Annerley Branch News – March 2022

Annerley ALP rebukes Caucus on Religious Bill

Members of the Annerley Branch have unanimously adopted a resolution rebuking the Federal Labor Caucus for its ambiguous stance on the recent religious discrimination bill.

Whilst welcoming the demise of the divisive legislation, which was ultimately dropped by the Morrison government, members expressed their deep concern regarding how the Federal Caucus had handled the matter.

The resolution explained that the caucus stance had “caused considerable distress to many Party members, supporters, members of the public and, in particular, the trans and rainbow communities”. The resolution further argued that “elected Labor representatives should be clear in their resolve to publicly oppose legislation that is inconsistent with our Party Platform and the core values of our Party”.

In addition to the concerns expressed by members, the Branch has again called on Federal Labor to commit to “the creation of comprehensive national human rights legislation, which includes measures to address religious vilification”.

Multi member Council wards supported

The Annerley Branch is seeking an amendment to the ALP State policy platform to introduce multi-member wards in local councils across Queensland.

Firm in a belief that our democratic system should ensure that elected representatives accurately reflect the community, the Branch has called for a community consultation process to explore using proportional representation and multi-member wards for future local elections.

Supporters of the push have suggested that local councils are often considered the level of government closest to our communities, and therefore the establishment of multi-member local government electorates, with candidates elected by proportional representation, would further enhance that view.

The amendment will be submitted to the Party’s Policy Co-ordination Council in the lead up to this years State Conference, due to be held later in 2022.

Branch supports local flood recovery

In recognising its incredible work in the aftermath of the recent local flooding, the Annerley Branch has donated $350 to Community Plus, Yeronga. The local community organisation has been instrumental in setting up a 7 day a week ‘Flood Recovery Hub’ to support those affected by the devastating floods. Because of this, branch members were eager to help support their valuable ongoing work.

Community Plus also helped organise a range of vital support services that included food, clothing and other essential supplies. The efforts of so many local groups and residents, to help those in need ,had again demonstrated the resilience and strength of the community, which was hit hard in 2011.

Many branch members also volunteered to staff local ‘flood assistance’ information and BBQ stalls, as well as assist with ‘welfare’ doorknocks over the course of the following weeks.

Defence spending claims misleading

Much has been made about Labor’s expenditure on defence in 2012-13, as a percentage of GDP, as being the lowest since 1938. To use defence spending as a percentage of GDP to gauge the level of a government’s security, is a misleading variable. When the wealth of a country grows, expenditure on defence may actually increase in real terms, while as a percentage of GDP, it may fall.

If we use this singular component of measurement then John Howard’s defence spending of 1.62% of GDP in 2002-3, was at that point, the lowest since 1938. When Howard left in 2007, defence spending was at 1.78% of GDP. During the GFC when the economy slowed down, Labor’s defence spending under Kevin Rudd, as a percentage of GDP, rose to 1.93%. As the country began to climb out of the worst effects of the GFC, expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell by 2012-13 to 1.6% of GDP under Julia Gillard.

To put that in context, Australia’s expenditure on a per capita basis remained superior to any of our neighbours in the region and compared favourably with that of Canada, Italy and Germany. Also bear in mind that was in the relatively benign world of Hu Jintao, a far cry from today’s entrenched dictatorship of Xi Jinping.

More Queensland bashing from Murdoch

A recent Courier Mail headline, “No school, it’s cloudy”, drips with sarcasm. Terminology evoking ‘chaos’, ‘confusion’ and ‘havoc’ proliferates. Later we read “the decision to close schools was based on advice from police and state disaster coordination.” No prizes though, for guessing who was in the firing line.
When we were hit with more than 700 millimetres of rain in 72 hours, the Queensland premier-bashing game was once again in evidence. This time Annastacia Palaszczuk hadn’t predicted the “rain bomb”. Nor, for that matter, had the Bureau of Meteorology.

I can’t help but smell a rat. It reeks of a desperate, orchestrated attempt to save the furniture in Queensland for Scott Morrison at the upcoming federal election by diverting attention from his last 3 years of miscalculations on the fires, the pandemic and aged care. So why not just turn the blow torch on Labor in Queensland?