Browsing articles in "Grayndler Media Releases"
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.


May 2, 2015

History comes to life as War Horse takes centre stage

The inner west will today enjoy a rare moment in history as the Addison Road Community Centre commemorates the important, yet often forgotten, role of horses in World War One.

I am pleased to have supported the Addison Road Community Centre through the Anzac Centenary Local Grant Program, coordinated by my office.

I congratulate the Centre on the grant of $30, 000, which is testimony to their tremendous work in organising War Horse.

While the Addison Road Community Centre is best known for its Sunday markets, local events, and array of organisations such as the Bower and Reverse Garbage, today its history has come to life.

Formerly an Army Barracks, many soldiers and horses spent time here as they passed through Sydney on their way to war.

Over 130,000 horses left Australia for World War One, and only one horse made it home.

The inner west has a rich and compelling history, which we remember today.

Apr 13, 2015

Labor launches 15 Hour Best Start campaign to secure the future of preschool in the inner west

Today Labor is launching the 15 Hour Best Start campaign in the inner west calling on the Government to fund preschools in their upcoming Budget.

Currently, the Abbott Government is refusing to fund local kindergarten and preschool services from next year.

If Tony Abbott doesn’t ensure ongoing federal funding, preschools in the inner west will be left with no choice but to increase the fees they charge parents or decrease the hours they offer to children.

Children deserve better than the Coalition’s funding games, with $518 million in federal funding at risk over the next four years in NSW alone.

Recently I visited the SDN Marrickville Children’s Education and Care Centre with Kate Ellis, the Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Early Childhood.

We saw firsthand what a great job our local preschools do when it comes to taking care of our children and ensuring they have the best transition to school possible.

Since Labor introduced federal funding for kindergartens and preschools in 2009, enrolments have climbed from 69.5 per cent nationally in 2008 to 90.9 per cent in 2013. On top of this, the proportion of children receiving 15 hours per week or more of kindergarten or preschool has increased dramatically over the same period from 23 per cent to 82 per cent.

In NSW the proportion of children attending preschool who are enrolled in a program for more than 15 hours a week has increased from just 29 per cent in 2008, to 59 per cent in 2013.

This has proven to be a successful program and Tony Abbott should commit to its funding.

Inner west residents are encouraged to sign a petition to support the 15 Hours Best Start campaign at

Mar 13, 2015

Greens Party Plan to Shutdown Aviation in Sydney

The Greens Party’s NSW election policy of closing Sydney Airport and opposing all possible sites for a second airport would leave Australia’s global city without any viable aviation industry at all. 

On Wednesday, the NSW Greens Transport Spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi was unable to explain how anyone would be able to fly into or out of Australia’s largest city, if her Party’s plan was implemented. 

They are actively campaigning against the second airport being constructed at Badgerys Creek and have previously opposed all other alternative sites including Wilton.

 This tactic, of opposing everything in an attempt to win votes, is an opportunistic political stunt that deserves scrutiny and condemnation.

 It is typical of the juvenile approach to public policy that the NSW Branch of the Greens Party has become renowned for.

 In 2012, the most comprehensive independent study ever undertaken into Sydney’s aviation needs, developed by the Federal and NSW Governments, made it absolutely clear that Sydney needs a second airport sooner rather than later.

 Despite this, the Greens Party continues to ignore the facts, and advocate a policy that would leave Sydney with no international airport at all.

 No political party willing to close Sydney’s gateway to the world can be taken seriously on transport policy.

 Channel 7 interview withNSW Greens Transport Spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi:

Jan 26, 2015

Statement – Vale Hon Tom Uren AC

I pay tribute to my dear comrade and friend Tom Uren AC who passed away this Australia Day.

Activist. Parliamentarian. Minister in the Whitlam and Hawke Governments. Environmentalist. Campaigner for peace and justice. Former Prisoner of War. Progressive. True believer in the cause of Labor.

Tom Uren was a giant of a man who leaves a remarkable legacy for the nation that he served and loved.

His was an extraordinary life of accomplishment, decency, passion, unwavering in the pursuit of his principles of peace and social justice.

Tom Uren was born into the depression in Balmain before moving to Manly where he led an active life playing football, surf lifesaving and as a professional boxer.

In 1941 Tom Uren enlisted in the Australian Army and was taken as a Prisoner of War on Timor by the Japanese from 1942 to 1945.

He worked on the infamous Burma-Siam Railway, and after being sent to Japan he witnessed the dropping of the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on the horizon.

Far from producing bitterness, this experience politicised Tom and shaped his philosophy that he was to live by for the rest of his life.

As part of Weary Dunlop’s force, he lived by what he described in his first speech as “the principle of the fit looking after the sick, the young looking after the old, the rich looking after the poor”.

His philosophical approach to reconciliation was exemplified by his often used quote by Martin Luther-King:

Hate is always tragic. It disturbs the personality and scars the soul. It’s more injurious to the hater than it is to the hated.

Tom returned from the war and became a manager of Woolworths before he entered Parliament as the Member for Reid in 1958.

He had a remarkable parliamentary career over the next 32 years which included serving as a Minister in both the Whitlam and Hawke Governments.

He championed sustainability of both our natural and built environments and successfully campaigned for social justice and civil liberties.

