Australian News

GLW Issue 930

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) forced the ABC to retract a story about a recently changed “individual allowance program” for detained refugees to buy canteen items and phone cards to call home. But evidence has emerged that the ABC report was correct.

In Darwin, the system has changed from allocating 50 points a week to each detainee, to requiring half those points to be earned by taking part in daily activities, English classes and exercise.

The indefinite strike by Coles warehouse workers in Somerton, Melbourne, began with a few hundred people on the picket lines from 6am on July 10. At the time of writing, no trucks have been allowed in or out of the site.

Coles outsources the operation of the warehouse to Toll Logistics. Coles and Toll had expected industrial action, but they hadn’t expected that the workers would vote for an indefinite strike.

This video shows the reasons for and some of the actions in Perth's largely successful campaign for free speech.

See more videos by Green Left TV.

The ObserverTree.org released the statement below on July 10.

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Today, Miranda Gibson breaks the Australian record for the longest tree sit. Miranda has remained at the top of a tree, 60 meters above the ground for 209 days, in protest of the ongoing logging of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests.

GLW Issue 929

The pending approval for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub at James Price Point in Broome has come under fire after four of the five Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) board members responsible for assessing the project stood aside due to conflicts of interest. Two of the EPA board members hold shares in Woodside Petroleum, the operator of the $35 billion project.

Latest NSW gov't sackings could pass 10,000

A leaked document on the 10,000 public sector jobs flagged for cuts in last month's NSW budget may have been understating the sackings to come.

The June 12 email from a NSW Treasury official said “there is no floor or cap on redundancies”. The government on July 3 conceded the numbers were not capped, and there were no guarantees that more jobs would not be lost.

The 10,000-plus job cuts add to 5000 jobs axed in September.

The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on July 6.

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Coal seam gas companies are 'getting away with blue murder' despite mounting evidence from around the country of the environmental damage they are causing, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

Lock The Gate has responded with dismay to news today that Santos and Eastern Star Gas have been fined only $3,000 for breaking environment laws in the Pilliga forest by polluting a local creek system with coal seam gas waste water.

About 500 Toll warehouse workers at Somerton in Melbourne’s northern suburbs have voted for an indefinite strike in their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

The warehouse is a Coles distribution centre, but Coles outsources the workers to Toll Logistics. This has resulted in workers getting up to 20% less pay than other Coles warehouse workers.

HOBART — To mark the end of NAIDOC week, Aboriginal people and their supporters marched through the streets and rallied at Tasmania’s parliament house lawns on July 6 to show that they always have been and always will be a sovereign people.

Speakers at the rally included the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s (TAC) Nala Mansell-McKenna, TAC's Legal Secretary Michael Mansell and Aboriginal activist Jim Everett.


In the first construction worker rally in years, up to 10,000 workers marched through Melbourne on July 4, telling the state government to dump its new building code.

Premier Ted Baillieu’s Coalition government began to implement its Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry on July 1.

Unions say the new code is all about attacking unions. Building companies that fail to comply with the code on any site will be thrown off the government tender list.

Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) members, friends and supporters joined a commemoration at Granville Town Hall on June 30 for five leaders and activists who passed away in recent months.

Those remembered were Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, the SCP general secretary from 1971 until his death; Al Tijani Al Tayeb, founding SCP member and editor of the party’s newspaper for five decades; trade union leader Min Alla Abdel Wahab; popular revolutionary singer and songwriter Mohammed Wardi; and Mohamed Al Hassan Salim Homid, a revolutionary poet.

For the 2.5 million people living and working in Sydney’s western suburbs, the future looks very grim unless serious action on climate change begins immediately.

A Climate Commission report released last month,  The Critical Decade, reveals that rising temperatures in western Sydney will impact adversely on many aspects of residents’ lives, from the water supply to mental health and crime levels.

The Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition released the statement below on June 29.

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Julian Assange has sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum with Ecuador. Why? Because he has finally given up hope that the Australian government will defend him and WikiLeaks from a relentless US-led campaign of intimidation, including:

The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project released the statement below on July 5.

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The most significant individuals lost in last week’s furious parliamentary debate were asylum seekers.

