Tonight I will join the football community of the Inner West to celebrate the contribution of volunteer coaches, managers and administrators at the annual Canterbury and District Soccer Football Association Volunteer Recognition dinner.
250 volunteers will attend the event, representing more than 3000 volunteers and 16 000 players from the clubs who make up the Association.
Local sports clubs represent the largest network of volunteers in our community, who generously dedicate their time to improve the health and welfare of children and young people.
CDSFA is one of the most effective grassroots sporting associations in the country.
Children and adults from my electorate of Grayndler participate in the majority of soccer clubs that make up the CDSFA including Balmain and District Football Club, Fraser Park, Leichhardt Saints, Leichhardt Tigers, Marrickville Football Club, Stanmore Hawks, Cooks River Titans, Ashfield Pirates and the Hurlstone Park Wanderers.
I am proud to support the work of these clubs and pay tribute to the incredible hard work and dedication of the volunteers who they depend on.
On Saturday I will be speaking at the launch of the new hospitality training facilities at Pratten Park Community Sports and Bowling Club with Metro Assist.
The new facilities were purpose built to help enable new migrants and refugees in Australia to become job ready.
Trainees will learn food handling and preparation skills as well as having access to barista courses and accreditation in Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).
A café will operate within the club as a catering service to local businesses and events, with revenue from sales to be reinvested in club operations.
The funding for this project came from the 2015 Stronger Communities Program grants when the club was still in my electorate of Grayndler.
Congratulations to Gordon Latham from Pratten Park and Lou Bacchiella from Metro Assist.
20,000 Australians were issued with false or incorrect debts as part of the Centrelink Robo-debt debacle overseen by Department of Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.
In an answer to a question in writing filed by Labor MP Steve Georganas, the Minister for Human Services revealed that as at 31 March, 20,000 income support recipients who had been contacted as part of the failed Robo-debt debacle, had their debts corrected or quashed altogether.
12,524 Australians had their debts corrected or reduced.
7,456 Australians had their debts withdrawn by Centrelink entirely.
100 per cent of the debts that have been brought in to my own office in the Inner West, were either overturned entirely or reduced.
Last year a resident of Marrickville was hit with a Centrelink Robo-debt of more than $4000 during a period of illness. The debt was reduced to $400.
These are astonishing numbers coming from a Government that clearly cares little for its own people.
Minister Tudge along with Social Services Minister Christian Porter have removed the ‘Human’ element from the Department of Human Services.
A Senate Inquiry in June produced 21 recommendations which effectively called for the radical overhaul of the Robo-debt system for it to be even remotely workable.
To this day, the Government has refused to act on these recommendations – an absolute insult to the thousands of decent and vulnerable individuals who are reliant on income support at a difficult and uncertain time in their lives.
Today I spoke in the Parliament about overdevelopment in the Inner West.
I told Parliament:
Developers need to understand that the key to successful urban redevelopment is bringing the local community with them. Their projects need to complement the suburban landscape, not dominate it. I certainly believe in higher densities close to public transport corridors, but what we’re seeing with the arrogant state government in New South Wales is an attempt to change the landscape of the city in a way that will destroy the vibrancy of communities. Along the Sydenham to Bankstown line is the industrial area of Marrickville. It currently plays an important role.
Companies like Erth Visual & Physical and Empress Stilt Dance produce things like a 2.7-metre-high T. rex walk-in puppet for creative use. There are IT companies in that industrial area of Marrickville that are creative, are creating jobs and are boosting our national economy as well as the vibrancy of the local community.
Yet the government wants to rezone this area with a proposal that shocked me when I met with Mirvac a couple of weeks ago. Mirvac developed the former Harold Park site with increased density. They’re developing the Marrickville Hospital site on Marrickville Road. Both of those projects have aspects of open space. They’re vibrant communities. They’re not significant overdevelopments.
But what they propose in Carrington Road in south Marrickville, in the industrial area, where there are single-storey and two-storey houses, are 28-storey developments. In an area that doesn’t have great road access to it and has congestion right now, 28-storeys is a massive overdevelopment. It is greed gone mad, and I told Mirvac that.
