As concerned Australians, we condemn Turkey’s invasion of the mainly Kurdish canton of Afrin in northern Syria, and demand that the Australian Government do all in its power to protest and stop Turkey’s brazen criminal aggression.

In an event organised by Fighting In Resistance Equally (FIRE) on January 26, more than 10,000 people gathered at The Block in Redfern to pay their respects to Australia’s first nations and show support for Indigenous rights.

Ken Canning, chairman of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, kicked off the event by saying: “It’s really great to see all of these faces here. We want this to be a healing day and we need this to be a peaceful event.” He added: “We are peaceful people despite what the media says.”

Since the 2010 declaration of the Anna Bligh state Labor government that Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine and rail project in Central Queensland was being assessed as a “significant project”, opponents have raised the shady dealings of the company on its home turf, India.

The continued support for the project by Labor and Coalition forces in Queensland and Canberra, in the face of the growing likelihood of the project achieving “stranded asset” status as sources of financing dry up, raises the question: “What is in it for the pollies?”

The South Australian government has begun a public consultation on whether to hold a trial of underground coal gasification (UCG). The practice was banned in Queensland after it caused “irreversible” damage to hundreds of square kilometres of valuable Darling Downs farming land.

Around 500 refugees on Nauru have signed a petition to Australian Border Force demanding a timetable for refugee resettlement, to be immediately resettled in Australia pending any further resettlement options and to reunite families that have been separated.

About 130 refugees will fly to the US in the next month: 40 refugees flew from Port Moresby on January 23 and the remaining 90 refugees from Nauru are scheduled to fly in February.

More than 200 detainees at detention centres in Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, were on hunger strike for five days from January 15–19 in protest at visitor restrictions announced by Border Force.

Beginning January 22, visitors will have to give five days’ notice of any visit and fill in a five-page form, with actual visits restricted to one-on-one.

Visitors will be required to provide 100 points of identification.

The board of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has voted to support a proposed new enterprise agreement negotiated with the United Firefighters Union (UFU). The agreement will now be put to a vote of MFB staff.

The document includes clauses requiring management to consult the union over a range of issues, including equipment and uniforms. It safeguards firefighters’ pay, conditions and rosters. It ensures safe staffing levels and safe work practices. It also establishes a joint union/management committee to promote diversity.

Bupa Aged Care has agreed to a wage increase of 11.25% over three years after more than 1000 aged care nurses and carers in Victoria took part in protected industrial action affecting 26 nursing homes.

The new enterprise agreement also includes significant improvements to workplace entitlements and workload management.

About 90 workers at envelope manufacturer Australian Paper’s Preston plant stopped work on January 16 and formed a picket in front of the factory after nine months of negotiations failed to secure a new enterprise agreement.

About 50 representatives of Australian unions rallied outside the Consulate of Fiji in North Sydney on January 18 to protest the lock-out of 200 airport workers at Nadi International Airport in Fiji. The workers, including baggage handlers, check-in staff and caterers, had been locked out by the management of Air Terminal Services (ATS) since December 16.


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