Annerley Branch News – October 2022

Junction Fest a huge hit!

Showing off the new tote bags

This year’s annual Junction Fest was the biggest and best ever, with record numbers in attendance, complementing the large number of stalls, entertainment and wide range of activities. Held on Saturday 8 October in Annerley, the expanded community festival was a vibrant celebration of local diversity, creativity and inclusion.

As very keen event sponsors, federal Moreton MP – Graham Perrett and State Miller MP – Mark Bailey, held a joint information stall which actively promoted the federal Voice to Parliament proposal and Queensland Labor’s popular Energy and Jobs Plan.

Some of the volunteers at Junction Fest

Stall volunteers also handed out free tote bags, seed packets, ‘Statement from the Heart’ stickers, water bottles as well as a raft of information about Labor’s federal and state initiatives.

Volunteers reported that Labor’s stall was busy the whole day with many locals signing up to support the Voice to Parliament campaign.

The festival will be held next year on 14 October.

Members help with ‘Budget Roadshow’

With the delivery of the first federal Labor budget in 9 years, members were keen to get out and about to talk to the local community about many of the key highlights. Staffing stalls across Moreton and Griffith, volunteers spoke to residents about cheaper child care, more funding for increasing renewable energy and addressing climate change, the new housing accord to build more social housing and make housing more affordable, cheaper medicines, six months of paid parental leave and support for wage justice.

Talking to local resident about Budget 22

The ‘roadshow’ is just part of an ongoing campaign to engage with local communities about how Labor is making a real difference by introducing progressive policies that help all Australians, not just the privileged few.

More local roadshow activities are planned for the near future as more exciting Labor initiatives are implemented over the coming months.

Support for Medicare to cover gender affirming surgery

Annerley Labor has called on the Albanese Labor Government to expand Medicare and health and hospital funding to provide for those Australians needing gender affirming surgery. In recognition that this type of surgery is fundamental for many trans people to affirm their gender, and to maintain their wellbeing, any means to improve its affordability is seen as ‘significantly improving their quality of life’.

Gender affirming surgery refers to a variety of procedures that some trans or gender diverse people may use to affirm their gender. Surgery is just one option for gender affirming care, with trans and gender diverse people choosing to affirm their gender in a way that feels right for them.

A letter, outlining the call for action, has been sent to the Federal Health Minister, Hon Mark Butler MP for his response.

Calls for Queensland Criminal Code reform

Members have enthusiastically supported moves from ALP equity group, Rainbow Labor, encouraging the Queensland government to review the sexual health sections of the Criminal Code (Qld) 1899, including s317 and references to ‘causing grievous bodily harm’, to ensure these laws reflect ‘modern values and current science’.

The resolution adopted unanimously by Annerley Labor, and now sent to State Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman MP, recognises that the Criminal Code’s sexual health sections were grossly outdated and had not kept up with science and treatment.

Permanent protection for refugees welcomed

Annerley Labor has formally welcomed the public commitment of Albanese Labor Government to grant permanent protection to refugees on Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas. Members view that this announcement is a step in the right direction, and is long overdue to be enacted.

Writing to the federal Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles MP, the Branch has urged prompt action on the part of the new federal Labor government and comes after intense lobbying from Labor for Refugees, which met recently with the Minister. Labor for Refugees has happily reported to its members that the Minister ‘confirmed that his focus was on making temporary visa holders permanent’.

Support for people of Myanmar and Western Sahara

Committed to the struggle for international justice across the globe, Annerley Labor has written to Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, reminding her of the plight of the people of Myanmar and Western Sahara.

In two separate resolutions, which were conveyed to the Foreign Minister, Annerley Labor has expressed concerns regarding the ongoing situation in both trouble spots.

Firstly, the Branch has called on the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to hold the military junta accountable for its crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court, as well as urging the Security Council to adopt an arms embargo on Myanmar based on General Assembly Resolution 75/287, as well as other necessary economic sanctions against the current regime.

In a second resolution sent to Senator Penny Wong, members have expressed solidarioty with, and support for, the people of Western Sahara and their right to self-determination. In addition, the adopted resolution calls for:
o the end of Morocco’s illegal military occupation and its brutal regime of killings, disappearances, and torture, to enable the reunification of the Sahrawi people in conditions of peace and dignity.
o the immediate cessation of the exploitation of Western Sahara’s land and resources by foreign corporations that support of Morocco’s illegal occupation; and
o the recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front as the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people within the territory of the occupied Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

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