Parramatta

While polls are giving the Yes vote for marriage equality a substantial lead, campaigners for equality do not want to leave any vote to chance. 

They have and are organising across the country until November 7 — the final deadline to return postal survey forms to the Australian Electoral Commission.

Phil Bradley, the first Greens councillor elected to Parramatta Council, knows the next period will be a testing time.

Western Sydney University (WSU) staff went on strike on September 20 over stalled negotiations on their pay and working conditions. The half-day strike and rally, called by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), took place at WSU’s Parramatta City Campus.

University management has delayed the bargaining process by unilaterally removing core entitlements from the NTEU’s enterprise agreements, while resisting members’ key demands. Staff at WSU say they are concerned about looming job cuts, the downgrading of classifications, increased workloads and job insecurity.

In March last year, I ended an 18-month relationship that had become a physical and emotional torment. Although more than a year has passed since then, the harsh reality is that I — like so many other women — have been harassed my whole life simply because I was born female.

In Year 5, I was a topic of conversation among my male classmates because I was the first girl in class to start wearing a training bra. They would snap my bra straps every chance they got.

Iranian refugee Majid Rabet could not hold back his tears as he recounted the details of the suicide of his best friend, an Iraqi refugee, in Villawood Detention Centre.

“I was the first person who went in the bathroom and saw he hanged himself. I lifted him upwards to keep him alive, but he was already dead,” Majid said.

A new terror campaign aimed at young people — particularly Muslims — was launched in Sydney’s western suburbs following the fatal shootings of two people outside Parramatta police station on October 2.

The tragic shooting of police technician Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar and his shooting by special forces police have allowed fear-mongering politicians a new round of Muslim bashing. This time it is being led by the so-called “Mr Nice Guy” — New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.

The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on August 21.

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“Parramatta City Council has a civic responsibility to respond urgently to the report from the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) that the lack of affordable housing has reached crisis levels”, said Kerryn Williams, a Socialist Alliance candidate for the Woodville ward in the Parramatta council election.

The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on August 13.

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“Building larger and larger carparks next to railway stations is not the solution to congestion,” says John Coleman, the lead Socialist Alliance candidate for the Woodville ward in the Parramatta local election. “Public transport needs to be planned and maintained to provide a complete alternative to cars — not to encourage even more cars onto the road.”

Coleman is a CityRail worker, a public transport activist and a long-time resident of Granville.

For the 2.5 million people living and working in Sydney’s western suburbs, the future looks very grim unless serious action on climate change begins immediately.

A Climate Commission report released last month,  The Critical Decade, reveals that rising temperatures in western Sydney will impact adversely on many aspects of residents’ lives, from the water supply to mental health and crime levels.

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