Barnett's drive to out-source services: What's at stake?

In comments to the Herald on March 13 condemning the Barnett government’s push to outsource human services to charities and other non-government organisations; it was careless of me not to stress that there are people in these organisat

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Home affordability and the neglect of public housing

In the March 27 edition of the Herald the Liberal Party candidate for Fremantle Matt Taylor attacked me for criticising the Barnett government's proposed stop-and-search powers and because I support public housing. This is my reply which was sent to the Herald but not published (you can also see Taylor's letter by clicking the link below):

Liberal candiate Matt Taylor tried to take me to task (Herald letters, March 27) on the issues of crime and housing, but in my opinion he completely missed the mark. Contrary to his denial, it has been suggested that we need to cut the Homeswest stock in order to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Like it or not, this argument (even if you say it should be done gradually) unfairly casts a shadow over all Homeswest residents. Matt claims I should be "representing a community crying out for a reduction in Homeswest housing". That's wrong, I should be representing the rights of all residents, including Homeswest residents.

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Hilton: real solutions to real problems

I want to comment on some of the debate about crime in Hilton and the place of Homeswest tenants in our suburb. Firstly let's acknowledge the good news that reported offences have fallen by 17% this year. Statistics are no comfort to people who have still been the victim of crime or who live next to extremely disruptive neighbours. But let's not push the myth that whole of the suburb is constantly awash with crime and violence, this just distracts us from dealing with the real problems in a constructive way.

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A referendum for Western Sahara: no illegal phosphate in WA

Fremantle joined the nation-wide "Flag Raising for Western Sahara" on February 27 when a number of councils and other organisations hoisted the West Saharan flag in support of a UN sanctioned referendum for that country.

Review of Hilton Local Planning Area Policy

The February 24 Council meeting voted to review the Local Planning Policies for a number of suburbs, including Hilton. One of the features of the Hilton Planning Policy that I strongly believe should be retained is it's recommendation that houses only have single garages facing the street.

Some people think this policy is strange and archaic given Australia's love affair with the car and how homes with double garages are now the norm in new suburban developments. However I support it for the following reasons:

Freo Hawks need proper facilities

The February Hilton Precinct meeting heard a passionate presentation from Vice President of Fremantle Hawks Junior Football Club Leon Flanagan. Leon explained that while the club keeps attracting a large number of younger players, it has trouble hanging on to them as they progress into their teenage years. This it turn makes it hard for the club to keep afloat.

MEDIA RELEASE: Stop Barnett axing our library funding!

Fremantle councillor uses launch of new blog to call for public campaign against Barnett's axing of library funding

Stop Barnett's attacks on the public sector

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Gimme Shelter homeless benefit - a great night!

All profits from this event are used to support the homeless. $45,000 was raised with almost 1800 people in attendance. Congratulations to all involved in organising it.

Click on the image for a better view of the flyer.

Sam

Seafarers on brink of historic victory

[I have submitted this article to Green Left Weekly about the current struggle by MUA members in the offshore oil and gas industry. It has been published here.]

Seafarers in the offshore oil and gas industry who are members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) are on the verge of winning historic improvements to their pay and working conditions. Among them are a 30% pay rise and construction allowances that would give them parity with other workers involved in the construction phase of oil and gas projects.

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