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Tag Archives: Canning

If I lived in Canning

By Vanessa Kairies

Western Australia is a beautiful state.

I have been to little pockets and it is on my bucket list to explore in the future. I have been fortunate enough to have met some wonderful friends that live there.

If you don’t know by now, I have a strong interest in art, music, politics and social issues. They are my passions.

I was asked to write about issues facing First Nations people by the The Australian Independent Media Network. I was honoured, after all, I am an artist first and foremost.

I took up the challenge and have found it to be a very cathartic endeavour.

My focus with this article is on the upcoming Canning bi-election in WA.

If this seat is lost, we can all kiss Tony Abbott’s backside goodbye. How fantastic that would be.

If I lived in Canning I would be asking myself: “What has the Liberal Party done that has been of benefit not only to my part of the world but for Australia as a whole?”

I couldn’t come up with anything.

I can tell you what they have done that has negatively impacted on my world and my ability to create art.

Without peace of mind, the creativity will not flow.

The Barnett Government in Western Australia and the Abbott Government have aided every Australian and foreign owned company to destroy the land and ancestral homes of people in every state of Australia without so much a blink of the eye.

This has forced many people to become homeless.

The WA Government has tried to move homeless people from sleeping on the street by hosing them down during winter to move them on.

A callous and cruel act, one that I can not forget.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has colluded with Tony Abbott to set up the Recognise campaign. This project is sponsored by mining companies. Its aim is to stamp the approval for four new uranium mines, two new coal mines, 40,000 gas fracking wells and development of oil refineries in WA.

Many more are underway, completed and proposed all over Australia.

The Labor Party are in on it too: they support Nuclear energy. Uranium is needed to do this.

The SA Labor premier Jay Weatherill wants to turn South Australia into a nuclear waste dump. I wouldn’t vote for them either, (now I know why the Greens were locked out of the referendum into the development of the Recognise campaign).

The biggest scam against First Nations people in Australia

The con in constitutional reform in Australia

The great land grab of 2015 in Australia

Is there a silent partner behind the Republic debate in Australia

Jet-setting, funding-cutting Tony

These plans to continue destroying our earth and Australia have to stop. We have the generations of our children and our grandchildren in our hands.

It is our responsibility to choose wisely, when we vote.

The Liberal Party has taken no action on climate change.Tony Abbott openly denied it existed. His ministers have insulted First Nations people and our International neighbours recently regarding this. I find this disgusting.

Both the Liberal and Labor parties are committed to the offshore processing of asylum seekers.

These are places where women and children are raped, people are bashed to death and die of preventable infections.

They are denied swift medical treatment, are tortured, humiliated and denied their basic human rights.

For the first time ever in our history we are on the UN’s watch list for the treatment of First Nations people and asylum seekers.

Australia has a duty of care towards asylum seekers

What about the defenseless Dutton?

It is only a matter of time before international criminal proceedings begin and our current government are held accountable.

This sounds familiar, the political parties have treated First Nations people this way since the dawn of time. The behaviour is not new. It is time that changed.

Australia’s civil liberties have been stripped since this government came to power, with meta-data retention laws passed and the right to protest now under threat of being locked up by police.

They introduced new citizenship laws and introduced the Border Force Act.

They have tried to change that many acts in parliament, I have lost count, all designed to oppress the nation.

They have encouraged racism to flourish, with one of their ministers attending far-right winged rallies.

They then invented the war on terror.

All to promote fear among communities, with the intention of sending Australia to war.

It has worked.

They have increased our deficit, the economy is suffering. I read an article that we have a one in three chance of having a recession. It was from a reliable source. That scares me more than the chances of a terrorist attack on our soil.

Our unemployment rate and homeless rate is rising fast. With the introduction of 457 working visas and the China Free Trade agreement on the table, this will only get worse.

The ‘healthy’ welfare card has been rolled out in a few places with the plan to have it all over Australia.

This is a gross invasion of privacy.

Whenever you use it, people will be able to know your personal situation.

I am sick of seeing the unemployed treated like second-class citizens.This helps others to label people as dole bludgers.

The people that come up with these ideas and policies just don’t live in the real world.

They are determined to have the TPP passed through parliament without transparency. There are reports from the United States that the TPP will increase the cost of our medicines, and it will only benefit the large pharmaceutical companies.

They have tried to pull apart Medicare and eradicate bulk-billing. The only people this will affect is the poor.

The plan to de-regulate universities, once again, not affecting the wealthy.

It is a collective responsibility of the nation as a whole to look after the vulnerable people in our country.

They have done nothing about taxation reform, with the lower income stream arguably having higher tax rates than the billionaires.

They have cut funding to the support for the elderly, mental health services, domestic violence organisations and First Nations support services to name a few, yet increased the budget for defence.

Apparently, the bad guys are really after us. Imagine how much more they will be, now that we have delared war on them? Why wave a red flag in front of a bull? I have written about that one too (see Tony’s war on terror).

The discrimination shown towards same sex-marriage, I mean, really? Are we living in the dark ages? How many other countries have now legalised this beautiful, joyful celebration? I can not support a party that plays politics with peoples’ lives.

