We have reached the end of the first session of the 55th Parliament. On 4 July Barry O'Farrell will have reached his much trumpeted first 100 days. Expect a media flurry where our new Premier will use every trick in the book to spin that he has met every objective in his 100 day plan.
In the meantime, workers around the state will be counting the cost of the first 100 days in relation to wages and conditions, loss of an independent umpire and now having fewer rights in the workplace than any other worker. And of course, OH&S laws have also been watered down.
From the Upper House it has been disappointing, but not really surprising, that the right-wing cross-benchers have fallen quickly into a working majority for the Government. The Shooters and Fishers Party and Fred Nile's Christian Democrats (together have been nicknamed gunsandmoses) worked with the Government on the IR and OH&S bill. They look like supporting the government to permanently limit debate in the Legislative Council further locking in this far right coalition.
The people of NSW will have to wait and see what the price of this support entails in relation to the Shooters and Nile agenda.
As the State Conference of NSW Labor approaches there is the opportunity for Labor to seriously take on the challenges that face our Party. In the lead up to conference I invite you to attend an event organised by Surry Hills Branch for Party members on Monday 27 June at 6pm at Unions NSW. John Faulkner is the guest speaker. You may also be interested in the Fringe events for conference.
Website of the week: The campaign for Equal Marriage is continuing. Marriage Equality Matters is looking for people to tell their stories about why they support equal marriage. If you have a story to tell - please contribute.
Video of the week: "Tony Abbott: In his own words"
Speech of the week: Linda Burney, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and member for Canterbury recently gave a speech to the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples. It's well worth a read.
PS. NSW Labor has made me the Duty MLC for Balmain, South Coast, Bega, Willoughby and Sydney. I look forward to working with all local Labor members, community organisations and others. If you have any issues you need assistance with please do not hesitate to contact me.
What's happened in Parliament?
The Government have:
Unusually, MP's have had to decide the future of two Magistrates. Magistrate Jennifer Betts was supported to continue as a Magistrate. Magistrate Brian Maloney's matter will be dealt with when Parliament returns in August. It is a process that most MP's are finding quite difficult.
Penny in Parliament
I lead for the Opposition in relation to the Infrastructure NSW bill. Asked questions about heavy rail into Newcastle and did an adjournment about the TEDxSydney forum.
Share Your Marriage Story
Marriage Equality Matters are collecting stories from across Australia, about why equal marriage matters to you. Stories should be from the older and young, parents and grandparents, professionals and tradies, city and country.
Share your story here.
Rainbow Labor Drinks Night
To raise money for our upcoming campaigns, Rainbow Labor will holding a drinks night at 7pm on Thursday, 30 June at the Beauchamp Hotel in Darlingurst.
Shadow Minister for Transport, the Hon. Penny Sharpe MLC will be among the special guests to help launch our campaign efforts for 2011!
Please invite your friends and come along for a fun night. Entry is $25.00 or $15.00 for concession.
All funds raised will go to our campaign for Marriage Equality. For more information contact: Jess on 0401 521 561.
‘It's Time', a special joint meeting of branches on the issue of ALP reform
Come along to a special meeting on the topic of ALP reform at 6pm, Monday 27 June, at the Unions NSW building. This meeting has been organised by the ALP Sydney State Electoral Council and all ALP members are welcome to attend.
Speakers include Senator John Faulkner and the Hon. Penny Sharpe MLC. Check out all the details here.
Please RSVP to: Cathy.Brown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Help Rebuild the Labor Party
Contribute your views to help the Labor Party reform https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/labor-reform
NSW Left Annual Conference Dinner
Saturday 9 July 2011 | Time: 6.30 for 7pm
Venue: Marigold Restaurant, Level 5, 683-689 George St, Haymarket.
Cost: $50/$30 concession | RSVP is essential: Using the booking form
The NSW ALP conference is less than 3 weeks away. Thanks to the hard work of rank and file members, there are about 150 reform proposals that will be considered there. These include direct election of party officers and upper house MP's, new rules to prevent branch stacking and making contact details for branch secretaries publicly available so that members can contact each other.
If we are to achieve reforms at this conference, we need every possible rank and file member to turn up on the the first day (Saturday July 9) and participate in two events:
- The rules debate will be held on the morning of Saturday July 9. Supporters of reform must turn up in forceto observe the debate andloudly let the voting delegates know that nothing less than far reaching reforms will be acceptable to the party's membership.
- An OurALP fringe event will be held on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 entitled Rebuilding a Mass Political Party. Former Premier Bob Carr will outline the 2010 national campaign review recommendations he co-authored and members from across the state will discuss how we can continue to build our movement for Labor renewal
NSW ALP Annual Conference
Date: Saturday July 9 - Sunday July 10
When: From 9:00am each morning
Where: Sydney Town Hall
For more info check out OurALP.net
Quote of the week
People may be aware that long time Secretary of the Darlington Branch, Trevor Davies, passed away recently. Here is a speech that I gave on Trevor. For this week's quote, I have chosen to include this poem written about Trevor Davies by his good friend Dorothy McRae-McMahon:
The local legend
There he was,
in his favourite café,
with life unfolding around him,
engaging with everyone as they passed
and sharing the latest.
And then he was gone,
as suddenly as a bright red autumn leaf
falling off a tree in the wind.
We looked around,
unable to imagine life without him,
he who knew everyone
and gathered us all together in his knowing.
Plod, plod, plod, he went,
pulling his trolley behind him
as he delivered his papers to the community
and kept checking
to see that we all did the same with our bundles.
Then he was mixing with
the state and country's leaders,
standing on the ground for what he believed,
a faithful representative
of his Party and the people.
"Do you vote Labor?" he asked the doctors
in the hospital emergency ward.
"Jesus loves you anyway" he reassured them
as they wondered what to say.
Such a mixture of determination
and vulnerability he was.
and yet a man of the people.
Such love and passion you leave behind you,
No-one can replace you,
but maybe your kindly spirit
will travel on among those who have known you.
Rest in peace, dear friend.
Jesus does indeed love you forever,
and so do we.