Tag 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’.


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

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.

Stop the Bailey’s refuelling depot at East Balmain

Luxury homes in East Balmain are a stone's throw from the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot with 400,000 litres of fuel

Luxury homes in East Balmain are a stone's throw from the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot with 400,000 litres of fuel

Balmain Labor voters – and all voters – will take their revenge at the next election if this State Government allows the Bailey’s refuelling depot to go ahead at White Bay Wharf 6 which is, in fact, in East Balmain.

It seems the State Labor Government doesn’t give a fig about people’s lives when it comes to making a buck as it has approved the building of a refuelling depot right in the midst of one of the most desirable residential addresses in Sydney, East Balmain.

Banner with the words 'no fuel depot' put up by angry residents at East Balmain to stop the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot

Banner put up by angry residents at East Balmain to stop the proposed Bailey's refuelling depot

The depot has the capacity to hold 400 000 litres of fuel literally metres from high density housing. It will operate 365 days a year, with a capacity to operate 24/7 and after hours refuelling will be unsupervised.In 2008, a special independent review heard compelling technical experts argue against the Bailey’s development at White Bay. In addition, Sydney’s feul and barge operators have said that White Bay is an inappropriate place to locate the refuelling depot and that the Bailey’s proposal is an inefficient way to provide fuel in Sydney Harbour.

Say no to the planned refuelling depot across from the Sydney CBD

Say no to the planned refuelling depot across from the Sydney CBD

The Leichhardt Municipal Council has been campaigning against the proposal for five years. Residents are furious. This valuable harbourside land should be developed as parkland with amenities that attract Balmain residents and visitors from further afield to picnic and enjoy this wonderful harbour waterfront.With the State Election coming up, now is the time to write to those who can overturn the decision.

See a list of State Ministers and members with an example email to register your objection – starting with the Premier, Kristina Keneally.

Send your objection directly to Bailey’s Marine: Scott Bailey, Managing Director; Guy Bailey, Director.

See a draft email to use when sending your objection email.

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

You can also visit the Balmain Rozelle community website to lodge your objection to the refuelling depot.

Read the Inner West Courier article on the proposed Green Ban to halt the Bailey’s plan.


Example objection email to Bailey’s refuelling depot

People power can stop the refuelling depot

Here is an example of an objection email to Government ministers. Yes, we can make a difference!

I totally object to the proposed refuelling depot at White Bay in the heart of East Balmain, one of our premier residential areas of Sydney for the following reasons.

1. Balmain is one of the most desired residential addresses in Sydney. The proposed intensive refuelling operations have the capacity to operate 24/7 with marine fuel tanks that can store 400,000 litres. It makes no sense whatsoever to put such a facility next door to a prime residential area.

2. This magnificent harbour location should be set aside for public usage with parks and outdoor facilities and transport access (ferries, water taxis). The refuelling depot will be an eye-sore on our beautiful harbour, off limits to the public and not predominately for a few thousand wealthy power boat owners. The current usage is a container wharf but these are being removed gradually and being replaced by common public access areas.

3. The inner Sydney Harbour is a major tourist attraction. Sydney attracts $5 billion p.a. in tourism dollars. It makes no sense to put a powerboat refuelling depot right in the middle of this valuable harbour environment. Not to mention the environmental issues surrounding such a facility!

As a citizen of this state, I request that the building of a refuelling depot at White Bay be overturned and that this valuable harbourside land be designated for public use for all to enjoy.


Write to a minister of MLA member today

Write to:
the Premier – currently Kristina Keneally
the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly (BTW, Sharon is the contact name on the email address on Mr Kelly’s website)
the local State Labor member, Labor’s Verity Firth

Ask the opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell, what he intends to do to stop the Bailey’s refuelling depot going ahead should he be elected Premier. If it came down to it, many Inner West Labor voters could well vote Liberal if there were guarantees to stop Bailey’s.

Let’s not forget the Greens. Write a letter asking for them to raise the issue in Parliament and for their support of the campaign to stop the refuelling depot. Here’s a few: Ian Cohen, Cate Faehrmann, John Kaye, David Shoebridge. Who knows, the Greens may end up with the balance of power in State Parliament and we want to make sure that the Bailey’s plan for intensive refuelling operations right next door to people’s homes does not go ahead.

Send your objection directly to Bailey’s Marine: Scott Bailey, Managing DirectorGuy Bailey, Director.

Visit the Stop Baileys website and register your objection.

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.