Red Leather #96
Red Leather # 96 – Wednesday 18 April
School holidays are upon us. As Parliament finished up for the Easter break, the O'Farrell government put through legislation that:
- Makes is easier to sack public servants by abolishing the previous Labor government's no forced redundancy policy and legislation
- Stops state MPs from having dual roles. This legislation colloquially became known as the get Clover bill. Expect a forced by election in Sydney sometime this year.
- Seeks to allow shop trading on Boxing day, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day.
There are a number of bills currently languishing on the notice paper as the Government seeks to deal with the Shooters Party to get through electricity privatisation and graffiti legislation. In coming weeks we will find out whether a deal has been reached.
There is currently a motion before the Legislative Council that seeks the support of members for marriage equality. I expect that this will be debated sometime in May. The debate will be a conscience vote of all members. The NSW Legislative Council is more conservative than it was before the last state election. I will be supporting the motion and working hard to get as many MLCs to do the same. In the meantime there are 3 days left to make a quick and easy submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the Federal marriage equality bills if you support equality. Make a submission today.
Next Week John Robertson is bringing Shadow Cabinet to Penshurst RSL. You can register for the Community Town Hall meeting here.
Website of the week: We’re Family Too is a ground-breaking report that documents the effects of homophobia on same sex attracted (SSA) people from Arabic-speaking backgrounds in NSW.
Video of the week: This ad from the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign has a powerful message to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Speech of the week: John Robertson's speech to the Housing Affordability summit hosted by WSROC.
What's happening in my duty electorates?
Stop Barry O'Farrell's Cynical Pension Grab!
The Federal Government is giving pensioners a boost to help them meet any increased costs associated with putting a price on carbon but Barry O'Farrell hasn't ruled out increasing public housing rents when carbon tax compensation begins.
Join NSW Shadow Minister for Housing, Adam Searle MLC, and myself for the launch of a petition calling on the O'Farrell Government not to increase public housing rents.
When: Friday, 20 April from 12-1pm
Where: Northcott Community Centre (at the end of Block C, 40 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010)
DOWNLOAD THE PETITION
With all the self-congratulations that happened after the 1 year anniversary of the O'Farrell Government, it's nice to have some perspective like this piece in the Eden Magnet about just what Andrew Constance has been up to over the last 12 months.
In the lead up to the election last year, Shelley Hancock promised a new police station at Sanctuary Point. 12 months late there is still no new police station and the Government has responded to a Question I asked about this issue by saying nothing it all.
What has the NSW Opposition been up to?
Shadow Roads Minister Robert Furolo and Opposition Leader John Robertson have slammed the O'Farrell Stoner Government for their hypocrisy over their refusal to fund the duplication of the Pacific Highway despite crowing about horrific accidents on the road for years.
Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew MacDonald hit out at the dangerous "drop and go" plan for ambulance crews to leave patients in Emergency Department corridors instead of staying with them until the hospital takes over their care; and called on the Government to rule out cutting nurse to patient staffing ratios in NSW hospitals.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Linda Burney demanded that Barry O'Farrell scrap plans to redevelop the asbestos-infested James Hardie factory siteat Camellia in Sydney's west.
Shadow Minister for Housing, Adam Searle said that O'Farrell Government looks set to cut payments to NSW pensioners and gouge the carbon pricing supplement they will receive from the Commonwealth by increasing public housing rents.
Meanwhile the O'Farrell Government rammed legislation through the Parliament that lifts the longstanding bipartisan ban on uranium exploration in NSW.
The Star Casino scandal keeps on getting messier and the Premier is doing nothing to halt gun violence with 20 shootings in the past month.
What's happening in Transport?
I gave a wrap up of the first 12 months of transport policy under the O'Farrell government.
Commuters are paying higher fares for overcrowded trains under Barry O'Farrell, with new figures revealing passengers are being crammed into carriages at 170 per cent capacity – and being charged $156 extra for the pleasure.
So much for the light rail revolution: the Government has further delayed the Inner West Light Rail, saying it now won't be completed until 2014.
IPART have released a their draft report on Taxi fares suggesting increases of 3.2% for urban taxis and 3.4% for country taxis from July 2012. Submissions on the draft report are due by Friday 11 May.
The City of Sydney is conducting a survey investigating the interactions of bike riders and bus drivers in Sydney. The survey takes about 5 mins of your time.
The Environmental Impact Statement for the North West Rail Link has been released.
The Hunter Independent Public Transport Inquiry presented their findings in Newcastle: www.hipti.org.au
Inter-regional public transport Inquiry - The Government is softening up CountryLink for "franchising". Make a submission to the Inquiry letting the Government know how vital CountryLink is for people in rural and regional NSW and demanding it stay in public hands. Submissions close 18 May 2012.
SAVE THE DATE: 17 May 2012
The GLORIAS are back for 2012 so keep 17 May free from 6.30pm for a night of fun and fabulousness!
You are invited to the third annual GLORIAs - the Gay & Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous & Ignorant comment Awards.
The GLORIAs are a fun event that shines the light on outrageous, ignorant and ridiculous comments made about our GLBTI citizens. The venue is the Parliament of NSW and the night will kick off from 6.30pm. Our host and special guests will be confirmed shortly.
This year awards will be given in six categories - Media, Sport, Politics & Law, Religion, Silliest GLBTI & International. Nominations are open now.
Keep checking www.TheGLORIAs.com.au for more info including ticket prices and bookings.
Australians Deserve to Age Well
Support the campaign to reform Australia's aged care sector.
Help Sydney Water
Barry O'Farrell is imposing massive cuts to Sydney Water but demanding huge profits back to his Government. This has already resulted in nearly 200 jobs being lost.
You can help if you are on facebook by liking their "Our Sydney Water" page or by going to the website www.asumembers.org.au and following the link "Our Sydney Water"
Australia’s Climate Action Summit – 27-29 April
Join ALP President Jenny McAllister and ACTU President Ged Kearny for the opening forum on this important summit. Please register at www.climatesummit.org.au where you'll find plenty of information regarding the Summit including the full program.
Inquiries receiving submissions
- Inquiry into Driver and Road User Distraction, closes 27 April.
- Inquiry into Outsourcing Community Service Delivery, closes 27 April.
- Inquiry into Inter-regional public transport, closes 18 May
"I rather liked my cousin, and I was told that's really not recommended, so we had a discussion in the family about those things.
"You can even marry an uncle, from memory".
- Dr David Phillips, National president of Family Voice Australia, thinks cousins getting married is ok, same-sex couples, not so much.