Number 1: Tradition. ‘Cafe Spire’ ran out of Hope Hall for a number of years and over time, the vigorous flame of our volunteers dwindled. People became less capable of facilitating it, mainly due to age and the demanding nature of running a commercial kitchen. Our new cafe is a testament to the old cafe and what our volunteers achieved with ‘Cafe Spire’ for approximately 8 years, applying much energy, determination and commitment.
In fact, Labor held on against the Greens in 2007 by a margin of just 3.75 per cent, and since then Ms Firth has copped plenty of political pain over Labor decisions to widen the Iron Cove Bridge and build a metro from the CBD to Rozelle.
He chose to attend Oxford not because it was going to be friendly to him and his wheelchair but because he saw it as the best place for him from an academic perspective. He was, of course, admitted and, during his time there as a student, he took steps to make the university accessible to everyone. Paul organised and ran public rallies and forums on disability issues. Towards the end of his life, Paul performed an action that at the time seemed small and, in some ways, still does seem small: he put my name down as the No. 2 candidate for the upper house in Dignity for Disability’s 2010 election campaign.
Adelaide, August 23 : Juggling their work, families, and endless lists of jobs leaves Australian women with lack of time for themselves, according to a study. About 90 per cent of the 4000 women questioned during a recent survey said that they got less than two hours of “me time” per week. Conducted by Nescafe Cafe Menu, the survey showed that about 56 per cent women did not feel like they made the most of every moment. Twenty four per cent said that they did not entertain because it was either too expensive or too much effort.
With inflation at some 3.5% and demand rising 9.5% per annum, wouldn’t we expect a similar raise in State Government funding of say 13%, the sad fact is not only are our most needy being left to fend for themselves, which in most case’s they can not, but even if we were to have a 50% rise in funding tomorrow, South Australia’s disabled Children would still be receiving less than the National average.
Nach einem erneuten Interim wurde der blasse Andrew Bartlett aus Queensland Parteiführer. Dieser machte sich zum Gespött der breiteren Öffentlichkeit, als er von einer von der Liberal Party ausgerichteten Festlichkeit unter dem Jacket einige Flaschen Wein abtransportieren wollte, zudem wurde er auch noch bei einer anderen Gelegenheit im angetrunkenen Zustand im Parlament gegen eine Liberale Abgeordnete handgreiflich. Unweigerlich sackten unter seiner Führung die Umfragewerte der Demokraten weiter ab, was zu seiner Ablösung durch die verbindlichere Lyn Allison führte.
The Australian Democrats issued a media release distancing the party from Ms. Kanck’s comments. Australian Democrat David Winderlich said, “People might think that she’s speaking for the Democrats. She’s not.” He said, “We do have a population problem but a draconian one-child approach is not the solution.”
It seems it is a blatant attempt to destroy the only serious check on the power of the Rann government. While a 16-seat Legislative Council would still allow minor parties like the Greens and Family First to win one seat each, it would undoubtedly harm the ability of the upper house to work as a house of review, in terms of forming functional committees that can investigate issues closely. I’m sure many party leaders would be happy to be rid of some of their backbenchers, who are always more free to rebel and disagree with the government’s direction. If a majority of your party are in the cabinet, it’s much easier to keep a tight leash. Yet these microparliaments result in bizarre scenarios like those in Tasmania and the ACT where a governing party has no depth on the bench, and has to bring into cabinet every MP who is not blatantly incompetent or insane.
I did not earn Paul’s votes in the election. I cannot earn a place on this earth in lieu of Paul Collier. But I can earn the respect of both our constituents and my colleagues. I can earn your trust, and I am sure, more often than not, I will earn your criticism. But I am ready and willing to earn all of these things until such time as people with disabilities, their families and allies do not have to fight for and ultimately earn something that is seemingly a birthright to all others: dignity through choice.
Adelaide, Sep 28 : Australian Democrat David Winderlich has warned that the River Murray, which is a major source of drinking water for South Australians, will become too saline to drink in a year and as a result millions of residents would have to drink bottled water. Winderlich urged the Kevin Rudd Government to look for immediate plans to provide bottled water to South Australian towns.
By 2015, Lei said, water efficiency would have to be increased by 30%. “Water abstraction must be strictly controlled. We should have strict management of groundwater exploitation and consumption, put a limit on total use of groundwater, and ban or set quotas on groundwater exploitation. Nearly two out of three cities are facing water shortages, and the farmland affected by drought reaches nearly 15m sq km a year.”
First, I acknowledge the Kaurna people whose footprints meet our own every time they touch this land and within whose stories we weave our own. I also acknowledge and congratulate the newly elected members of parliament, in particular, the Hons Tammy Jennings and Jing Lee. I have already found their strength of mind and spirit, eloquence and kindness to be truly honourable. Congratulations.
