The Queensland government's Reef Water Quality Protection Plan released its Report Card 2014 on September 21. It states, “Results show the need to accelerate the rate of change and drive innovation to meet the ambitious targets.” Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles, who released the report, said there was more bad news than good in the report. “If one of my kids came home with a report card like this, I'd be a bit disappointed,” he said.
Three separate domestic violence deaths just days apart in south-east Queensland have prompted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to fast-track the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence. The deaths of a child and two women between September 7 and 10 occurred less than a month after the government published its response to the Task Force’s report, Not now, not ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland.
More than 30 people attended the Brisbane launch of Women of Steel: Gender, Jobs and Justice at BHP on September 17 The book documents the 14-year landmark struggle for jobs, which began in the 1980s when a group of mainly migrant women took on The Big Australian and won.
More than 200 people rallied to support of maintaining penalty rates at Capalaba Sports Club on September 5. The protest was called by United Voice to protest against the club’s decision to scrap penalty rates for workers and sack those who would not sign an agreement to trade away penalty rates, which would mean a wage cut of up to $300 a week.
By the time Manus Island detainee Hamid Kehazaei was transferred to Australia he was already brain dead, documents produced at a pre-inquest conference show. He was transferred from Port Moresby in a comatose state and confirmed dead on arrival at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital. Kehazaei was transferred from Christmas Island to in September 2013. On August 23 last year he was given intravenous antibiotics for a leg ulcer. When it had not improved two days later a request for urgent removal to hospital was made. This was not approved until the following day.
Asylum seekers from Iran whose claims for refugee status have been rejected are being intimidated into “voluntary” repatriation. The Australian government does not have an agreement with the Iranian government which will not accept the forced return of those who have fled the country.
More than 100 people attended a rally in Brisbane on August 8, organised by health professionals against the Border Force Act. The Act makes it illegal for health workers working in detention centres to speak out against conditions, risking a 2-year custodial sentence.
The peaceful community assembly at the Port of Brisbane.
More than 100 people rallied on July 25 to campaign against the promotion of rape culture and the vilification of women as displayed on vans hired to backpackers by Wicked Campers. Last year, more than 127,000 Australians signed a petition calling for Wicked Campers to remove its misogynist slogans. Greens Senator Larissa Waters moved a resolution condemning Wicked Campers. It was seconded by Labor Senator Claire Moore and passed unanimously.
More than 150 people, including Reef town locals and traditional owners, gathered outside the Brisbane headquarters of Indian mining corporation Adani on July 16.
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.
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. * * *
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.