Welcome to the latest update from our #LetsDoBetter campaign for Warringah.

In the two weeks since the last update, our campaign team and #LetsDoBetter volunteers have been working hard to raise awareness and engage people across the electorate.  During the same period, there have been a number of important announcements and developments in Labor’s policies for the coming Federal election.  In this update, I’ll review what these policies will mean for the people of Warringah.

Fixing Our Public Schools

Education is the great enabler. Participation in education had been shown to lead to consistently better outcomes for individuals and for society overall.  The better quality of education a person receives, the better the outcomes.

However, over time, our public schools have not been able to keep pace with the quality of education needed.

From the launch of our campaign back in July, I’ve been speaking to parents and teachers about the challenges faced in the local schools in Warringah. Many teachers have told stories of how they are spending their own wages on providing materials and textbooks for the children in their classes simply because the school doesn’t have sufficient funding.  There is an increased reliance on parents and P&C committees to fundraise to cover the gaps in school resources. Many classrooms in public schools on the North Shore and Northern Beaches still do not have air conditioning, making it difficult to provide an environment suitable for learning on particularly hot days.

Earlier in October, Labor announced it will invest $14 billion in public schools over the next 10 years.  This funding commitment is designed to lift all public schools to the resource standard recommended in the original Gonski education review.

Labor has now created a website which allows anyone to see how much EXTRA funding every public school will receive under a Labor Federal government.

Check out what a Federal Labor government will mean for the public schools in your area: Fair Go for Schools Website.

The complete list of extra funding for schools in Warringah is shown in the table below:

This additional funding will make a huge difference to thousands of children attending public schools in Warringah. Schools will be able to afford extra teachers and teacher aids more textbooks, library books, musical instruments, sports equipment and art supplies. The quality of education for kids in Warringah will be dramatically better under a future Labor government.

Protecting our Environment

Biodiversity is under constant threat from unscrupulous land clearing and the pillaging of the natural environment in sensitive areas.

Examples under the current coalition government include:

  • More than half a million hectares of forest being cleared between July 2012 and June 2016 in the Great Barrier Reef catchment areas.
  • Marine park plans created by former Environment Minister and now Treasurer, Josh Frydneberg will strip 35 million hectares of “no-take” ocean from the parks, allowing commercial fishing activities in 37 of the 44 parks.
  • Approval of the Adani Carmichael coal mining project in the Galilee basin with a license to use unlimited amounts of water for 60 years, threatening aquifers in the great artesian basin.

We need a better way to conserve our native flora and fauna for future generations.

Last week the ALP National Executive signed-off on a draft policy to introduce new federal environment laws and strong independent agencies including a national environment protection authority (EPA) to enforce them. The proposed EPA will become a science-based, “Reserve Bank” for the environment. You can read more about the proposal here.  

The policy platform was developed following a 15-month campaign by the Labor Environmental Action Network (LEAN) to strengthen environmental protection legislation and will be tabled at the Labor National conference in Adelaide next month. I’m proud of that the LEAN campaign was supported by Labor members and branches in Warringah.

On the Campaign Trail

The last two weeks have seen the #LetsDoBetter campaign step-up another notch.  We’ve held four public “meet and greet” events across the electorate including Neutral Bay, Manly, Cremorne Point and Freshwater.  We’ve had a great reception each time with many people wanting to know more about our campaign and offering encouragement.  Here are some photos from these activities:

 

We also held a public forum with Senator Kristina Keneally at St Clements Anglican Church in Mosman last Tuesday night. The topic of conversation was Faith in Government. The event was attended by well over 70 people. Excellent questions and engaging conversations from the audience followed.

 

Looking Ahead

The next two weeks will see our campaign efforts continue to engage the people of Warringah through more meet and greet events through-out the electorate, community forums and door knocking throughout the electorate.  If you’d like to get involved or be informed about upcoming activities and events, then sign-up to our volunteer team or our mailing list.