Category Archives: Politics

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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Why Australia is the best country in the world right now

Image of Manly Beach, Sydney New South Wales in Autumn with thousands of people enjoying the sunshine

Australians having a good time at Manly Beach

All the doomsayers who winge about the state of Australia under the Gillard Government might be interested in the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economic Outlook May 2013.   Continue reading

How poor are you?

Image of $2 coins

If you think you are doing it tough on $150K, think about the Aussies earning much less than 49 000.

We read a lot in the media about how a family on $150 000 a year in Australia is reported as ‘struggling’ to make ends meet – the new middle class poor. Continue reading

Lock The Gate community action

Image from Lock The Gate alliance website

Let’s all get behind the Lock The Gate Alliance and protect the Australian environment

Many Australians are against the exploration of and drilling for coal seam gas in protected areas, national parks, on our most fertile agricultural plains as well as in and around cities and towns. Continue reading

Corporate genius? Whatever

Image of ad for a seminar in Sydney Unwrapping Genius with George Clooney and Martha Stewart

George Clooney in Sydney? I’d like to see that!

On a Virgin flight to Brisbane, reading Voyeur, an advertisement for a Global Leadership Forum’ seminar caught my eye.

Well, a photo of George Clooney caught my eye so I looked more closely at the page. Continue reading

Qantas in deep doggies!

Shocked look on girl's face is a bit like my reaction to Alan Joyce shutting down Qantas around the world

OMG, did Alan Joyce really shut down Qantas and blame the unions for his actions?

Shock was the first reaction to Qantas pulling the plug on all their services around the world. This has got to be the best lesson in how to piss off your customers and everyone else to boot. What an act of complete bastardry. Continue reading

Australia says ‘yes’ to taxing polluters

Poster supporting the clean energy future bills for pricing pollution and funding clean energy

Say Yes Australia campaign poster – Yes: Price Polution

Over the years, thousands of people have marched for action on climate change. All through the 2000s, I’ve made it a point to join rallies through the streets of Sydney to show my support for action that will ensure a cleaner, greener future. In fact, I want a cleaner, greener now! Continue reading

Blind hatred is the precursor to dumb violence

A man is assisted on the streets of Oslo after the bombing by right-wing Christain loony

Innocent people caught up in the hatred of one man’s twisted vision of society

One can’t have a blog called ‘stuff matters’ and not comment on stuff that really does matter. The atrocious crime committed by Anders Behring Brievik in Norway last weekend was horrific. Continue reading

NSW state elections

Election posters at the Nicholson Street booth in Balmain 26 March 2011

The signs are out for a massive swing against the Labor Government: these signs lead voters to the Nicholson Street booth in East Balmain

It looks like it will be a blood bath for Labor in this election. In Balmain, Verity Firth is running her campaign under the banner, Keep Verity. I ask myself why would we? For any of the big issues affecting the people of Balmain which forms a significant part of her electorate, she was noticeable only by her lack of action. Jamie Parker, the Green candidate, looked more like the compassionate, caring Labor person.

On the Barangaroo redevelopment that is opposed by many local councils, the National Trust of Australia, numerous respected members of the community and locals in surrounding districts including Balmain, Verity (a member of cabinet) did absolutely nothing and said virtually nothing.

On Baileys Marine Refueling Depot dumped on the Balmain foreshore (where there should be recreational space as it is one of the best vantage points on the inner harbour), Verity did nothing.

When Sting was going to perform on New Year’s Eve on the old vehicle terminal at White Bay, Verity violently opposed the concert because of the noise: it’s New Year’s Eve. Give me a break, Verity.

As for the rest of the Labor Government, the Premier and the the lot of them, don’t tell people like me that you want a fair go for the people of New South Wales. Barangaroo – you supported big business over the people’s wishes, Baileys Marine Refueling – same. And if I lived in the Hunter region which is being destroyed with mining, I’d be furious.

I’m not saying the Liberals would be any different. I don’t trust them either. The Friends of Barangaroo have been calling for a full enquiry into the process for granting Lend Lease the right to develop (overdevelop) the area. The O’Farrell team remain pretty much mute on the subject.

From my perspective, it’s time all politicians embraced renewable energy options, stopped damaging the environment with coal and gas mines, and started thinking about how, as a state, we can provide an exemplary vision for the future that doesn’t bow to the pressures of large development corporations such as Lend Lease and the like.

If the Keneally Government had been in power when the Opera House was on the drawing board, I’d hate to think what monstrosity would be sitting there today.

Campaign against Baileys Refuelling Depot at East Balmain builds support

The community of Balmain came out in force today in Darling Street outside Woolies to campaign against the refuelling depot planned for the prime residential area of East Balmain.

Young children holding placards in protest of the Baileys Refuelling Depot proposed for East Balmain

The campaign heats up in Darling Street Balmain as residents muster support from locals

It was a sea of  ‘Stop Baileys’ banners, people discussing the implications, signing petitions. Even the kids are keen to make sure that the refuelling facility does not go ahead.

From the support of the shoppers and locals, this campaign is only going to get stronger. And the protesters are going to keep up the fight. With only a 10 year lease, the campaign will be working firstly to stop the depot in the first place and secondly to ensure that the lease will not be renewed in 202o thus making the whole project potentially nonviable.

John Stomolis, left, with local residents fighting against the Baileys fuel depot planned for East Balmain

Balmain residents out in force in Balmain on Saturday 17 October to protest against Baileys Fuel Depot

The residents of Balmain were promised a consultative process for the redevelopment of White Bay with promises of community and recreational facilities. So far, all the State Government has delivered is industrial [money making] projects that will do nothing to enhance one of the most desirable suburbs in Sydney.

Notable absence at the protest this morning in Balmain was local state member, Verity Firth.

Write to Verity and other cabinet ministers and the directors of Baileys Marine to object to this obscene plan to dump 400 o00 of fuel in the middle of East Balmain residences. See a draft email to use.

Read more about the consequences of putting a refuelling depot in Balmain.

Go to the Stop Baileys website for more information and to join the campaign. We need your support right now.