Armidale

Members of Armidale Rural Australians for Refugees and the Socialist Alliance New England branch held their third weekly picket in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers at a busy intersection in Armidale, New South Wales, on September 22. It followed a successful action on September 15.

Protest organiser Bea Bleile said: “Manus Island and Nauru are not safe for refugees and asylum seekers. We call on the Australian government to bring all refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia immediately.

Indigenous students protested at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale on September 12 after UNE management failed to adequately address their concerns and made decisions without consulting them.

Chanting “About us without us — Tell us why do you doubt us”, Indigenous students delivered their demands to UNE’s senior management at the Oorala Aboriginal Centre.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has approved moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Armidale, despite one in five regulatory scientists quitting rather than move.

The $25 million move has sparked allegations of pork-barrelling, given Armidale is in Joyce's electorate of New England.

A Senate Estimates hearing heard APVMA staff have been working out of the local McDonald’s because no office space was available. The hearing also confirmed a new facility would need to be built to accommodate the agency.

Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas released the statement below on August 13. * * * Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas has raised questions about the so-called energy forum being held in Armidale this week, saying the invitation-only event smacks of a coal seam gas promotional event that is ignoring other energy options and riding roughshod over the interests of local farmers.
Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas released the statement below on May 3. * * * A large crowd of close to 200 people turned out for a special coal seam gas forum at the Armidale Town Hall to hear from experts who talked about the risks to water, health and the environment from coal seam gas mining. “The great turn-out for the Forum highlights again the wide and growing community opposition to coal seam gas mining,” said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas (AACSG).
After a screening of Gasland on August 10 attracted 60 people to Armidale’s Progressive Cinema, more than 30 people stayed after the film to discuss what to do locally. Carmel Flint, from the Northern Inland Council for the Environment, alerted those present to plans for coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga forest south of Narrabri and new coalmines endangering native forests. The meeting decided to form a local action group to stop coal and coal seam gas mining on agricultural land, as well as in native forests.
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