Annerley Branch News – March 2021

New climate change laws urged

Branch members have called on the Queensland Labor government to adopt a new legislative framework for climate change that specifically includes clear objectives, binding emission reduction targets, and regular monitoring and public reporting.

In tandem with any new, stronger laws, it is also suggested that an action plan be developed to manage risks and outline performance measures to track progress. Importantly, any new laws should mandate public engagement and ensure that the issues of affected vulnerable sectors and communities are thoroughly addressed.

Branch members believe that adopting new, more robust legislation will demonstrate strong leadership by setting clear objectives and emissions reductions targets and establishing standards of accountability, as well as demonstrating a transparent commitment to climate justice for all Queenslanders.

Currently, Queensland accounts for nearly a third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, the highest of any Australian state or territory.

Call for youth justice reforms

A recent communique on youth justice reform from the Queensland Indigenous Labor Network (QILN) has received support from the Annerley Branch.

The communique expresses disappointment and objection to the current suite of proposed legislative changes to the Youth Justice Act 1992 and calls upon the Queensland Government to consult more broadly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, academics and industry experts. It also urges stronger reliance on evidence based programs and initiatives to inform future amendments to the Act, as well as the Charter of Youth Justice and the Child Protection Act.

QILN’s communique also urges the Queensland Government to increase the age of criminal responsibility from age 10 to 14 years and to extend care to young people in-out-of-home care until they turn 21 years of age – all within the current term of government.

The Branch has written to the Queensland Attorney General, adding its public support for the communique.

Support to re-introduce Family Law Court

Annerley Branch members have overwhelmingly supported a motion calling on the next Federal Labor Government ‘to reinstate, as a priority, a properly resourced and funded specific Family Court of Australia’.

The resolution was adopted as a result of the controversial decision of the Morrison Government to capitulate to One Nation in its reckless campaign to abolish the essential court system, despite deep concerns of many legal and family welfare organisations.

Many across Australia have expressed alarm that the removal of the court will inevitably cause severe distress for many families, particularly for women and their children.

Community Centre ‘roadmap’ developed

The Annerley Branch has adopted a ‘roadmap’ to establish a local community centre. The roadmap commits the Branch to working with local elected representatives and relevant community organisations to create a permanent community facility in the area. In addition, the plan also will seek to build community awareness and support for the issue.

Many branch members are concerned that there is a distinct lack of a community centre located, and operating, within Annerley. It is suggested that a service, physically located in Annerley, would be more accessible for residents, especially those who have mobility issues.

Annerley Labor celebrates 20 years

March 2021 saw the 20th anniversary of the Annerley Branch with a special dinner held at the Yeronga RSL. Members gathered to celebrate the milestone, on 20 March, reflecting on the achievements of the Branch which has grown from 40 members to almost 140 during that time.

Joining the commemoration were Graham Perrett MP, Federal Member for Moreton and Cr Steve Griffith, Councillor for Moorooka Ward. A special video message was also sent from Griffith MP, Terri Butler.

The Annerley Branch was officially formed on 7 March 2001 when two local branches amalgamated to ensure a strong active presence in the area.

Morrison fails a key leadership test

The last six weeks in Canberra have been more than disappointing and, many times I have personally found them quite shocking.

When I was first elected, I sought the support of the people of Moreton so that I could go to Canberra to do noble things, on your behalf. My job is to look out for you, so I am very sorry that the last few weeks of horrible announcements coming out Coalition offices have been a demoralising low point in our democracy.

The revelations about the disgusting behaviour of several coalition staffers; an allegation of rape in a Minister’s office; an allegation of sexual assault by the Attorney General; and an LNP backbencher from Queensland harassing women online – have combined to lessen the standing of our parliament in the eyes of ordinary Australians.

If we want to be a country where women are safe at work, at home, on the street, then we have to take these complaints seriously. This is especially important when these horrible matters take place right in the heart of our democracy.

The Prime Minister needs to stop trying to politically manage the situation. It’s been five long weeks since the allegations that started with Brittany Higgins’ terrible story came to light. And since that time, there has been little sign of leadership from Mr Morrison. He has to start to deal with the real problem that women, not only in Parliament House, but across Australia, experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Every Australian workplace must be safe for every Australian worker. Nobody should be subjected to sexual harassment in our workplaces.

Scott Morrison could show some leadership, starting with implementing the full 55 recommendations in Kate Jenkins Respect@Work Report and reintroducing the Women’s Budget Statement.