Nick Fredman

GLW author Nick Fredman

Why Victoria dumped the Coalition

The Denis Napthine government, elected by a slim majority in 2010, has fallen in Victoria. This is the first time a Victorian government has lasted only one term since 1955, when the Cain Labor government fell in the midst of the great Labor split.

The Napthine government had lost support due to brutal public sector cuts, vindictive attacks on nurses, paramedics and teachers, the unpopular East West Link project, and corruption scandals that led to the removal of Ted Baillieu as premier last year and the sacking of several Liberal candidates before the poll.

Victorian election special: Vote left and progressive

The Victorian Coalition government looks set to go down in an ignominious defeat at the November 29 state election.

Several recent polls have given Labor a healthy lead of about 56% to 44% in two-party preferred terms.

The Coalition was narrowly elected — to everyone’s surprise (including their own) — in 2010, and thus look like being the first one-term government in Victoria since 1955.

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Stephen Jolly: A fighter stands for parliament

Stephen Jolly, the Socialist Party candidate for Richmond, is a high profile activist with electoral runs on the board.

He came to prominence with the campaign to reopen Richmond Secondary College in the early 1990s, and has been on the frontlines of many campaigns in Melbourne’s inner north since, including recent efforts to stop the East West Link and to defend public housing.

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National rallies against black deaths in custody

National rallies were held on October 23 to protest against continuing Aboriginal deaths in custody.

About 300 people rallied in Melbourne at an event organised by the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Melbourne and First Nations Liberation.

The catalyst for the rally was the death of a 22-year-old Yamatji woman known as Ms Dhu in police custody in Western Australia.

Melbourne councillor says heatwaves should be treated as emergencies

Heatwaves are still not considered an emergency by state governments, but they should be.

There was a 24% increase in the number of deaths during the four day heatwave in Victoria in January. An additional 167 people died in the week of the heatwave when the temperature was above 41 degrees for four consecutive days in Melbourne and more than 45 degrees in other parts of the state.

In 2009, there were an additional 374 deaths during the heatwave in the week before the Black Saturday bushfires.

Moreland Council votes for coal divestment

The City of Moreland became the first council in Victoria to rule out direct investments in fossil fuels and the first council in Australia to start developing a strategy to move investments away from financial institutions that fund fossil fuel developments, after a vote at its October 8 meeting.

Herald Sun squawks on likely loss of East West Link

The Herald Sun has launched a vitriolic campaign against two councils in Melbourne for their opposition to the Victorian government’s $15 billion East West Link toll road project.

In an appalling lack of sensitivity, the paper has also sought to use the rape and murder of journalist Jill Meagher in defence of the paper’s pro-corporate and road-building agenda.

Protesters block World Congress of Families

Around 50 protesters held a picket outside the opening of the World Congress of Families on August 30, which finally found a venue in the bunker-like premises of the Catch the Fire Ministries in outer suburban Hallam.

This sect gained notoriety for declaring the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires were a punishment from God due to the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria.

READ MORE: Why we disrupted the World Congress of Families

Two Melbourne councils challenge East West Link

The campaign against the East West Link received a boost on July 18 when the Moreland Council voted to take legal action against the Victorian state government in the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn planning minister Matthew Guy’s approval of the unpopular motorway.

The proposed East West Link is an 18-kilometre tollway between the Eastern Freeway in Collingwood and the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West.

In a special meeting, the councillors voted six to two to take the legal action, challenging the process by which the minister made the decision to give the project a green light.

Melbourne rallies for trains, against tollways

More than 2000 people marched in Melbourne on June 28 to protest the proposed East West Link motorway.

The East West Link is to be a partially tunnelled toll road that would give commuters crossing the Yarra River an alternative to the currently overloaded West Gate Bridge.

Protesters, however, said the East West Link will be excessively costly, will contribute to pollution and will generate far fewer jobs than an equivalent public transport project. Demonstrators also voiced concerns that the East West Link would erode Melbourne’s culture of public transport.

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