A rally for justice for Eddie Murray, a young Aboriginal man who was killed by "persons unknown" while detained in Wee Waa police station in north-western NSW on June 12, 1981. Anna Murray, Eddie's younger sister recalled answering the door to the police who came to arrest her brother 34 years ago. She was the last member of the family to see Eddie alive. She added that there had never been a protest in Wee Waa over her brother's death and she proposed that one be held there this time next year.
Legislation allowing the 99-year lease — effectively privatisation — of the majority of the NSW electricity network passed through state parliament on June 3. The bill was passed through the Legislative Council, after more than 60 amendments were debated, with the support of Rev Fred Nile's Christian Democrats. Labor and the Greens opposed the bill. Labor leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle said on June 3 that the outcome showed a debasing of parliamentary process:
About 300 people gathered outside Newtown’s Town Hall Hotel on June 8 to protest against the bashing of trans-woman Stephanie McCarthy as she was preparing to perform with her band at the hotel. The crowd were there to stand by McCarthy, condemn the hotel’s actions in not calling police or offering McCarthy support and protest against violence against women and transphobia. Speakers demanded that the community boycott the hotel until it apologises and offers McCarthy compensation. McCarthy gave this speech at the protest. * * *
Dozens of members and officials of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied at the Block on May 26to show support for the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) and its ongoing struggle for social housing for the Aboriginal community. They were also there to oppose the Aboriginal Housing Corporation’s attempt to evict the embassy from the site. The eviction notice for the embassy had come into effect that day.
The Baird Coalition government is rushing its legislation for the privatisation of NSW power assets through the Legislative Assembly, without waiting for the report of the Legislative Council’s inquiry into the sell-off, due on June 2. The move to fast track the bill before the inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile, releases its report, exposes the inquiry as a sham, according to Greens NSW MLC John Kaye. Premier Mike Baird has ridden roughshod over the process and denied the public a proper investigation into the long-term impacts of the sale.
A Friday night march through Sydney city streets marked the 67th anniversary of Al Nakba, “the catastrophe”, the beginning of the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.
NSW Greens MP John Kaye has slammed the upper house inquiry, chaired by Christian Democrats leader Fred Nile, into the government's planned privatisation of the state's "poles and wires" electricity network. The public was given just seven days to make written submissions into the future of the NSW electricity grid, and will not be able to appear in person before the inquiry. "By delivering a quick-and-nasty timetable to suit the political convenience of the [Mike] Baird government, Fred Nile has denied his inquiry any credibility," Kaye said on May 11.
More than 300 people packed the Redfern Community Centre on May 1 to pay their respects to Wiradjuri warrior Ray Jackson, who passed away on April 23. Jackson was the president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) and spent decades campaigning against black deaths in custody. Jackson’s family gave moving messages of thanks to a loving, intelligent father. His granddaughter, Oki, moved the crowd when she said, crying: “I know that if I want to be like you I have to be confident.”
Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy (RATE) has come under increasing attack at the same time as DeiCorp developers are advertising their proposed development with the tag line “"The Aboriginals have already moved out, now Redfern is the last virgin suburb close to city". RATE was established by Redfern residents as a protest against the proposed development on what is legally Aboriginal land of a block of commercial shops and student housing, by the Aboriginal Housing Company and developer DeiCorp.
Unions have warned that electricity consumers will be hit by worse services, reduced maintenance and slower emergency response times, after a decision by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in late April. The AER decision, which takes effect from July 1, sets revenues that the publicly owned NSW network companies Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, TransGrid and Essential Energy can charge private power retailers.
NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is likely to be called before the parliamentary inquiry into the state government's proposed privatisation of the "poles and wires" of the state's electricity industry in May. Baird will be questioned over allegations of government tampering with an expert report on the planned leasing of the power industry before the recent March state election.
Gas company Metgasco has won its case against the state government to reinstate its drilling licence at Bentley after it was suspended last year. However, Justice Richard Button said that while the suspension process undertaken by the government was not lawful, the judgement did not reflect the merits or otherwise of the suspension itself. Metgasco’s licence was suspended in May last year after a large community campaign against its plans to drill for unconventional gas at Rosella, about 15 kilometres from Lismore.