Thank you

i wish to express my thanks to all those who voted for me and the Community Alliance Party.  a disappointing result of having over 15 per cent of Canberra citizens and subsequently not having  a direct voice of being represented in the Legislative Assembly.  This means ‘three things’ – that minor parties and independents are disadvantaged by not being heard, recognised or acknowledged by the Media, not having the resources to campaign on a level ‘playing field’ and the electoral system we currently have is biased towards the major parties. There is a long way to go in having true democracy.

The Community Alliance Party presented wonderful ideas and policies that would have added significant value to the daily lives of ordinary citizens had we had the ‘three things’ were more even.

Nevertheless, my sincere thanks to those who saw what we had much to offer and a desire to make a positive difference.

I will sign off with a few quotes from General George S. Patton.

  • “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
  • “Say what you mean and mean what you say.”
  • “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

And lastly:

  • “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”

 

 

 

Community Alliance Party candidates take up Curtin residents’ “swamp” concerns

Community Alliance Party candidates for Murrumbidgee, Michael Lindfield and Nancy-Louise Scherger have taken up the concerns of Curtin’s Reynolds Street residents and those who live in close proximity to the proposed new rain gardens and ponds to be built on community owned and much used green space.

Residents have previously expressed their concerns to the proponents; the Federal and ACT Government managers of the ACT Healthy Waterways project. They are worried about a range of serious adverse outcomes if the project proceeds, in particular, storm water runoff leaving a soft boggy area of land that gives way underfoot, trapping hazardous wastes such as road oil, grease and other motor liquids, disposable nappies, plastic bags, used syringes and household rubbish generally. The site is even more hazardous after torrential rain, turning it into a smelly, decaying quagmire that may trigger respiratory conditions.

Rain gardens are planted depressions that allow water to pool and soak into the earth, leaving behind all of the muck and sediment that has run off from urban built areas.

Residents’ spokesperson, Phil Aungles, said “we are supportive of environmental best practice, however on this occasion more community consultation is definitely required for residents to make informed and considered decisions, ask questions and generally be involved in the decision-making process.

“My fellow residents and me – over 100 households – will be directly affected, and other groups, like childcare centres, an aged care public housing facility and hundreds of daily open green space users such as mothers’ walking and cycling groups, horse riders, motor scooter users, and child playgroups are ‘right next door’ to the proposed site.

Community Alliance Party candidate for Murrumbidgee, Michael Lindfield said, “the public consultation phase of just three hours per session is far too short for residents to appreciate the full implications of ‘rain garden’ concept, let alone understand the meaning of the technical jargon used in the consultations and pamphlets (refer photo).

“I think it would be prudent for the proponents, especially representatives of the ACT government, to continue on-going public consultations with residents, local businesses, users of this green space, and the aged care public housing facility about this proposal, while remaining open to consideration of an alternative site.

“I understand that the ACT Government has reserve sites earmarked that could be used, so let us all get together and examine these sites in detail so that we can achieve a win for the environment and not encroach on community-owned and much used green open space,” Lindfield said.

Lindfield added, “If I am elected I will be the first knocking on the ACT Environment Minister’s door lobbying for more discussions with all interested parties.”

Background and reference points

http://www.smh.com.au/act-news/reynolds-street-residents-rail-against-rain-garden-slated-for-curtin-20160908-grcfdy?deviceType=text

http://noswampforcurtin.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/no-swamp-for-curtin.html?view=flipcard

Contact:  Reynolds Street Residents spokesperson Paul Aungles  0407 248 144.

 

 

 

Planning and developing ACT local business sector should be happening now!

With warning signs already showing a diminishing Federal public sector presence in the not too distant future, the ACT should be getting ready to be more reliant on the small business sector to provide job and generating community wealth to sustain living standards which we have become accustomed to.

Political parties of all persuasions, union and business groups, learning centres and community leaders should be putting in place now the processes that will put us in good stead to meet these challenges.

