The NSW Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) construction and general branch released the statement below on September 7. * * * CFMEU State Secretary Brian Parker today expressed his deep sorrow of the loss of one of the building trade union’s most significant leaders — Joe Owens. Owens, who died earlier this week, was secretary of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) NSW branch between 1973 and 1975.
Five anti-coal protests took place in Australia over four successive days. The actions targeted coal exports, coalmining, coal transport and coal port infrastructure. The first action took place in Melbourne on September 3, where four members of Quit Coal climbed the roof of Victoria’s parliament house and unfurled a huge 86 square metre banner. The banner displayed a quote from NASA climate scientist James Hansen — “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet” — and asked, “Why is Baillieu funding coal?”
It was standing room only when community members and supporters attended Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on September 6 to witness the dropping of all charges against 12 activists, arising from protests to protect the Gun Barrel coupe in Toolangi State Forest from clear-fell logging in July and August last year. The withdrawal of all charges, without explanation or reason, is a significant victory for the accused and their supporters, and every Victorian who cares for the protection of natural heritage.
Labor for Refugees released the statement below on September 6. * * * Labor for Refugees today wrote to Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to refute his damaging speculation that there could be 180,000 boat people coming to Australia in the near future.
Dozens of students protested an appearance by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at Perth’s Curtin University on September 5. The PM sneaked in through a back door while large numbers of police guarded the front. Invitations to the function to launch a new building were issued only to a select few. Protesters argued the case for equal marriage rights and to free the refugees. One person spoke out against the ongoing crime of the war in Afghanistan. The rally was organised by Equal Love Perth and was supported by the Curtin Refugee Rights Action Network.
The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on September 6. * * * Lock The Gate Alliance has this morning criticised the NSW government for its excessive and heavy-handed response to peaceful protest against coal mining expansion in the Gunnedah Basin earlier this week.
Pearse Donerty, Sinn Fein finance spokesperson and member of Ireland's Dail (parliament) is visiting Australia in September, meeting Irish emigrants, trade unions, campaign groups and legislators in Perth, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. He will speak at a number of public meetings to engage with the new diaspora on the economic crisis. The details of events in Perth and Sydney are at the bottom.
More than 400 schools were closed across Victoria on September 5 by a one-day strike by teachers, principals and education support (ES) workers. About 40,000 workers in the sector stayed away from work. About 20,000 took to the streets of Melbourne.
About 15,000 Victorian teachers packed in to Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on September 5 in the biggest teachers strike in the state's history. The Australian Education Union organised the rally to protest the Ted Baillieu state government's attacks on public education and its low offer of a 2.5% wage rise. After the rally, the teachers marched on state parliament.
Around 50 students protested an appearance at Curtin Uni by Julia Gillard on September 5. The prime minister sneaked in through a back door while large numbers of police guarded the front door. Invitations to the function to launch a new building were issued only to a select few. Protesters argued the case for equal marriage rights and to free the refugees. One person spoke out against the ongoing crime of the war in Afghanistan.
Gillard’s cancellation of Australia Christian Lobby address not enough, say marriage equality activists
Equal Love Melbourne released the statement below on September 6. * * * Prime Minister Julia Gillard has succumbed to the pressure to cancel her appearance as keynote speaker at the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) conference. The announcement was made following homophobic comments from the ACL’s managing director Jim Wallace, and at the same time as thousands of equality supporters were preparing to descend on Canberra [on October 6] to protest the event.
Three Victorian coal-fired power stations slated for closure will now stay open, resources minister Martin Ferguson said on September 5. He said he ended talks to buy out the three Latrobe Valley plants because the owners had asked for too much. Labor and Greens agreed to pay owners to close down six coal-fired power plants under their Clean Energy Future package. The package also includes the new carbon price scheme.
Rising Tide released the statement below on September 6. * * * Activists are scaling a crane at a Newcastle coal terminal, stopping work on the construction of new coal loading facilities. Activists entered the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) coal terminal construction site on Kooragang Island before dawn this morning, and two people are now scaling the crane, preparing to unfurl a banner reading “Stop the coal rush! For health, water & climate.”
Reclaim the Cove, the Fullerton Cove campaign to stop coal seam gas mining, released the statement below on September 6. * * * In a historic decision, the Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group today won an injunction to prevent Dart Energy from drilling for coal seam gas at Fullerton Cove, near Newcastle, until a full legal challenge has been heard.
Barely 10 years after false claims about weapons of mass destruction were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, a similar narrative is being used by politicians in the US and Israel to push the case for war with Iran.