LABOR’S FAIRER LONG STAY PARENT VISA FOR AUSTRALIA’S MIGRANT AND MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITY

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a fairer Long Stay Parent visa so that Australian families from migrant and multicultural backgrounds can reunite with their loved ones.

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As Australia’s migrant and multicultural communities re-establish their lives in Australia, the ability for families to reunite with parents and grandparents still overseas with existing visas is limited, expensive and some have wait times of up to 50 years.

Many elderly parents want to reunite with their families but have to travel to Australia as tourists – proving costly, frustrating, disruptive and exhausting as they ferry between countries.

The Liberals’ unfair Temporary Sponsored Parent visa is completely different from the commitment they took to the 2016 election – with unfair conditions and higher fees for families wanting to reunite.

But the most heartless, callous and cruel condition of the Liberals’ visa is that they are forcing families to choose between which parents or in-laws they reunite with by limiting the visa to one set of parents per household.

Can you imagine the choice a family has to make in choosing which parents or grandparents get to join them in Australia? This is what the Liberals want for Australia’s multicultural and migrant communities.

Labor’s fairer Long Stay Parent visa will allow parents and in-laws to reunite with their families and let all grandparents spend quality time with their grandkids.

Labor’s FairerLong Stay Parent visa

  • Uncapped

  • Families can reunite with both sets of parents

  • $2,500 for a 5-year visa

  • $1,250 for a 3-year visa

  • Renew in Australia

The Liberals’ unfair Temporary Sponsored Parent visa

  • Visas capped to 15,000 places

  • Limited to one set of parents per household

  • $10,000 for a 5-year visa

  • $5,000 for a 3-year visa

  • Can’t be renewed in Australia

The Liberals broke their promise to migrant and multicultural Australians when they forced families to choose between which parents or in-laws they could reunite with – or which grandparents get to meet and spend quality time with their grandkids.

The Liberals’ unfair Temporary Sponsored Parent visa is a broken promise to Australia’s migrant and multicultural communities and proof Scott Morrison cannot be trusted.

Labor’s fairer Long Stay Parent visa will be more affordable for families – unlike the Liberal’s expensive fees that see families paying up to $40,000 to access visas.

Labor knows that modern Australia and multicultural Australia are the same thing – which is why we value families being able to spend time together and help each other.

Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver a fair go for Australia’s proud migrant and multicultural communities with our fairer Long Stay Parent visa.

LABOR WILL SUPPORT AUSTRALIANS IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $40 million over four years to emergency relief organisations across the country. 

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The funding will reverse Liberal cuts to emergency relief organisations and provide a much-needed funding top-up to the emergency relief sector.

Over the next four years, Labor will provide additional funding to the emergency relief organisations that work in Padstow, Revesby and Panania. 

This includes $59,000 to Padstow Community Care to deliver local services. In addition, a Shorten Labor Government will provide $596,000 to St Vincent De Paul Society NSW and $3 million to the Salvation Army to deliver services across the ACT, NSW and Queensland.

Emergency relief organisations support vulnerable Australians who have nowhere else to turn by providing food hampers, transport vouchers and financial assistance.

The charities and not-for-profits that do this work are increasingly stretched and need more resources.

Under Liberal cuts, many emergency relief services will be forced to close their doors or slash services by the end of the year.

Only a Labor Shorten Government will re-invest and support these vital services.

In addition, Labor will provide more support for Australians in financial hardship by:

•              Doubling the number of financial counsellors across the country that support people who are in a debt spiral;

•              Expanding low cost alternatives to pay day loans for low-income Australians; and

•              Reversing the Morrison Government’s $5.5 million a year cut to emergency relief organisations across the country.

A Shorten Labor Government will make sure our charities have the resources they need to support those who most need it.

$400,000 GRANT TO REVITALAISE RIVERWOOD COMMUNITY CENTRE

$400,000 GRANT TO REVITALAISE RIVERWOOD COMMUNITY CENTRE

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $400,000 into upgrading the Riverwood Community Centre.

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Labor’s $400,000 grant to would go to completing works such as painting the facility, laying new carpets, expanding the air-conditioning within the building, and other long overdue structural improvements.

The Riverwood Community Centre is the heart and soul of the Riverwood and Narwee area. We’ve heard from the community how valuable it is. 

Its programs and services improve and enrich the lives of everyone in the community, from infants to our senior citizens, teenagers to new parents and cultural groups from every continent on earth.

Riverwood Community Centre has continuously touched the lives of locals throughout its forty year history and is a precious community asset that must be strengthened for the future.

This grant will help secure the centre’s future - it is the sort of thing you can do when you prioritise everyday people above big business and the very wealthy.