As a start, we need to:

  1. Encourage and enthuse our high school and college students to consider establishing their own businesses as career alternatives.
  2. Equip them with the fundamentals of starting and managing a small business.
  3. Identify incentives and fair and equitable taxation regimes to help small businesses grow, employ and be competitive.
  4. Give them confidence that calculated risk can be positive and not all negative.

Canberra’s workforce and specifically that of the Brindabella electorate will completely be different by 2025.

We need to be ready and start stepping up to the challenge now.

ACT government tender processes must be tightened

Remember back in 2012 “more than $70 million of ACT Government construction work has been thrown into jeopardy after the building arm of property giant Hilliers ….. had gone into voluntary liquidation”. Since then more businesses carrying ACT government contracts have gone under. This shows that ACT tender documentation and processes must be tightened so that public money is not ‘lost’ or put at risk in situations like Hilliers. Refer:  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/70m-act-projects-at-stake-in-st-hilliers-collapse-20120516-1yq51.html#ixzz1v0hH5hAN

It should be mandatory for all bidders of multi-million dollar ACT government public works contracts to provide independent financial advice from their financiers (e.g. banks and/or other lending financial institutions) that they are financially viable to undertake the scope of works being tendered for, and have the capacity to pay their creditors (e.g. suppliers, contractors, professional fees and charges) throughout the tender if they are successful.

Companies unable to show financial viability should be excluded from the tender process immediately and details of their exclusion recorded in a public register.  Hopefully companies will think twice before lodging a tender.

Election commitment …. Domestic waste disposal charges to be scrapped

If elected to the ACT Assembly I will do away with charges that apply to the disposal of domestic waste at landfill sites for small, medium and large load sizes.

It is clear that with the cost of living escalating, some people don’t have that ‘little-bit-of-extra cash’.  Many household budgets are already stretched to their income disposable limits.

It is also clear that the ACT Government’s waste disposal policy on landfill waste is not working.  Since 2012-2013 there has been a decline in waste-related revenue collections, refer page

Repealing domestic waste disposal fees and changes would minimise unhelpful waste disposal practices like dumping rubbish by the sides of roads and suburban streets, near charity bins, in nature reserves and at shopping centres.  It would also reduce the cost of collecting illegally dumped waste material.  Repealing the charges is a win: win all round particularly for the environment.

 

Light Rail network …. a risky project … we can not afford !

At the last ACT election in 2012 the ACT Government (with ACT Greens endorsement, encouragement and a back room deal to support a minority ACT Labor Government) announced the start of “’the first stage of the Capital Metro project would include a 12 kilometre light rail route linking Gungahlin and Civic.  The project then was costed at [a whopping] $614 million, with ACT Labor committing $30 million in capital funding over two years.”  Now the cost has blown out to a HUGE $1 BILLION price tag.

At the time, the then Minister Simon Corbell stated, “the price tag is significant but we’ve decided that light rail is the best choice for Canberra,” (Refer: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-21/new-pricetag-for-canberra-light-rail/4273210?section=act).

The Murrumbidgee electorate is telling me that they are not convinced that the Capital Metro project is the best choice for Canberra and want to put a break on it.  They are alo are opposed to the Civic to Woden Light Rail project announced by the ACT Labor Greens Compact.  And their anxiety is well justifiable.

The ACT Government’s mismanagement of large scale risky projects is well documented. It has overseen multi-million dollar budget blow outs on the ACT Prison, the Cotter Dam extension, the Gungahlin Drive Extension and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  Why then is the electorate expected to trust the revised $1 price tag?

A project of this size, risk and public importance should be publicly scrutinised. Who will carry the loss should one of the consortium partners go “belly up. “ Has the public been made aware of this.

If elected to the ACT Assembly I will make every effort through the ACT Assembly committee processes to put a break on the Light Rail projects, seek further community input and ensure that public funds are not put at further risk.

Canberra a Multicultural City

The Community Alliance Party (CAP) recognises that the ACT is a vibrant and creative community of people from a diverse array of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The Diplomatic Corps plays an important role in shaping greater understanding and respect of diverse cultures.

