Red Leather #92
NSW Parliament is now finished for 2011. The Government ended the year by:
- Cutting the entitlements for Police Officers who are injured. Read Nathan Rees' speech here.
- Announcing that they would privatise the state's electricity generators
- Supporting Fred Nile's bill to reintroduce MP's swearing allegiance to the Queen, her heir and successors. Member of the Liberal Lunar Right David Clarke's speech is worth a read (you'll have to scroll down)
The O'Farrell Government's bill dealing with electoral funding has been sent to a committee for further investigation. Watch this space in 2012.
Labor has some big decisions to make this weekend at the National Conference. Should we sell uranium to India? Fair trade, our treatment of refugees and supporting equality for all Australian couples are just some of the key debates. Can the Party reform itself to renew for the future? If you are a Party member you can come along (bring your party card and other ID) to conference. Also don't forget to check out the Fringe Program.
Vale Geoff Collins - President of Narooma Branch. Last week I attended the funeral of long time husband to Gabe, friend to many, Labor member, Swans supporter, animal lover and Narooma Lions founder, Geoff Collins. It was a wonderful celebration of a life taken too soon. The Narooma News wrote this lovely tribute.
Video of the week: GetUp have produced a wonderful video calling on Labor to support marriage equality. It has gone viral with over 1.3 million views in less than 5 days. You can check it out here.
Speech of the week: Peter Primrose MLC, to the Inaugural Annual Dinner of the Newcastle Local Government Committee of the ALP.
PS Thanks to those who came along to Helen Westwood and my end of year drinks. It was great to see so many of you.
What has the NSW Opposition been up to?
Voters in the Clarence sent a strong message to the O'Farrell Government, delivering a 19 per cent primary vote swing towards Labor in the Clarence by-election.
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson called on the O'Farrell Government to suspend all Coal Seam Gas exploration licenses and cease issuing extraction licenses until robust peer-reviewed scientific evidence is conducted into the impacts of Coal Seam Gas on ground water and aquifers.
The O'Farrell Government has exposed what it will trade to get its legislation through the Upper House. Instead of voting down Reverend Nile's Bill to repeal ethics classes, the O'Farrell Government voted for it to be considered further by a parliamentary committee.
Shadow Minister for Community and Family Services, Barbara Perry and Shadow Minister for Women, Sophie Cotsis welcomed the announcement from the Gillard Government that it will provide $2 billion over six years to fund an increase for some of Australia's lowest paid workers.
The NSW Labor Opposition called on the O'Farrell Government to rule out allowing grazing in national parks and moved a motion of no confidence against Environment Minister Robyn Parker � for repeatedly failing to warn the community about toxic chemical leaks and lacking even a basic understanding of her ministerial responsibilities.
I called on the Transport Minister to do something to ease pressures on the taxi industry and crackdown on rogue drivers charging ridiculous fares over Christmas.
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Do you have some free time around midday on Friday 1 December?
If so, keep it free. We can't say why yet. But we can say it will be worth it.
Please email Rainbow Labor (email@example.com) if you can make it.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
NSW Teachers' Federation Auditorium
37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Book your free spot to ensure you don't miss out.
All party members welcome.
What a Drag!
Rainbow Labor and Unions for Marriage Equality are joining forces for the ALP National Conference fringe program to bring you a night of drinks, food and music on the evening before conference.
WHEN: 7.30pm, Thursday 1 December.
WHERE: Upstairs at the Belvedere Hotel.
COST: $20 / $10 concession.
RSVP Essential: By 29/11 to Michael Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0413 473 773.
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- Inquiry into Management of Domestic Wastewater, closes 16 December.
- Inquiry into Inclusion of donor details on the register of births, closes 21 December.
- Inquiry into Provisions of the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Bill 2011, closes 11 January.
- Inquiry into Health Care Complaints and Complaints Handling in NSW, closes 3 February.
- Inquiry into the Economics of Energy Generation, closes 10 February.
- Inquiry into The utilisation of rail corridors, closes 29 February.
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In 1853 the NSW Parliament was debating the introduction of a new Marriage Act which would set up a civil registry to oversee and register religious marriages and to allow non-religious civil marriages to be celebrated by a registrar, superseding the previously dominant Church of England.
A similar system had been legislated in England and Wales in 1836 and had been operating for sixteen years.
The proposal was vigorously opposed by most of the churches in NSW, but at least one minster supported the change and gave his reasons in a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Extract from letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 18 October 1853, p 3:
"... But marriage, Sir, is the right of man, not as a Presbyterian, or an Episcopalian, or a Papist, or anything else, but simply as a man; and therefore when the civil government legislates on marriage, the legislation must be applicable to all, without the slightest recognition of religious distinctions, which have no more concern with the legal validity of marriages than with the legal validity of promissory notes or conveyances.
- A MINISTER OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. (Read the full extract on my website.)