Australia

 

Dozens of creative and disruptive actions were held across Australia under the banner of “drawing a red line” on new coal. Organised by Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC) and local Stop Adani groups, people from Auckland to Melbourne and many regional communities protested outside politicians’ offices, dropped banners over freeways and blockaded coal train lines.

Polls show more than 55% of Australians oppose the Adani coalmine, with about 70% opposing government financial support for it.

A protest at the University of Sydney on June 27 demanded the University Senate drop its talks with the multibillion dollar Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, which had offered millions to the university to offer a “Western Civilisation” degree.

"The refugee crisis is a union issue, as well as a social justice issue," Australian Services Union (ASU) NSW and ACT deputy secretary Judith Wright told about 100 people on June 27 at the "Change the Rules for Refugees" forum organised by Unions for Refugees.

"The ASU has members in support services for refugees. They see first-hand the results of the oppression and violence suffered by asylum seekers," she said.

Delivery rider Josh Klooger told the Fair Work Commission on July 3 that he deserves rights and protections, after Foodora sacked him earlier this year when he challenged their low rates and poor conditions.

The hearing is the first involving an unfair dismissal of a worker in the gig economy.

Ahead of the hearing, Klooger said: “Riders deserve fair rates, superannuation and protections when they are sick and injured on the job.

"We deserve the right to be able to challenge unfair sackings and speak out about the way we are treated.

The Australian government’s July 3 announcement that it had axed its contributions to the Palestinian Authority (PA) through the World Bank's Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program has been condemned by Palestinian activists.

The Ngara Institute’s annual Activist of the Year award was shared by the Knitting Nannas Against Gas, whose creative and persistent nonviolent strategies have been so important at blockades and protests, and Annie Kia, who developed the hugely successful “neighbour to neighbour” community engagement process for Lock the Gate.

The award was presented on June 30 at Ngara’s annual lecture in Mullumbimby, presented by former Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs.

Buru Energy has admitted in its submission to the Western Australian Fracking Inquiry that testing of flowback fluids from its 2015 fracking operations in the Kimberley showed elevated levels of the chemical contaminants boron and barium and the radionuclide radium-228.

The Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) is continuing its fight to protect farmland and water resources in the Darling Downs in Queensland from the $900 million Stage 3 expansion of New Hope Coal’s New Acland Coalmine (NAC).

It has filed an objection to the Queensland Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the historic Land Court recommendation that Stage 3 be rejected. The Supreme Court has ruled the matter will be referred to a different Member of the Land Court for further consideration.

All 38 children held in detention in the Northern Territory — 17 in Darwin’s Don Dale detention centre and 21 in Alice Springs — are Aboriginal, a parliamentary committee was told on June 20.

Deputy chief executive of the NT Families Department Jeanette Kerr was being questioned about how the rate of Aboriginal children in detention had changed since the Royal Commission into Juvenile Detention.

“As of today, 100% of the children in detention are Aboriginal,” she said. “The proportions have not changed since the royal commission."

A community campaign has successfully pushed for the Melbourne electorate of Batman to be renamed Cooper after Yorta Yorta political activist and Aboriginal community leader William Cooper.

The electorate had been named after Melbourne founder John Batman, who was involved in massacres of Aboriginal people in Tasmania before he “bought” land around Port Phillip Bay from the Wurundjeri people.

Pages

Subscribe to Australia