Number 2: Necessity. Uniting Communities Eastern Services office manager, David Winderlich is no stranger to helping people in proactive ways. He began the Circle of Friends initiative back in the early 2000s to provide community support to those held previously in detention before arriving in Australia. He and others at the Clayton Wesley site, who have regular contact with people seeking social services, recognised a need for new arrivals to have somewhere to go to learn English and socialize with a wider community of people. Together with Paul Turley, Minister of the church, they have garnered the support to combine resources to try and improve the everyday lives of the marginalized in our community. Their idea is that a new café would be a platform for refugees and others to receive support in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Labor are not running a candidate, however a number of pro-Labor independents are standing, most interestingly Honey Bacon, the widow of former Labor premier Jim Bacon. The Greens are also standing a candidate.
I am sometimes asked if the name of the party I represent, Dignity for Disability, implies that people with disabilities do not already have dignity. My response to this is simple: no. In my mind the word ‘dignity’ in the name of the party simply means that people with disabilities are dignified and intelligent human beings who are able to make a real and lasting contribution in society, and it is high time that the services and opportunities given to them reflected this.
At the bottom of each post and page on my blog I have now replaced my Google ads with an ad from Amazon.com. If anyone is planning to buy any books through Amazon, you might consider clicking through from those ads. If you buy anything from Amazon after clicking to get there through my blog, I get a small commission out of it. So if you appreciate the blog and wanna help out a bit, that’s a small thing you could do.
Pretty much everything I did this week could have had a ‘last time’ label attached to it – last Party Room meeting, last Committee meeting, last Whips meeting, etc. I’ve avoided recording all of those, as it quickly gets rather tiresome. However, I thought I’d record the last Democrat question ever asked in the Senate. Partly…
Adelaide, August 17 : Robot ‘prostitutes’ may feature as part of extreme future plans for tourists, a tourism conference has been told. Ian Yeoman, from New Zealand”s University of Wellington, gave a sneak peak to what the world may hold in 2050, formed by factors like global warming, food, water and jet fuel supply problems and technological advances.
Beijing: Most of Beijing’s water comes from the Miyun reservoir, but a decade of drought and huge population increase has left extreme shortages. Water diversion projects are helping, but this is depleting resources from other regions. The city must spend $3.5bn (£2.2bn) in the next five years to cope with a population expected to rise to 17 million.
23Rann attacks Legislative CouncilBy Ben Raue – Posted on July 17, 2009 South Australia’s Premier, Mike Rann, yesterday announced the details of a referendum to be held alongside next March’s state election, which, if passed, would see the number of seats in the Legislative Council cut from 22 to 16, with all MLCs elected for a four-year term at every election, and would allow the government to call an early election in the case of disagreement with the upper house. I think it’s wise to be distrustful of any politician that proposes reducing the number of MPs. It’s a superficially populist policy that ultimately concentrates power in the hands of the government. It seems bizarre that, in a time when population is growing rapidly all across Australia you would consider reducing the number of representatives in Parliament. If anything, a larger population merits an increased size of Parliaments, state or federal. It seems it is a blatant attempt to destroy the only serious check on the power of the Rann government. While a 16-seat Legislative Council would still allow minor parties like the Greens and Family First to win one seat each, it would undoubtedly harm the ability of the upper house to work as a house of review, in terms of forming functional committees that can investigate issues closely. I’m sure many party leaders would be happy to be rid of some of their backbenchers, who are always more free to rebel and disagree with the government’s direction. If a majority of your party are in the cabinet, it’s much easier to keep a tight leash. Yet these microparliaments result in bizarre scenarios like those in Tasmania and the ACT where a governing party has no depth on the bench, and has to bring into cabinet every MP who is not blatantly incompetent or insane. It’s understandable that South Australians would not want to continue to elect MLCs for an eight-year term. However, you could achieve a four-year term in the upper house without reducing the size of the Legislative Council to a ridiculously small size. Either you could leave the chamber at its current size, which would produce a quota only slightly lower than in New South Wales. Another option, which would probably be prefered in terms of the types of MLCs you would elect, would be to adopt the Western Australian/Victorian model with MLCs being elected to represent a region. You could easily elect the Legislative Council from five regions, with each region electing 5 MLCs. The ABC’s story also includes bizarre comments from Business SA, who, like many business lobby groups, appear to want to strip away any semblance of democratic accountability from our modern governance, be it upper houses not controlled by governments or local council control of planning decisions. Chief executive officer Peter Vaughan says Legislative Councillors have promised to address key issues for the business community but the the nature of the Upper House prevents them from doing so. “When that’s denied by a coalition in the Upper House that can have very low electoral mandates and be one-purpose only elected personnel in the Upper House, that defeats and destroys the real reason for electing governments in the first place,” he said. “There is far too much government and far too little action. “Let the people have their say, I think that’s an appropriate way to go by referendum and let’s see if we can