Farida Iqbal

GLW author Farida Iqbal

Small parties do preference deals in WA Senate election

After 1370 votes went missing during the Western Australian senate election last year, the vote was declared void. Another election has been called for April 5.

The difference between this election and the last one is that the agenda of prime minister Tony Abbott is clearer. Anti-Abbott sentiment was particularly dramatic at the March in March rally, which drew 3000 people in Perth.

Socialist party to be alternative voice at WA Senate election

Western Australia will go to the polls on April 5 to re-elect its federal Senators.

The election was called to fix a mammoth electoral bungle, which left many Western Australians questioning the democracy of the political system.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam appealed for a recount of the Senate vote when it looked like he had narrowly lost his seat to the Palmer United Party in the September federal election. During the recount, it came to light that 1375 votes had gone missing, and the result of the election was declared void. Six seats are up for re-election.

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Fracking delay likely in the Kimberley

Community opposition may soon put fracking on hold in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. This could culminate in the first big victory for the anti-fracking movement in Western Australia.

Buru Energy, partnered with Mitsubishi, intends to frack four wells east of Broome 34 times this year, starting in May. This is the largest single fracking proposal to be put forward in Western Australia so far. The area is a wetland used by Aboriginal owners.

UWA on the brink of industrial action

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at a Perth university has been forced to the brink of industrial action.

University of Western Australia (UWA) management has spent over a year dragging its feet in enterprise bargaining negotiations, but has refused to budge on key issues of pay, workload limits and parking fees.

EPA fails to assess 'fracking' in the Kimberley

In late January, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided not to assess a proposal for fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Buru Energy plans to conduct 34 fracks in the region starting this year.

It intends to conduct most of these fracks at four existing wells: two at Yulleroo, 90 kilometres east of Broome, and two at Valhalla/Asgard, 320 kilometres east of Broome.

Radicals not setting back marriage equality movement

In his opinion piece “Will Radicals Set Back the Marriage Equality Movement?”, OutInPerth editor Graeme Watson writes that Equal Love is threatened by a “socialist takeover”.

Don’t frack the Lesueur National Park

Australian oil and gas company AWE has signalled its intention to mine for unconventional gas on farmland bordering Western Australia’s Lesueur National Park. The proposal, released in October, includes plans to use the damaging process known as “fracking” to extract gas, starting in March next year.

The national park is a environmentally significant area. It holds more than 900 different plant species and more than 10% of the total known flora of WA. It also holds seven species of declared rare fauna, and nine taxa found nowhere else in the world.

Murdoch University staff cancel industrial action

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at Murdoch University have voted to call off industrial action and support a new enterprise agreement with the university.

The agreement was offered as union members were preparing to go on strike on November 20.

Initially, the university had refused a pay rise of more than 4% over the next two years. This would have been well below inflation and effectively a pay cut.

International Transgender Day fights phobia

Rita Hester was found murdered inside her apartment on November 28, 1998. Hester was transgender and also African American, her death highlighting not only the issue of transphobic murder, but also the disproportionate representation of people of colour among its victims.

Her murder is still unsolved but an international day of action known as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is marked on November 20 each year.
 
Hester’s murder was preceded and followed by other high profile transphobic murders.

Fighting for marriage equality in the ACT

The same-sex marriage bill passed in the Australian Capital Territory on October 22 was the most important victory of the equal marriage rights campaign so far. It is the first time queer people have had the right to marry in Australia and follows a seven-year campaign in the ACT, and a nine-year struggle nationwide.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is likely to do everything in his power to overturn the legislation. The federal government will be taking it to the High Court next month.

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