His most recent policy achievement was championing the decision by Julia Gillard and the former Labor Government  to grant proper compensation to the remaining former Japanese Prisoners of War.

His lasting impact is evident right around Australia through the National Estate, the Glebe Estate and countless heritage buildings and natural environments that were protected as a direct result of his intervention.

Tom Uren had great faith and love for people and he received their affection in return.

His passing doesn’t close so much as a chapter but an entire book on Australian history.

On this Australia Day, we are reminded that we are the modern, dynamic and progressive nation we’ve become because of the contribution and legacy of those who have come before us, in much more difficult times.

Tom Uren has been a mentor, inspiration, and father figure to me over the last 30 years.

I, and so many other Australians loved him and will dearly miss him.

Jan 26, 2015

Hon Tom Uren AC 1921-2015 – Statement on behalf of his family

Tom Uren, one of the great characters of Australian post-war politics, has died in a Sydney nursing home this morning, aged 93.

Uren, a Minister in both the Whitlam and Hawke Labor Governments, was also the Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party from 1975-77. He was a member of the federal parliament for 32 years and, in 2013, was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his work on behalf of former prisoners of war.

Born to a working class family in Balmain, Uren left school during the Great Depression at the age of 13 because he could get a job and his father couldn’t. Having excelled at a range of sports in his youth, he fought for the Australian heavyweight title at the age of 20. At 21, he was on the Burma Railway, part of the force commanded by Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop.

Uren believed the Australians’ survival rate was due to the “collectivist” spirit engendered by Dunlop. He spent the final year of the war working in a mine in Japan. The experience persuaded him that his enemy was not the Japanese people but what he called “militarism”. These were to be the basic pillars of his political beliefs.

He was a leading figure in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam years and led a delegation to Iraq to free western hostages before the first Iraq war. He was a prominent activist in numerous environmental causes and he never ceased to campaign on behalf of the men who suffered with him on the Burma Railway.

Uren was smeared as a communist in the 1950s and ‘60s but by the end of his life he would list Pope John XXIII and Martin Luther King as being among his principal influences. A member of his family said Uren had met his death “with the same character and courage he faced the rest of his life”.

A memorial service will be held for Tom Uren in Sydney next week.

Jan 21, 2015

Local film and television workers under threat

Inner West actors, performers and those in the artistic sector could soon see their jobs under threat as the Abbott Government undermines them by a process of stealth.

Last week a discussion paper reviewing visas for foreign workers in the entertainment and cultural industries was posted on the Ministry for Arts website.

There was no announcement by either the Arts or Immigration Ministers and it was left to the sector to discover the news themselves.

The Inner West is a vibrant diverse community.

It is home to more actors, performers and artistic workers than any other area in Australia.

Australian audiences are fortunate to have access to the best in world culture.

At the same time local industry should be encouraged to employ Australian skills and creativity.

Currently foreign workers can be brought in to work temporarily on a project, following the approval of the Arts Minister, consultation with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, and confirmation that the project will bring a net employment benefit to Australia.

This discussion paper canvasses the removal of all those protections, and could see more foreign workers brought in to work on film and television productions.

Jan 15, 2015

Labor forces Liberal backdown on bulk billing changes

Inner West families need no longer fear the cost of a visit to the local doctor as the Abbott Government today announced it would back down on sneaky changes to bulk billing.

Just two days ago Tony Abbott was happy to force doctors to hike fees and end bulk billing, yet now he has changed his tune.

This backdown follows Labor’s announcement they would fight this attack on Medicare every step of the way.

Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.

It also goes to show how out of touch Tony Abbott is with everyday Australians.

Forcing the sick and vulnerable to pay every time they see a doctor is not reform.

By taking a stand on this issue as a community, we have shown the Abbott Government how much we value our universal health care.

Abbott has not had a win on his plan for Medicare yet, and Labor will fight hard to make sure it stays this way.

Jan 13, 2015

Happy 40th Birthday TripleJ

happy birthday triplej

I would like to wish Triple J a very happy 40th birthday in the lead up to Saturday’s celebratory Beat the Drum concert in Sydney’s Domain on Friday.

Since its inception as Double Jay (2JJ) in 1975, the station has nurtured generations of Australia’s best musicians, broadcasters, journalists and comedians.

As the Australian Young Labor Delegate to ALP National Conference in 1986 I was proud to move a motion to expand the by-then 2JJJ (later Triple J) into a national radio station.


This motion came from Newcastle Young Labor to Australian Young Labor and then to the ALP National Conference as one of the key Young Labor initiatives in the National ALP.

Until then, Triple J was just a Sydney-based station and there had been a considerable campaign from young people around the country to expand it.

As well as promoting emerging young artists, Triple J allowed young people across the nation to talk about issues they care about.

Labor recognised that service as one that should be shared with the entire nation.

Labor’s support for Triple J was consistent with its support for Australian culture including Australian-based musicians.

Last year Queensland Liberal Senator James McGrath called on the Abbott Government to immediately sell off Triple J.

This simply goes to show how out of touch the Coalition is with ordinary Australians.

Triple J is one of Australia’s finest and most beloved cultural institutions.

The Hottest 100 countdown has become an annual Australia Day tradition for tens of thousands of people who gather in backyards and on beaches across the nation.

Labor believes in supporting Australian music and live music.

Happy 40th birthday Triple J.



Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office


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