Australian News

GLW Issue 901

The Caroona Coal Action Group released the statement below on October 27.

* * *

Landowners from communities across the Liverpool Plains have been forced to take direct action against the mining giant Santos to stop it pushing ahead with ‘pilot production’ of coal seam gas (CSG) before the potential risks to the region’s iconic water systems are known.

Teachers say the Barry O’Farrell Coalition state government has divulged its plans to cut TAFE wages and conditions and then likely privatise it by splitting TAFE teachers away from the collective bargaining power of their primary and secondary teacher colleagues.

Education minister Adrian Piccoli introduced changes to the TAFE commission act into the NSW parliament on October 11 without notice or consultation with the New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF).

Occupy Sydney activists organised a protest outside the Qantas shareholders conference on October 28 at the University of New South Wales in support of Qantas workers struggling for decent wages and job security.

Peter Somerville, the general manager of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, which is embroiled in a battle with Qantas management over job outsourcing and a new enterprise agreement, had addressed Occupy Sydney’s rally in Martin Place on October 22.

A groundswell of support for the campaign against a proposed open cut coalmine is taking place in Victoria’s Bacchus Marsh area and beyond.

This growing support for the No New Coal in Bacchus Marsh campaign was on display at a recent public meeting in the town, where a lawyer from the Environment Defenders Office spoke to a packed hall on the legal implications of mining and what can be done to stop the present exploratory drilling and proposed mine.

GLW Issue 900

Socialist Party Yarra City councillors Anthony Main and Stephen Jolly released released this letter below to Occupy Melbourne on October 27.

* * *

Dear Occupy Melbourne comrades,

Thank you for your letter to Councillors requesting support from the Yarra City Council. On behalf of the two Socialist Party Councillors at Yarra we would like to offer the following brief reply.

Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 27.

* * *

Occupy Melbourne’s 8th general assembly passed a proposal, put forward by the Indigenous Working Group, to support the creation of a treaty between the First Nations of Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Government.

The call for recognition of Aboriginal Sovereignty gained public prominence in Australia with the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972.

9.30pm: The general assembly passed several other proposals (which happened after GLW's laptop had a temporary power emergency).

These included: a decision to lodge a schedule one with the police outlinining a march route from Town Hall, to Wynyard Park, to Martin Place, and back to Town Hall.

The assembly also agreed on the statement read out earlier that night. Now occupations in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide have a common statement, which will be printed by Fairfax by Friday (so we were told).

Friends of the Earth released the statement below on October 25.

* * *

Today’s announcement that coalmining will be allowed to continue at Anglesea is possibly the worst in a long list of bad environmental decisions since the Baillieu government was elected, according to Friends of the Earth.

The government says that the supporting legislation, introduced to parliament today, will “modernise” its agreement with the Anglesea coalmine and power station and support regional jobs.

Seamus Doherty is a long time human rights activist, particularly with the Western Australia Deaths in Custody Watch Committee. The WA Liberal government has put him on the CHOGM excluded people's list.

Doherty has never being charged with anything before and needs a walking stick to get around. But the CHOGM police task force has deemed him a threat.

Doherty is also a member of the CHOGM Action Network, which has planned a peaceful people's march on the CHOGM summit on October 28 to call for "justice and climate action, not racism and war".

Communications Workers Union secretary Len Cooper released this statement on October 25.

* * *

Melbourne Lord Mayor Doyle has been responsible for one of the most disgraceful episodes in this city's history.

The Occupy Melbourne protesters were holding a peaceful, disciplined, well organised protest, largely confined to the city square, thus preventing inconvenience to most others.

The Occupy Auckland general assembly released this “Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Australia” on October 24.

* * *

From the General Assembly of Occupy Auckland, New Zealand
In session, the 24th day of October, 2011

Madam Prime Minister,

Respectfully, we the assembled citizens, residents and supporters of the Auckland Occupation wish to convey to you our deepest disappointment in the recent repression by Australian police of the peaceful demonstrators in Melbourne’s City Square and Sydney's Martin Place.

The Refugee Action Collective Sydney released the statement below on October 26.

* * *

A Tamil refugee in the Villawood detention centre has committed suicide in the early hours of Wednesday, October 26.

”Shooty”, as he was known to his friends, was taken to hospital after taking poison but died shortly afterwards.

See also:
Darwin detention centre ‘a humanitarian disaster’, says refugee group

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on October 25.

* * *

The Refugee Action Coalition is calling a protest outside the Sydney offices of the Immigration Department, 26 Lee Street, 12.30pm, Wednesday 26 October. Speakers at the protest will include Dr Michael Dudley, chair of Suicide Prevention Australia.