Children’s imaginative play and social connections

$15,000 GRANT TO PLAYGROUPS NSW

Children’s imaginative play and social connections between parents will be nurtured with a $15,000 grant from Labor to Playgroups NSW to expand the St. George zone area, creating greater access to 12 local playgroups for families.

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The St. George zone area of playgroups provides over 40 sessions of Playgroup a week, providing access to early education and learning to children in a welcoming, and safe environment which gives children access to a range of educational toys and developmental experiences at low or no cost.

If elected, Labor’s $15,000 grant to the Playgroups NSW would go to expanding the 12 playgroups in the St. George zone. Specifically, this funding would assist playgroups in providing intergenerational support, boosting cross cultural participation and providing greater inclusivity. 

In harnessing these three pillars of intergeneration, cultural participation and greater inclusivity, playgroups in the St. George zone will be able to boost participation to a wider community, all the while providing improved access with better materials to local families and carers. 

Playgroups NSW is a valuable community resource for families unable to afford to provide toys and educational aids to their children. 

Early learning assistance, like that provided through Playgroups in the St. George zone, encourages play-based learning and social development in babies and young children and helps facilitate friendships and peer support for parents and carers. 

This funding for Playgroups NSW is greater support from the Commonwealth and is a long overdue recognition of the important place it has in the local community.

Labor is committed to doing more to promote early childhood development. 

Labor has announced the biggest ever investment in early childhood education in Australia with the $1.75 billion National Preschool and Kindy Program.

Labor’s plan will see around 700,000 three and four year olds access preschool and kindy every year. This will also help parents balance work and family and help reduce the child care bill for families with children already in early education.

New HealthOne Centre for Peakhurst

LABOR’S PLAN FOR BETTER HEALTH SERVICES IN SYDNEY’S SOUTH WEST

A Shorten Labor Government will partner with NSW Labor to deliver much needed health services in Sydney’s south west by investing in a new integrated HealthOne facility.

Federal Labor will spend $10 million to establish the new HealthOne service - which brings together general practice and state-funded primary and community health care services – in Peakhurst..

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Chris Gambian, Labor Candidate for Federal Parliament (Banks) said “the opening of a new HealthOne facility in Peakhurst will provide locals with a high quality medical centre, which will operate 24 hours a day.”

Currently this area is extremely underserviced in terms of health services. The nearest hospitals are St George or Bankstown, both 30 minutes’ drive in heavy traffic.  There are no large 24 hour medical centres with allied health services within the area.

This means patients requiring basic urgent treatment have little choice but to go to a major tertiary trauma hospital and often spend hours in overcrowded emergency departments. 

“It will also provide additional primary and community health care services.  Both of these measures will take pressure off our local hospitals by preventing unnecessary visits to emergency departments.” Mr. Gambian said.

A new HealthOne facility in Peakhurt or Peakhurst Heights would service the growing populations in Riverwood, Narwee, Beverly Hills, Lugarno, Peakhurst, Peakhurst Heights, Mortdale, Penshurst and Oatley.

HealthOne clinicians work in collaborative teams to provide prevention, early intervention and continuing, comprehensive primary health care. 

But instead of investing in new services like this one, all the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has done is cut from NSW hospitals – slashing $17.2 million from South Western Sydney Hospitals alone.

That’s equivalent to 26,000 emergency department visits or 42,000 outpatient appointments.  It could also pay for 48 nurses, 660 knee replacements or nearly 5000 cataract extractions.

Mr. Gambian argues that the people of Sydney’s south west deserve better. 

He also stated that “governing is about priorities, and today’s announcement demonstrates yet again that a Shorten Labor Government will always put the wellbeing and interests of everyday people above that of big business and the very wealthy.”

Labor will reverse the Liberal public hospital cuts with our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund, to ensure and ensure our emergency departments and hospital wards have the doctors, nurses and hospital staff to keep up with record demand.

We can afford to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals because we are tackling unfair tax loopholes and making multinationals pay their fair share.

Labor will Save Carss Park Pool

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A Shorten Labor Government would contribute $5 million to the refurbishment of Kogarah War Memorial Swimming Pool at Carss Park.

Chris Gambian, Labor’s Candidate for the seat of Banks, announced the commitment today.

The refurbishment will be based on consultation with pool users, but could include the addition of access ramps at the facility, upgrades to the gym and change rooms, extending air conditioning throughout the complex and undertaking remedial works to address the aging of the pool but a final decision would be based on consultation with pool users.

Since opening in 1965, the pool has been the home to 17 world champions including Olympic swimmers Michelle Ford and Janelle Elford, marathon swimmer Suzie Maroney, and boxer Anthony Mundine.

