Repower Port Augusta, the historic campaign to have the South Australian town host Australia’s first solar-thermal power station, is gathering momentum, with formal endorsements from several health and union organisations. The campaign has generated widespread public interest. In Port Augusta itself, a community vote in July resulted in one-third of residents voting for solar over gas. The result was 4053 votes to 43, a remarkable turnout for the voluntary exercise.
Compulsory income management must be opposed: this was the consensus from a lively August 29 community meeting hosted by the Socialist Alliance in Playford, northern Adelaide, where income management is being “trialled” for some welfare recipients. This meeting included activists, locals, and representatives from community and welfare groups. People placed on income management have 50% to 70% of their payments put on a “Basics Card”, which can be used can be used to buy government-approved “essential” items.
Its website says UniLife is the University of South Australia's (UniSA) “democratic organisation run by students”. But new changes to UniLife’s rules mean student members are no longer entitled to know what their representatives do. This is the result of sweeping amendments to the UniLife constitution passed by student referendum on September 3. UniLife said the changes were designed to allow it to “operate in compliance with relevant Commonwealth legislation”.
Adelaide's first Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) Israeli Film Festival (IFF) has been picketed by boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign activists. Over September 5-9, more than a dozen activists took part in the pickets, organised by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA). AFOPA's Margaret Cassar told Green Left Weekly: “AFOPA held three protests outside the Palace Eastend Cinema to educate the public and Palace-Nova management about the cultural boycott against Israel.”
The newly formed Rainbow Youth Collective was officially launched in Adelaide at a social gathering at the activist centre on September 7. The event also marked Wear It Purple Day — a national youth day against homophobia. About 50 young people from a variety of backgrounds attended throughout the evening. The launch provided an excellent opportunity for networking between people involved in different queer groups in Adelaide with a rich variety of interests, contacts and specialty areas.
The Adelaide protest, part of a nationwide action around Australia organised by socialist youth group Resistance. Hungry Jacks, called Burger King in New Zealand, has been on a vicious anti-union worker rampage in New Zealand, paying pathetic wages then threatening young workers who dare to join the Unite union and organise for better pay and conditions.
A new group has formed in Adelaide to organise young people to fight against homophobia. The Rainbow Youth Collective was formed out of a discussion hosted by Resistance on the topic of homophobia and queer liberation, following the Adelaide equal marriage rally on August 11. Presentations by Resistance activists on the marriage campaign, the origins of homophobia and the next steps for the movement were followed by great discussion around issues facing young queer people today.
The South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC) brings together feminists from different backgrounds. It holds regular meetings and forums on issues relating to women in Australia today. The collective held a forum on reproductive rights last month, which focussed on the current legislation concerning abortion in South Australia. Abortion is still on the criminal code in South Australia.
Students will vote on proposed amendments to the University of South Australia's (UniSA) UniLife constitution from August 27 to September 3. UniLife provides various amenities to UniSA students and is run by an elected student board. Over the past nine months, the board has redrafted constitutional amendments 14 times. But the drafts were withheld from the wider student body until the board called a snap referendum on the amendments with a weeks’ notice.
This month, the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) will mark 100 weeks of protest against the sale of cosmetics containing minerals extracted from the Dead Sea — in Palestinian territory under Israeli military occupation — by Seacret. Seacret says on its website: “We believe everything we do must embody honesty and reflect purity.” Its products are made with “the ancient, and some say mystical, salts and minerals found only in one place on earth, the Dead Sea”.