Under the banner of the Lock the Gate Alliance, about 100 demonstrators assembled outside Brisbane’s Convention Centre for the Queensland Gas Conference and exhibition on October 9 to protest their exclusion from the Australian Petroleum and Production Association’s (APPEA) inaugural Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Conference and Exhibition. Lock the Gate formally requested that its observers be permitted entry to the conference seminars concerning “social licence to operate”.
Police arrested and handcuffed two Brisbane-based activists, Rebecca Barrigos and Sid Zaoichi, after they set up a stall and petition against the state government’s budget cuts at a Brisbane university campus on September 21. Green Left Weekly’s Liam Flenady spoke to Barrigos about the arrests and the campaigns against austerity and for free speech in Queensland. * * * What were you and fellow activist Sid Zaoichi campaigning for on campus and why was security called to evict you?
Queenslanders continue to stand up against state Liberal National Party premier Campbell Newman's vicious austerity budget and job cuts, with several hundred joining a rally and march to parliament on September 22. The rally was organised by the Queensland Uncut coalition. Activists and members of the community sector gave speeches to the rally about the many people affected by the cuts and reiterated the need for a strong, sustained campaign.
A day after the Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP)’s slash-and-burn budget was handed down, huge union rallies — the biggest since the campaign against the Howard government’s Work Choices laws — took place on September 12. Ten thousand workers marched on parliament house in Brisbane, and marches and rallies were also held in several regional centres, such as Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.
The Liberal-National Party government announced a swathe of new job cuts on September 7 before its first budget on September 11. Queensland Health has been the latest victim, with 2700 jobs set to be dusted. This has again outed Premier Campbell Newman as a fraud and cheat. His previous claims that regional centres would not bear the brunt of his public sector pruning and that front line services would be off limits have been rendered meaningless. The September 3 Townsville Bulletin said the city had suffered 550 job losses since Newman came to power.
Up to 1000 students rallied on August 29 at the University of Queensland (UQ) to demand fair student elections at the university. Recently UQ has been the site of a scandal involving incumbent Liberal-aligned "Fresh" ticket, which has been accused of perverting electoral procedures and misusing union funds for their own election promotional material.
In the lead up to its first budget next month, Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP) government has intensified its slash-and-burn approach to public and community services. In its first 100 days in office, it axed 7000 public service jobs. Premier Campbell Newman says a further 13,000 job cuts are to come. Newman has wielded his axe indiscriminately. School cleaners, teachers’ aides, child safety, paramedics, firefighters, local courts, QBuild tradesmen and apprentices are all in the firing line.
About 300 people rallied for equal marriage rights outside today's Liberal National Party Queensland state conference in Brisbane July 14. Protesters waved banners and signs opposing the recently elected Campbell Newman government's recent attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGTBI) people’s rights.