Browsing articles in "Grayndler Media Releases"
Sep 10, 2015

Save our Inner West Arts

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This week I spoke in the Parliament against the extraordinary decision of the Arts Minister George Brandis to take funding responsibility from the independent Australia Council and give it to himself.

I told Parliament:

In 1963 John F Kennedy said: ‘I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his or her vision wherever it takes him or her.’

Indeed, here in Australia, I believe that our arts and creative industries are a critical part of our vibrant social tapestry.

They nourish our communities and provide opportunities for local artists to perform, create and cultivate.

Those more like me who are not artists have the opportunity to learn from, appreciate and engage with this talented and multifaceted industry.

Yet our federal government has lost its way when it comes to nourishing and promoting arts and culture.

It has forgotten that the best communities are diverse and in order for talent to flourish it must first be cultivated or, as John F Kennedy explained, ‘society must set the artist free’.

That is why it is very disappointing to see George Brandis, our Arts Minister, take an axe to funding for the Australia Council.

After attacking the arts in their first Budget the Coalition have continued on their crusade.

This year they have cut another $104.7 million from the independent Australia Council and transferred it to Senator Brandis and his department to oversee.

Over the next year, grants to individuals and groups and small arts organisations will total just $12 million.

To put this into perspective, the Australia Council allocated $46.2 million in grants and initiatives, just two years ago, in 2013-14.

The Australia Council has a proud history of independence and is well-known for its work in supporting emerging artists, yet Senator Brandis seems to think he knows better than they when it comes to championing artistic excellence.

My own electorate of Grayndler is home to many theatres and spaces where local artists perform and display their work.

Live music venues thrived, including the Factory Theatre, the Enmore Theatre, New Theatre and Camelot Lounge as well as Lazybones and Gasoline Pony just down the road from my office in Marrickville.

The Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown features regular exhibitions and events and the Addison Road Community Centre gallery is joined by the extraordinary work of students at Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design and Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

This diversity contributes to our inner-west community, giving people opportunities that might not otherwise exist.

The government has a role to play when it comes to arts and creative industries, providing support not trying to control it.

Cutting funding is certainly not what is required.

The Minister and the Prime Minister must restore independence to arts funding. That is what the arts community expects and that is what the Australian community supports.

(Hansard, Wednesday 9 September 2015)

 

 

 

Sep 7, 2015

Albanese becomes patron of Friends of Millers Point

It is with great honour that I have accepted an invitation from the Friends of Millers Point to be their patron.

Miller’s Point is a community – a living, breathing mixture of people that adds to the diversity of the broader Sydney community.

Successful cities are not disconnected enclaves of privilege and disadvantage.

They are diverse and their people come from a mixture of backgrounds.

Yet the Baird State Government is selling the properties on the seemingly rational economic basis that the proceeds can be used to build more public housing elsewhere.

Economic rationalists know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

No-one in the Baird Government has considered what is being lost in this transaction – a living, vibrant, caring community.

When Mike Baird looks at Millers Point he sees dollar signs.

When I look at Millers Point, I see a community made up of people who deserve respect and care.

However, elderly residents of some of these homes have received eviction notices slipped under their doors.

The message being sent is that these people are disposable – that you can just put them out like the rubbish.

Never mind that many have lived in these homes for their entire lives and have established strong and effective support networks within their community – networks that have value.

We might not be able to express that value in dollars and cents, but we are fools if we pretend it does not exist.

 

Aug 14, 2015

Stronger Communities Program to provide funding boost

Community organisations in the inner west could be eligible for a funding boost as part of the Commonwealth’s Stronger Communities Program.

Up to $150,000 of funding will be available in Grayndler for small capital projects which improve community participation and contribute to the vibrancy and viability of our local community.

Grants of between $5,000 and up to a maximum of $20,000 are available, with applicants required to confirm matched funding in-cash or in-kind on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis.

The inner west is home to a number of hardworking community organisations that do what they can to make our area a better place.

For more information on submitting an application or to find out about the eligibility criteria call the electorate office on 9564 3588.

Aug 13, 2015

Glowing slime, lasers and lights – 2015 National Science Week

I look forward to joining students tomorrow at Canterbury Public School to kick off National Science Week.