As members of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers’ Project, we talk to many asylum seekers, both in immigration detention centres and in the community.

GLW Issue 928

Another boat, believed to be carrying up to 180 asylum seekers, made a distress call to Australian authorities at about 4.30am (AEST) time this morning. The call said the boat was about 50 nautical miles south of Indonesia and heading to Christmas Island, and its engine had failed and that it was taking on water.

ABC Online said the HMAS Wollongong was searching for the boat, but it had not been found.

After Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London a rally was held in his home town Melbourne on July 1. Civil Rights Lawyer Lizzie O'Shea gives her perspective.



After Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London a rally was held in his home town Melbourne on July 1. Adam Bandt, the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and member of parliament spells out the Greens' perspective.



More than 300 supporters of Julian Assange gathered at the State Library in Melbourne on July 1 to call for the Australian government to act to bring Assange home. Speakers included Federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, Wikileaks co-founder Daniel Matthews and singer Natalie Pa'apa.

Watch the video above to find out the shocking truth about how two pro-Palestine Christmas Carol singers escaped justice.

Full report here.

More Green Left TV here.

The newly opened Yongah Hill detention centre in remote Western Australia is “probably one of the most secure facilities in the entire network,” immigration media manager Sandi Logan said on June 25.

The new detention centre is about 90 kilometres north-east of Perth, about five kilometres outside the rural town of Northam. The $125 million centre was a disused army barracks and will house up to 600 male asylum seekers.

It is now fitted with electric fences, “scale-proof” walls, cameras and bars on most windows, said an AAP reporter who visited the site.

“Whether I look at manufacturing, or I look at the climate emergency, it’s our generations, the ones alive now, that have a responsibility," said Dave Kerin, a founder of the Earthworker Cooperative, explaining the driving force behind the group’s key project.

Kerin spoke in a new video about an upcoming tour of workplaces to promote Earthworker’s plan to set up Eureka’s Future workers cooperatives.

A June 27 speakout in the Bourke Street Mall called for the freeing of political prisoners in Pakistan and condemned the Pakistani state’s use of the Western-sponsored “war on terror” as a pretext for cracking down on community activists and trade unionists. The speakout was use to collect signatures names on an international open letter.

June 29 was dubbed "Black Friday" for Queensland public servants as up to 3000 temporary and contract workers faced the sack from the Liberal-National Party government.

Contracts for many staff in "non-frontline" jobs expired and will not be renewed under a job freeze ordered by Premier Campbell Newman, the June 29 Courier-Mail said.

Newman has also appointed a razor gang, following the interim report of the Costello Commission of Audit into state debt, to find more cuts, including jobs of permanent staff.

The prosecution of two activists dubbed the “Christmas Carol Criminals” collapsed when a Perth magistrate dismissed all charges on June 29.

Alex Bainbridge and Miranda Wood from the group Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) had been charged with trespassing during a December protest outside Israeli cosmetics company Seacret. Seacret benefits from the illegal occupation of Palestine by stealing minerals and resources from the Dead Sea to use in its products.

A community protest of up to 30 people was held outside a global shale industry conference in Perth on June 28. Campaign group No Fracking WAy organised the protest. The two-day conference on global shale gas development put on by the Electric Utility Consultants, Inc (EUCI) at the Seasons of Perth Hotel, 37 Pier St, Perth.

The protesters held up banners, sang anti-fracking songs and heard from several speakers about the problems with the shale gas industry, which is expanding rapidly in Western Australia.

On June 27, tens of thousands of teachers took strike action against moves by Barry O'Farrell's NSW Government to attack public education and outsource 'responsibilities' to principals. The government's plan is to force 'local schools' to do the dirty work of making cutbacks - including casualising the workforce (it will be cheaper), cutting special needs staff (can't afford them), and more.

About 200 people met on June 28 on the steps of Parliament House in Victoria to oppose new coal projects in the state.

Speakers spoke out against expanding the brown coal export industry, which would triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse gas pollution.

The star of the event was “billionaire” Twiggy Palmcock, representing “the forgotten voices of mining magnates”.

He said all coal is good coal, and offered to dig coal mines in a bowl shape for the “Greenie farmers from Bacchus Marsh”.