“Carss Park Pool is a much loved community resource and has helped produce some of Australia’s best swimmers” Mr Gambian said.

“The pool holds a special place in the hearts of locals and it is my hope that this injection of money will revitalise the pool and start a new chapter in the historic story that is Carss Park Pool.

“These funds will ensure the immediate restoration works required at the pool can be completed quickly.”

“The Council will be able to scope out the improvements needed knowing it will have the funds to get the work done.”  

Mr Gambian acknowledged the strength of the community campaign to save the pool.

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“I thank and congratulate all the many members of our community, such as the Save Carss Park Pool Action Group, who made a strong case for refurbishing the pool.”

Simon O’Brien, Labor’s Candidate for the seat of Cook, is delighted Labor is committing to the much needed upgrades.

“Under Labor, this iconic pool will get attention it deserves so that it can continue to serve the local community” said Mr O’Brien.

As well as its history of elite athletes, this facility will continue to give residents in the region access to learn to swim classes.

Labor's Swim Smart program will make sure Aussie kids have access to swimming and water safety lessons in primary school.  

We want to make sure Australian children are strong swimmers and safe in the water.

From the 2020 school year, Labor will fund additional swimming lessons for schools that need it, catch-up lessons for kids needing extra support, and more support for the cost of transport and pool entry fees.

Labor knows that investing in infrastructure isn’t just about building roads and rail – it’s about investing in better lives for the community, through increased access to sports and leisure facilities like this one.

Labor has made hard budget decisions to ensure our priorities are fully paid for – we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close unsustainable tax loopholes, because we want the Kogarah community to have access to modern swimming facilities.

FEDERAL AND STATE LABOR JOIN FORCES TO DELIVER RIVERWOOD COMMUTER CAR PARKING

A Shorten Federal Labor Government will partner with a Daley State Labor Government to build a $16 million multi-story commuter carpark at Riverwood Train Station.

The Federal funding is part of Labor’s $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

Riverwood Train Station services commuters from Riverwood, Lugarno, Peakhurst and Peakhurst Heights and is located on the busy Airport Line.

Its existing open-air carpark is too small to meet growing demand, forcing commuters to park on surrounding roads as far as 1km away.

Federal and State Labor will each contribute $8 million to this important project.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said Labor understood the way in which population growth was placing increased pressure on the public transport system.

“We’ll invest in better public transport across the country, but also in expanding parking facilities so commuters can catch their trains and get to work with a minimum of fuss.

“The parking mayhem on Riverwood streets not only means commuters miss their trains, but locals living near the station have cars parked across their driveway or on their footpath.

“Labor has listened and we are committed to fixing this mess.”

Deputy State Labor Leader and Shadow Planning and Infrastructure Minister Michael Daley said the Riverwood Station had been grossly neglected in the 8 years of the Baird-Berejiklian Government.

“While the Libs love posturing about the need for upgraded parking at Riverwood Train Station on Facebook, they simply aren’t delivering,’’ Mr Daley said.

“Only Labor will make sure locals get the parking they urgently need.”

Federal Labor candidate for Banks Chris Gambian said people in Peakhurst, Lugarno and Riverwood needed governments that would build the local infrastructure people needed to live better lives.

“Our community has been taken for granted by the Turnbull-Abbott Government,’’ Mr Gambian said.

“As a Labor Member for our area I will be part of a Government that listens, plans and delivers for our community.”

Labor candidate for the state seat of Oatley, Lucy Mannering, said that the carpark was desperately needed.

“Every day when I’m doorknocking in Peakhurst or talking to commuters in Riverwood, I hear about the traffic chaos in our community,’’ Ms Mannering said.

“The Liberal party has had eight long years to act and they’ve done nothing. Only Labor will fix this problem.’

Going Bananas over threats to the ABC

Source: Going Bananas over threats to the ABC - St George and Sutherland Shire Leader

The Labor candidate for the Federal seat of Banks, Chris Gambian has been out been campaigning with some very special friends in the past week.

He has been joined by B1 and B2 of the ABC Kids TV series Bananas in Pyjamas to show their support of the ABC.

Their efforts followed a move by the Liberal Party’s peak council on June 16 which voted almost 2:1 to privatise the ABC.

About 110 council delegates, representing Liberal branches from across the country, also voted for an efficiency review into SBS.

The Federal Government has since denied there was any move to privatise the ABC.

But the government’s promise hasn’t convinced Mr Gambian who enlisted B1 and B2 in handing out flyers, getting signatures on petitions and meeting thrilled children, and some adults, in Oatley and Riverwood last week.

