Australian News

GLW Issue 1051

LONELY PLANET REMOVES WICKED CAMPERS FROM TRAVEL GUIDE
Wicked Campers are known for their campervans emblazoned with sexist and demeaning slogans. Many complaints against Wicked Campers to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) have been upheld, but Australia’s system of industry self-regulation means there is no enforcement of the ASB’s ruling, and Wicked Campers have no obligation to remove the advertising.

April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. It is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead — Fight for the living.

From Darwin to Hobart, Sydney to Perth and all points in between, thousands of people marched in rallies across Australia on May 1 to stop the Western Australian government closing 150 remote Aboriginal communities.

Rallies were also held overseas in the US, Germany, New Zealand, China, Canada and Britain.

This is the second international day of action. Previous rallies were held around Australia on April 10.

Activists, students and academic staff met at the University of Sydney on April 29 to discuss the university’s recent attacks on those involved in a protest against a lecture given by an Israeli colonel on March 11.

Residents of Bentley, near Lismore in the NSW Northern Rivers district, have vowed to continue their fight against coal seam gas (CSG) mining following the Supreme Court’s “technical” decision to overturn the government’s suspension of Metgasco’s gas drilling licence.

Proceedings in the Queensland Land and Environment Court concerning the objection by conservation group Land Services of Coast and Country (LSCC) to the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin are drawing to a close.

LSCC’s objection to the mine is based on the claim that it poses an unacceptable danger to climate change, groundwater, the Great Barrier Reef and the endangered black-throated finch.

ADELAIDE
Come to Voices of Dissent on Thursday May 14 at 7pm. A Fundraiser for Green Left Weekly. Featuring The Tangled Bank; Kyle Landman, The Young Offenders; Steve O’Malley; Where Was I?; Brendan de Paor. Entry $7. The Jade Monkey, 160 Flinders St, Adelaide. Ph Claudia 0435 108 439.

BRISBANE

GLW Issue 1050

About 80 people gathered at the Eight Hour Day monument opposite Melbourne Trades Hall on April 24 to commemorate the second anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. In the collapse, 1139 garment workers are known to have died, with others still missing.

About 100 people rallied against the Geelong Star super trawler in Adelaide on April 26.

The crowd gathered at Port Adelaide to oppose the 95-metre long factory ship which protesters say will hurt recreational fishing and damage the marine environment.

The rally then marched to Birkenhead Bridge and dropped a large banner that read “Stop the Super Trawler”.

Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia released this statement on April 25.

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Organisers of the undeclared Frontier War’s parade condemned the actions of the Australian Federal Police during the Canberra ANZAC day parade for refusing to allow 200 Aboriginals and their supporters to peacefully march up ANZAC Avenue to lay a wreath to commemorate all those who died in wars, including those who died in the 18th, 19th, and 20th century Frontier Wars defending their country.

NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is likely to be called before the parliamentary inquiry into the state government's proposed privatisation of the "poles and wires" of the state's electricity industry in May.

Baird will be questioned over allegations of government tampering with an expert report on the planned leasing of the power industry before the recent March state election.

Two examples of development proposals that put profit before people and the environment in Far North Queensland appear to have suffered defeats.

Dear Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney,

It is with great sad news that ISJA Sydney writes to inform you all of the passing of our Comrade Ray Jackson president and founder of the Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney and long time socialist activist organiser for Aboriginal rights, justice for all deaths in custody and other social justice issues.

Last night, on April 23, Ray was found in bed by his granddaughter and it seems he died peacefully in his sleep after the regular ISJA meeting last night.

Wiradjuri man Ray Jackson, socialist, and indefatigable fighter for a better world has fallen. At 73, he died peacefully in the evening on April 23. He had been in hospital for pneumonia a week before his death.

Uncle Ray was stolen from his mother at the age of two, and placed with a white family when aged about three.

This open letter to the Minister of Social Services, Scott Morrison was released on April 20.

* * *

On behalf of the many Australians who believe in the importance of a fair and equitable welfare system, we the undersigned write to voice our strong objections to the harmful and damaging legislation currently before the Senate, which would introduce a six-month waiting period for unemployment benefits for people under 30.

We also wish to highlight our concerns over the government’s decision to introduce harsh requirements from 1 July 2015, which will:

The University of Sydney has ramped up its bullying of students and staff who interrupted a lecture by a visiting Israeli colonel last month.

Several students who took part in the protest were sent “show cause” letters on April 15. Others had been summonsed to interviews about the protest.

Mia Sanders, one of the students who took part in the protest action, told Green Left Weekly: “Vice chancellor Michael Spence is, once again, showing contempt for the university’s own charter by trying to silence dissent”.

