Treasurer Jim Chalmers claimed last week that the average Australian worker is $3,700 “better off” than a year ago, citing this as proof that Labor in government has delivered on its promise to “get wages moving again”. The West Australian newspaper called it “Labor’s wages growth win”. Other media headlines could almost have tricked you into thinking that workers are getting richer right now.
The student campaign group “Get a Room: Students for Affordable Housing” organised a protest in Brisbane on 14 June, calling on the Queensland Labor government to take action on the housing crisis. Around 500 members of the construction union, the CFMEU, left a nearby building site to join the action outside Parliament House, demanding a rent freeze, a massive expansion of public housing and a ban on evictions.
In the wake of the Manchester bombing, Melbourne mayor Robert Doyle has called for Victorian police to be armed with assault rifles. Doyle’s controversial statements, made in an interview on 3AW, shocked right wing presenter Neil Mitchell. “You can’t have a bloke on point duty or walking down the beat carrying one”, he responded.
The Maritime Union of Australia led a protest in Darwin on 8 February, calling for the resignation of the head of NT WorkSafe, Stephen Gelding.
The number of prisoners in Victoria has increased to 5,756, a record rise of 750 people, or 15 percent, in one year. More than half of this growth occurred during the past four months.