Tomorrow’s event, coordinated by the CSIRO through its Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program, is one of many taking place across the nation.

It aims to reinforce the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for Australia’s future.

STEM professional Marc West, from the Defence Science and Technology Group will also attend and students will be teaching me more about the science of light.

Glow in the dark slime, bending lasers and light refraction through mirrors are all on the table as part of tomorrow’s lesson.

It’s a timely reminder that investing in education and research is critical for our future.

We know that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations today require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow at almost twice the pace of other occupations.

Yet in 2012 only 16 per cent of higher education students in Australia graduated in STEM-related subjects, compared with 52 per cent in Singapore and 41 per cent in China.

Labor is committed to investing in STEM, research and innovation to build and sustain the jobs of the future.

Labor has announced initiatives that will prepare our children, our workforce and industries for the changing economy.

Labor will:

  • Establish a STEM teacher training fund to support 25,000 primary and secondary school teachers over five years to undertake professional development in STEM disciplines.
  • Encourage STEM graduates to teach, by offering 25,000 Teach STEM scholarships over five years, to address the shortage of qualified teachers. Recipients will get $5000 when they commence a teaching degree, and $10,000 when they complete their first year of teaching.
  • Provide 100,000 STEM Award Degrees – 20,000 a year for five years – which will provide a financial incentive for students to enrol in and complete a STEM undergraduate degree, in recognition of the significant public benefit of growing Australia’s STEM capacity. STEM Award Degree recipients will have their HECS debt written off upon graduation.
  • Give every child in Australia the opportunity to learn coding and computational thinking in school.

I congratulate the CSIRO on their work in coordinating tomorrow’s event and thank Canterbury Public School for hosting me.

Jul 27, 2015

Walers to take on Sailors again at Henson Park

The rock n’ roll Walers are gearing up to take on the media industry-based Sailors at the annual Community Cup with the aim of rectifying last year’s defeat.

This year’s game will take place on the 2nd of August at Henson Park and I look forward to joining my fellow teammates from the Walers on the oval.

As this will be only the second time I’ve played Aussie Rules, my key performance indicator will be walking off the oval at the end of the game.

The Community Cup is always an excellent family friendly day with a number of local businesses also involved.

Entry is $5 for adults and gates open at 11 am.

All money raised goes towards Reclink, which does a great job supporting disadvantaged people in our community through providing opportunities in the arts and sport.

If you can’t make the game but are keen to support Reclink’s great work, you can also come along to the Newtown Social Club on the 31st of July.

I’m in charge of music on the night, and people can expect an emphasis on music of a similar vintage to me, plus some new songs.

Jul 16, 2015

Higher Ed Forum raises questions on students’ future

Last night’s higher education forum saw robust discussion between members of the community and guest speakers Professor Stephen Parker AO, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, and Rose Steele, President of the National Union of Students.

Held at Camdenville Public School, the forum provided an opportunity to delve into the Coalition’s proposal to uncap fees.

This would see universities set the price of degrees, similar to the American system.

To date, Professor Parker has been the only Vice-Chancellor to speak out against the Government’s plan to deregulate universities, which he believes is unfair to students and will only see fees increase.

“It will blight the lives of a generation of young Australians,” Professor Parker said.

NUS President Rose Steele said she had benefited from the current system and was the first in her family to go to university.

Ms Steele said Tony Abbott’s plan to deregulate universities would make access to higher education much more difficult, particularly for those from low SES backgrounds.

“Students have no idea what they could be paying under a deregulated system,” Ms Steele said.

Labor believes students should have access to a high quality and affordable education and will continue to oppose the Abbott Government’s cuts to universities.

 

Jul 3, 2015

Albanese to host education forum in Newtown

Local residents concerned about changes to higher education are invited to attend a Community Forum on the 15th of July with Professor Stephen Parker AO, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra and Rose Steele, President of the National Union of Students.

In last year’s Budget the Coalition unveiled their plans to introduce $100 000 degrees.

Despite failing to gain support both in the community and the Parliament, Christopher Pyne remains determined to saddle students with a lifetime of debt.

