Welcome to Campaign Update #15. This update marks the six-month anniversary of our Let’s Do Better campaign for Warringah!

With a lot of solid campaigning behind us, I thought that it’s worth reflecting on some of the things I’ve learnt over the last six months.

I’ve learnt that grass-roots campaigning is richly informative and deeply satisfying. Regardless of the outcome of the next election, meeting so many good and caring people across the electorate is worth every bit of the effort I’m putting into the campaign. I’ve made many new friends and feel I have a deeper understanding of the issues that are important to them even having lived in the electorate for over 12 years.

As you would know from previous updates, I’ve been investing a lot of time meeting people at popular gathering spots across the electorate such as bus interchanges, ferry wharves and local shopping villages. I do it to give people the opportunity to talk to me about the issues that matter to them. I do it to enable the people of Warringah to be heard by someone who hopes to be given the privilege of representing them federally. Not everyone wants to talk, but many do. Some talk quickly and pointedly as they pass by. Others stop and settle into a conversation. The views expressed are many and varied, but they’re mostly about our under-resourced schools and our over-stretched hospitals and health and aged-care services, poor public transport, inadequate public consultation and ill-informed decision making, cuts to the ABC and problems with the NBN. And five years of energy policy failure and climate-change inaction under the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government.

I’ve also learnt that successful campaigning depends on volunteers. I’ve been grateful for and amazed by the enthusiasm of the fabulous volunteers who have been supporting me and our campaign these past six months. They include people from all walks of life across our community, including disaffected Liberal voters who came looking for new thinking, better understanding and fresh leadership. Some volunteers put in an hour or two here and there; others have committed chunks of their week on a regular basis. Every hour helps, and on the day of the 2019 federal election, every hour will count towards the final result. Division and dysfunction cannot achieve anything of value. But vision, unity, and focus can achieve everything. Help make a Labor victory in Warringah happen.

If you’d like to help with our public intercepts, or in any other way, please consider joining our wonderful volunteer team.  Like me, you’re bound to make many new friends and learn more about our community.  Click here to join the #LetsDoBetter team

Above: Flume, who grew up in Warringah, is today, one of Australia’s most successful international artists.

Soundtrack Australia — Labor’s Home-grown Music Policy

Music is a vital ingredient in every culture and community.  Here in Warringah, we have a great history of developing exceptional local musical talent.  Some have gone on to entertain huge audiences in Australia and around the world such as 2016 ARIA Award winner Flume (pictured above) who is a massively successful, home-grown product from Warringah.

As a lover of all forms of music, I was delighted when Bill Shorten and the Shadow Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, announced federal Labor’s music policy two weeks ago. Called Soundtrack Australia, it’s the most comprehensive and industry-informed music policy conceived by any Australian government. It’s also further evidence of a strong and stable shadow ministry that specialises in discipline, substance, national interest, and coherent policies.

Labor consulted extensively with musicians, managers, promoters, and fans to develop the Soundtrack Australia policy. We know that Australia’s music industry has enormous potential to create jobs; to bring opportunity and well-being to many, and to bolster Australia’s international reputation not only for music but for the creative arts generally.

Today, live music alone supports around 64,000 jobs in Australia. That’s live music alone. Overall, the music industry contributes nearly $6 billion to the Australian economy every year and, according to ARIA (the Australian Record Industry Association), it will be worth $100 billion globally within the next 10 years. Labor wants Australian musicians to be in the best position to benefit from this rapidly growing global market.

We want Australian music to be created, heard, and shared around the world. We want our artists to stay in the music industry. And we want the next generation of musicians, producers, and promoters to be inspired, encouraged, and supported. Soundtrack Australia is our plan for making sure all this happens and includes:

