam gas mining attended the inaugural annual general meeting of the Lock the Gate Alliance, held in Murwillumbah, NSW, over June 11 and 12. Lock the Gate (LTG) is a national body that represents more than 90 community groups and hundreds of individuals concerned about the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining. The meeting elected four office bearers and five committee members, including Sarah Moles as secretary and Sean Gough as treasurer. See also::
About 500 people took part in a June 11 march to demand an end to victim blaming in sexual assault. This was followed by a screening of the film War Zone in the Adelaide Activist Centre. About 30 people attended. The film screening was jointly hosted by the Socialist Alliance and the Femment Feminist Collective. It was followed by a discussion on the politics of Slutwalk and the future of feminism. From the discussion the South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC) was founded. All in attendance joined the contact list.
Again. Yes. Again. Another again to join a conga-line of agains going back decades. Again, another victim of the callousness of the NSW Department of Corrective Services. In this case, the unnecessary and useless death of 33-year-old Adam Grant le Marseny, also known as Adam Grant Morrison, who died in the corrective services cells of the Sydney police centre on, I believe, the night of May 28, 2011.
Three Australian activists joining the Freedom Flotilla 2 were given a heartfelt sendoff by Green Left Weekly at the Resistance Centre on June 15. The three will soon join activists from 50 countries taking part in this latest international action to pressure Israel to lift the illegal blockade on Gaza. They have partnered with a Canadian organisation and their boat Tahrir (Liberation) will carry about 50 passengers and crew. See also:
Western Australia has always been proud of its natural resources and mining industries. Criticise it, and you bare the wrath of not only the elitism of rich investors and industrialists, but pretty much 80 to 90% of the population. Woodside is considered one of the pride. When meeting its representatives in 2003, as one of the 40 of so school students attending the “Australian Student Mineral Venture”, we were told in loud volumes about how they employed Aborigines too … obviously the only tick box needed to be ethical, or so they thought.
SlutWalk has become a global phenomenon since Canadian policeman Constable Michael Sanguinett told a campus safety meeting “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”. Big SlutWalk rallies have retaliated against this victim-blaming that police, courts, and governments perpetuate. People have protested in Canada, Mexico, London, Amsterdam, the US, London and Australia. Homemade placards denouncing sexual violence, supporting consensual sex and rejecting victim blaming were displayed at all the rallies.
Public opposition to a plan by an Australian mining company, Lynas, to build a rare earth refinery in Pahang, Malaysia, was on show at a protest outside Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on May 20. Lynas plans to ship ore from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia, through the port of Fremantle, to Malaysia. There it will be refined to extract rare earths, which are widely used in the manufacture of computers and electronics.
A magistrate dismissed charges against 49 climate activists on June 16. The protesters had committed non-violent civil disobedience at a climate camp against a new coal-fired power station being built in the Hunter Valley. The charges related to an action on December 6 at the NSW climate camp near the Bayswater Power Station in the Hunter Valley — Australia’s single largest source of carbon pollution. The ruling means they have no conviction recorded, no criminal record and their fines dropped.