Melbourne

A “Homes not Prisons” event in Fitzroy on July 18 attracted more than 100 concerned public housing residents and community members from across Melbourne to the Atherton Gardens public housing precinct.

The aim was to highlight the staggering inequity of expenditure by state and federal governments on prisons compared to public housing for the vulnerable in the community.

After 12 days on strike, workers at Laverton Cold Storage voted on July 6 for their first union workplace agreement.

Emma Kerin from the National Union of Workers told Green Left Weekly that the striking workers had voted unanimously to return to work after endorsing a new EBA that includes significant gains for the workers.

Bus drivers employed in Victoria have been forced to take strike action — the first in 20 years — because of the bosses' ridiculously small wage offer.

Hundreds of students attending the Students of Sustainability (SOS) conference, together with activists from Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) and Disarm Universities occupied three sites in Melbourne on July 11 to highlight corporate, government and university complicity in the cycle of war, climate destruction and abuse of refugees.

Nearly 80 workers at Laverton Cold Storage in Melbourne’s western suburbs went on strike for the first time on June 25 when negotiations for their first enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) broke down.

The Laverton workers are the lowest paid cold storage workers in Victoria, with a base rate of $20.50 an hour — only 30 cents more than the minimum wage. They work in sub-zero temperatures ranging from -10°C to -35°C. Laverton Cold Storage recently doubled the size of its facility in Truganina, showing it is not short of money.

More than 100 people attended a rally on June 24 to protest against the impending deportation of a Tamil family.

Nades, Priya and their two children had been living in Biloela, a small town in Queensland, for four years. On March 5 at 5am, their home was surrounded by 40 police and Border Force officers, and they were taken away with only 10 minutes to pack.

Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH) has decided to halve its funding for the Pregnancy Advisory Service (PAS), a vital Melbourne service.

This decision is particularly baffling in the light of the health minister’s commitment to fund a state-wide service which, by all accounts, would have gone to the RWH. Tragically, the RWH has backed away and instead decided to reduce the service.

The funding was picked up by Women’s Health Victoria to develop 1800 My Options, an online, state-wide phone service providing information on sexual and reproductive health service.

The Victorian Socialists’ campaign to get Stephen Jolly elected to the Victorian Legislative Council ramped up on June 17, as nearly 100 people blitzed the Richmond electoral district in the party’s first major doorknock of its campaign.

Activists, including candidates Jolly, Socialist Alliance’s Sue Bolton and Socialist Alternative’s Colleen Bolger, braved the rain, wind and frigid temperatures to knock on more than 2000 doors. The response received was mostly warm and positive.

The rape and murder of comedian Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne on June 12 has prompted a nationwide discussion about the endemic nature of male violence against women, as well as a push for solutions — short and long-term.

MARGARITA WINDISCH, a sexual assault councillor and educator on family violence at Victoria University, spoke to 3CR on June 18. Below is a transcript of her remarks. The full Podcast can be found here.

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The annual Melbourne Green Left Comedy Debate held in Brunswick Town Hall on June 16 started off on a sad note with a tribute in words and song to Eurydice Dixon, a young woman comedian who was murdered on her way home from a gig on June 12.

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