Proposed changes to education funding in the 2015 Budget include:

  • Allowing universities to charge whatever they like for courses;
  • Cutting 20 per cent of government funding of undergraduate university places, and;
  • Raising interest rates on student loans, resulting in total repayments increasing by tens of thousands of dollars for some students.

These changes will have a devastating impact on young people and our nation’s future.

The inner west is home to a great number of students, many living out of home and struggling to get by on what they can.

We need to look at ways to make education accessible for all students, not create more obstacles.

I hope you can join me at a Community Forum to hear from student leaders and academics about alternatives to the Government’s plan.

The Forum will be held on Wednesday 15 July from 6:30pm-8:00pm at Camdenville Public School, Laura Street Newtown. You can RSVP online at http://tinyurl.com/eduforumrsvp or by calling 9564 3588.

May 28, 2015

Headspace launches new Ashfield centre

Headspace Ashfield will celebrate its official launch this Friday, inviting members of the public to come and learn about its services.

Headspace Ashfield opened its doors on the 9th of March this year.

The new headspace means young people living locally will have access to mental and general health services, as well as drug and alcohol support.

Headspace plays a critical role in helping young people across Australia get their lives back on track.

It offers a range of services for young people aged 12-25 who are seeking information on their physical or sexual health, emotional well-being, employment and education and other general health concerns.

I’m pleased that young people across the inner west will have better access to mental health services.

I am committed to making sure we continue to see funding for these initiatives and wish headspace Ashfield all the best as it supports young people in our community.

People aged 12-25 seeking help for a mental health issue should contact headspace at www.headspace.org.au

May 22, 2015

The Ella Centre celebrates 40 years

This Saturday the Ella Centre will celebrate 40 years of extraordinary work in the inner west.

I am honoured to be speaking at Saturday night’s dinner, which recognises the Ella Centre’s commitment to taking care of those most vulnerable in our community.

The Ella Centre, once the Methodist Church in Haberfield, opened its doors as a community centre in 1974.

It received set-up funding from the Whitlam Government, and later a generous donation from Henry Ella, which helped create a trust fund.

Since then, the Ella Centre’s passion for social justice has ensured support for people with disabilities, dementia, older people, carers, as well as those struggling to get by.

The Ella Centre continues to make a significant difference in the everyday lives of people across the inner west.

It has played an historic role in our community and is a constant reminder that when we look out for each other, everyone benefits.

I congratulate the Ella Centre for its tireless work over the past forty years, and wish those at the Centre all the best for the many more years to come.

May 13, 2015

Inner west worse off under Abbott Government

The Abbott Government’s decision to stick by $80 billion in cuts to already cash-strapped hospitals and schools will hurt struggling inner west families.

Last night’s budget revealed that the sick, students, and families will continue to wear the brunt of the Abbott Government’s cuts.

Despite last year’s failed attempts to introduce $100,000 university degrees, the Coalition is set in their view that students should be saddled with a lifetime of debt.

In a further blow to higher education, last night’s budget also revealed that funding for undergraduate student places will be cut by 20 per cent.

This will cost universities around $3 billion over the current forward estimates.

The inner west is home to a great number of students, many living out of home and struggling to get by on what they can.

We need to look at ways to make education accessible for all students, not create more obstacles.

On Mothers’ Day, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey announced cuts to Paid Parental Leave, describing 80,000 mothers around the nation as “double dippers”.

We know the valuable contribution mothers make each day in our community.

Labor will oppose the cuts to Paid Parental Leave.

Labor’s scheme was designed so that Paid Parental Leave could be topped up by employers who wanted to add to the government’s scheme.

This is not double dipping and the Coalition is leaving mothers in the lurch.

Families in the inner west will also lose out under proposed changes that will see them cut off Family Tax Benefit B when their youngest child turns six.

The Coalition remains committed to freezing Family Tax Benefit rates, eroding the value of these payments.

As a result of last year’s Budget, a single income family on $65,000 a year will be as much as $6,000 a year worse off.

Tony Abbott also wants to abolish the Large Family Supplement.

This is all while abolishing the Low Income Supplement, and reducing the portability of Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Tony Abbott’s rhetoric on families may have changed but his cuts to family payments haven’t.

The Coalition has once again shown how short-sighted and out of touch they are with this unfair budget.

 

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Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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