Annerley Branch News – November 2022

Branch launches Christmas Hamper Appeal

Annerley Labor is seeking donations as part of its annual Christmas Hamper Appeal to help local people and families in need this festive season. Non-perishable food donations, which will be presented to Micah Projects by mid-December, are essential for each hamper, with allergen free items most welcome.

Donors are encouraged to either drop off their items at the 6 December branch meeting or donate money that will be used to purchase hamper items.

Micah Projects, located at West End, are a non-profit organisation that provides support for people experiencing adversity due to poverty, homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence, disability, and discrimination due to age, gender or sexual orientation. Every Christmas they provide hundreds of families and people with food hampers.

For more information about this year’s Appeal, contact info@annerleylabor.org.

Government thanked for polio eradication funding

Polio eradication receives a massive funding boost

The Albanese Government’s recent allocation of $43.55 million to further support the eradication of polio around the world has been applauded by branch members. The investment, one of the largest ever made by Australia, will help deliver critical vaccinations to vulnerable communities, improve tracking and surveillance of polio worldwide and ultimately save lives.

In October, the international community welcomed the more than $2.6 billion in pledges for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) by various World leaders and philanthropic organisations. The GPEI brings together the latest scientific knowledge on the virus and tracks its status every week cross the globe.

State Labor Government initiatives recognised

Members at the November general meeting discussed and acknowledged several recent Queensland Labor government initiatives, which were hailed as a continuation of implementing the Party’s progressive policies.

Amongst the recognised government initiatives were:

• Creating the Jobs and Energy Plan to provide our state with long term, sustainable clean, reliable and affordable energy.
• Introducing new laws to ensure our state’s environmental framework remains modern by providing greater consultation on resource projects, ensuring environmental impact statements remain up-to-date and providing early certainty on clearly unacceptable projects.
• Commencing the start of the formal Path to Treaty with the signing of the Statement of Commitment with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which including a First Nations Treaty Institute and a Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry.
• Introducing the Integrity and Other Legislation Amendment Bill and the Public Sector Bill to deliver on the government’s commitment to implement the recommendations from the Coaldrake review of culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector.
• Streamlining and simplifying Queensland’s retail trading hours which will create greater consumer choice, provide protections for retail workers and certainty for retail businesses.
• Introducing ‘fast-track’ planning approvals for community, social and affordable housing across the State.
• Doubling the size of the Housing Investment Fund to help augment the commencement of more than 13,000 new homes for Queenslanders.

The Branch, in applauding the state Labor government on the achievements, has written to the Premier encouraging her to continue with implementing the ALP’s state platform.

Toondah Harbour development opposed

Toondah Harbour wetlands need protection

Branch members have formally endorsed the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) petition calling on the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek MP, to reject the approval of the controversial Toondah Harbour development in Redland City.

In re-iterating long standing opposition to the proposal, branch members expressed concern that the radical development contravenes Federal Labor Party policy which strongly supports the protection of wetlands, especially those that are Ramsar listed sites. Many opponents of the development have outlined its long term negative impact on the bio-diversity of the existing wetlands, and associated species, which is considered as irreversible.

In addition to supporting the LEAN petition, the Branch has since written to Minister Plibersek urging her to oppose the development.

Review of City Council electoral system supported

Annerley Labor has supported calls for a review of the current Brisbane City Council electoral system, to be enacted before the next local government elections scheduled for March 2024.

In support of efforts of many across the ALP, the Branch adopted a resolution which recognises that our democratic system, at all levels of government, ‘should ensure that our elected representatives truly reflect the diversity, values and concerns of our communities’. Branch members observed that with the current composition of the Brisbane City Council becoming significantly malapportioned in recent years, a full review of the electoral system had become essential.

Branch discusses mental health

Annerley’s November general meeting devoted time to discuss the important issue of mental health, noting that 11% of Australians required mental health services during 2021, an increase from 7% recorded just a decade earlier.

Despite both the federal and Queensland Labor governments providing additional budgetary funds to tackle the rise in demand for mental health services – through the national Headspace program and Better Care Together program respectively – many service providers are being overwhelmed.

Members also discussed how the Coalition’s ‘robodebt’ fiasco had demonstrated how difficult it was for people to access adequate mental health services. A number of factors – extreme weather, cost of living, COVID, social division – is also seen as creating a more ‘anxious society’ which is adding to the number of people needing assistance. Member discussed the need for a more comprehensive effort to address the issues causing anxiety and social tension, as well as the need to publicly encourage more compassion for people facing mental health issues.

Members supported the view that although government support and funding was vital to tackling rising mental health issues, everyone in the community has an important role to play. On a personal level, for example, it is important for people to know how to reach out and talk to others about issues that are causing anxiety or depression.

Some of the members attending our 250th meeting

Members celebrate 250th meeting

November 2022 saw the Annerley Branch celebrate an historic milestone – our 250th meeting since forming in early March 2001. Members marked the occasion by participating in a special pre-meeting BBQ, with Hon Mark Bailey MP also dropping by via Zoom.

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