See also:
Darwin detention centre ‘a humanitarian disaster’, says refugee group

The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on October 19.

* * *

The Lock The Gate Alliance claims that the Murray Darling Basin will be another casualty as Precautionary Principle is thrown to the wind in the resources boom.

Lock the Gate President, Drew Hutton says pressure from States addicted to mining royalties is most likely to be behind the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) plan to allow massive increases in groundwater use in the forth-coming Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The Darwin Asylum Seekers Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on October 25.

* * *

A Burmese refugee has resumed his protest on the roof of the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC). The man, who has been in detention just under 2 years, began his protest on Sunday night and was up there for several hours before receiving an electric shock from the fence surrounding the Centre and coming down off the roof.

Occupations in Sydney and Melbourne have been violently broken up by police in the past few days, but the Occupy Brisbane camp at Post Office Square is going well so far. At this stage, there is no sign of police or Brisbane City Council harassment.

A general assembly of the camp was held at noon on October 23. About 100 people attended.

See also:
Occupy Perth general assembly prepares for action

Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 24.

* * *

Occupy Melbourne will today write to the Victorian Ombudsman calling for an investigation into at least 43 documented instances of police violence against peaceful demonstrators, including children, during the morning raid of October 21.

Occupy Melbourne have welcomed Robert Doyle’s concern for public safety and have again called on the Lord Mayor to support a full inquiry into the events of Friday 21 October where riot police were deployed against peaceful demonstrators.

The Darwin Asylum Seekers Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on October 23.

* * *

The Darwin Asylum Seekers Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) today called on the federal government to learn from the humanitarian disaster that is the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) and abandon its plans to open a new 1500 bed detention centre at Wickham Point, 35 kilometres south-east of Darwin.

The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on October 23.

* * *

A Burmese refugee in detention two weeks short of two years began a roof top protest at the Darwin detention centre Sunday night, 23 October.

Between 80 and 100 people gathered for an open-air Occupy Perth general assembly in Perth on October 22. It began at 11am and finished around 5pm.

The main purpose of the assembly was to make plans for establishing a Perth occupation at the end of the Chogm Protest (taking next Friday, October 28) that would last at least throughout the CHOGM summit.

There was quite a constructive discussion and a lot of enthusiasm to begin an occupation next weekend. Eleven working groups were established.

Same-sex marriage, the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and serious issues affecting the aged care sector were among agenda items discussed at the Australian Nursing Federation’s (ANF) Biennial National Conference 2011. The conference met over October 20-21 in Canberra.

The ANF is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing (AINs). Its membership stands at 214,000 and it is one of Australia’s fastest-growing unions.

Occupy Sydney read out the statement below at an October 22 rally held at the occupy site in Sydney’s Martin Place. The statement was adopted unanimously by about 1000 rally attendees.

Live blog: Occupy Melbourne, Sydney rallies

* * *

We are the workers. We are the indebted. We are the immigrants and the indigenous. We are the homeless. We are the students. We are the unemployed. We are the underrepresented people of the world.

We are the 99%. We are Occupy Sydney.

Inspired by Occupy Wall Street and the global revolt against corporate greed, a diverse range of new and experienced people have gathered at several public assemblies, each of more than 40 people, to discuss building the movement in Adelaide.

Following an October 15 action where 200 people gathered in Victoria Square, the collective has held a major working bee to make banners, signs, placards to help build awareness of Occupy Adelaide.

Occupy Melbourne released the statement below on October 21 following a brutal police attack on protesters earlier that day.

* * *

Occupy Melbourne have called for a full inquiry into unlawful police behaviour amid scenes of police violence on the streets of Melbourne today. The call comes after riot police disrupted a peaceful demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD.

Green Left Weekly’s Sue Bolton has been part of the Occupy Melbourne protest since it began on October 15. Below she recounts the past week of the occupation in Melbourne’s City Square, which was broken up by a fierce police assault on October 21.

* * *

Day 5: Still going strong

We are still going strong with about 45 to 50 tents in City Square. I estimate there are about 100 people camping each night with many others staying until late in the night.

Australian Taxation Office management has announced it will put a revised draft enterprise agreement up for a staff vote between November 9 and 15. The new version is little different from management’s original proposal, which was rejected by staff by a margin of 59% to 41% in June. The total pay rise being offered is still 9% over three years, which is less than the expected rate of inflation.

The Queensland government lifted a ban on fishing in and around Gladstone Harbour on October 6, but controversy over diseased fish goes on.

Writing in the October 19 Courier Mail, environment reporter Bryan Williams said: “The mystery of the Gladstone fish disease outbreak continues, with scientists focusing on a parasitic flatworm and about 300 tonnes of Barramundi that spilled into the Boyne River last summer from Awoonga Dam.