Sydney

Dateline Sydney

Socialist candidate slams NSW public housing sell-off as 'big business hand-out'

"The NSW Coalition government's proposed sell-off of public housing to property developers is a huge hand-out to big business from the public purse," Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney in the upcoming federal election, said on February 3.

"And the planned 'redevelopments' of public housing will make the housing crisis for workers and poor people even worse than now."

Opposition to NSW council merger explodes

Residents attending a public inquiry on February 2 at Wests Ashfield into the New South Wales government's plan to amalgamate Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils were of one mind: they opposed it.

About 50 people spoke in the afternoon session, and only 5, including Ashfield Liberal councillor Julie Passas and a self-described businessman, supported the plan.

Similar meetings were organised at Sandringham, Bankstown, Manly, North Sydney, Parramatta, Mona Vale, Deniliquin and Shellharbour and more will take place over the next fortnight.

Local residents occupy Westconnex drill rig

Contractors carrying out construction works for the controversial multi-billion dollar Westconnex tollway, even before official planning approval has been given, called police on February 2 after some local residents occupied their planned drilling site in the middle of Tempe Reserve.

No arrests were made during the peaceful protest, which stopped the contractors starting work after residents set up a picnic in the public space where they planned to conduct drilling.

One resident also climbed the drill rig and occupied it for several hours to stop work going ahead.

Grandmothers Against Removals protest in Sydney

Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) Sydney and supporters protested outside the offices of the NSW Department of Families and Community Services in Strawberry Hills on January 29 to demand the immediate return of Aboriginal children forcibly removed from a Queensland family and placed in out-of-home care in Sydney.

Kukulangi Grandmother Aunty Karen Fusi from the Brisbane Sovereign Grannies Group addressed the crowd of around 60 about the case. Other speakers included Aunty Jenny Munro, Aunty Val Colbung from WA, Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge and STICS activist Paddy Gibson.

WestConnex: 'Bigger bottle, same neck'

In a move designed to restrict examination and comment, the NSW government released the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the New M5 in late November. The EIS was on public exhibition until January 29 — virtually the whole summer holiday period.

The New M5 is the second major tunnel section of WestConnex and will run between the existing M5 East at Kingsgrove and the new interchange at St Peters.

Hutchison workers 'back in the gate'

Waterfront workers at Hutchison Ports terminals in Sydney and Brisbane are "back in the gate now," and "normal work is proceeding" Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney branch assistant secretary Joe Deakin told Green Left Weekly on January 20. Settlement of the long-running dispute which began on August 6 last year was finally achieved in December.

MUA takes strike action for new Patricks agreement

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members at Patrick Stevedores terminals struck for 24 hours on January 18 at the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle to demand job security and an improved enterprise agreement. The strike followed the imposition of work bans at the Port Botany site in Sydney from January 4.

Protesters target ABC's anti-Kurdish bias

About 70 people, mainly from the Australian Kurdish Association, organised a peaceful protest inside and outside the ABC Ultimo Centre on January 14. They were protesting against the national broadcaster's bias and slander against the Kurds, despite the Turkish government's attacks on Kurdish areas in Turkey and Syria.

Sydney Kurdish community rally for human rights in Turkey

About 100 members of the Kurdish community and their supporters rallied in Sydney against the Turkish government's attacks on human rights and for Kurdish freedom on December 18. The rally was held to publicise the recent report on human rights violations in Turkey issued to mark Human Rights Week.

Refugees to be welcomed in Callan Park

A proposal for a refugee hub at Callan Park has won the support of Leichhardt Council.

Leichhardt Council decided on December 8 to write to the state and federal governments to request funding for the establishment of a Refugee Welcome Centre in Callan Park.

Leichardt Mayor Darcy Byrne said: “By offering a place in our own backyard to the orphans and widows fleeing Syria and elsewhere, we can put our good intentions into action.”

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