As Tony Abbott’s brutal agenda becomes clearer, one thing is obvious: the Greens are the true alternative to the Abbott Government.
By Adam Bandt
After the 2013 Federal election result, the balance of power in the House of Representatives has shifted. At the same time, the full impact of Tony Abbott's agenda became apparent with the handing down of the Budget in May.
In the face of plans to impoverish swathes of society, while asking the Liberals' billionaire backers to make no sacrifices, fighting the Budget, speaking up for Greens values and giving the community a voice has become more important than ever. Here is an overview of what we've done so far this year.
In Melbourne, we have:
- Helped get Carlton Housing Estate connected to the NBN.
- Helped secure a grant for an exhibition about Chinese ANZAC soldiers.
- Campaigned against the Government killing off community broadcasting.
- Continued to promote and defend Melbourne's science and research industry.
- Maintained campaign against East-West toll road, forcing Labor to change its position on the project.
- Raised in Parliament the benefits that renewable energy could bring Victoria.
- In Parliament, moved a motion to disallow the Government's plan to end carer visas, which affect a lot of people in Melbourne.
Advocated on behalf of hundreds of Melbourne constituents on issues including housing, immigration, disability, Centrelink, often when they have nowhere else to turn. Our client liaison team has handled more than 500 constituent cases so far this year, with 123 more currently live.
- Supported community fundraising for Cubbies.
- Welcomed new voters – over 11,000 letters sent this year.
Sent over 100 separate email blasts, on issues including R&D, the Budget, East-West and proposed new terror laws. Each email blast reached between 100 and 14,000 local people.
The office has responded to bulk emails and petitions on at least 30 different topics, to around 1,000 individuals – and counting.
At a national level, we have:
- Pushed hard for Parliament to be given the final say on sending troops to war. Read Adam Bandt's motion.
- Supported Senator Scott Ludlam's re-election campaign by helping recruit volunteers who made 12,000 phone calls to WA from Victoria.
- Run the “Respect research” campaign – our petition currently has 19,083 signatures.
Issues we have in local and national media include:
- Broke the story on how CSIRO cuts meant we're leaving labs to fill photocopiers. Read the SMH article on CSIRO scientists.
- Broke the national story of the extent of the cuts to CSIRO.
- Urged Employment Minister Eric Abetz to put issue of child labour at G20 meeting of employment ministers. Read the SMH article on G20
In the House of Representatives this year, I have:
- Introduced a Bill to give Parliament, not Tony Abbott, the final say on sending troops to war.
- Had motions tabled in the Senate calling on the G20 to end child labour, calling on the Government to move on High Speed Rail and about properly funding CSIRO and its animal diseases laboratory. All three motions were successfully passed by the Senate.
And much, much more. As Tony Abbott's brutal agenda becomes clearer, one thing is obvious: the Greens are the true alternative to the Abbott Government.