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

A Shorten Federal Labor Government will partner with a Foley 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.

 

 

I want to get to know every citizen

“Things are only going to change when the voices of everyday people are heard.”

Chris has spent his career speaking up for others, as a union organiser and through community organisations.  He was very active in the campaign to save St George Bank from takeover by Westpac, which resulted in conditions on the sale being imposed to protect jobs and services.