Working on the Labor campaign trail

The Prime Minister gives the thumbs up to the campaign volunteers at Parramatta on Tuesday night, 30 July 2013

The Prime Minister gives the thumbs up to the campaign volunteers at Parramatta on Tuesday night, 30 July 2013

Becoming a volunteer for the Labor Party to help them retain government at the upcoming election was a very good decision. It’s been interesting to work on the campaign trail and I’ve met so many amazing people, like the Prime Minister of Australia.

Kevin Rudd turned up at the Parramatta Labor Office which is housed in a building appropriately called Gough Whitlam House. Naturally, he was met with great enthusiasm.

Why have I volunteered? For a start, I believe we live in a society. We don’t live in an economy, especially not an economy that functions to make the big end of town richer.

I want to see a society where everyone can make a decent living. The LNP will change workplace relations for the worse. As a party, they believe in supporting business at the expense of workers. We have seen the results of this under the Howard government – the very rich became richer and everyone else was left behind. Employers want the cheapest labour, not fair labour conditions. Remember Gina Reinhardt? The wealthiest woman in the world wants to pay workers $2.00 a day if she can.

I want workers (non-union as well as union) to be paid appropriately for their work. With over half the full-time earners in Australia earning under $50,000 a year, one can see how difficult it is for half the workforce to live and raise a family.

team to talk to voters at Parramatta on 30 July 2013

Kevin Rudd joins the team to talk to voters at Parramatta on 30 July 2013 – that’s Susie in the background chatting to Pat, the campaign manager

I believe that every child should benefit from our school system. This means increasing the funding to our public schools, especially those with disadvantaged students. The fairer Better Schools program (known as Gonski) will help do this.

I also want faster broadband and the NBN will give us faster access to the Internet. My business, and other small businesses around Australia, will benefit immensely. Not only that, the fast NBN can deliver better health and education outcomes as well. See information on the New Zealand equivalent. We certainly can’t have the Kiwis beating us on such an important issue. The LNP’s offering is a joke. Old copper wires connecting the nodes and the end users is nineteenth-century infrastructure connecting a 21st-century system. Totally crazy.

So I volunteered along with my husband to make sure that we have a government which values community and works to ensure that the majority can lead happy, healthy lives.

I’m proud of Labor’s record in government: avoiding recession during the worst world economic failure since the Depression, reforming the education system, introducing the national disability insurance scheme, taking on the difficult challenges of climate change  and making the top 500 polluters pay while subsidising ordinary Australians, plain-packaging cigarette packets, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers and lifting the tax-free threshold to $18,000.

More needs to be done. That’s why until the election, which will be held sometime this year, my husband and I will be volunteering to help Labor candidates communicate with their electorates and get their votes. We go to Parramatta on Saturday afternoons from 12 to 3pm, contact people and to talk to them about their concerns and how the Labor government is helping them. Volunteers are also working every week night from 5.30 until 8pm. But there’s other work to be done – door knocking and working on a booth on election day.

Come and join the party!

We need more volunteers. Visit the Australian Labor Party’s website and hit ‘volunteer’.

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