Australia

[The following letter was sent by Dr Kamala Emanuel to the Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman on August 8 in response to his government's decision not to allow public hospitals to provide abortion access from July 1. Emanuel sent it to Green Left Weekly in the wake of the public furore over Cricket Australia's decision to sack Angela Williamson because of her tweets campaigning for abortion access in the state.]

Dear Premier,

I lived for 9 years in Tasmania. My daughter was born at home in Glenorchy.

Two new reports by ecologists say Santos’s Response to Submissions (RTS) failed to address how endangered species will be impacted by its controversial Narrabri Coal Seam Gas (CSG) project in the Pilliga Forest.

An event continuing the open discussion on solutions to gendered violence was held on July 31 at the Resistance Centre in Melbourne.

Guest speakers were Sumaiya Muyeen, PhD in Gender and Cultural studies; Margarita Windisch, feminist activist and Socialist Alliance member; and Pia Cerveri, Women's and Equality Co-lead organiser at Victorian Trades Hall. An open discussion was held afterward.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash may find herself in front of a court if the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) decides to lay charges over leaks from her office regarding a raid on the Australian Workers Union (AWU) last October.

The Australian Federal Police is referring material such as witness statements, emails, text messages and phone records to the CDPP over the next few weeks.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Stastics on July 24 show 28,600 or 16.5% of people experiencing homelessness in Australia have full-time jobs.

The figures also show more than one-third of homeless people aged over 15 are employed in some capacity.

A total of 61,500 people are employed in some way, but their wages do not pay enough to put a roof over their head.

Nearly half the homeless population — 45.6% — is either in work or looking for work, and the unemployment rate for people experiencing homelessness is 22.5%.

Just two years after announcing a ban on greyhound racing, only to reverse it six weeks later, the NSW government announced on July 31 it will provide $500,000 in prize money to the industry to create the richest greyhound racing event in the world.

The inaugural Million Dollar Chase will consist of a series of qualifying finals in regional areas, before culminating in a finals series at Wentworth Park.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) launched its "Give 'Em the Boot" campaign, aimed at ending Australia's Force Posture Agreement with the US and sending US Marines based in Darwin back home, at a "Keep Australia out of US wars" public meeting on July 17.

A meeting of 80 anti-racist and anti-war activists, unionists, students and Greens MPs launched a protest alliance on July 25 to prepare for US President Donald Trump's potential visit to Australia in November.

The alliance wants to create a strong, broad-based opposition to Trump and the Australian government's invitation for him to visit. It appears Trump plans to visit after the APEC meeting in November in Papua New Guinea, possibly on November 19.

The community in Western Sydney is celebrating the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) decision made on July 19 to dump The Next Generation’s application for a waste-to-energy incinerator at Eastern Creek that would have affected air quality throughout Sydney.

The IPC cancelled Dial a Dump Industries’ incinerator plan as “the project is not in the public interest because there is uncertainty around the project’s impacts on air quality, water quality and human health”.

Several hundred people gathered in the historic Thompson Square, in the town of Windsor, north-west of Sydney on July 22 to demand a royal commission into transport infrastructure and planning in NSW.

The rally was organised by CAWB (Community Action for Windsor Bridge) — Save Windsor from the RTA (Roads and Transport Authority). CAWB is a grassroots organisation that has been fighting for five years against NSW government plans to demolish the historic Windsor Bridge for a major arterial road, which will also destroy historic Thompson Square, the oldest square in Australia.

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