Category Archives: Oz affairs

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’.

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

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

Federal election day, 2010

Maxine McKew with partner, Bob Hogg, concedes defeat on election night 2010

Maxine McKew with partner, Bob Hogg, is gracious as ever as she concedes defeat on election night 2010

From the start of the election campaign, things didn’t feel right. The mood of the people didn’t reflect the good shape of our community, the good state of the economy is in, nor the fact we in Australia escaped a recession and mass unemployment. In fact, unemployment is exceptionally low. So way the strange mood? Continue reading

Labor stimulus saved Australia from recession

Maxine McKew with Kevin Rudd greeted by well-wishers in the Eastwood Mall during the 2010 Election Campaign

Maxine McKew with former PM, Kevin Rudd, at the Eastwood Mall

It makes me so mad to hear people say that the reason Australia didn’t go into a recession was because of the strong mining sector or some other such reason. If I remember correctly, China and other major world commodity markets were in the doldrums so much of our precious resources weren’t going anywhere. Continue reading

Kevin Rudd supports Maxine in Bennelong

Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister, with Maxine McKew in her Federal seat of Bennelong

What a delight to see former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, helping Maxine McKew, in her Federal seat of Bennelong today. It’s the last weekend before the election, a gorgeous day in Sydney and a thrill to shake hands with Kevin.

A civilized society?

What is it that defines a ‘civilized’ society? What distinguishes between the barbaric and the cultured? Perhaps how a society looks after the most vulnerable amongst us is a good barometer of how civilized a society is.

Asylum seekers risk their lives to protect their families from persecution

There is no doubt that we in Australia are very fortunate. We live in an affluent society that provides opportunities for many of its citizens. Our social democratic values ensure reliable public health and education systems. Continue reading

The Australian federal election is on

How long ago was it that Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd for the Prime Ministership? It’s not too long yet the political landscape is set to be in for a rough ride as we head towards the 2010 federal election.

Protection of the environment remains a significant issue in the upcoming Australian federal election

Yesterday, Prime Minister Gillard announced that the federal election will be held on 21 August – five weeks from now. Continue reading