Melbourne

Eighty people attended the launch of Ben Hillier’s new book Losing Santhia, which was organised by the Tamil Refugee Council on July 27. Santhia was a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka who had been a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and who died in Indonesia in 2017.

Victorian Socialists (VS) held its second members’ conference on July 21, where attendees discussed the next steps for this emergent electoral force, formed a little over a year ago.

The coronial inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, due to start on August 26, will be the first of its kind to consider the role systemic racism plays in an Aboriginal person’s death in custody.

The Victorian Ambulance Union (VAU) registered as an incorporated association after breaking away from United Voice on July 4. Green Left Weekly’s Sarah Hathway spoke to VAU general secretary Danny Hill about why paramedics and ambulance workers decided on this course.

RMIT University professor Rob Watts believes Australia needs a “Green Fair Go” — akin to the United States proposal of a “Green New Deal” — that would include a commitment to full employment through jobs linked to combating climate change.

Trade unionists and community activists converged at the DP World container terminal on Swanson Dock, West Melbourne, on July 12 to support the 600 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members midway through their four-day strike action.

Since its opening mid-last year, Melbourne’s safe injecting room in North Richmond has received significant media attention, not all of it positive.

Victoria’s Legislative Council passed the Fire Services Reform Bill on June 20, giving firefighters who develop certain types of cancer the presumptive right to compensation. Under the new law, they will no longer have to prove that the cancer was caused by firefighting.

3CR Community Radio in Melbourne is holding its annual radiothon to raise essential funds.

The Andrews’ Labor government allocated $1.8 billion in the state budget on May 27, to build 1600 new prison cells in Victoria and less than one sixth of that amount — $209 million — for 1000 social housing units.

But the capital expenditure is just the tip of the iceberg. The annual recurrent cost of imprisoning a person in a Victoria is about $125,000, while housing a family in a public housing dwelling costs about $6400.

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