I will campaign with the community against such an overdevelopment proposal. Marrickville has a character to it, and the idea that you can go into an area of Marrickville that has one- and two-storey heritage houses, which families live in, and just change that to 28 storeys is, quite frankly, absurd. I say too, as I said to the Property Council last week: developers have an important role to play, but they will face the anger and fury of local communities if they put greed above the interests of those local communities.
This Sunday I have been invited to speak at the opening of the Footprints EcoFestival at Whites Creek Valley Park in Annandale.
Now in its seventh year, the festival is a celebration of all things sustainable in the Inner West, with a variety of workshops taking place centred on the art of living without waste.
The festival is of particular importance this time around, as the newly formed Inner West Craft Brewers’ Association have also been invited to be a part of the celebrations.
The IWCBA have partnered with the Footprints Film Festival and their bicycle powered cinema, to provide a craft beer garden for festivalgoers, which I am predicting will be a huge success.
Environmental sustainability is an issue that needs to be addressed at a local level if we are going to conquer the wider threat that things like climate change, waste production and deforestation pose to the planet.
Events like the Footprints EcoFestival help to educate and encourage sustainable lifestyles that help to keep our community green.
Today I will be speaking at the opening of the new basketball and shower facilities at the Addison Road Community Centre for charity organisation Youth Off The Streets.
Youth homelessness in Australia is a very real problem that is effectively addressed by community-centred organisations like Youth Off The Streets.
This is done through the provision of outreach services, crisis accommodation, alcohol and other drug services and counselling, supporting vulnerable young people where and when they need it most; regardless of age, religion, sexuality or gender.
The new facilities will give disadvantaged young people a safe place to shower, and to wind down by playing basketball.
Thanks to Father Chris Riley from Youth Off The Streets, and General Manager Rosanna Barbero from the Addison Road Community Centre for having me here today.
Today the Environmental Impact Statement for Stage 3 of the WestConnex project has been released by the NSW Coalition Government.
The fact that the planning for the most important stage of the project has not been finalised, even though the project has been under construction for a number of years highlights the debacle that this failure to properly plan represents.
The so-called “final stage” of the project still does not go to either the Port of Botany or Sydney Airport.
Dealing with traffic from the Port was the original task identified by Infrastructure NSW for this project.
Even though planning is still underway, every single dollar of Federal grant funding from the Federal Coalition Government has already been forwarded to the NSW Coalition Government, which now plans to sell a majority stake in the project.
This week I asked the Speaker to write to the Minister for Urban Infrastructure to ascertain reasons why he has not complied with Standing Orders, which require answers to Questions on Notice to be provided within 60 days.
Minister Fletcher has failed to fulfil these requirements when it comes to questions I have asked related to the WestConnex project.
I encourage members of the local community to examine the proposed EIS and make submissions to www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au by 16 October 2017.
FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST 2017
On Sunday the Inner West community watched the Western Walers win the Sydney Reclink Community Cup, for the first time in its six year run.
The Walers, representing the music industry, took the cup from the Sydney Sailors, representing the media, and in particular community radio, in an upset of 72-39.
As assistant coach for the Walers, I was pleased to open the day’s activities at Henson Park in Marrickville, for Reclink Australia with founder John Ballis.
The match is an exciting event that raises money for the Reclink Organisation, a charity that helps at-risk and underprivileged youth get their lives back on track through engagement in sport and arts programs.
Established in Victoria, the cup now operates nationally with the money raised each year providing thousands of opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
I look forward to the next match and to pushing the agenda of this fantastic organisation in the federal parliament.
Tomorrow morning I will be meeting with shop owners in the Inner West, along with the Shadow Minister for Small Business, Senator Katy Gallagher, to discuss the issues faced by the sector.
We will be visiting two popular small businesses in Marrickville, Blooms the Chemist and Kelby’s Café; which has kept the Inner West and my own office in great coffee for years.
Malcolm Turnbull is very good at telling people that the Coalition is the best friend of small business, however, actions speak louder than words.
Small businesses make up 97% of all businesses in Australia and employ more than 4.7 million Australians, contributing $343 billion to the economy.
It is important that governments at all levels engage frequently with smaller operators, to identify and address the issues faced by them, to help strengthen our economy.
Labor will engage with small businesses in Australia, instead of just talking about it.