Last night I was proud to speak at the Marrickville Heritage and Character Study launch held in the ATLAS community and cultural centre.
The study was compiled by community organisation SAVE Marrickville, in response to a request from the NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, and a Government announcement to Councils that ‘local character’ must be considered in their planning processes.
This is hypocritical of the State Government as Marrickville’s character is only under threat because of the Government’s own Revised Marrickville Plan and the proposed high rise development along Carrington Road.
The NSW Government need to understand that the key to successful urban redevelopment is including the local community, not ignoring them.
What we’re seeing is an attempt to change the landscape of our suburbs in a way that will destroy the vibrancy of local communities.
I will campaign with the community against overdevelopment. Marrickville does have a unique character and it must be protected.
Congratulations to SAVE Marrickville for the launch of their important study.
On Sunday, Anthony delivered the Keynote speech at the Australia China Economics Trade and Culture Association (ACETCA) Annual Gala Dinner 2018. You can read the full speech below:
I am pleased to be here tonight representing the Australian Labor Party.
Australia and China have a long standing relationship and it is in Australia’s national interest to deepen our engagement with China.
Now the world’s second largest economy, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and export market, with a total trade value exceeding $174 billion for 2017.
However, the value in the Sino-Australia relationship cannot be measured by numbers alone.
Cultural and people to people links are a critical part of our relationship and we must continue to develop those links between governments, business and civil society.
The Australia China Economics Trade and Culture Association (ACETCA) is a leading organisation responsible for advancing the friendship between China and Australia.
Indeed, ACETCA’s own mission statement – promoting economic and trade development, technology exchange and social harmony, is a tribute to the organisation’s leadership in the sphere of Sino-Australia Relations.
ACETCA met a milestone this year, when over half a million people attended the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival in Sydney, in celebration of the Eleventh Zodiac, the Year of the Dog.
Furthermore, ACETCA’s recent support of our NSW Rural Fire Service and St. John Ambulance Australia should be commended.
The Chinese community is a shining example of the great successes of multiculturalism and diversity in contemporary Australia.
I only have to step outside of my office in the Inner West of Sydney to see first-hand the great contribution made to our community by Chinese Australians in the form of local businesses.
Some recent reports in the media have suggested that the Sino-Australia friendship has become strained. However in my experience the personal relations between our two peoples remain very strong.
We accept that we are different societies and different political systems, and on that basis we are able to cooperate in our mutual interest, which will continue into the future.
There is an old Chinese proverb that epitomises the unique relationship between our two nations that when translated into English reads:
‘If people are of one heart, even the yellow earth can become gold’.
Thank you again for having me here tonight.
Anthony addressed the Parliament today about the 50th Anniversary of the Co.As.It organisation. You can read the full speech below:
It was my great honour recently to attend the 50th anniversary celebration for Co.As.It.
Co.As.It have been providing services for the Italian community in my electorate and indeed much more broadly around Australia for 50 years now, and they celebrated this at the Italian National Day celebrations in Sydney just last month.
Co.As.It also promote Italian culture, including through their family history group, which preserves and promotes the history of Italian migrants in Australian.
Italian Co.As.It community care workers support the elderly Italo-Australian community and allow older Italo-Australians to stay in their homes—and vitally connected to their community—for longer.
The organisation also run support programs for serious issues like drug and alcohol addiction, gambling, and mental health. This is an invaluable community service.
To celebrate their 50-year milestone, Co.As.It have published a photobook by Paolo Totaro AM—Visual Legacy: Italian Australian Elders.
Paolo, himself an Italian migrant, travelled to Australia for work in the 1960s. He went on to work for the Australia Council, founded the Community Arts Board and was also the foundation chairman of the New South Wales Ethnic Affairs Commission. He said of this time:
“I avoided the famous and the rich, they don’t need this sort of celebration. I wanted to capture the image of the ordinary Italian-Australian experience … We are not any more new Australians, we are Australians, who showed enormous self-reliance and resilience from the very start of our arrival in this country.”
In this book, he celebrates the lives of these Australians. Many of the stories highlighted are those of migrants who travelled to Australia, who made that journey that so many have made, to forge a new life for themselves and their families.
They travelled to a new country where they didn’t speak the language; they bravely made their way in Australian society and created a community—a community which is evident in Leichhardt and Haberfield, and right around Australia. This book celebrates their lives. As Lorenzo Fazzini, president of Co.As.It said:
“You won’t find any tall poppies in this book. These are all very humble people, but they are the images of the people who have ‘created’ the Italian-Australian community. Although some of these people are no longer with us, we continue to learn from them, respect them and thank them for paving the way.”
