Perth

Western Australia goes to the polls on March 11. Green Left Weekly spoke to Chris Jenkins, who is standing for the Socialist Alliance in the seat of Fremantle about what is at stake.

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What are some of the key issues you want to raise this state election?

In contesting the state election, the Socialist Alliance hopes to start a public discussion about who is genuinely entitled to use the resources we have as a society and the processes by which they are allocated.

 

Corina Abraham is a Bilboolmirn Yorga, and recognised custodian of the Beeliar Wetlands in the lands of the Whadjuk people in the south-west of Western Australia. She is running as a Socialist Alliance WA candidate in the upcoming state election for the lower house seat of Willagee.

She spoke to Chris Jenkins about why she is standing in the election.

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Aunty Corina, what inspired you to run as a candidate?

The dual trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Western Australia has ended with a bilateral agreement signed on February 1 by the WA state and federal governments.

The WA model got the guernsey and will be locally run and administered. Starting in July, it will be rolled out to an estimated 39,000 people over the next three years. WA will pay all the administration and operating costs but governance responsibilities will be shared nationally.

The Socialist Alliance is fielding four activists in the March 11 Western Australia state election under the slogan “For the billions, not the billionaires!”

All four candidates are involved in the campaign to stop the Roe 8 highway and are passionate about creating a society that puts people and the planet ahead of the big corporations.

The Western Australian Division of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) released this statement on December 9.

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In a move unprecedented in the Higher Education sector Murdoch University management have applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the enterprise agreement covering academic and general staff at the University.

The nearly two-year struggle against the Perth Freight Link (PFL) freeway project is entering what may be a decisive period. While the campaign on the street has quietened somewhat, that may soon change.

While the Colin Barnett government beat a strategic retreat on Stage 2, it has declared its intention to push ahead with Stage 1 (Roe 8) through the Beeliar Wetlands. The Premier even claims that construction may begin before Christmas.

Up to 1000 people gathered outside state Parliament on November 15 to protest against plans by the Western Australian Coalition government to sell the state’s main electricity provider, Western Power.

The protest was organised by the Use your Power Group, headed by the Australian Services Union (ASU) and Electrical Trades Union. There was also strong support from the Maritime Union of Australia, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, United Voice, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and State School Teachers Union.

In response to the election of right-wing billionaire Donald Trump as president elect in the US, a “Dump Trump” protest was organised on November 12.

The action was in solidarity with African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQIA people, the disabled and women, all of whom have borne the brunt of attacks by Trump and his supporters as they exploited xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and misogyny during the long election campaign.

Clinton Pryor left Matagarup (Heirisson Island) on September 1. It was the start of his long walk to Kalgoorlie, then on to Uluru, south to Adelaide, then Melbourne and Sydney. He plans to finally arrive in Canberra in the second week of January, 2017.

Clinton is a young committed Aboriginal warrior for justice and is a supporter of Green Left Weekly.

“The thing I cherish most in my life was living in community out on country with my mother and my people. My mum was a very happy and lovely lady. She was a person who believed in happiness," he told GLW.

A 19-year-old Aboriginal man, charged with sexually assaulting two children and who later had the charges dropped, is still living under a conditional release order. Green Left Weekly's Janet Parker spoke to the CEO of Developmental Disability WA Taryn Harvey about how the law is failing people with disabilities and how it can be changed.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett survived a leadership challenge on September 20, easily seeing off his former Transport minister Dean Nalder. Another minister also resigned from cabinet in solidarity with Nalder in the lead up to the contest, which has been brewing since the start of the year.

Australia's largest cities are urban planning disaster zones. Two facts in particular bear this out. First is the ongoing housing affordability crisis, which shows no sign of abating. Second is the relentless march of car-dependent urban sprawl, which continues to devour remnant native vegetation and good farming land. You get an eyeful of this latter problem as you approach Perth by plane, by some accounts the second-biggest metropolis in the world by surface area.
On August 4 the family of Ms Dhu and their supporters marked the second anniversary of her death in police custody in South Headland with a rally outside Perth's Central Law Courts. Ms Dhu's family is calling for an independent investigation into her death, as well as demanding the release of CCTV footage that shows her last hours alive in custody. Ms Dhu, who was 22 years old at the time, had been detained for the non-payment of fines amounting to $3622, but died within two days of being taken into custody.
Hundreds of people marched in Perth on July 23 to say that #BlackLivesMatter. The rally included strong expressions of solidarity with Nyoongar and Aboriginal campaigns for justice and sovereignty as well as expressions of anti-racism. Here are some of the photos from the event.
Maintenance workers at Griffin Coal and their supporters held a protest outside the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Perth's CBD on July 5. They called for a stay on the commission's decision to terminate the recent enterprise bargaining agreement between the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and the company, citing the latter's alleged unprofitability. Griffin Coal claims to be surviving only due to financial support from its parent company, Lanco Infratech. The 70 workers, who work at Collie in WA's south-west, face a 43% pay cut if the FWC's decision were to stand.

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