Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ron Hoenig Heffron Gazette

Residents will this week receive their copy of the January 2015 edition of my newsletter called the "Ron Hoenig Heffron Gazette". It is available for download here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Congratulations Anne-Maria Slattery OAM

Presenting the 2015 Heffron Woman of the Year
Congratulations to Anne Slattery, the 2015 Heffron Woman of the year who in the Queens Birthday Honours list has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community of Botany Bay, and to social welfare groups. Anne is just a truly remarkable woman. I have set out her tremendous contribution to the community as announced by Government House.

City of Botany Bay:
President, Botany Historical Trust, since late 2012.

St Vincent de Paul Society:

President, South East Sydney Region, since 2012.
President, Daceyville Conference, since 2011; Founding Member, 2009. Reconstituted Daceyville Saint Vincent de Paul Conference.

St Michael's Catholic Church, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Sacramental Program Catechist, since 1990.
Scripture Teacher, Daceyville Public School, 2000.
Author, 'The History of Saint Michael's Parish Daceyville 1913-2009', 2010.
Parishioner, since 1940s, and serves as a Reader and Eucharistic Minister.
Former Parish Councillor and represented the Parish on the Archdiocesan Parish Committee, 2000.

Professional:
Teacher, New South Wales Department of Education, approx 40 years (retired). Served as teacher and head teacher at JJ Cahill Memorial High School, Mascot, New South Wales, 'for 33 years'.

Monday, 1 June 2015

St Peters Road Inchange Disaster

The NSW government must now see sense and abandon that absurd proposal to construct the St Peters Road Interchange as part of their WestConnex proposal. As readers of  blog know I have been a ferocious critic of the WestConnex proposal from the time it was announced in 2012. As late as January earlier this year I again my my views known as I do often in parliament. However, the St Peter Road Interchange is really a recipe for a crisis. In January wrote http://ronhoenig.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/stop-six-lane-m5-east-tunnel-destroying.html. Last week I made my views known to the parliament. The video of what I said is at https://youtu.be/JohwHjzxEDQ

Thursday, 14 May 2015

How stupidity and belligerence of politicians can undermine judicial independence

I sometimes think that if the public really knew how the government and parliament really worked, they would have a fit. Maybe they do. That might be why they have a low regard for politicians.

This week when parliament was considering what the Attorney General said was a "part of the Government's regular legislative review and monitoring program" I genuinely asked for the government to rethink some provisions as the NSW Bar considered "… it would substantially undermine the concept of an independent judiciary. .. such a fundamental and undesirable alteration to this State's constitutional fabric (is) unacceptable." 

Pretty serious you might think. I could have saved my breath The video of what I said is here. Judge for yourself. http://youtu.be/zGV5Xx8_YC8

Friday, 13 March 2015

Liberal's "Uniformed Agents" try to break up Centennial Park residents meeting with their local MP

Some Centennial Park residents meeting with Heffron MP Ron Hoenig last night
Last night I met with local Centennial Park residents at the edge of Moore Park who wanted to speak to an MP about their concerns with the activities of the Centennial & Moore Park Trust something I have been doing regularly.

Centennial Parklands was gifted to the people of NSW by Governor Macquarie in 1811 for the benefit of the people of Sydney and future generations. It is overseen by Centennial & Moore Park Trust.

Whilst a number of residents were present talking to their MP, a ‘uniformed agent’ of Liberal Environment Minister Rob Stokes disrupted the meeting and ordered residents and I off Centennial Park land. Residents had to move 40 metres to comply with the request, including an 87 year old man.

Centennial Park is the people’s Park – residents are entitled to speak to their MP about their concerns with the management of Centennial Park without being set upon by politically motivated uniformed agents of the Liberal Party, it was a blatant attempt to silence them.

Residents meeting with their Member of Parliament is the most fundamental principle of our Parliamentary democracy, holding this meeting on the people’s land their right.

Centennial Park is not the private domain of the Centennial & Moore Park Trust. It is the quintessential people’s Park and this attempt to stifle free democratic debate is nothing short of undemocratic.

The residents I was speaking with were actually explaining their concerns they have with the Park, including the $38 million wastage on the Albert Tibby Bridge, the commercialisation of the Park, their fear that parts of Moore Park would be handed over for a car park and the gouging of money out of school children for their use of the Park.

