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.

Annerley Branch News – April 2022

Fantastic response at local BBQ

The Annerley Branch has hosted another successful community BBQ, this time held at Jessica Andrews Place on Ekibin Road. With special guest, Graham Perrett, federal Member for Moreton, the BBQ saw many locals come along, eat and have a friendly chat about the 2022 election.

Speaking to a great turnout of Annerley residents, Graham highlighted some of the policy priorities of a federal Labor government such as tackling climate change, restoring manufacturing, supporting wage increases, protecting Medicare and establishing an anti-corruption commission – just to name a few.

Annerley Community BBQ – April 2022

Many residents took the time to express their concerns about the record of the Morrison government and its failure to protect Australia during times of crisis. Some residents also raised the issue of government corruption, citing support for Labor’s policy to introduce an independent Integrity Commission.

The BBQ, which was free for locals, is part of the annual community program organised and funded by the Annerley Branch.

Branch welcomes anti-nuclear stance

Annerley Branch members have urged Federal Labor to implement the Party’s stated commitment to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, should it win government at the 2022 election.

Members also called on the Australian Government to commit Australia to attending the first meeting of signatories to the Treaty, which is scheduled to occur in Vienna, in June.

In addition to condemning the current Coalition government for failing to sign the treaty, the Branch welcomed the entry into force of the treaty on 22 January 2021, which has made nuclear weapons illegal under international law.

Currently, there are more than 13,000 nuclear weapons held between nine countries.

Climate Change tops member poll

An interactive member poll, conducted at the April branch meeting revealed climate change as the very top issue for the 2022 federal election. Branch members were asked to identify the ‘top 3’ issues for the election, using an interactive voting tool. Not surprisingly, the issue of climate change was the clear number one, which has also been reflected in many opinion polls conducted over the past few months.

Housing was identified as the second ‘top issue’, which has been highlighted by many in the local community who are deeply concerned about accessibility and affordability.

However, the poll revealed a tie for the third issue, with government integrity, wages and job casualisation and the cost of living, all receiving the same level of support. It was only recently that inflation was revealed to be at a 20 year high – at 5.1% per annum.