Two hundred people came from as far away as Gympie, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba to join a Thursday morning protest outside Queensland parliament. The protest was against the proposed Adani coal mine in the Galilee basin.
The Brisbane Labour Day rally was touted as "historic" and one of the largest rallies in recent years with approximately 30,000 unionists marching in Brisbane. Other rallies took place in regional centres around Queensland.
Opposition to penalty rate cuts was strong throughout the rally with most union contingents featuring signs on the issue. Queensland Council of Unions officials also highlighted the issue on the day.
Independent Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has called on the Queensland state government to establish a state-owned insurance office to ease the increasingly unaffordable home insurance premiums in Queensland.
The office of Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was occupied for 11 hours on April 4 by Galilee Blockade grandparent activists. As Infrastructure Minister, Trad has the power to veto the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan funding to Adani (or Aurizon) for the development of rail links, which are essential for the coalmine to go ahead.
About 50 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members and supporters occupied the foyer of the Brisbane offices of Rio Tinto on March 28.
Rio Tinto has reneged on its agreement with the MUA to have 70–80% Australian crew on its coastal fleet. Instead it is using exploited foreign workers who are paid $3–4 per hour. This is despite posting a $6 billion profit last year.
A bill to remove the controversial "gay panic" defence from Queensland law was passed on March 21. It had been used by people accused of murder to claim they were provoked due to an unwanted homosexual advance.
Those who pleaded under section 304 of the Criminal Code (killing on provocation) reduced their criminal responsibility to manslaughter and avoided life in jail.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the bill delivered on an important promise to the LGBTI community of Queensland.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should hang her head in shame. She has proven once again that the word “Labor” in “Australian Labor Party” has no connection with the interests of working people in Australia — or anywhere else.
Palaszczuk headed a delegation to India on March 17 to underscore her government’s support for the Adani company’s proposed Carmichael thermal coalmine. If it is given the go ahead, it will be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It would be the first for the Galilee Basin, and it would open the door to more.
On March 22, the day after the NT parliament legislated to decriminalise abortion (see page 4), doctors in Queensland called on the state government to follow suit.
Nineteen doctors who are current or recent providers of abortion services in Queensland have signed a letter to the state premier calling for abortion decriminalisation to be resolved in the current term of parliament. This follows another delay in achieving legal reform after private member's bills were withdrawn earlier this year.
The signatories include an overwhelming majority of doctors performing abortion in Queensland.