“We've have had a really fantastic response from the community who are furious about the Government's cuts to the ABC's budget and the Liberal Party council voting to privatise the ABC altogether.

“The idea of privatising or reducing the funding of the ABC is madness,” Mr Gambian said.

“It doesn’t matter what political party you support, the ABC is an icon.

“The ABC is not just the 7.30 Report. It’s Landline and classical music and the many services that people would otherwise not be able to get in regional areas.

“Many parents have told me that ABC Kids TV is a lifesaver.”

Mr Gambian and the Bananas will be visiting Mortdale and Hurstville this week, rallying support for the ABC.

He said B1 and B2 are unbiased when it comes to politics.

“But they understand when they are in danger,” he said.

“I feel the Liberals want to make a banana smoothie out of them.”

A tale of two Royal Commissions: why double standards reveal a greater truth about priorities

At last Australian businesses can rest easy, confident that their government has taken controversial, but long overdue action to restore the rule of law to one of our most crucial sectors.  No more will our economy be held to ransom by the thugs and criminals whose scant regard for the law has done untold damage to our national prosperity.  And the politicians who pander to these Neanderthal bully boys will finally be held to account at the next election.

That’s right friends, the Banking Royal Commission is finally getting its job done.

The contrast between the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Unions and the Hayne Royal Commission into the Banks couldn’t be more stark 

One was conceived of with the singular goal of weaponising the criminal justice system to take out the Liberal Party’s political opponents, most notably my union, the CFMEU. 

Theatrical police raids on union offices, designed for the evening news;  John Setka pulled over on a Sunday afternoon at the Queen Victoria Markets – not at his office, not during work hours -- while out with his family and arrested as his frightened kids looked on in horror; Unsubstantiated smears that have ruined the reputations of individuals with no findings of misconduct, no charges laid, no prosecutions upheld.  The Commissioner himself a Tory poster boy and keynote speaker at a Party fundraiser.

The other – vehemently opposed by the Liberal Party – a systematic and finely-honed inquiry into serious misconduct that has jeopardised the integrity of our entire financial system.

In just a few weeks of hearings, serious allegations of lying to regulators, forgery and bribery have come to the surface.  This, on top of already revealed cases of hundreds of millions of dollars wrongly taken from customers, and the 53,700 alleged breaches of money laundering and terrorism financing laws now the subject of legal action by Austrac.

As a former Finance Sector Union official I have been acutely aware of bad practises in the banking and wealth industries for two decades.  None of these revelations comes as much as a shock, and the underpinning concept – that financial service providers have an overarching and paramount duty to act in the best interests of customers – has been the core pillar of the FSU’s political advocacy since the mid 1990s.

But there will be no arrests at the Queen Victoria Markets and no televised office raids.  The banks will never be dismissed as outlaw organisations and their executives will never be branded criminals.  My opponent in the seat of Banks (yes, he is literally the Member for Banks – David Coleman – voting 25 times against setting up the Commission and largely silent on its findings to date.

And so it goes.  The unionists who want safe workplaces and good wages are thugs and bullies, but the bankers who have broken the law in the relentless pursuit of ever more profit are good chaps who have made a few mistakes 

The hypocrisy is galling but don’t let them make you believe that this is just about political double standards:  there is something far more dangerous at play here.

Our conservative opponents don’t just want to beat us, they fundamentally and sincerely oppose our core mission.  Putting people first, as the slogan goes, necessarily means putting something else second.  It is an ideological line in the sand that says the interests of workers and consumers, retirees and students, men, women, children, Anglo, non-Anglo, Indigenous, must be placed ahead of corporate welfare, share prices and marginal returns.  And they find that horrifying.

When the CFMEU fights for safety, they see the cost of safety.  When they see a death on a building site, they look for ways to share around the blame because sharing the blame shares the cost of stopping the problem.  When the FSU fights for customers, they see the lost opportunity to sell a debt product.  When they see a dodgy loan foisted on a vulnerable person they see personal responsibility rather than a lender’s responsibility, because to see otherwise would be to reframe the entire debt industry.

That is not to say we are, or should be, anti-business.  The people who employ us are business people, the people we buy ever improving products and services from run businesses.  Good business that people work hard to see thrive.  We are the beneficiaries of a strong, dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit.  Indeed, the people we put first must include small business people who are as much the losers out of this government’s policies as other working people.

Just don’t be surprised when the full force of the State is brought down to protect the top end of town.  In a society and economy that bends towards the interests of big corporations their needs will get a generous hearing and their crimes will be dealt with generously.

Instead, let’s redouble our efforts to build a strong and effective collective voice for workers through the union movement, and let’s elect a Labor government that lifts people up, listens, and puts the interests of everyday people at the centre of our national discussion.