I’m very proud to call Paolo Totaro a dear friend of mine. He is someone who has made an extraordinary contribution to his nation, Australia. With this book, he has added to the wealth of that contribution.
Anthony addressed the Parliament today in tribute to Stavros Protz and Yalcin Adal, for their East2West initiative in support of the unification of Cyprus for all its people. You can read the full speech below:
In the coming month, we will mark 44 years since the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, 44 years without a resolution—a nation divided, with 37 per cent of the island still occupied in contravention of a number of United Nations resolutions and with over 200,000 people displaced.
This is the 11th time I have raised this issue in the parliament as a federal MP. I’ve had the privilege of visiting the island nation twice, once as an opposition member and once as a government minister.
The hope of justice and reunification of the island, however, very much lives on, both in Cyprus and also here in Australia, another island nation, which more than 80,000 Cypriots of both Greek and Turkish background call home.
I had the honour of convening a meeting on behalf of the Australia-Cyprus parliamentary friendship group with two Australian friends, Stavros Protz and Yalcin Adal, from Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot backgrounds respectively.
These two great friends in Australia are examples of the fact that, in our multicultural nation, people live not just in harmony but with its diversity being a great strength.
Stavros and Yalcin began the Journey into Cyprus: East2West initiative. Together, over 16 days beginning on 21 March and ending on 5 April, the two friends walked 400 kilometres through the middle of Cyprus to inspire reconciliation and support for a united island nation.
Stavros and Yalcin, having successfully completed their journey, walking up to 30 kilometres a day over very rugged terrain, are here in Canberra today continuing to promote the common interest and harmony between all Cypriots.
After reaching the St Hilarion Castle on top of the Kyrenia mountain range in Cyprus, the two friends found a window and announced their wish for the future of the island:
“We wish that one day the people of this island regardless of age, colour, ethnicity, gender and religion will be able to live freely.”
This echoes the message of a peaceful resolution that I put forward in my first speech to this parliament about Cyprus, way back in 1998. I said this 20 years ago:
“What is clear is that the Cypriot people, regardless of their origin, do want a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”
The sentiment has been demonstrated in an extraordinary way by these two friends through their East2West initiative.
Their journey has quite literally brought the two sides of the conflict together to advocate for a peaceful resolution that has eluded the island nation for far too long.
However, a solution, when it comes, must of course support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, a single legitimate authority on the island.
One nation, one citizenship, one international personality, one people.
While the nation continues to be divided, its people—both those of Greek-Cypriot background and those of Turkish-Cypriot background—will suffer.
Each year I attend a commemoration of the invasion of Cyprus at the Cyprus Community Club in my own electorate of Grayndler.
Each year the crowd gathers and hopes for a peaceful resolution to the conflict that should come sooner rather than later.
The journey of Stavros and Yalcin, taken together, has encouraged this peace to be brought forth. They exemplify two courageous people who are saying: ‘Enough is enough.’
It is in the interests of all of the people of Cyprus for the conflict to be resolved, for us to live in harmony side by side, just as people of Greek-Cypriot background and Turkish-Cypriot background live side by side in harmony right here in Australia, particularly in my electorate in the inner west of Sydney.
I commend the motion to the House and I pay tribute to these two fine young Australians.
Yesterday I supported the Day Street Band on stage at Leichhardt Bowling Club, for a charity event raising funds for The Girls Refuge crisis centre.
The Refuge helps girls who are at high-risk of homelessness due to family breakdowns, domestic and family violence, trauma, abuse or mental health issues.
Unable to survive on government funding alone, the centre receives an enormous amount of support from the local community, including non-government organisations, local businesses, individuals and events.
The Day Street Band, which is comprised of a group of musician neighbours from Day Street in Leichhardt, gets together once a year to host the benefit in support of the Refuge.
The day was an enormous success. Leichhardt Bowling Club was packed to the rafters with almost 500 attendees and around $10,000 raised.
The event was a great example of Inner West residents rallying to support the less fortunate members of our community.
Thank you to Simon Morel the organiser and bassist of the band and Leichhardt Bowling Club for hosting the event.
This morning I visited the Balmain Rowing Club where I was taken on a tour of the restoration work currently underway.
I was pleased to have facilitated a grant of $10,000 through the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, to help renew the century-old premises.
The rowing club, built in 1882 is one of the oldest in Australia and has produced rowing champions at state, international and olympic levels.