reform a form of governance in South Australia which really belongs more to the 18th and 19th centuries than it does to the 21st.” I could go on about how the real 18th century form of governance is the bizarre system of single-member electorates which forces a two-party system on a political world where there are never only two sides to an issue, and locks in majority governments when no political party commands the support of the majority. The Legislative Council in South Australia, like its counterparts across the Australian mainland, represents the democratic voice of the people in a political system where major political parties try their hardest to streamline government decision-making to prevent any sort of democratic accountability. Rather than attacking the upper house, we need to take lessons from upper houses to reinvigorate lower houses that have become little more than electoral colleges for the purposes of supporting elective dictatorships. It is particularly bizarre that the proposal has arisen only a day after former Beattie cabinet minister Gordon Nuttall was convicted for corruption. Queensland is Australia’s only state without an upper house, and this lack of democratic oversight arguably has allowed state governments runaway power. New Zealand likewise abolished its Legislative Council in 1951, and New Zealand’s system of one-party governments controlling a unicameral parliament helped lead to runaway neoliberalism in the 1980s and 1990s, creating such a backlash that led to the introduction of proportional representation in 1996. Mike Rann’s referendum, rather than improving South Australia’s system of government, simply is a blatant attempt to grab further power and prevent pesky oversight of government. Tags: South Australia
Steve Mosher added that Australia’s most pressing “population problem,” is “too few people.” “I’m actually more than happy for the radical enviros to voluntarily adopt a one-child policy – they have, for the most part, already done so – but they shouldn’t try and impose it on the rest of us.”
I know, I know. I’d forgotten there was any Democrats MPs left too, but David Winderlich is the sole remaining Democrat MP, holding a seat in South Australia’s Legislative Council after taking over from Sandra Kanck last November. The party appears to be effectively dead, with a small rump of activists keeping the party going. In a desperate move, Winderlich has threatened the party that he will resign if they don’t recruit 100 members by the end of November. “The Democrats have a proud history. Our achievements include banning tobacco print advertising, introducing World Heritage legislation, calling for a national takeover of the Murray back in 2001, and securing the independence of the ABC. “We have always supported country SA by fighting against Government cuts to health and education services, and by opposing the centralisation of Government jobs in the city. “But the Democrats’ membership, resources and morale have been declining for years. “1,000 new members will secure the future of the party and ensure that South Australia has a genuine third choice. “This bold strategy is the only way to revive the Democrats – and no one will be recruiting harder than me. “But if the party does not embrace this challenge, or if the community does not respond, it will prove that the Democrats’ time has passed and I and others will have to look for a new way to keep Democrat values alive. It seems a pretty unlikely strategy to work. Although to be fair, I don’t know what else you’d do in his position. If he’s a Democrat or an Independent, it doesn’t make much difference. He doesn’t have any sort of support from a real party, and has practically no chance of winning election in 2010. Might as well go for it. What seems even stranger is the response from the party’s President, who has gone for the angle of savaging the sole shred of relevance the party still has. The Australian Democrats were notified this morning of David Winderlich’s challenge – recruit 1,000 members or he will go independent. National President Julia Melland rejected this ultimatum as a massive sign of disloyalty to the party, and demanded Mr Winderlich resign his seat in parliament immediately. “We owe David Winderlich nothing. We are not going to rush our rebuilding plans just because he clearly doesn’t believe in the party. “He would not be in parliament if it weren’t for the Australian Democrats allowing him that privilege, and as he does not respect those who have given him that privilege, he should resign his seat in parliament immediately.” The Democrats seem to be attempting a “rebuilding” plan: Ms Melland said the party’s extensive rebuilding efforts are going well, and are currently focused on fixing the underlying structural problems that resulted in the party’s decline. “Previously the party membership was largely focused on support for an individual Senators and other parliamentarians, and the functions of the party largely dependent on their staff. As part of our rebuild plans we have been expressly working towards an organisational structure that is not dependent on the cult of personality. “If we were to comply with Mr Winderlich’s ultimatum then we would only have more people who are members because they support him – rather than supporting the ideals of the party. This is not healthy for our long term prospects, and demonstrates the political naiveté of Mr Winderlich.” “The Australian Democrats are far from dead. We have a very good strategic plan for rebuilding the party, guided by professional consultants, that is making good headway on what is a very tough road to resurgence. This latest act of disloyalty by Mr Winderlich is unfortunate, but will not disrupt our rebuilding plans.” Ms Melland concluded. I think it’s safe to say this won’t have any success. There’s always a possibility for small political parties to grow into real forces as the Democrats, the DLP and the Greens have done in the past. But once you fall out of the sky, it’s impossible to rise again. I tend to think this is primarily because any serious political party has so much political baggage that it would not be able to rise from nothing. Small political parties are able to rise by people not having a lot of grudges against them. The Democrats are dead. This wouldn’t be so funny if it was serious.
Photo by tahpot