Coral bleaching due to global warming has continued to worsen in the northern Great Barrier Reef over the past two weeks, even as cooler weather has brought significant reprieve to central and southern areas. Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, says the northern reefs are in the most remote, pristine area of the Great Barrier Reef and it’s a tragedy to see them affected like this.
Environment groups, unionists, activists and MPs from diverse parties are coming together to protest the increased penalties and powers proposed by the NSW Baird Government. The plan is to protest new laws which would increase police powers in relation to protests and activism, and increase the penalties for protesters. Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge says the government is implementing these laws because they know protest and direct action work to protect both human rights and the environment. The protest mentioned in this interview took place on 15 March 2016.
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/sites/default/files/alp-greens_enoggera_kara_080316.mp3 Local council elections are coming up in just a few weeks, on March 19. The Enoggera Ward is part of Brisbane City Council, encompassing many of the North Western Suburbs. At 14%, it’s a very safe LNP seat. This election, there are three candidates running for the ward, LNP incumbent Andrew Wines; ALP candidate Amanda Ronan-Hearn; and Greens candidate Kirsty Ksiazek. I spoke to Amanda, and Greens Lord Mayoral candidate Ben Pennings, who stood in for Kirsty, about what they’re running for, and how they’re different. Councillor Andrew Wines was contacted, but was unavailable for interview.
The 2016 Mardi Gras saw tensions rise between the ‘No Pride in Detention’ float, which is advocating for the abolition of detention, especially for queer refugees, and the rainbow ALP float. No Pride in Detention organiser Evan says they were nearly removed from the parade after false accusations of harassment. In a statement, Mardi Gras CEO Michele Bauer said NSW Police had reported an “unacceptable level of harassment” from the No Pride members. She went on to say the decision to remove the No Pride in Detention float from its original position was “the best course of action to ensure both parties were able to march and spread their individual messages to the world while maintaining safety for all marchers.” A member of the float recorded Mardi Gras’ interaction with float organisers, which can be viewed here
International Women’s Day encourages discussion on creative ways to combat gender inequality. Dr Leah Ruppanner has written an article offering community-based ideas for equalising gender relations and improving the status of families. She says the battle for gender equality is not a battle of people but a battle of ideas.