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Media Release: Barbara Bloch and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon Launch Greens Campaign for Watson

Barbara Bloch, Greens’ candidate for Watson in the upcoming Federal Election, launched her campaign in Punchbowl before a large and enthusiastic group of supporters.  Dr Bloch is a long- time resident in the area and has been a political activist all her adult life, working around social justice issues. She has worked with migrants and refugees in the school and TAFE sectors as well as teaching in the Communications degree at UTS.

The Watson campaign will focus on three issues – Affordable Housing, Education and Sustainable Development.

The Greens have long supported an end to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions. “Affordable housing is a right for all Australians.  These tax concessions and rebates have overwhelmingly benefited the rich, not those just trying to buy a home, and certainly not those who need to rent” Dr Bloch explained.

Dr Bloch and the Greens support the funding of schools on a needs basis as the Gonski Review recommended.  “Every child deserves the right to a quality public education” she said. Dr Bloch also called for the funding of TAFE to be reinstated. “The Greens are committed to prioritising budget spending on a well-funded quality public TAFE system to meet Australia’s future skills training needs”.  TAFE can provide the education for the jobs of the future” she said.

Sustainable housing development is another issue Dr Bloch will campaign strongly for.  “We need livable cities.  Suburbs and neighbourhoods where people can work and play.  Cities where public transport gets people out of gridlock and to where they need to be.”  Dr Bloch was strongly critical of the Sydenham to Bankstown urban renewal plan and the Westconnex Motorway conglomerate.

“100,000 extra people are being dumped here without any planning for schools, hospitals and parks.  The only plan is a privatised South Western metro train that will close the Bankstown train line for up to three years. Commuters will be forced to stand for their journey. Why replace the Bankstown line? The people of Watson deserve better.”

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon strongly endorsed this outstanding candidate.  “I have known Barbara for many years and she has worked tirelessly in the cause of social justice and equality”.  Senator Rhiannon also stressed the need for action on climate change, saying: ‘We value our clean air, clean water and fresh, local food. We value a safe climate, and we want to pass a safe Australia on to our children and their children.

“But climate change puts this all at risk. We know what the impacts will be in Australia. Already, we are seeing extreme summer heat, breaking record after record. If we do nothing, we know to expect worse droughts, floods and heat waves.

“That’s why we’re working with people to take the power back from the big end of town and the government that delivers for them – so that together we can build an Australia we can be proud to pass on. The Greens have a fully costed plan for transitioning towards 100% renewable energy by 2030, and away from reliance on coal-fired power”

Canterbury Greens Councilor Linda Eisler chaired the meeting and lent her support.





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CANTERBURY Greens councillor Linda Eisler has slammed the State Government’s “undemocratic attempt” to force councillors to reapply for their jobs, despite no decision made on merger proposals yet.

Cr Eisler said she would not support the government’s latest move while the results of the boundary review process were still being finalised.

“No one expected the Baird Government to take this unexpected and highly contentious approach during a period of great division and tension, while awaiting the outcome,” she said.

Canterbury Mayor Brian Robson said he would continue to serve until his term ended.

“I’m disappointed the Government has asked me if I will serve my community. But I’m not running away from it,” he said.

On the expression of interest form, councillors are given the choice of positions including administrator, councillor, member of local representation committee, or member of implementation advisory group.

by Cindy Ngo
The Express, Tuesday 5, 2016, p3

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Boundary changes for Amalgamations close on 28th February.
Closing date for attending/speaking at Public Meetings on 2nd February close on 29th January. You need to register to attend and or speak.

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Col Hesse interview. The message was clear from Tim Williams from the Committee for Sydney on Radio Skid Row 88.9 FM this morning: the discussion around how we live in Sydney requires that the business case for WestConnex must be released before the State Government lets the contracts. Tim Williams observed that the debate on Sydney’s planning is moving quickly, and that easy access to federal road funding may be about to disappear, thus making is more difficult to build poorly planned roads.
Planning is a big issue too in Canterbury, and Greens Councilor Linda Eisler expressed great concern that plans by the State Government to massively increase density in the Canterbury LGA have not been consulted with the community. Clr Eisler was also concerned that Council was ingnoring resident concerns about development and the absence of much needed infrastructure to support increased density, including public transport, schools, healthcare and open space. There’s a public meeting in Earlwood this Sunday to discuss how respond to these challenges.

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Daily Telegraph

EXCLUSIVE: BIG-SPENDING councils are holding ratepayers to ransom by refusing to cut costs through mergers and pressuring Liberal MPs to drop their support for amalgamations.

Liberal MPs and senior party figures told The Daily Telegraph that support for council mergers was dwindling within the party because some MPs were scared of upsetting their local power base and others were worried about creating Labor “super councils” in the east.

However, Local Government Minister Paul Toole, a Nationals MP, is standing firm in the face of his Liberal colleagues, telling The Telegraph “no change is not an option” and vowing he would not back down on a complete shake-up of councils.

One senior Liberal said council mergers was an even harder reform to sell to the electorate than electricity ¬privatisation, adding that many MPs were concerned about the public backlash.
“What makes a lot of MPs reluctant to go down the path of forced amalgamations is that the sins of the state government on forced amalgamations will be felt by local MPs,” the Liberal said.
The government is considering cutting the state’s 152 councils to an expected 120-130, but beyond the Liberal party room another roadblock will be upper house crossbenchers from the Shooters and Fishers and Christian Democrats, which support a union-led anti-amalgamation campaign.
Mr Toole said the council system was hampering economic development.

He said there were at least 11 councils in Sydney with a mean development application processing time of 100 days. “No change is not an option for local government. We are committed to reform, we want to reform the whole system,” Mr Toole said.
“I would be surprised if the CDP and the Shooters and Fishers don’t want the same outcome — ensuring we have stronger councils, stronger communities and have councils running efficiently, with better services.
“We cannot sustain a situation where small city councils continue to receive generous government assistance grants while country communities are struggling to fix their roads.”
The Telegraph spoke to another senior Liberal who confirmed that some MPs were worried about their jobs.
“You get preselected by your branches, you need the support of your branches to be preselected,” they said.
Highlighting the split within the party, one Liberal MP accused the anti-merger members of self-interest.

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