The concerns raised by residents are justified. When the Trust and the Minister have refused to provide me with a briefing about the activities of the Trust, someone has something to hide.

It is interesting that on the eve of an election that the Liberal Minister sends his guards out to try and silence me. It is also interesting that their action follows enquiries by the Wentworth Courier about criticism I have made of the Trust in Parliament.

It is no wonder that locals are suspicious of the activities of the Centennial & Moore Park Trust when the people’s representative is thrown out of the people’s Park.

The Liberals’ attempt to silence me won’t work. I will be back next week meeting residents again.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

NSW Labor to rescue TAFE as students hit with prohibitive TAFE fees

Thousands of students in my electorate have been hit by the Liberals’ with massive increases to course fees kick in at the start of the term this year.

Students would benefit from an affordable and well-funded technical and vocational training system under Labor’s $100 million TAFE Rescue Plan if Labor is elected in 3 weeks time.

Within one term, a Labor Government will:
  • Abolish the Liberal’s ‘Smart and Skilled’ privatisation program;
  • Reverse the Baird Government’s TAFE fee hikes;
  • Guarantee funding to TAFE by capping the amount of public funds that can be contestable by private operators at 30 per cent; and
  • Commission a landmark review of education and training in NSW after Year 10.
TAFE is critical for people looking to finish high school, get further education or re-train for a new career.

Many people across my electorate who rely on a strong TAFE system to get the skills they need to find a rewarding job.

But since 2011, the Liberal/National Government has cut $1.7 billion from education and training, sacked 1100 TAFE teachers and support staff, cut TAFE courses and slashed class contact times and drastically increased student fees by up to thousands of dollars. 

The Liberals’ damaging reforms have seen courses cut and staff sacked – and as of this week, fees are rising significantly. I know people in ELECTORATE who have had to take hefty loans to complete their courses – or have made the tough choice not to go back to TAFE at all.

Labor knows that quality education is the key to a good job and a fulfilling life – that’s why Labor will invest in training and make TAFE affordable.

Labor will reverse the Liberals’ fee increases, wind back the privatisation of TAFE and stop the course cuts and fee hikes, so TAFE is accessible for all.” 

Key Points: 
  • As technology changes, equipping the workforce with the skills required for the jobs of today and those of the future is an urgent challenge for NSW. We need a strong TAFE system to train our young people, to prepare them for fulfilling jobs. 
  • Since 2011, the Liberal/National Government has cut $1.7 billion from education and training, sacked 1100 TAFE teachers and support staff, cut TAFE courses, slashed class contact times and drastically increased student fees by up to thousands of dollars. 
  • These impacts to TAFE are a result of the ‘Smart and Skilled’ program of market-based vocational education and training where TAFE must compete for students and funding with private providers.Within the first term of government, Labor will abolish the ‘Smart and Skilled’ privatisation program, reverse the Liberals’ TAFE fee hikes, guarantee funding to TAFE by capping the amount of public funds that can be contestable by private operators at 30 per cent; and commission a landmark review of education and training in NSW after Year 10.

Labor to reverse Liberals' retrospective cuts to victims of crime compensation

Today I welcome Labor’s plan to will reverse the Liberals’ retrospective cuts to compensation payments for victims of crime – and review the legislation altogether. 

In Government, Labor implemented laws to give victims of violent crime up to $50,000 in compensation. But in 2013, the Liberals introduced new rules to cut the maximum compensation payment to only $15,000.

The new rules were also retrospective, meaning all claims lodged before 2013 were only eligible for a maximum of $15,000 in compensation. 

As a result of these cruel new rules, more than 20,000 victims have had their compensation retrospectively cut – many of whom are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

Labor will remove the retrospective nature of the Liberals’ legislation and review the law altogether – and will handle all claims arising up until the introduction of the 2013 legislation under the pre-2013 scheme. 

The Liberals’ cuts to compensation exposed their true priorities – a fixation on the budget bottom line with no compassion for victims of violent crime.

This retrospective rule has added a financial burden to the immense physical, emotional and psychological burden victims of violent crime already bear. 

I’m proud to part of a team that will right a wrong and reverse the Liberals’ cruel retrospective cuts to victims of violent crime.