Naarm/Melbourne

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he will amend the Fair Work Act to make it possible for the federal government to block the proposed new enterprise agreement for firefighters employed by Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA). Turnbull said he will introduce legislation in the first sitting week of the new parliament to expand the list of "objectionable terms" that cannot be included in enterprise agreements.
Carlton and United Brewery (CUB) is trying to impose a 65% pay cut on its maintenance workforce. The 54 electricians and fitters were called to a meeting in a pub on June 10 and told their jobs were terminated. They were then told they could reapply for their jobs with a company called Catalyst Recruitment which is part of the Programmed/Skilled Group. Five apprentices have been left in limbo with no jobs and no trade qualifications.
NAIDOC Naarm/Melbourne 2016

About 1200 people marched through Melbourne on July 8 in the annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) march. The rally demanded "Treaty Now", "Land Rights" and "Stop Deaths in Custody".

Socialist councillor Sue Bolton convinced Moreland Council on July 13 to reinstate the after-hours Aged and Disability Home Support Services for existing clients as well as new ones. Bolton said she was enormously grateful to the parents of children with disabilities who spoke up on behalf of all the parents who were unable to come to the meeting or who didn’t think it was possible to fight the cut. “Those parents put a human face on the implications of a very bureaucratic cut: their stories had an impact on the other councillors”, Bolton told Green Left Weekly.
In a moment of devastating irony, former immigration minister Philip Ruddock, the man responsible for “children overboard” and the architect behind what became the anti-terror laws, has been nominated as Australia's UN Special Envoy for Human Rights. On July 12, Ruddock was given a platform at the Wheeler Centre — which claims he has “been a vocal advocate on several human rights issues” — to talk “human rights, the death penalty, and the changing Australian political landscape”.
United Firefighters Union (UFU) members handed out leaflets at polling booths in Victorian marginal seats on election day, in an attempt to counter a Liberal scare campaign against a new enterprise agreement for UFU members employed by the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The Liberals falsely claim that the agreement gives the UFU the power of veto over CFA management decisions, and that it would prevent volunteer firefighters from fighting fires unless seven professional firefighters were present. They claim that the agreement endangers public safety.
Dozens of Gippsland dairy workers have been locked out indefinitely by milk producer Parmalat. When workers arrived at the gates of the Parmalat-owned Longwarry Food Park, east of Melbourne, on July 5, they were met with news of the lockout and closure of the site. The Longwarry workforce is among the lowest-paid in the dairy industry according to the National Union of Workers, and had been calling for improved conditions in their pay deal to bring them in line with other Parmalat sites.
On June 26, Hundreds of people rallied against racism in Melbourne on June 26. Far-right groups True Blue Crew and United Patriot Front organised an Australian National Flag Solidarity Walk at Parliament House in Melbourne that attracted about 50 people. In response Campaign Against Racism and Fascism organised a counter-rally also at Parliament House, which was attended by 200 to 300 protesters, easily outnumbering the far right. The counter-rally occupied the space between police lines and prevented the United Patriots and True Blue Crew from rallying outside Parliament.
About 200 people rallied on June 26 demanding people charged under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 be freed and allowed to stay in Australia. More than 190 people, mostly New Zealanders, have been ripped away from their families and put in prison on Christmas Island, 380 kilometres south of Java and 2650 kilometres north-west of Perth, pending deportation. The numbers are set to increase.
Members of the Bendigo Street housing protest rallied in Melbourne on June 26 to demand affordable public housing and condemn the privatisation of public housing. Victoria is facing a housing crisis, with more than 25,000 people homeless and 32,000 people on the waiting list for public housing. There are an estimated 80,000 empty homes, including many compulsorily acquired by the government to build the East West Link that now remain empty.
The United Firefighters Union (UFU) has produced a TV advertisement responding to a scare campaign against a new enterprise agreement for firefighters employed by Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA). Anti-union forces claim the agreement will damage the CFA and undermine its ability to fight fires.
Signs at the vigil

On June 25 a vigil was held outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne to pay tribute to the Mexican teachers who were murdered by police during protests organised by the CNTE teachers' union in Oaxaca last week.