First world problems – really

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)I have, as do many of you received my weekly dose of South west voice, the online publication of Eric Kontos former editor of the Champion. I read as always the stories he writes about issues local and those of interest. Today in my feed I was keen to read the piece posted titled

Being the political junkie I am they are often the pieces that get my interest first… Anne Stanley is the new federal member for Werriwa however she is a long time resident, so my hope was that she would hit the ground running and begin tackling the big issues facing my fellow residents. Anne is a former Councillor, she saw first hand the issues that are impacting our community hard and really the internet is the thing she wants to take Malcolm Turnbull to task on..?  Maybe I’m old fashioned, maybe I’m pinning my hopes on the un-achievable but we have some issues I think rate a little higher on the pecking order that need to be taken to task. Homelessness, underemployment, unemployment, tenant rights, aged care, single parenting support, medical access, hospital waiting lists, TAFE, University fees, marriage equality, refugee support, local transport, banks overcharging, Taxes, a proposed 24-hr airport, the imposition of the intermodal on residents across the border and that’s just off the top of my head. Internet speeds will have very little impact on a number of groups on my list and while NICE to have and no doubt part of the growing list of inequity facing my community I was truly hoping she might start by stirring the pot on some really big issues in our community, not just tinkering around the edges of the popular. I guess that is what happens when we elect one of the two old parties, they have to conform to the issue of the day, the ones that resonate with the better off, the ones that have that tick of approval of the powers that run their parties. Alas there is hope I guess but as for a running start this one falls pretty short in my opinion.

Clearly if your opinion differs let me know, I for one rely on the internet to get my message across however the speed at which you receive it doesn’t’ rate as high on my list of things I’d like addressed today.


Sign off


2 Responses to First world problems – really

  1. André Bosch says:

    Thinking similarly Signe. This is what I posted after her maiden speech:

    An interesting first speech (so long after the election!) yesterday by the new member for Werriwa, Anne Stanley – do check Hansard to read it or ParlView to watch it.

    I am not pleased that she started her speech by wholeheartedly embracing Badgery’s Creek Airport. I do not think the Labor party is showing much respect to the millions of residents of Western Sydney who vote them in at every election, by not taking community concerns about the Airport particularly seriously. There is one thing that our Labor representatives should be mindful of, though.

    Anne Stanley rightly paid tribute to Whitlam as the former PM of our seat. She paid tribute to his ambitious achievements and the power of governments to make a real improvement in the lives of ordinary citizens. She then goes on to say that her favourite achievement as a Councillor was a modest one.

    But what our representatives must realise is that they can and should be ambitious in Parliament. I think sometimes, having often been in a public office or working in politics for years and years, they forget just how different their lives are to the lives of everyday citizens. If anybody has power to make serious social change, it is our MPs.

    I would hope that our Labor reps do indeed pay attention to the Whitlam legacy and remember that they are in a position of enormous influence and privilege. Do not squander that for self-interested reasons. Be bold and be ambitious.

    For that reason, my favourite line was this:
    “While yelling at the TV can be satisfying, especially as you are always right in your own lounge room, I wanted to be part of the Labor tradition of making positive change through engagement in the political process. ”

    There are not enough citizens involved in the political process. To go from the standard TV-yeller, to Councillor and staffer, to MP, is to make a massive upward bound, to stand before the very people who cut our services and dump on our communities as equals. It is an incredible opportunity to do great work to upset a broken political consensus, to make the bold leaps they profess to admire.

    • Signe says:

      it will be interesting to see if Anne steps up to the plate and puts this LNP govt on notice that Werriwa is not going to be the dumping ground for all this mob needs dumped. I would have thought the biggest impact of the first speech besides thanking the people who got you there was to make your mark, drawer that line in the sand, however I’m now of the thought that towing the Labor line is likely to be the norm, why not start now. 😦

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