In 2002 a plan to refurbish the club began, construction of a new access ramp to the pontoon and boat storage area is the next major upgrade to the facility.
I thank club president Joe Gresch and members and friends of the Club for the warm welcome and their dedication to the development of our community.
Last night I hosted a community forum at Balmain Town Hall to discuss the future of climate change, energy and the environment in Australia.
The well attended event was organised by the NSW Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) with Shadow Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Mark Butler appearing as a guest speaker.
NSW LEAN is a grassroots network of Labor Party members and supporters who are concerned for the health of the planet and work to influence policies that support strong action on climate change and the environment.
Mark Butler has been a champion of real action on climate change and is responsible for developing Labor’s climate change action plan, which includes plans for cleaner power generation, cuts to pollution, and increased energy efficiency.
Discussed at length on the night was Labor’s plan to introduce new emissions standards for motor vehicles.
The proposed changes will see a massive reduction in transport pollution and save motorists thousands of dollars in on-road costs.
Tackling climate change is a Labor Priority. It is our promise to young Australians – 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
I am looking forward to hosting future policy forums, they are important events that engage the local community with national issues.
On Sunday I visited St David’s Uniting Church in Haberfield, in celebration of the church’s 150th year of service in the Inner West.
Today, St David’s remains a beacon of community engagement in the Inner West, catering to a diverse range of worshippers and community organisations.
I was also able to see the restoration progress of the church’s hall, made possible by a $2,500 grant awarded through the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program, which I helped to facilitate.
The restoration, which includes the re-painting and remediation of the ceiling and the replacement of window panes with clear glass, has made the hall more functional and attractive for community use.
St David’s community service also governs the Ella Centre which is a valued provider of disability services under the NDIS and also hosts social support programs for people living with a disability.
I wish St David’s all the best with the restoration and with their work in the community.
MONDAY, 7 MAY, 2018
Labor welcomes news of excise tax reform to end discrimination against brewers of craft beer, a move that follows a long-running Labor campaign for justice for the thriving sector.
Media reports today suggest that Tuesday’s Budget will end the situation whereby excise applied to 50 litre kegs is levied at a lower rate than that applied to smaller kegs, which are widely used by craft brewers.
The reform will also reportedly give small brewers access to the same system of excise refunds available to big breweries.
The common sense change is a victory for people power.
It follows a strong campaign by Labor and the craft brewing industry which included a petition signed by more than 1400 people and a motion in the House of Representatives that received bipartisan support.
Craft brewing is a growth sector.
New breweries are being established across the nation and the development of the sector has also created a new tourism sector – craft brewery tours.
That means jobs and economic activity in local communities.
Craft brewers deserve to operate on a level playing field with the big multinational beer brands. And beer drinkers should pay the same regardless of what brand of beer they enjoy.
I congratulate the craft beer industry for its victory and look forward to this change clearing the way for even more new jobs and economic activity, particularly in my electorate in Sydney’s Inner West, home to some of the nation’s best breweries.
Today I visited RPM Records in Marrickville ahead of the 10th Anniversary of International Record Store Day, Saturday 21 April, which recognises the economic and cultural importance of independent record stores worldwide.
In the words of Chuck Berry: “Music is an important part of our culture and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive.”
Record Store Day is a celebration of the power of music, as well as being an opportunity to promote the role independent record stores play as custodians and curators of contemporary culture.
Physical music sales have had their best year since 2011, when digital trends changed the way we listen to music. The revival is partly attributable to the increase in vinyl sales.
Video may have killed the radio star but streaming has yet to replace the record store.
This is because nothing compares to the experience of actually visiting one. You can buy the full album and hold it in your hands, read the liner notes and enjoy the songs in the order in which they were meant to be played.
Independent record stores often stock music by local artists, particularly new and emerging bands, helping to kick start their careers.
On top of this, they create jobs and stimulate economic activity in local communities.
Last year, I was proud to be the Lead Australian Ambassador for Record Store Day, which takes place in thousands of record stores on every continent in the world, and is widely used by recording artists to release new music and special and souvenir editions of previous works.
In fact, there is a new record by the late David Bowie, Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), coming out on Saturday.
This year I remain an enthusiastic supporter of Record Store Day, which is why I am here at my local, RPM Records, to prepare for the weekend celebrations.
Nearly 150 Australian stores are participating in Record Store Day, with many hosting events, such as The Record Store in Surry Hills, with a performance by Sydney funk outfit, The Goods.