Friday, 24 January 2020

Visit to the Warsaw Ghetto

At what is left of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, paying my repects to the 3 million Polish Jews who were murdered by the Nazi's during the Holocaust, an unparalleled crime against humanity.  #LestWeForget
https://youtu.be/1lwlnrQMEA8

Thursday, 28 November 2019

LABOR WELCOMES END OF THE LOCKOUT LAWS


Labor has welcomed the end of the lockout laws across Sydney’s CBD as an opportunity to bring vibrancy back to Sydney.

However, Labor has called on the Government to implement the repeal of the lockouts in early December to coincide with the start of the Sydney Light Rail, so businesses and venues can get a much needed boost in tough economic times. This would provide a stimulus to the NSW economy as economic storm clouds gather.

Labor has also called on the Government to appoint a proper Minister for the Night Time Economy instead of merely appointing Stuart Ayres as the manager of the Government response to the Joint Select Committee report.

The Government’s announcement comes after Labor announced its support for repealing the lockout laws in Sydney’s CBD and called on the Government to appoint a Minister for the Night Time Economy in early November of this year.

Labor called for repeal of the lockout laws after the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy recommended that they be repealed in the city, and after a spate of venues were forced to close their doors.

These laws have contributed to the loss of nearly five hundred small businesses, including a 50 per cent reduction in the number of our key live music venues, and have had a serious impact on the working lives of musicians and other artists.

Labor has raised concerns that the existing additional thirty minutes trade currently permitted for live music venues will be scrapped under the government response, and has called on the government to clarify if it will remain. This provision was introduced following the Callinan review. Its scrapping would be a further blow to live music in Sydney.

NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “I am glad that we are seeing the end of the lockout laws across the CBD. I welcome the Government’s support for the Joint Select Committee’s recommendations.”

“Why do businesses and venues have to wait until January to get the benefits of a repeal of the lockout laws? Surely the time to do this is in early December when the Light Rail opens so that businesses and venues can get the most out of the Christmas period.”

NSW Labor Shadow Minister for the Night Time Economy John Graham said: “The Treasurer admitted today that ‘The government doesn't do fun well…’

“That is certainly true of this government.”

“This a step in the right direction, but if we’re going to get Sydney moving we need to see real action from the Government.”

“We need a dedicated Minister for the Night Time Economy, not a part time manager of the government response to this report.”
 

Monday, 18 November 2019

What is going on at the Prince of Wales Hospital Campus?

The media last week report that The Royal Hospital for Women had to raise half a million dollars itself to purchase a mammogram machine and was now unable to perform cesareans due to the inability of the Liberal government to end a crisis in paediatric cardiac services that has plagued the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network for months.

Would  you believe the Royal Hospital for Women had to borrow a mammogram from Breast Screed NSW so that for only 3 days per week with long waiting lists could they check patients for early detection of breast cancer.

With the inability of the Sydney Childrens Hospital to perform paediatric cardiac services patients at Royal Hospital for Women are unable to have performed  cesareans on women whose babies are identified as having cardiac issues. These pregnant women are now being treated in the Sydney Children’s Hospital instead of the Royal Hospital for Women.

Labor Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said: “This is bizarre and shocking news. Breast screening and cesareans for women whose babies have health problems are the RWH’s core business.”

“How on earth did the Royal Hospital for Women end up having to raise half a million dollars on its own to buy a mammogram? Why were women left waiting to access vital breast cancer prevention services? Brad Hazzard has serious questions to answer here.” 

Labor Member for Coogee Marjorie O'Neill said: "The neglect of the only dedicated hospital for women in NSW by Brad Hazzard and the Liberals is a disgrace. The Royal Hospital for Women shouldn't have to fundraise so it can save women from the scourge of breast cancer. This is an institution that should be properly supported by the Government."

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A PREMIER WHO DOES NOT TELL THE TRUTH FORFEITS THE RIGH TO GOVERN OUR STATE

I can't stand politicians deliberately not telling the truth. We can argue about different policies based on given set of facts, but just making up bold assertions like the Premier has on Labor's policies. In my view this means that she has forfeit the right to govern our state.

The following is what I mean and include the following:

CLAIM 1:
BEREJIKLIAN: He has just misled the public because no matter which way you look at it the public has to pay for the upgrade to a stadium. No-one else but the taxpayer.
FACT:
Labor will make the SCG Trust take out a loan to pay for a more modest upgrade, rather than taxpayers. Excerpt from the independent Parliamentary Budget Office’s (“PBO”) costing of Labor’s policy – 
CLAIM 2:
DALEY: They [regional NSW] were promised 30% of the funds from restart. They're getting 14%.
FACT:
The 2017 NSW Auditor General report into State Finances says that 14 per cent of Restart NSW Funds were spent in the regions.
CLAIM 3:
DALEY: According to budget papers this year, the Government's capital spend in public schools is $1. 8 billion for this year, less than what they're spending on stadiums.
BEREJIKLIAN: That's not true.
FACT:
Page 1-9 of the 2018-19 Budget Infrastructure Statement says that the total capital expenditure on Education and Skills in 2018-19 is $1.793 billion. If anything that figure is inflated because it includes all capital expenditure for TAFE as well. The Liberals and Nationals total stadium spend is $2.2 billion.
CLAIM 4:
BEREJIKLIAN: We came to government, New South Wales was the worst-performing state in the nation – highest unemployment...
FACT:
The final year of the Labor Government averaged an unemployment rate of 5.1%. Only Western Australia – which was in a mining boom – had a lower unemployment rate. This was following the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
CLAIM 5:
BEREJIKLIAN: “What concerns me is that every single policy the Labor leader puts forward is about axing a project.”
FACT:
Labor has over 100 positive policies (and there are more to come) which include:
• $1.4bn demountable replacement program • $800m cool schools
• New and upgraded hospitals
• 7Gw renewable energy
• 500,000 rooftop solar rebates
• $8bn for metro west – more than the Liberals and Nationals have committed • $3bn upgrade of existing railway network
• $900m regional roads
• $1.1bn pinch point program

One fact that neither the Premier nor the Treasurer have disputed is that they have wasted $14 billion on budget blowouts on major projects. All sides can now agree on this.

