The Steve Irwin Reserve on far north Queensland’s rugged Cape York faces the threat of mining, under new moves to water down the previous Bligh Labor government’s Wild Rivers law. Liberal National Party state environment minister Andrew Powell released a paper on June 27 for a new management plan, which is expected to replace Wild Rivers laws on at least four far-north wilderness rivers.
The Sydney Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 29. * * * A team of three experienced Socialist Alliance activists will stand in Marrickville Council’s north ward at the upcoming elections. Socialist Alliance, which is contesting the elections on a platform of Power to the People, is a social justice and ecological party. “Councils should be extensions of the community”, said lead candidate Pip Hinman.
Billionaire mine-owner Clive Palmer has applied for one of his Queensland companies, the Yabulu nickel refinery, to be allowed to dump millions of litres of toxic water into the Great Barrier Reef.
Public housing campaign group Hands Off Glebe released the statement below on June 29. * * * “New planning laws proposed by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard mean more public tenants will be socially cleansed toSydney’s outskirts and developers will have a free go at turning our city into concrete canyons,” Denis Doherty said.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre released the statement below on June 28. * * * They say a day is a long time in politics. The past week has been a lifetime. The asylum seeker debate has taken a hard shift to the right — the conversation has changed from onshore versus offshore processing to which location to process offshore and how to stop the boats.
The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney released the statement below on June 28. * * * The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) is calling for charges to be laid against police in the Terrance Briscoe death is custody case, supporting calls from the family. Family spokesperson Patricia Morton-Thomas says that family are confused by the double standard of the legal system. That Police are able to break the law, even captured on CCTV footage, and are still not charged for their offences.
Local parents have successfully spearheaded a Fremantle community campaign to save a service called “Buster the Fun Bus”. Buster is a van staffed by two community workers from the City of Fremantle. It makes stops at various parks in the Fremantle and Melville area, setting out activity tables and toys for children to enjoy outside. The focus of the service is community building. It brings parents together and gives them relaxed access to community workers.
About 100 people attended a midday protest on June 28 to oppose the export of coal from Victoria. The protest was organised by Quit Coal. Speakers denounced the horrendous damage Victoria's brown coal exports will do to the local environment and the global climate. After the rally, a section of the crowd marched to the offices of Exergen — the company that plans to export coal from Victoria. The activists occupied the CEO's office to protest the company's refusal to meet with local residents.
The Queensland Council of Unions released the statement below on June 28. * * * Aboriginal elders Paul and Arthur Ah Wang still want justice for their stolen wages. Tomorrow, they will join other Indigenous leaders and Townsville Branch President of the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) Les Moffitt for a meeting with Member for Townsville John Hathaway to continue their fight for what they are owed. “We’ve sought this meeting with the new Member for Townsville to bring these Indigenous elders before him to share their side of the story,” Mr Moffitt said.
Ivanhoe sacks workers despite ‘mining boom’ Gold and copper mining company Ivanhoe has said it will axe 50 jobs, or about 20% of its 280 workers. The move dents the mining industry's loud claims about its benefit to the Australian economy and jobs.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has reneged on a pre-election promise to refuse access for hunters to NSW national parks, a move that will put parks users in danger and potentially set back feral animal eradication programs. The Coalition government is pushing through changes to the NSW electricity sector, seeking to privatise state-owned generators. Without the numbers to push the privatisation bill through the upper house, O’Farrell back-flipped and supported a bill by the Shooters and Fishers Party.
The Refugee Action Collective Victoria released the statement below on June 27. * * * The Refugee Action Collective condemns the Gillard Labor government’s support for the bill moved by Rob Oakeshott that passed through the lower house [on] June 27. RAC condemns the opportunism of both sides of parliament, seeking to gain politically out of two boat disasters in the last week. Offshore processing does not protect lives, but seeks to deter asylum seekers from fleeing to save them.
The Yolngu Nations Assembly and the Alyawaar Nation released the statement below on June 27. * * * Should this Stronger Futures legislation pass through the Senate and become law, it will be a day of mourning for all Aboriginal peoples. This legislation will be the cause of great suffering in our hearts. For those of us living in the Northern Territory the anguish of the past five years of Intervention has been almost unbearable. Many have simply given up hope. We have been burying people who can no longer live with the pain and despair.
The National Welfare Rights Network released the statement below on June 26. * * * The National Welfare Rights Network welcomes today’s news that the Senate has voted to support an Australian Green’s initiated inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart Allowance and related payments for young people and students.
The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on June 27. * * * The NSW Teachers Federation is taking action today against the sackings announced on 30 May.
More than 1000 striking teachers had to watch proceedings outside as teachers packed out Sydney Town Hall (capacity 2000) for a mass stop-work meeting called to discuss the fightback against the NSW government's latest attacks on public education. Those who could not fit in the lower and upper levels of the Town Hall took part in the meeting via video-link from Town Hall Square. Mass meetings were held in 29 other regional centres. They voted to continue the campaign with possible further strikes and mass demonstrations.