Annerley ‘Town Hall’ Session: huge success
The local campaign to support the ‘Yes’ case in the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum saw a massive boost of support from southside residents with a recent ‘town hall’ session held in Annerley.
Hosted by Moreton MP, Graham Perrett, the public meeting was attended by almost 130 people and featured special guest, Eddie Synot, a well-regarded Griffith law lecturer.
Graham Perrett emphasised the Voice as a way to respect one of the World’s oldest and continuous cultures. “This about recognition and reconciliation”, he explained to participants. Graham commented that the Australian constitution not only fails to recognise our Indigenous people, our colonial past has had a devastating impact – which continues to this day.
Eddie Synot, a Wemba Wemba man, described the referendum as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to ‘involve and give hope’ to First Nations communities. He spoke about the how the Voice was an ‘uniquely Australian’ construct, although other models from across the globe were examined. Eddie suggested that the Voice was important to many First Nations people as it would offer them a vital form of ‘dignity, respect and recognition’.
Eddie used the question and answer segment to address questions from the floor about the Voice and how it would supplement, rather than frustrate, our current parliamentary system.
More Voice to Parliament events are planned over the coming months and supporters of the Yes campaign are welcome to help out by emailing email@example.com.
Annerley Labor is a formal supporter of the Yes campaign.
Members consider media law reform
Annerley Labor members, already supportive of a royal commission into Australian media diversity, used the April general meeting to discuss other aspects of much needed media reform.
The discussion encompassed a number of key issues such as defamation laws, ‘truth in political advertising’, reviewing the responsibilities of the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA), press freedom (including protection of whistleblowers) and more appropriate mechanisms to correct deliberately misleading articles or broadcast segments.
However, members re-iterated support for the Albanese government to set up a commission into media ownership, especially due to the growing concentration of just a few media companies that espouse a clear politically biased agenda. It is expected that the issue of media ownership will be raised at the ALP national conference to be held in Brisbane in August.
Branch ‘Agenda for Progress’ under review
Annerley Labor is close to finalising its formal policy advocacy program – Agenda for Progress – which is based on six main ‘policy pillars’: Just Society, Inclusive Economy, Responsive Government, Sustainable Planet, Co-operative World and Supportive Community. The program places the importance of meeting human need at its core and will outline the main issues that Annerley Labor will campaign on, in line with already articulated progressive values.
The draft Agenda, already circulated for feedback from members, will be considered at the 2 May general meeting. Once adopted, the Agenda will be prioritised by members, published online and reviewed on an annual basis.
LEAN push on forestry & land clearing supported
Annerley Labor has unanimously agreed to support efforts of Labor for Environmental Action (LEAN) to update the state’s policy platform on forestry and land clearing.
Recognising that the land sector represents roughly a quarter of all emissions in Queensland, LEAN’s platform amendments argue that it is ‘imperative that the government has a climate strategy in this sector, while protecting a sustainable forestry industry, transitioning workers from native harvesting to sustainable plantations’.
LEAN asserts that by reducing tree harvesting intended to increase grazing land, and ending harvesting of native habitat, the State Labor government will be in a better position to realise its stated goal of zero new extinctions.
With the Commonwealth Government reviewing the Emissions Reduction Fund and methods for creating Australian Carbon Credit Units following the Chubb review, identified changes will provide new opportunities for high integrity carbon credits created through ending logging and the clearing of forests and woodlands in Queensland.
Similarly, the implementation of the Samuels review into the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 will also create new mechanisms for protecting critical habitat and threatened species in both state forests and on private land.
The proposed platform amendments proposed by LEAN and supported by Annerley Labor include:
- Develop a climate strategy for the land sector with strong targets and an industry plan for a world-leading land carbon industry which would create thousands of good regional jobs in managing land, forests and mangroves for carbon, and significantly expanding our plantation base.
- Work in partnership with traditional owners to recognise and support First Nations knowledge of country and history of caring for country to ensure that traditional owners share in the benefits of this land carbon industry.
- End native forest harvesting, in Queensland by 2025 with a fair and equitable transition to plantation timber.
- End broadscale land clearing of forests and woodlands on private lands, through a combination of incentives, enforcement of existing laws and appropriate law reform.
- Work with the agricultural sector to halve and entirely offset methane emissions from agriculture by 2030.
- Support the commitment of the Queensland Jobs and Energy Plan to “review the planning framework for renewable energy development to ensure it is fit-for-purpose for the energy transformation” by amending State Code 23 (Wind Farms) to ensure that the Queensland Government can apply the best standards of biodiversity conservation for approval for renewable energy projects.
The State ALP Conference will be held in Mackay in June.