Australia

Hundreds rallied in Brisbane on July 20 to mark the fifth anniversary of the reopening of Nauru and Manus Island detention centres

The Tamil Refugee Council has reported that asylum seeker Thileepan Gnaneswaran, who was deported on July 16, separating him from his wife and 10-month-old daughter, was arrested on unknown charges on arrival in Sri Lanka and later released.

His wife and daughter were both granted safe haven enterprise visas on July 11, two days before Gnaneswaran was issued with a removal notice after his claim for protection was rejected. Their separation will almost certainly be permanent as her visa does not allow for family reunion and she cannot return to Sri Lanka.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to investigate the role of intelligence services in the bugging of East Timor's cabinet rooms while the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits. Wilkie has the support of Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim and South Australian Senators Tim Storer and Rex Patrick.

A “Homes not Prisons” event in Fitzroy on July 18 attracted more than 100 concerned public housing residents and community members from across Melbourne to the Atherton Gardens public housing precinct.

The aim was to highlight the staggering inequity of expenditure by state and federal governments on prisons compared to public housing for the vulnerable in the community.

Months after missing its March deadline for financial closure on its Carmichael mine and rail project, Adani has relaunched its PR offensive with claims its finances are almost stitched up.

In an interview on July 17, Karan Adani, son of the company’s owner Gautam Adani, told Indian TV it was now finalising the rail project’s financing.

More than 300 truckies, their families and supporters protested around the country on July 16 to demand an end to the pressure in the industry that is killing hundreds of people on the roads every year. In the past 12 months, 184 drivers have been killed in truck crashes.

After 12 days on strike, workers at Laverton Cold Storage voted on July 6 for their first union workplace agreement.

Emma Kerin from the National Union of Workers told Green Left Weekly that the striking workers had voted unanimously to return to work after endorsing a new EBA that includes significant gains for the workers.

Activists can see the light at the end of this very long tunnel, and are pushing for the Queensland parliament to vote to legalise abortion rights.

“We call on the federal government to scrap the [NewStart Allowance] ‘demerit points plan’ and stop demonising the unemployed,” NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon told a public forum at UnionsNSW on July 4.

The forum was hosted by the national and Western Sydney branches of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU). The AUWU is conducting a nationwide campaign, called “Dump Your Demerit Points”, to educate members on how to fight back against this punitive system.

Bus drivers employed in Victoria have been forced to take strike action — the first in 20 years — because of the bosses' ridiculously small wage offer.

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