Annerley Branch News – October 2021

Branch considers impact of extreme Right and conspiracy theorists

Concerned at the rise of the extreme Right, and the growing variety of conspiracy theorists, the Annerley Branch has committed to informing the Party, and the general public, about their harmful impact.

In a specially adopted communique, the Branch has noted the upsurge and correlation in the activities of conspiracy theorists and the extreme Right, which includes QAnon, anti-vaccination advocates and so called ‘Wellness Guru’s’. Intersecting with these groups have been Neo-Nazi’s and white supremacist groups who have a clear agenda that is anti-democratic, racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist, xenophobic and homophobic.

The communique asserts that the actions of these groups are aimed at ‘undermining public trust and support for our democratic institutions and elections, existing sources of expertise, including health and scientific bodies and professionals’.

‘The global COVID pandemic, and the social upheaval and fear that it has created, has been used by these groups to promote their agenda. The pandemic has, in fact, magnified the potency and reach of these groups who can easily prey on people who might lack adequate critical thinking skills to assess the plethora of available information’.

‘The corresponding lack of trust in government has been unfortunately bolstered by an increase in economic inequality and failing standards of public integrity and responsiveness. Many people are feeling marginalised and as a result seek other sources of political leadership’.

‘In the current political climate, where the Morrison government has a wafer-thin majority, some Coalition MPs have publicly supported some dangerous and extreme right-wing views. As Mr Morrison is reliant on these same MPs to maintain his parliamentary majority, he continues to allow them to espouse these views because they speak to a constituency Mr Morrison needs’.

The Branch believes that it is vital for Labor politicians and rank and file members to be aware of this current phenomenon and to discuss how to effectively address it. As a result, the Branch will seek to collaborate with others in the community to ‘promote effective messaging to counter and address relevant issues’.

Place name change welcomed

The Annerley Branch has applauded the Palaszczuk Labor government for working with the Butchulla people to return the name K’gari to the World’s largest sand island.

In a recent letter to Environment Minister, Meaghan Scanlon, the Branch expressed its firm belief that it is important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names to be ‘preserved and recognised as being an integral part of Australian heritage’.

‘These place names hold rich information about our land, histories and cultures and that awareness of these places increases a local and broader understanding of the country we share’, the letter stated.

Community centre firmly on local agenda

The Annerley Branch has signalled its commitment to work closely with Community Plus to advance a ‘roadmap’ for a community centre in Annerley. The roadmap, which is a series of activities to achieve the long term goal of a staffed community centre physically located within Annerley, is part of the Branch’s local lobbying efforts to local ALP representatives.

A key part of the roadmap is for the existing ‘Annerley Hall’, which is located on Waldheim St, to be potentially utilised as a properly functioning community centre.

Recently, representatives from the Annerley Branch met with Community Plus to discuss various options for a centre, including the possibility of a ‘kiosk model’ of networked local community services.

A major outcome of the meeting will be for Community Plus to convey the issue of an Annerley community centre to a future Board meeting and report back on any discussions. In return, the Annerley Branch will maintain an ongoing dialogue with Community Plus on the matter, as well as assisting with lobbying relevant elected ALP representatives on issues of mutual concern, such as social housing and government funding levels for maintaining essential community services.

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