Posts Tagged ‘Community Engagement’

 

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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Lakemba is a wonderful community and it was Councillor Eisler’s great pleasure to congratulate them on their first anniversary of Lakemba Community Markets.The Community Centre has done a fabulous job getting these markets happening and Canterbury Council has been very supportive. They are on from 11am on the first Saturday of the month. 7th May is the next one.
It was wonderful for Cr Eisler to visit the community gardens too, as she

had helped get the seeding money, and, sat on the committee that determined its design. It’s looking terrific.

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http://www.canterburyconnects.com.au/what-are-the-best-uses-for-waterworth-park-gough-whitlam-reserve

Complete the survey and save us from an archery park in Waterworth and a bike safety facility in Gough Whitlam.

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The State Government has legislation before the Upper House to give them the power to privatise railway lines. They intend to privatise the Sydenham to Bankstown line (with discussion it will go to Liverpool).
The line will be closed for 3 years. Yes, for 3 years commuters will rely on buses and cars to get to work. This will merely add to commuter time and the congestion on our roads. We have a fine railway line, so why destroy it? Why not add railway lines? How about one linking to other Inner West lines?
 
Read the following article on why your local train station is important to your health.

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Yesterday Clr Linda Eisler spoke at the Boundary Change Forum on the proposed Canterbury Bankstown Merger
No time limit was given before the meeting. Many were upset that they had not been told there would be a limit of 3 minutes. Councillor Eisler managed to cover the issues raised in the following speech. She will be making a submission to the commission before 28th February deadline:
 
I have been a fulltime councillor since 2008. My ward is East Ward and I live on the Canterbury boundary in Hurlstone Park.
 
I sit on around 12 committees and am on 2 chambers of commerce. One of the committees is Southern Sydney Region of Councils which does what the proposed merger is supposed to do. It saves member councils money. Councils from Woollahra to Sutherland band together to do submissions like: street lighting; energy cost control; amalgamations, and, tenders like: waste management; pool supplies; temporary staff; telecommunications.
 
SSROC programs saves more money than any amalgamation could.
 
Canterbury has reduced its staff over the years. We had 700 staff and now just 540 by natural attrition and redundancies. I don’t believe in a council the size of Canterbury and with the services we provide that there is room to reduce. We have also outsourced what we can.
 
The residents made it very clear in our survey that they do not want to be amalgamated with Bankstown. I can tell you, residents whether Labor, Liberal or Green voting, have told me they DO NOT want to be amalgamated with Bankstown.
Why have we been amalgamated with Bankstown? Canterbury is 150k residents and growing. Bankstown has 200k residents and told they were big enough to stand alone! The amalgamations around us are less than Canterbury on its own. It does not make sense.
 
As a full time councillor I am available 7 days a week. People ring anytime from 7 in the morning to 10pm on a Sunday night. I answer calls from one end of Canterbury to the other, not just East Ward.
 
The main issue for people is DA’s.
What is built next to and near determines their quality of life. Canterbury should be made smaller, not bigger. Size impacts councillor knowledge and therefore any judgement and decision I make.
I spend hours reading the DA’s and talking to the Director, questioning the decision making. Joining Canterbury to Bankstown will make it impossible to make fair and just decisions.
The workload on Councillors will be immense. The proposed merger would dramatically increase the ratio of residents to elected councillors to 23,399 residents per councillor, up from 16,696 in Bankstown and 15,063 in Canterbury. In reality, however many residents there are in a council that’s how many residents per Councillor. So from 150k to 350k in a merged council.
 
Based on international comparisons there is not a good case for making either of these councils any larger. Sydney councils are on average almost four times larger than metropolitan councils across the developed world, with the average population of OECD metropolitan councils 27,224 .
 
It also impacts on the voice of residents and community groups: The larger the council the more muted their voice. The point of being local is to give them a voice.
 
When I drive around Canterbury I see signs saying Welcome to Canterbury; street signs with our logo; trucks; uniforms; stationary and the list goes on. Extraordinary expenditure will be needed to change to a Canterbury/Bankstown logo and for what? Supposed savings which can easily be gained through SSROC? Savings Council constantly works to achieve.
Not only that, things like IT mergers will be extraordinarily expensive. The time staff spend supporting and serving the community will need to be devoted to the merger.
 
The staff are wonderful. I’ve worked closely with them. It’s not the size of councils that needs improving. It’s the quality of Councillors. Councillors need to be better trained. They need a better understanding of what their role is. They need to be more accountable. There should not be anyone on Council who is a developer or real estate agent, in my opinion.
 
We are a LOCAL body, not a State body. Make us this large and that is gone.
 
Through being on Council and involved with council committees and advisory groups (youth; multicultural; arts; environment; SSROC; Green Way; Aboriginal; Aquatic; Interfaith; floodplain management; traffic; disability), plus, attending community events all over Canterbury has meant I know this city. I just manage my commitments. It is demanding as Canterbury is a big council, big in size and big in numbers.
Both Canterbury and Bankstown are still growing. Demands for more development are continuing. Merge us and we are not a local council.
The numbers of the proposed mergers around us say there is no justification to merge us.
 

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