The recent elections in the Maritime Union of Australia made Bob Carnegie secretary of the Queensland branch. Carnegie is a committed socialist who has been a union, social justice and community activist in Queensland since the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era. More recently he risked prison, under the then-Campbell Newman government’s anti-union laws, leading a community campaign in defence of construction workers on the Brisbane Children’s Hospital building site. Green Left Weekly’s Margaret Gleeson spoke to Carnegie about his plans for the union. * * *
The Queensland government has announced plans to open the first training prison of its kind because of critical jail overcrowding across the state. The government’s $145 million plan is to recommission the old Borallon Correctional Centre, west of Ipswich, and turn it into an "earn or learn" facility, catering specifically for inmates who are 18 to 30 years old. There has been a 30% rise in prisoner numbers since 2012 and every male prison in the state is now overcrowded. The new prison will house about 500 prisoners.
More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining. The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled to Brisbane for the rally.
On May 2, following the rally in King George Square to oppose the forced closures of Indigenous Communities in WA, activists spontaneously marched into the Auditorium of City Hall and occupied it. The Aboriginal flag was strung over the podium and we engaged in a peaceful but uncompromising sit-in demanding the media's presence to cover our resistance to what is happening in W.A.
As the Galilee Basin project faces legal challenges by Aboriginal and other community groups and international banks refuse to finance it, the environment movement is focusing its campaign on ensuring that the Australian Big 4 banks also withhold finance.
Representatives of the Wangan and Jagalingou people made this announcement on March 27. * * * The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people announced today that they have rejected an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Indian giant Adani to build the huge Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. The W&J are the Indigenous traditional owners of the lands earmarked for the mine and of much of the Galilee Basin.
A month after the Labor landslide electoral victory, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has begun to fine-tune her government’s opposition to the sale of public assets. The sale of public assets caused the demise of both the previous Labor and Liberal-National Party governments. The Palaszczuk Labor government was elected on a platform of halting the proposed sale of state assets, such as electricity and ports.
Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who chaired the Special Task force on Domestic and Family Violence, handed the report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on February 28. The task force was established on September 10 last year by the previous LNP government and charged to deliver its findings by February 28. It included several now-former MPs.
As predicted by opinion polls, Liberal National Party (LNP) Premier Campbell Newman was an early casualty on election night, January 31. He was defeated in his electorate of Ashgrove by Kate Jones, the Environment Minister in the previous Labor government. He is the first incumbent premier to lose his seat in Australia. With more than 70% of the votes counted at the close of counting on election night, the outcome for the ALP was even better than opinion polls had predicted.
A week before the Queensland election more than 500 people rallied against premier Campbell Newman and the Liberal National Party on January 24. Speakers included Indigenous activist Sam Watson, Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union Peter Simpson, Debbie Kilroy from Sisters Inside, Drew Hutton from Lock The Gate Alliance and Greens candidate Jonathan Sri.