Monday, 18 August 2014

Rest in peace Manny (Emanuel) Tsardoulias

Saturday the Marrickville Community lost its champion, the Labor Party lost one of its local heroes, and I lost a loyal friend.

Cr Emanuel Tsardoulias or Manny as he was known to many of us has been seriously ill in recent times. He has served the Marrickville community with distinction as a councillor and Deputy Mayor. I knew him well from my local government days and served with him at the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and the Local Government Association.

Manny was a warm, generous, loyal and dedicated human being. I will miss him. The Labor Party will miss him and his community will miss him. I extend to Manny's family, his wife and two children my deepest sympathy. Vale Cr Emanuel Tsardoulias.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Botany Historical Trust - An evening with Bob Carr

Anne Slattery, Bob Carr, Ron Hoenig MP Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Mayor Ben Kenneally
I was delighted to attend the Botany Historical Trust's "Commemorating the Centenary of the Outbreak of World War I" to listen to such an impressive keynote address by Bob Carr.

I was delighted to joint with Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Mayor Ben Keneally, Botany Bay City councillors, Her Honour Magistrate Jacquie Milledge, Anne Slattery the Trust President, Trust members and residents. Lest We Forget.

"Gonski" is not just a name

"Gonski" is not just a name. It is not just politics. It is about children and their future. It is about secure funding to make sure children do not miss out and get the helping hand they need at times. Children are not "economic units". Children are not widgets. It is something that the Liberals just don't understand.Reading attached brochure really brings it home to you.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Electricity privatisation to hit Western Sydney Residents' power bills

Ron Hoenig MP with Labor's Prue Car (centered)  with local residents
The Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car and I have today warned that families in Western Sydney will face rising power bills under Mike Baird’s plans to privatise our state’s electricity poles and wires.

Talking to local residents when visiting Claremont Meadows today with Labor's quality candidate for Londonderry Prue Car, I reminded Family electricity bills will skyrocket if the Liberals sell our state’s electricity network, and the state will lose over $1 billion each year as a result of the sale - money that is currently invested in infrastructure, hospitals, schools and emergency services.

Families in Western Sydney and across the state are already struggling due to cost of living increases under the Liberals – they simply can’t afford to pay more for electricity.

Make no mistake: Mike "the Merchant Banker" Baird’s plan to privatise our electricity network will hurt working families. Power prices will rise.

“If the Liberals think they can fool the people of NSW, they are plain wrong – everyone knows that no private company is going to spend billions of dollars buying the electricity network to lower electricity prices.

When the Liberals privatised electricity in South Australia, they promised lower energy bills – and now South Australia has the highest electricity prices in the country.

In a double whammy, from 1 July this year, electricity providers were also no longer subject to a cap on prices – as the Baird Liberal Government has removed the maximum amount retail electricity providers can charge.
Already power bills have risen by 42.6 per cent thanks to this Liberal government – and now power companies are free to charge whatever they like.

The Liberals say removing the power price cap will increase competition and drive prices down – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is regulation and price caps exist to protect consumers from power companies charging whatever they want.

Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car said: “If Mike Baird thinks he can fool our community, he is wrong – a cap exists to limit the price a company can charge. Remove that cap, and there’s only one way electricity prices will go and that’s up.

“The last thing locals need is higher bills for essential utilities like power – but if our electricity poles and wires are sold off, everyone will pay more just to keep the heat on in winter.

“If our poles and wires are sold off, we’ll also lose the $1 billion that’s reinvested in infrastructure, teachers, nurses and police – yet Mike Baird hasn’t told us how he’ll replace that funding,” Ms Car said.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Toxic substances at Orica plant in Botany must be removed

The Southern Courier today published on its website today a story entitled "Heffron State MP Ron Hoenig says toxic substances at Orica plant in Botany must be removed" by Torin Chen and AAP. The article is here.

"With the French Environment Minister rebuffing Australia’s last move to export the world’s largest shipment of HCB, we must stand strong on efforts to rid Botany of this toxic legacy, Heffron State Labor MP Ron Hoenig says.

Mr Hoenig told the Southern Courier that Orica’s stockpile of HCB substance should be removed from Botany Bay and the only suitable place for the toxic waste to be destroyed was in Europe.

“This heinous HCB substance on the Orica site needs to be destroyed by world’s best practice, which is only available in Europe,” he said.

“There is no facility in Australia and no prospect of there being a facility in Australia for the next 10 years that can destroy this waste.

“It is dangerous and it must be removed from the foreshores of Botany Bay.’’

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

NSW Labor celebrates 60th anniversary of Education Week

Shadow Minister for Education and Training Ryan Park said today that the 60thanniversary of Education Week was an opportunity for local communities to reflect on the importance of a strong public education system and the benefits it has provided millions across NSW.

“Our public schools are the cornerstone of our education system and we celebrate their importance this week,” Mr Park said.

“This week is an opportunity to acknowledge the thousands of dedicated teachers and staff across our public schools that ensure we have one of the strongest education systems in the world.

“Public education continues to be the outstanding provider of a fair go in our communities.

“No matter what where you’ve come from or how much money your family might have, an education in a public school has given thousands of students the opportunity to learn and reach their full potential.

“We need to continue to see an education system that is well funded and resourced to ensure our children receive a quality education.”

Mr Park said that the original tagline for Education Week launched in 1954, “Lighting the way to a better world” was just at relevant today as it was 60 years ago.

“Public schools right across the state are holding events to celebrate Education Week and I would encourage everyone to get involved and support their local school,” Mr Park said.

“NSW Labor remains committed to a strong public education system and I encourage local communities to support their public schools.”

For a full list of Education Week events please visit  http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/events/eduweek/.

The Muslim festival of "Eid al-Fitr" commences as Ramadan ends

It was an honour to join my Bangladeshi community this morning as they gathered at Mascot Public School for morning prayers as the festival of Eid al-Fitr began. Muslims throughout the world celebrate this important religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

Islam is the main religion of Bangladesh, which is a secular country, but Islam constitutes more than 90% of the Bangladeshi population. Bangladesh is the fourth largest Muslim country is the world, which the United Nations describes as a moderate Muslim democratic country. The Bangladeshi community is a warm and friendly community. Matt Thistlethwaite MP and Michael Daley MP and I were delighted to able to join our friends on such a significant occasion.