On March 16, Yarra City Council amended the racist Local Law 8, which bans drinking in public places. The law was originally passed on October 20 with the ALP, Greens and independent councillors voting for it. Socialist Party councillor Stephen Jolly was the only councillor to oppose the law.
After being confronted by protests in New Zealand, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer was met by a protest organised by Australians For Palestine at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 19.
Since 2006, a group of activists in Melbourne have gathered on January 20 to commemorate two Aboriginal freedom fighters, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, who were hanged on that day in 1842.
In an interview with Green Left Weekly, one of the Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers who have been stranded on a boat at the Indonesian port of Merak since October 11, Sanjeev “Alex” Kuhendrarajah, said conditions on the boat are dire.
The Sydney-based Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul has sent a letter to the International Organisation of Migration in Indonesia asking that it urgently intervene to provide medical care to the asylum seekers on the boat at Merak.
On a 35-degree day, community services workers in not-for-profit organisations mobilised from across Victoria to call for equal pay. The Australian Services Union, which covers the workers, estimated almost 4000 people rallied.
Police harassment of Melbourne’s Indigenous community will likely increase as a result of a new law banning public drinking in the City of Yarra. The City of Yarra includes the suburbs of Fitzroy, Richmond and Collingwood.
Justice and Freedom for Ceylon Tamils is a human rights action group based in Melbourne. It was formed in 2007. A spokesperson for the group, Nagamuthu Wickiramasingham, told Green Left Weekly that Tamil refugees had good reason to flee the brutal Sri Lankan regime by boat.
Workers at Autoliv, a manufacturer of automotive safety equipment in Melbourne, took industrial action in early September for better wages and conditions. The second stoppage ever for the workers delivered an early finish each week of one hour and five minutes; redundancy payments; payout of all sick leave if workers leave the company; and a pay increase of 4.2% over two years, up from 2%.
MELBOURNE — Ambulance workers in Victoria have stepped up their campaign for a 10-hour break between shifts and for wage justice. A mass meeting of 400 ambulance officers voted on August 4 that they would not work on their days off.
British filmmaker Ken Loach’s decision to withdraw his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has led to a storm of debate.
About 5000 people turned out for the government-organised Harmony Day march through Melbourne on July 12.