Unfortunately, some forms of racial prejudice and discrimination still persist in the ACT. CAP will work with the various communities, business, and the ACT Government and non-government agencies to build a strong, safe and harmonious ACT community that is fully inclusive.

Community participation

CAP will promote respect, tolerance, and cooperation between the different cultural communities in the ACT through public awareness at major events and celebrations.

Education

CAP supports:

  • the teaching of languages other than English as a core component of the curriculum at all levels of education;
  •  the provision of additional ACT Government resources for the Ethnic Schools Association to help young people maintain connections with their cultural roots; and
  • additional ACT Government resources for programs that teach English as a second language so that migrants are not disadvantaged in Australian society. Sufficient funding should be provided to meet existing needs and an integrated family approach should be adopted.

CAP is totally opposed to all forms of prejudice and discrimination against minority communities and will promote public education programs to foster a greater appreciation of minority cultures and their inclusion to participate in social, cultural and religious celebrations.

Social Services

CAP supports the accessibility and culturally sensitive provision of social services to migrants and refugees in the ACT and believes that the ACT Government and local businesses could do more to help refugees adjust to their new life in Australia and feel welcomed as part of the ACT community.

Arts and Culture

CAP supports:

  • international exchange programs and sister city relationships that promote cultural exchanges between ACT residents and overseas communities;
  • continued ACT Government funding for the National Multicultural Festival, a unique event that enriches the lives of ACT residents, interstate and overseas visitors; and
  • greater transparency, accountability and governance in the management of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre.

Our Youth – Our Future – A Community Alliance Party plan

The Community Alliance Party (CAP) is committed to a culture that values young people and encourages them to use their energy and enthusiasm to participate in their local communities. We consider this to be vital to the wellbeing of the ACT and value adds our local economy.

CAP  believes that the ACT Government and the wider community can do more to support young people, particularly for those who live in poverty or are functionally illiterate (about 11% of the total in each case), Indigenous, and refugee youth.

CAP  will work with youth, their families and communities, and government and non-government agencies to help make the ACT a safe, supportive, and enjoyable place to live for all.

Community

CAP will:

  • work with youth and the wider community to develop leadership skills in youth and give them a voice in political, community and other forums;
  • promote cross-generational programs in schools and in the wider community whereby young and old can learn new skills together and develop a mutual respect; and
  • support programs that help youth avoid anti-social and addictive behaviours.

Families in crisis

CAP will work with existing community organisations and governments at all levels to identify and support families in need to keep families together wherever possible.

CAP believes that the interests of the children should be paramount in responding to dysfunctional families. CAP  supports the greatly increased provision of resources to the overstretched ACT child protection services and will work with crisis accommodation providers to increase its supply  for young people and families to meet a growing and alarming need.

Education

CAP  is committed to equipping young people with the skills required to function in a dynamic job market in a way that is suited to their individual skills and abilities.

CAP will:

  • provide the resources for assessment and support so that children with disabilities and other learning needs receive the level of support they need in the classroom;
  • work with schools at all levels and colleges to provide better counselling support to students; and
  • supports the inclusion of at least 30 minutes of physical activity in every child’s school day to have fun, exercise and develop basic sporting skills.

Health

CAP supports:

  • age-appropriate health education in schools and colleges;
  • improved services for youths with mental illness, including provision of a separate residential acute-care facility; and
  • the work within communities to provide integrated health and community services.

Leisure

CAP will:

  • provide accessible youth centres in every district, and will incorporate such facilities in new developments where they do not currently exist;
  • support improved facilities for Youth Centres and make them more appealing by involving youth in their design and function;
  • support affordable and accessible practice, rehearsal, display, and performance spaces at district and neighbourhood venues to encourage a vibrant arts culture for youth; and
  • support more investment in developing coaching and training skills in the wider community for the benefit of people of all ages, including junior sport.