The State Bank of India had reneged on a $1 billion financing agreement for Adani’s Galilee Basin coalmine.

The loan was agreed to five months ago to help finance mining giant Adani’s plan to develop the Carmichael mega coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. This is the 12th global investment bank to publicly walk away from the proposal in recent months.

Gas company Metgasco has won its case against the state government to reinstate its drilling licence at Bentley after it was suspended last year.

However, Justice Richard Button said that while the suspension process undertaken by the government was not lawful, the judgement did not reflect the merits or otherwise of the suspension itself.

Metgasco’s licence was suspended in May last year after a large community campaign against its plans to drill for unconventional gas at Rosella, about 15 kilometres from Lismore.

Perth's rally against the forced closure of Aboriginal communities on April 23 began peacefully like any other.

True, there were more police there than was necessary, but not enough to indicate the scale of intimidation and recklessness that was to come.

The campaign against the forced closure of Aboriginal communities continues with a second international day of action on May 1. The campaign is being coordinated by #SOSblakaustralia movement. Information below from #SOSblakaustralia.

ADELAIDE SA
12pm-4.30pm, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, Adelaide.

As New South Wales is experiencing some of the strongest winds and rain in several years, the Redfern Tent Embassy is holding fast against strong winds and relentless rain.

Redfern locals, and activists have banded together over the past few nights to keep the activist spot at the Block running. The embassy was erected in protest of the Aboriginal Housing Company’s plans to develop on the site , placing th cheap and affordable Aboriginal housing the Block has previously provided.

The Refugee Action Collective Melbourne released this statement on April 20.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott's refugee bashing is not working for him at the polls, but if the Coalition is kicked out what policies will replace him?

Tragically, Labor party leaders continue to support both offshore processing and mandatory detention.

Labor for Refugees, with the backing of many unions, will be proposing a resolution to change Labor policy at this year's ALP national conference being held in Melbourne on July 24 to 26.

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on April 20.

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More than 100 Ahwazi Arabs from across the country converged on Canberra to protest at the Immigration department and at the Iranian embassy on April 20.

The Ahwazi are a persecuted minority in south-west of Iran; the most oil-rich region. Ahwazis are denied the right to education in their own language. April 15 marks the 10th anniversary of the peaceful Ahwazi intifada against forced displacement, discrimination and persecution of the indigenous Arabs by the Iranian regime.

We are writing to alert you to what we believe can be described without exaggeration as a serious threat to civil and political liberties on campus.

You will have seen the recent emails from Michael Spence about the “misconduct” proceedings the university has initiated against both an academic staff member of the university and against students.

More than 200 people attended a public forum called "Resistance Rising: A Panel of First Nations Leaders" at the Brunswick Town Hall in Melbourne on April 18.

The forum was jointly sponsored by Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and the Indigenous Social Justice Association.

Co-founder of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance Meriki Onus told the audience: "The system is constantly knocking at our door. The system destroys us or takes our children."

GLW Issue 1049

BRISBANE
Join us on International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday April 28 at 10am to remember all those who have been injured or killed at work and renew the call for safe workplaces. Emma Miller Place, Roma St, Brisbane.

CAIRNS
Come to a May Day Dinner on Friday May 1 at 7pm to celebrate workers’ solidarity. With Jeremiah Johnson and band, great speakers and bar. Entry including food $35/$25; entry only $10/$7. Machans Beach Hall. Ph Jonathan 0437 790 306.

MELBOURNE

SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES TO REMAIN OPEN

Remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia will remain open despite federal funding cuts.

Last year, the federal government announced it would leave it up to the states to fund remote communities. About 150 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia are under threat of closure after the Western Australian government refused to step in and fund them.

VIC TRADES HALL CONDEMNS SDA ON PENALTY RATES

The Victorian Trades Hall Council has condemned the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s agreement with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce to remove penalty rates for retail workers. The VTHC said it opposed any move to further the federal government’s agenda by attacking hard fought entitlements and condemns attacks by the business lobby to reduce workers' wages.

EAST WEST LINK PAYOUT

Federal education minister Christopher Pyne has given $4 million to Danish climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg to set up the Australian Consensus Centre at the University of Western Australia.

Lomborg is a well-known climate policy sceptic and the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, whose funding was cut by the Danish government in 2012.

Australian Nuclear Free Alliance released this statement on April 14.

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A delegation of Australian nuclear free campaigners travelled to Canada to present at the World Uranium Symposium being held in Quebec City on April 14 to 16.

The group included representatives from Aboriginal communities impacted by nuclear projects and national environment groups.