Sydney

Dateline Sydney

A court case that could affect the future of every Kurdish family in Australia


Sydney Central Local Court, July 8. Photo: Peter Boyle.

Anti-terrorist journalist arrested under anti-terrorist laws

Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan was charged under anti-terrorist laws at Parramatta Local Court on July 21 and refused bail. The charges accuse him of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

He was arrested the previous day in raids by the Australian Federal Police, which also seized more than 2000 emails. The prosecution asked for an adjournment until September, saying police needed time to translate the emails from Turkish. He has another bail hearing on July 28.

Saving Sydney College of the Arts and the National Art School campaigns enter critical stage

The campaign to stop Sydney University closing the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) based in beautiful Callan Park has consolidated support from staff, arts institutions, political parties and community groups.

WestConnex tollway project expands, residents hit

The WestConnex tollway project continues to expand, despite widespread community objections to the consequences it will bring. These include increased traffic in the inner west of Sydney; environmental and pollution problems; forced acquisitions and destruction of heritage homes; associated increases in tolls for motorists; and the overall cost to the public — $16.8 billion and counting.

Waterloo Tent Embassy wins maintenance gains

"The Waterloo Tent Embassy has made a big impact, is winning growing support every day, and has already gained government action on fixing longstanding maintenance problems at the Waterloo public housing towers," Richard Weeks, spokesperson for the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group (WPHAG), told Green Left Weekly on July 20.

Sydney cleaners win entitlements

Cleaners won greater protection against unfair dismissal and loss of entitlements in a Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision on July 12. FWC awarded the cleaners entitlements they had lost when they were transferred to a new company, after their former employer lost a cleaning contract with two Sydney hotels.

Mel Gatfield, NSW secretary of the cleaners' union, United Voice, said the case was "hugely significant”, not just for the 19 cleaners who have received $70,000 in redundancy payments, but for the legal precedent it sets.

WestConnex demolition homes 'looted' for heritage items

Heritage items from homes in the inner west suburbs of Ashfield and Haberfield are being sold off by private contractors prior to the demolition of houses to make way for the controversial WestConnex tollway.

Contractors employed to demolish the homes are being allowed to sell valuable items including tiles, bricks, light fittings and leadlight doors and windows, according to the July 12 Inner West Courier.

Abortion rights long overdue say women's health experts

There's a “huge appetite” for abortion law reform, Greens MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi told a 150-strong meeting at the Glebe Town Hall on June 6. “We've waited far too long already,” she said.

The meeting was organised to launch Faruqi's decriminalisation of abortion bill, which is in its draft stage. The panelists included health professionals Philippa Ramsay and Juliet Richters, health laywer Julie Hamblin and Bethany Sheehan, a founder of My Body My Right, a group campaigning for a safe space outside abortion clinics.

Students rally to save the Sydney College of the Arts'

Several hundred students and staff of the University of Sydney marched on July 4 to oppose moves to close the Sydney University College of the Arts (SCA), and amalgamate it with the University of NSW. The students then surrounded a meeting of the University Senate, demanding the university administration end its threat to the arts college.

The university officially informed students and staff of the move to dismantle SCA, in the historic Kirkbride campus at Callan Park, Rozelle, and merge it with the UNSW Art Design and the National Art School in Darlinghurst, on June 21.

Residents protest at second Inner West Council meeting

Up to 150 residents of inner western Sydney crammed into the chambers of the now-sacked Ashfield Council to oppose the state government's dismissal of three suburban councils and their merger into an "Inner West Council" and to protest the controversial WestConnex tollway project.

They demanded that undemocratically installed one-person administrator Richard Pearson take action on his stated intention to oppose WestConnex, in line with the unanimous positions of the three sacked councils, Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville.

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