People with disabilities is a priority for the Community Alliance Party

The Community Alliance Party (CAP) recognises that people with disabilities encounter barriers to participating in community life as well as discrimination on a daily basis. CAP will act to ensure that people with disabilities are treated with respect, dignity and equality.

In addition, CAP will work with people with disabilities, carers, health care professionals, government, advocacy groups, and the wider community to develop an adequately funded business models and a comprehensive approach to directly address the needs of people with disabilities.

Early intervention and education

CAP will:

  • provide the resources needed to allow the prompt, sensitive, and early detection of children who have disabilities and provide ready access to early intervention services;
  • provide the resources for assessment and support so that children with disabilities and other learning needs receive the level of support they need in the classroom;
  • support a transparent process to allocate ongoing support, based on need, to allow people with disabilities to reach their full potential; and
  • seek to ensure strict enforcement of disability discrimination legislation and will promote community education to address discrimination against people with disabilities

Children with disabilities 

CAP believes that, with the numbers of ACT children with disabilities are increasing, more schools must be made adaptable and more people with disabilities should be encouraged to become involved in education to help overcome discrimination.

Independence

CAP believes that people with disabilities should be supported to manage their own care and independence and supports:

  • the provision of sufficient adaptable public housing for people with disabilities; and
  •  all new housing—in new developments and redevelopments —meeting appropriate design standards of adaptability.

Mobility

CAP will:

  • seek to ensure that existing regulations on wheelchair access to commercial and government buildings are strictly enforced and updated/upgraded where necessary;
  •  support the provision of improved public transport options for people with disabilities; and
  • require all new commercial developments to provide adequate disabled parking, and will ensure that the illegal use of disabled parking spaces is appropriately penalised with demerit points.

Leisure

CAP will support:

  • measures that improve access for people with disabilities to a wide range of recreational pursuits – both indoor and outdoor;
  • the provision of safe facilities and the development of coaching and training skills in the wider community to help those with disabilities participate in sports; and
  • the extension of artistic opportunities to people with disabilities.

The Community Alliance Party believes in families being the building blocks of community

Canberra’s status as a ‘family-friendly’ city has been diminished by the hard-hearted attitude and narrow-minded policies of the current ACT Government.

The Community Alliance Party (CAP) will work with families, communities and employers to help realise the potential of families from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Families and government

An elected CAP member to the ACT Legislative Assembly will insist that the ACT Government and its agencies treat all families with respect and dignity and that any interaction between families and the ACT Government should involve the entire family where appropriate.

Families and children

Raising children is the main focus of many families. CAP will

  • work with existing community organisations and government to improve support services for families, such as community parenting programs, including assistance for fathers to develop their parenting skills;
  • insist that families with young babies are better supported by improving the availability of community health nurses, including the re-instatement of home-visits for new mothers through a maternal and child health services program;
  • provide increased funding to community organisations to enable them to better support mothers with postnatal depression;
  • support greater resources for childcare and playgroups, and universal access to free, part-time, non-compulsory preschool;
  • work with school communities to give families greater opportunity to participate in their children’s education; and
  • recognises the valuable role of grandparents and other members of the extended family in raising children, sometimes as primary carers.

Families in need

CAP makes the commitment that it will:

  • work with existing community organisations and governments to identify and support families in need to keep families together wherever possible;
  • put the interests of the children first this is paramount in responding to dysfunctional families;
  • support the greatly increased provision of resources to the overstretched ACT child protection services;
  • in consultation with the social welfare and legal communities, develop strategies to address domestic violence, including the greater provision of investigatory counselling services; and
  • ensure that families of addicts are offered the support and respite they need.

Families and work

CAP believes that parenthood must be recognised as a productive contribution to the ACT economy and will

  • seek to improve the family-work balance so that children are given the best possible start in life; and
  • encourage ACT workplaces to adopt family-friendly policies, including greater availability of flexible working hours, permanent part-time positions, paid maternity leave and on-site childcare facilities.