  • $10 million for Sounds Australia: Sounds Australia is Australia’s music exporter. Additional funding will enable more Australian artists to have their music introduced to overseas markets. Sounds Australia, through its Live Music Office, will also have more funds to reduce current barriers to live performances.
  • $5 million for community music-hubs: Not every school or community centre has a sound-proof music hub that can be used by young aspiring musicians after school and on the weekends. Labor’s plan will increase the number of sound-proof hubs nationwide.
  • $7.6 million for youth music: Additional funding will help boost the number of music teachers in schools and community music-hubs. For example, additional funding will be available for the SongMakers Program. SongMakers gives students access to mid-career artists to help develop their interest and skills in songwriting, music making, and music production.
  • $4.2 million for charities working in music and mental health: Nordoff Robbins delivers thousands of music therapy sessions per year in aged-care homes, community settings, hospitals, special-needs schools, disability organisations, and their own centres. Support Act, which supports artists, support staff, and crew, will have additional funding to run comprehensive mental health programs for people in the music industry.
  • Other funding support: $750,000 to train new and emerging music managers, $600,000 to create more ARIA award categories for teachers, and $300,000 to enable more new and diverse recordings.
  • Copyright reform: Federal Labor understands that the internet provides opportunities for young musicians to be heard. But we also know it makes it hard for them to be paid fairly for their work. Federal Labor will consult on any changes to copyright reform, guided by our strong view that artists own what they create and must be properly paid for the work they do.
  • Ticket reform: Federal Labor will impose a nationwide ban on the use of automated bots to buy tickets. We will also place a price limit on tickets sold in the resale market.

Labor will make further announcements about its music policy in the lead-up to the election.

Rock-up Warringah! – Live Music Event in Manly

On the 11th of January in the New Year, we’re running our own celebration of Australian and homegrown, Warringah talent called Rock-up Warringah!  Headlining the event is former ARIA award winner Dave Graney.  Local band, The Friendly Friends will kick off the night and the Warringah All-Stars band will finish off the show with all your favourite tunes.

Date and Time: Friday 11 January 2019, 7 to 10.30pm, then open to the public until late
Venue: The Old Manly Boatshed, 40 The Corso, Manly
Manly’s live-entertainment venue for 30 years
Food and Drinks Snack menu and drinks available
Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite



In the media…

Last week I spoke with the former independent member for the NSW seat of Manly, David Barr, on his radio program. We talked about what it’s like campaigning in Warringah ahead of the next election. You can listen to our conversation here. I hope you enjoy it.


I also wrote a response to an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday, by my opponent and current member of Warringah.  You can read my article Forget “Big Sticks”, more competition will lower electricity prices on the Renew Economy website.


#LetsDoBetter Campaign Christmas Party

Our Campaign Christmas Party, held at the Harbord Beach Hotel last Tuesday night, was a wonderful occasion. Labor party members, campaign volunteers, and supporters turned up with their partners and friends to celebrate the first six months of solid campaigning and the significant progress we have made. By all measures, it was an enjoyable and memorable night for all.

Looking Ahead

ALP National Conference
The 2018 ALP National Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from Sunday 16 to Tuesday 18 December. The conference program highlights Labor’s priorities and demonstrates that we are ready for government. Conference chapters include:

  • Tackling climate change, securing our energy future, and addressing our environmental challenges
  • New opportunities for an ageing Australia
  • A world-class education for all
  • Australia’s place in a disrupted world.

Public Listening  13 Dec 2018 – 12 Jan 2019
See the dates and times below for the public intercepts scheduled for the remainder of the year and early next year.

Thurs 13 Dec | 7.30 – 9am | Spit Rd Junction B-line bus stop
Fri 14 Dec | 7.30 – 9am | Cremorne Point Ferry Wharf
Sat 15 Dec | 8 – 9.30am | Neutral Bay Junction (Wycome Rd & Military Rd)
Thurs 20 Dec 7.30 – 9am | Warringah Mall bus interchange

Sat 5 Jan | 9am – 12pm | Dee Why Village
Tues 8 Jan | 7 – 9.30am | Manly Ferry wharf
Thurs 10 Jan | 7.30 – 9am | Neutral Bay Junction (Wycome Rd & Military Rd)
Sat 12 Jan | 8.30am – 12.30pm | Forestville Shopping Village

Beach Clean-up Day and BBQ
At Collins Flat in Manly in January. More details to follow.

And please — if you’d like to get involved or be informed about upcoming activities and events, join our volunteer team.

Best Wishes for the Festive Season and Summer 2018/19

Finally, I would like to extend the very warmest of festive season wishes to all my supporters. Fellow branch members, my dedicated campaign team, all our generous and enthusiastic volunteers, and my many new (and not so new) friends — I wish each and every one of you a joyful Christmas, a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, and a wonderful summer.

Best wishes,