In contrast to Daley Labor, Premier Berejiklian and the Liberals and Nationals have a long history of not telling the truth. This includes:
[1] In December 2014 then Transport Minister Berejiklian said that the cost blowout for the Sydney Light Rail was due to “scope improvements.” However the NSW Auditor General found that “by October 2014, TfNSW [Transport for NSW] reported that mispricing and omissions in the business case had caused $517 million of the $549 million capital cost increase.”
[2] Stuart Ayers claimed that they took their stadium policy to the 2015 election. However the Liberals and Nationals 2015 stadium policy was just $600 million.
[3] The Sydney Gateway was included in the WestConnex business case but after blowing out from $800 million to $2.6 billion, the Liberals and Nationals claimed it was a separate project.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

NSW LABOR SUPPORTS #VOTEMUSIC CAMPAIGN

Labor has backed the alliance of music industry groups who today launched their campaign to protect live music in NSW with a #votemusic message to voters before the March 23 election. 

Music industry social media pages today have changed their profile pictures to post images of static and white noise, in support of the #votemusic campaign. 

This campaign is a glimpse of the future of the NSW music scene – static and white noise. To save music in NSW we need to change the government. 

To #votemusic, vote Labor.

The campaign is being organised by the Australian Festival Association along with Live Performance Australia, APRA AMCOS, Live Music Office, Music NSW, ARIA and PPCA. Today the NSW Labor page joined in the campaign. 

Labor has announced that in government it would scrap the existing festival regulation and immediately consult with the Australian Festivals Association and relevant government agencies about the future of the licensing regime. 

Labor has announced $4million support for festivals in NSW, and its support for a streamlined licensing and multi-year approvals for festivals with a good track record. 

This is a part of Labor’s $35 million package to support the music sector, which includes $11.5 million of direct funding for artists and the industry, $3 million to keep venues open, $10 million to create a home for music in NSW, and a plan to rebuild the touring circuit across suburban and regional NSW. 

The contemporary music and festival sector for NSW, generates $325 million in revenue for the NSW economy with 6 million attendees every year.

More than 100,000 people have viewed the original post, which you can find here: 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

GREEN SQUARE TUNNEL MUST REOPEN AS URGENT PRIORITY

City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor Linda Scott and I have united in a call to the Transport Minister to urgently prioritise the reopening of the Green Square station pedestrian tunnel underneath Botany Road, citing the community’s concerns for pedestrian safety at one of the state’s busiest intersections.

The tunnel was closed by Transport for NSW (TfNSW), the state’s peak transport agency, in November 2018 to facilitate upgrades to lifts and stairs as a condition of approval of the “Infinity by Crown” development at 301 Botany Road, Zetland. 

The tunnel allowed pedestrians to safely cross underneath Botany Road to access the station, but its closure forces them to instead queue on a narrowed footpath and wait for the lights to change. 

The tunnel is expected to reopen in April 2019, but Cr Scott and say these urgent works need to be expedited to ensure passenger safety, which can only occur by agreement between TfNSW and the developer, Crown. We are calling on the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, to enter urgent talks with the developer to reopen the tunnel as soon as possible. 

Key Facts About Green Square Station 

The station is serviced by the Airport Line and is one of Sydney’s busiest stations. It is located at the corner of Bourke Street, Botany Road, and O’Riordan Street, a key heavy vehicle route and major artery servicing the CBD and Sydney Airport. 

More than 21,000 passengers access Green Square station by foot every weekday, a figure that increases 25% annually. 

A young mother was tragically killed and five other pedestrians were seriously injured in December 2018, after a truck carrying bricks plowed off the road onto the footpath just 150 metres from the entrance to the station.

More than 61 000 people will call the Green Square precinct home by the time it is completed in the next decade, making it the densest community in the country. 

This tunnel needs to finished and opened to the public quick smart. The Minister really needs to act. We know the risks that pedestrians face as long as this tunnel is closed, and we learned last year just how tragic the results can be in what was just an accident.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

NSW LABOR TO SCRAP THE LIBERALS’ FAILED MEDIUM DENSITY HOUSING CODE

NSW Labor will, if elected in March scrap the Liberals controversial Medium Density Housing Code (The Code). 

The Code, which was introduced by the Liberal Government in 2018, allows for the inclusion of medium density housing, such as one and two storey dual occupancies, and terraces as complying development under the State Environment Planning Policy.

Under the Code, complying developments do not require a full development application to a council, instead only a complying development certificate issued by a private certifier, taking away council and community input. This is not proper planning policy and has been done not to benefit the community only developers.

Each development need to be advertised and assessed on its individual merits after community consultation.

It is the role of government to have a legislative framework that provides an open, transparent, quick and efficient determination. It is essential that this framework allows councils to work with their communities to achieve that objective.

When Labor's spokesperson said: "The Code is just another example of the Liberal Government’s complete mismanagement of the planning system and disregard for community and council expectations;" she was right.

Labor will put people and communities back at the heart of planning and scrap the Liberal’s overdevelopment agenda.

Labor supports medium density when provided for in Local Environmental Plans, however, the failed Code was imposed on councils, and denied communities and councils input in determining what is best for their respective communities.