Australia

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."

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.

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.

More than 100 people attended a rally on June 24 to protest against the impending deportation of a Tamil family.

Nades, Priya and their two children had been living in Biloela, a small town in Queensland, for four years. On March 5 at 5am, their home was surrounded by 40 police and Border Force officers, and they were taken away with only 10 minutes to pack.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has welcomed as a “victory for common sense” a Federal Court decision on June 21 to reject massive fines sought by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) over the Hutchison Ports dispute three years ago.

On August 6, 2015, Hutchison Ports Australia sacked 100 workers at its Port Botany terminal by text message the day before many were due to go on shift. The company then placed guards on the gates and workers were not even allowed to clear out their lockers.

The grassroots campaign to increase welfare payments for the unemployed received a boost on June 12 from the national body that represents councils across Australia.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) overwhelmingly voted in support of a motion calling on the federal government to increase the Newstart Allowance, the Centrelink payment for unemployed people.

In April Adani applied to the federal Department of Environment and Energy to expand a dam by 450% and build a pipeline for its Carmichael coalmine, without an assessment under national environment laws.

The Victorian Socialists’ campaign to get Stephen Jolly elected to the Victorian Legislative Council ramped up on June 17, as nearly 100 people blitzed the Richmond electoral district in the party’s first major doorknock of its campaign.

Activists, including candidates Jolly, Socialist Alliance’s Sue Bolton and Socialist Alternative’s Colleen Bolger, braved the rain, wind and frigid temperatures to knock on more than 2000 doors. The response received was mostly warm and positive.

A group of about 80 activists from across the state climbed the steep mountain slopes in the Rubicon State Forest in Victoria’s Central Highlands on June 9 to highlight one of Victoria’s largest logged areas.

The group held a 25 metre-long banner saying “Save the Rubicon — Stop the Logging” and a second 13 metre-long banner saying “Forests for Life Not Logging” as they stood in the devastated landscape.

Refugee supporters interrupted question time and occupied the public gallery and foyer of Victorian parliament on June 19, demanding the state government cancel its contracts with Wilson Security over its role in Australia’s offshore refugee detention centres.

The activists, members of Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA), held banners that read “Refugee abusers are guarding our parliament” and “Vic govt  — refuse to be complicit”.

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