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SSC Newspaper : September 2012
The contribution of the Australian Labor Party to the transformation of our community – advertisement – Dear Strathfield residents, The sun rises and sets, the seasons pass, the years go by, the wheels turn and the axle irremediably wears down. We are not given a choice in whether or not to participate in this process. But this does not mean that we cannot make meaningful choices in life. In 1975, the Australian Labor Party made a choice by opening Australia to migrants from all parts of the world and that change transformed the lives of all Australians. It also changed the lives of all of us who have chosen to come to Australia since. Regardless of where they came from, like their predecessors, all had one common goal in mind – to build a new life – a life more fulfilling and prosperous than the one they left behind. They all came with hopes and aspirations, looking for opportunities for themselves as well as for building an increasingly more prosperous Australia for all Australians. To build a fulfilling life, you needs skills, opportunities and good health. You need the confidence that, if something goes wrong with your health as you work hard, the community would stand by you. It is the Australian Labor Party that realised and acted on these basic needs. Education and skills: it is the Labor Government that abolished university fees on January 1, 19 74 , to give all hardworking Australians a choice in building their skills and knowledge to fulfil their hopes and aspirations. This was designed to help individuals gain opportunities to overcome limitations unfairly imposed by migration, poverty, poor education, poor health, housing or welfare. Health: it is the Labor Government that gave Australians the Medicare system, starting as Medibank on July 1, 1975. It is Medicare that gives confidence to all hardworking Australians and migrants that they are not living just one accident away from losing their life savings or their near and dear loved ones. It gives them the confidence that they can concentrate on working hard in exercising their choices and efforts while the community is ready to support them should anyone be struck with a misfortune. These are some of the choices the Australian Labor Party has made to change the lives of all hardworking Australians. I believe these Labor choices echo and capture something deep within human nature: the desire to be free; the desire to be the best one can be. I believe this merit-based, equitable system leading to social mobility has contributed significantly to the social harmony, peace and social integration we enjoy in Australia. Friends, though we take these policies for granted today, none of these were a given at the time. Labor had to fight for each of these; and the future changes we will need to improve the lives of Australians will not be achieved without a fight. Friends, hardworking Australian families do not ask for much from their local governments to make a difference in their lives. They just need an honest government who is not working with the big end of town. They need an honest local government treating everyone fairly. This is a very simple ask. At the coming election, if Labor secures majority, I promise my team and I will deliver a clean, efficient and effective local government. My local government will serve all residents based on true Labor values of common obligations, common loyalties, common purpose. We will deliver: • transparency, integrity and community empowerment; • improved public and community spaces; • better local service and facilities; and • a focus on public safety and accountability We promise to promote equality and social justice. We will work for all, not just for a chosen few. We promise we will have no special relationship with any lobbyist – the only lobbyists we will ever be interested in are the residents of Strathfield. Friends, Labor is transforming itself. It is the Labor Party that acknowledges that the ultimate danger to the Australian way of life will not come from any resident who does not have a certain look or does not speak in a certain accent. The ultimate danger will come from ourselves if we fail to recognise the humanity in every resident living in Strathfield and in Australia. Strathfield Labor is the only major party that has resolved to fight against any forced amalgamation of Strathfield Council. Only the Labor Party has the will to fight it and it has resolved to fight it. Strathfield Labor is the only major party that spoke against the Australian Catholic University development proposal early on. Under the Liberals, residents are to lose objection rights in new planning laws. Under the Liberals’ proposed planning laws, residents won’t have the right to object to any indiscriminate development such as high rises or boarding houses in their own street. Only Labor has the strength and resolve to fight it. We have not entered into any preference deal with anyone and we are asking the residents to give us a majority so that we can form an efficient and effective local government. I believe residents of Strathfield have realised that voting for small parties and independents means deals must be struck for forming a local government. This only serves personal interests and means more games, with councillors playing musical chairs for the office of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. We have been door-knocking all around Strathfield Local Government Area since March because we are really interested to know the issues and concerns of Strathfield residents and act on these. I urge residents of Strathfield to give Labor a majority so that we can offer a clean and efficient government that can concentrate on residents, not on deals. Friends, Labor needs your support, to protect the special character of Strathfield. Friends, this council election is not just another council election. This council election is about the choices each of us can make, and changes each of us can initiate. Please promote Labor’s campaign for Strathfield to our community as only Labor will protect our community. When we work together, the possibilities are limitless and Labor will work with you. Raj Datta Leader of the Labor team for Strathfield Council
September Election 2012