Annerley Branch News – May 2022

Federal election a ‘seismic shift

In addition to witnessing the historic return of a majority Labor government, led by Anthony Albanese, the recent 2022 federal election has resulted in one of the most politically ‘diverse’ national parliaments ever.

Sitting in Canberra will be 77 ALP, 58 Coalition, 4 Greens, 1 Centre Alliance, 6 ‘Teal Independents’, 1 Katter Party and 4 other independents. The new Senate will likely see 33 Coalition, 26 ALP, 12 Greens, 2 Lambie Network, 2 One Nation and 1 Independent.

Already new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese (pictured), as promised that Labor would govern differently from the previous administration.

“We need to change the way that politics operates in this country,” Albanese told his Caucus. “We need to be more inclusive. We need to be prepared to reach out [and] we can do that in this parliament”, he said.

The result sees the Liberal Party with the lowest share of seats since its inception in 1946. The loss of several formerly safe seats to the so called ‘Teal Independents’ now presents a mucher tougher road for the Coalition to regain government at the next election.

The local election result, however, was mixed for Labor. In Moreton, where sitting MP, Graham Perrett and his team ran a very strong campaign, the Party saw the second highest swing to the ALP in the seat’s electoral history. After an above average swing of 7% to the ALP, Moreton was retained easily by Graham. Significantly, the Coalition vote collapsed in many suburbs across the seat, with several traditional Liberal booths falling to Labor. In the ‘flood suburbs’, the story was stark for the LNP, where many residents had expressed deep frustration with the failed leadership of the Morrison government.

However, losing Terri Butler in the neighbouring seat of Griffith has dampened spirits for the ALP, with her loss to the Greens Political Party after a very long and hard fought campaign. Despite promoting the positive and progressive agenda federal Labor took to the polls, Terri was unable to counter the promises and claims made by her opponent. On the positive side, a mere 2% lift in the ALP primary vote next time could see the Party regain the seat.

Labor Party members and supporters can now look forward to the new Labor government implementing its progressive policy agenda over the next three years.

Power in ‘public hands’

Annerley Labor has endorsed a call to ensure that electricity generation, transmission and distribution in Queensland will continue to remain in ‘majority public hands’.

Adopting a resolution aimed at this years State ALP conference, the Branch is keen for the conference to not only support public ownership but recognise the urgent need to transition to zero emission electricity generation, in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement.

The push will also signal that the Queensland Labor Government needs to invest an estimated $16bn in public funds, over the coming 8 years, in the construction of new renewable energy generation and storage across the state.

Federal Labor urged to review ARC grants

Annerley members have called on Federal Labor to amend the Australian Research Council Act 2001 to prevent ministers from exercising a veto for projects that have been recommended for funding by the Australian Research Council (ARC), and to ensure that decisions relating to the granting of funds are made on fixed, pre-determined dates, 6 months after the grant submission deadline.

In a resolution to be conveyed to the new federal Education Minister, the Branch has expressed its concern over the existence of a ministerial veto on ARC recommended grants, noting that Australia is ‘one of the only countries to give a minister such power and the delays in announcing the outcome of funding decisions’.

Annerley branch members, however, have welcomed the previously announced support of Federal Labor to release grant outcomes on pre-determined fixed dates, and to refrain from using the ministerial veto to intervene on ARC recommendations regarding approved grants.

Support for container deposit expansion

The Annerley Branch has called on the Queensland government to investigate the potential expansion of the eligible ‘litter stream’ to include ‘larger alcohol glass bottles and batteries’ as well as increase the current 10 cent deposit to 20 cents. It is believed that expanding the scheme and increasing the financial benefit will encourage greater recycling rates.

The Branch has written to the state Environment Minister, Hon Meaghan Scanlon, urging the State government to consider the idea and will likely pursue the matter at this year’s ALP state conference.

Community Plus receives a ‘thank you’ cheque

Members have keenly backed a fundraising appeal to donate $500 to Community Plus, Yeronga in support of their valuable local work in light of the recent devastating floods. Adding to the previously donated amount of $350, the Branch was able to hand over the funds, with the help of local federal MP for Moreton, Graham Perrett (pictured).

The appeal was part of the Branch’s Catherine Bermingham Community Benefit Fund which exists to assist local organisations that have specific social justice objectives. Community Plus was chosen by members who were impressed with the work undertaken by the organisation in providing much needed support for residents impacted by the February flooding.

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