Australian News

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.

FULL AUDIO: Brisbane pro-choice forum

Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose organised a public forum attended by up to 150 people in the Queensland Parliament House on July 12. A similar forum took place in Cairns the next night. Full audio of the forum can be found above.

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.

Hunter Valley mosque approved in heated meeting

Plans to build a mosque in Buchanan in the Hunter Valley, NSW, were approved 6–4 after nearly two hours of emotional speeches at a meeting of Cessnock Council on July 20.

The Newcastle Muslim Association applied to build a 390 square-metre place of worship and funeral home on 23 hectares at Buchanan, south of Maitland.

But the 12 residents who spoke against the mosque said it is too big, will create traffic congestion and noise and is inappropriate in a rural area. Some also said they were concerned about the safety of their children travelling to school and feared increased crime.

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.

Great Barrier Reef suffering from 'complete ecosystem collapse'

The chief investigator for Coral Watch Justin Marshall who spent a week this month conducting surveys on the reefs around Lizard Island has said parts of the Great Barrier Reef are suffering from “complete ecosystem collapse”, as fish numbers plummet and surviving corals continue to bleach.

He said: “The lack of fish was the most shocking thing. I was seeing a lot less than 50% of what was there [before the bleaching]. Some species I wasn’t seeing at all.”

ETU ad pulled by Herald Sun

This advertisement was booked to run in Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun, to draw attention to the plight of 55 Carlton United Brewery workers who were unfairly sacked and offered their jobs back at 65% less pay.

Being the darlings of the big end of town that it is, the Herald Sun has refused to run it. But we can all help to share it far and wide.

As the dispute enters its seventh week, you can help to increase the pressure on the company.

Longwarry Foods workers win new agreement

The National Union of Workers announced on July 15 that 50 workers who were locked out of a Victorian milk processing plant by Longwarry Foods on July 5 will be able to return to work after they voted for a new agreement.

Workers had been protesting outside Longwarry Foods, owned by Parmalat, one of the country's biggest milk producers, for 11 days, calling for better working conditions and to return to work.

Wicked Campers vans could be deregistered

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has announced plans to introduce legislation holding commercial vehicle registration holders to determinations by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

This would mean the registration of any commercial vehicle with slogans deemed to be offensive or that otherwise failed to comply with the ASB's standards, such as those on Wicked Campers vans, could be cancelled.

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