Annerley Branch News – June 2021

Morrison budget has failed Australia

Annerley Labor has strongly criticised the recent 2021 federal budget as a ‘demonstrable failure of the Morrison Coalition government to tackle the biggest issues facing working Australians’.

Citing examples such as insecure and unreliable work, systemic gender inequality and record-low wage growth, as well as failure to address challenges in the areas of health, housing, education, aged care, child care and climate change, the Branch has highlighted the stark deficiencies of this year’s fiscal statement.

Instead of confronting important issues affecting millions of Australians, the Coalition government has handed billions of dollars to big business and private providers with little obligation and no requirements to improve the pay and conditions of their workers or create new, reliable and sustainable jobs. Of deep concern is confirmation that working people are not expected to experience real wages growth until 2024/25.

Key failures of the Morrison Government’s 2021 budget are:

  • failure to establish a national anti-corruption commission before the next election.
  • the forecast of near-stagnant wage growth over the forward estimates.
  • a real wage reduction next year and that determinants of low wages growth, such as precarious work and underemployment, remain unaddressed.
  • there is a disappointing lack of ambition on a clean energy transition, with no commitment to net-zero by 2050 and no investment in real climate solutions like wind, solar and batteries.
  • more than $550 million of public money will be allocated to ‘climate-wrecking’ gas, which will drive up pollution and force fracking on First Nations land and water.
  • reduction in foreign aid by $144m, despite a global pandemic and diplomatic tensions in our region.
  • failure to address the rampant wage theft and exploitation exposed in last year’s Blue Harvest report.
  • no committed targets on the vaccination rollout, nor international border re-openings, which is compounded by a failure to commit to any additional funding to fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities – all costly decisions that will delay the COVID-19 recovery.
  • no commitment to introduce staff ratios in aged care facilities to ensure people receive the care they need and deserve.
  • a lack of transparency and accountability for the billions of dollars of aged care funding, meaning that providers will continue to put profits before care.
  • extension of the racist Cashless Debit Card program until 2023.
  • no assistance for the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people suffering with a JobSeeker rate at half the poverty line.
  • nothing for public housing in the middle of a homelessness crisis.
  • no additional investment for public hospitals in the middle of a pandemic.
  • higher education spending for universities cut by 9% and TAFE funding slashed by 24% over the next four years, with the Coalition instead pouring $500 million into mostly private training providers.
  • failure to deliver the important structural changes needed to improve the lives of Australian women by providing only $1.1 billion for women’s safety over the next four years whilst providing $17.9 billion in tax write-offs for big business.

Annerley Labor supports boycott of ‘apartheid regime’

Recent calls for boycotting the existing Israeli regime, and its corporate supporters, has found strong support in the Annerley Branch.

In a branch resolution adopted at the June general meeting, members re-iterated their strong ‘solidarity with the Palestinian people and their longstanding struggle for justice and liberation from an oppressive regime’. The resolution argues that the Israeli government ‘continues to commit war crimes, violate human rights and impose systemic discrimination, dispossession and displacement of Palestinian people’.

In addition to the call for an immediate end to the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza territory, the Branch is advocating both a boycott of the apartheid regime, and its corporate supporters, as well as the imposition of sanctions against the perpetrators of crimes against the Palestinian people.

The resolution has since been sent to the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong for her information.

Support for the resolution is a direct result of the vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing in occupied East Jerusalem, which saw the implementation of a plan to forcibly evict some 2,000 Palestinians from the neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Bustan and replace them with Israeli settlers, in direct contravention of international law.

Call to adopt traditional naming

The Annerley Branch has called on the Palaszczuk Government to officially change the name of Fraser Island, North Stradbroke Island, and Moreton Island to their traditional names, of K’gari, Minjerribah, and Mulgumpin respectively.

In supporting the call, branch members acknowledged that the traditional custodians of the islands had known them under these names for over 1000 generations.

The resolution, which has been sent to relevant State Government Ministers, supports the idea that the change will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Australia’s history and the important place First Nations people have in that history.

Similar to the return to the traditional name of Uluru, the suggestion not only acknowledges the long and ancient history of Australia, but will also attract more international tourists who are keen to experience the one of the oldest continual cultures in the world.

Funding support for local community organisations

The Annerley Branch has donated $1000 across three local community organisations as a sign of support and recognition of their valuable services.

The Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivors Support Centre (BRISSC), a not-for-profit organisation that provides support to women survivors of sexual violence, received $500 as part of the Branch’s Catherine Bermingham Community Benefit Fund.

Receiving $350 for their ‘Home for Good program’, was Micah Projects which is based at West End. The program aims to find sustainable solutions for people who are homeless or for individuals and families who might become homeless without support.  

$150 was also donated to the Women’s Legal Service, located in Annerley, which is a specialist community legal centre providing free legal and social work help to people who live and identify as women in Queensland.

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