Tony Abbott’s broken promises have now become the laughing stock of the nation. I mean how can you believe a word that he or anyone else in his party says?

They have failed to pass just about everything in parliament and they have all failed at their jobs. As the host of Big Brother would say: “It is time to go . . . the Liberal Party”.

Canning, it is up to you. But if I lived in Canning, I wouldn’t be voting for the Liberal Party candidate.

This article was first published on vanessakairies.wordpress.com.

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Canning pre-selection; strategic or the best person for the job?

The pre-selection of ex-SASR soldier, Andrew Hastie as the Liberal Party candidate for the September by-election in Canning, Western Australia is a clever move by the Liberals. Who better to know of the dangers of ISIS and the threat of asylum seekers arriving by boat than a man who has served three tours of Afghanistan, and who has already advised Abbott on Operation Sovereign Borders? The former Captain, who was in charge of troops who reportedly chopped off the hands of dead Taliban fighters in 2013, is no stranger to the gruesome nature of war.

Fresh faced and youthful at 32, Hastie’s pre-selection photos give no indication of the horrors he has certainly witnessed. This is not a man who shirks his national responsibilities. He has demonstrated this with his service for Australia. Hastie has seen first-hand the impacts of terrorism and extremist fighters in the Middle East. He should understand intricately the consequences of war to innocent people, and has no doubt seen the thousands of refugees fleeing in fear of their lives.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is already running the Government like his own personal army. He is notorious for making Captain’s Calls. He has warned Coalition MP’s and Senators of the consequences for voicing alternative views to his hard-right policies, including promising to sack any who cross the floor on marriage equality. Abbott has militarised immigration with the new Border Force, clearly not content with the regular Defence Forces. He has threatened imprisonment to professionals exposing Government-sanctioned torture and abuse.

It seems a natural progression from Abbott running the Coalition-led Government like a para-military organisation – complete with the blokey atmosphere and entrenched under-representation of females, to endorsing a candidate who has stepped straight out of the armed forces the very week his pre-selection is announced.

Who better to be the face of national security and public protection than a former Captain in the Special Air Services Regiment?

This is not a slight against Hastie as a soldier. Soldiers of all rank are paid to do a job. And that job includes defending Australia, its allies and interests on the whim of whichever political party is in power. Soldiers are deployed to war zones, on peace keeping missions and to help with natural disasters. Many experience horrors unimaginable to the ordinary citizen, leaving veterans up to twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime compared with other people in the general community.

However it is in the context of the current Liberal party’s neo-conservative nationalist regime, fascist policies and Abbott’s authoritarian leadership that Australians should be worried by the pre-selection of a freshly retired SASR Captain.

It should be of serious concern that a man who has witnessed the atrocities of a war zone is standing up to represent a party who uses war, terrorism and asylum seekers as political playthings.

There is no suggestion that Mr Hastie is not a man of integrity. There was no cloud over his head when he resigned from the Defence Force this week. However the Liberal Party’s pre-selection of a man such as Mr Hastie, at a time when Abbott’s popularity is at yet another low, must be viewed cynically. Is Abbott afraid that multiplying the number of flags for each successful national security announcement is not having a strong enough impact on the nation?

Does Abbott believe that Australians are not taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough, and feels the need to enlist a candidate who has personally witnessed the atrocities of war to help convince the public of the need for fear?

Mr Hastie took no time at all going from his apolitical role as a Captain in the Defence Force, to making it unequivocally clear of his political allegiances and persuasion.

Has Hastie sworn his loyalty to the party which believes in the ‘inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples’, a party founded on the principles of ‘a just and humane society’, and the importance of the role of law and justice being maintained? Or has he sworn to uphold the ideology of the Abbott-run Liberal Party which boasts proudly of its cruel asylum seeker policies?

It is clear from an objective viewpoint that Hastie’s pre-selection ties in perfectly with Abbott’s ‘national security’ agenda; an agenda Abbott has used predictably for months to deflect from poor opinion polls, woeful economic performance, and other accusations, like branch stacking on conscience votes for marriage equality, and his embarrassingly inadequate greenhouse gas emissions target.

Who better to give legitimacy to the Liberal Party’s draconian policies than a man who has actively fought in a war zone? Who else to give credibility to the need for harsher, more controlling and restrictive legislation than a man who has seen the worst of humankind?

There is no question about Hastie’s personal character. But there are certainly questions about the motivations for the Liberal Party to pre-select a man of Hastie’s experience and qualifications.

National security and stopping the boats are seen as vote winners for Abbott. Hastie has publicised involvement and knowledge of both. Perhaps Hastie brings other skills to the table, but in his first major speech he promised that his ‘combat skills’ would help his electorate. He says that after putting his life on the line for Australia he would use those same skills to represent his electorate. His background appears almost exclusively military.

It’s hard to see how the Liberal Party’s Canning campaign will be based on anything other than its ability to prioritise and promote national security, and protect the public from the Death Cult, with Hastie as the perfectly chosen representative.

 

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