Jim McIlroy

Up to 500 people packed into the Balmain Town Hall on May 19 to protest the state government's $17 billion WestConnex tollway project, which will destroy a large swathe of the city's inner western suburbs, and spew massive traffic flows and pollution into suburban streets.

The forum, sponsored by No WestConnex Annandale, heard from a panel of speakers, including Labor member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese and Greens candidate for the seat Jim Casey.

Duncan Storrar, the man who dared to ask a question about tax thresholds on ABC TV's Q & A program on May 9, has thanked Australians for their support and criticised the Murdoch press after he was villified in News Corp newspapers the following week.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in the following days raised more than $60,000 for Storrar, after he questioned the Coalition government's tax policy, introducing himself as someone with a "disability and a low education".

The continued forced removal of children from their families is one of the biggest crises facing Aboriginal communities today. More children are being removed now than at any time in Australia's history, with almost 16,000 Aboriginal children in “out of home care” on any given night.

This was the subject of a public forum organised by Grandmothers against Removals (GMAR) Sydney on April 30. GMAR is a national network that was formed by families who have been directly affected by forced removal.

"The plan for James Packer's Crown Casino at Barangaroo to take over even more public space shows that Packer and his fellow billionaires control the NSW Coalition government and are taking over all our precious state-owned land and assets at a rate of knots," Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney in the upcoming federal election, said on May 4.

Residents of public housing towers in Waterloo, inner Sydney, rallied on April 23 against the NSW Coalition government's plan to forcibly evict tenants so it can sell off their homes.

The community is fighting the government's plan to begin relocating residents from mid-next year, before demolishing the Waterloo apartment towers to build new private high-rise apartments.

The Mike Baird Coalition government in New South Wales is keeping its plans for further privatisation of the publicly-owned Sydney Trains network tightly under wraps, after state officials refused to release nearly 100 documents on the issue, declaring them "cabinet in confidence".

NSW Treasury bureaucrats rejected a freedom of information request from the Labor opposition, saying the correspondence and emails could have an impact on commercial interests.

In response to widespread protests against plans to cut hundreds of jobs from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), chief executive Dr Larry Marshall has announced a new CSIRO climate research centre in Hobart.

But senior scientists have slammed the plan, saying that Australia is still facing a major reduction in its climate research program.

The scientists told ABC News on April 26 that the 40 researchers allocated to the new centre may struggle "to do even the minimum of maintaining an Australian forecasting capability".

Chants of "MUA, here to stay!" rang out outside the electoral office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on April 13, as around 200 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rallied in protest against federal government attacks on the shipping industry, threats to reduce penalty rates and the Coalition's industrial relations agenda.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has rejected an "arbitrary deadline" of April 15 for acceptance of Patrick Stevedores' "final offer" on a new enterprise agreement (EA) for its waterfront workforce.

Patrick set a 36-hour deadline on April 14 for the MUA to accept the new enterprise agreement or the company would consider taking "penalty action" against workers in Sydney, Fremantle, Melbourne and Brisbane, which reportedly includes a lock-out.

The Powerhouse Museum in inner-city Ultimo is a great place to take the kids for an educational and enlightening experience. The NSW Coalition government's plan to sell off the museum building to private developers and shift the collection to Parramatta in Western Sydney is facing growing opposition.

Premier Mike Baird confirmed on April 11 the government's decision to shift the museum, to be constructed on the old David Jones car park site on the banks of the Parramatta River. Construction is due to begin in 2018 and finish by 2022.

Pages

Subscribe to Jim McIlroy