The election’s over and the dust is settling and the Labor party has taken a hiding, their actions along the way ensuring the Liberal Party will run the country for the next 6 years.
There has been much talk already about the divisive leadership nonsense they made us endure and the ego-centric rivalries that so publicly demonstrated the ‘me-first’ mentality that sadly comes to affect many in the spotlight.
Like many stories though, this isn’t as simple as a Rudd – Gillard punch up.
There was more to the defeat than just that and I would like to put forward an additional fact from the perspective of my experience in relation to disability employment over the past 6 years. NOVA and its clients would be (at least you would think we’d be) a heartland Labor organisation: pro the poor and disadvantaged and anti unbridled capitalism – you can read back through this blog for evident demonstration of those facts.
And yet we couldn’t advocate for the local Labor MP’s.
Because they comprehensively abandoned us, we didn’t change – they did.
Here are some examples: The purchasing process undertaken a year or so ago. A government organised Senate inquiry strongly supported no tender. Every leading expert and commentator spoke out against the bid.
The government went ahead.
40 programs were closed. The majority were set up by a former Labor government and quite frankly many were true to their roots. Literally hundreds of staff were thrown from their beloved roles and the majority have not returned.
Worse, thousands of voters (forgot that didn’t we) with disability were abandoned in jobs they could not sustain and left to programs that still have neither interest nor skill to support.
Set up in their place large for profit and corporate charities that are more than happy to support the policies of a funding body that has little faith in the ability of people with disability and no genuine interest in seeing such escape the poverty of welfare.
The Disability Employment Service is failing, burdened by unnecessary and pointless paper chases and prevented from actually making a difference.
If NOPVA continues to support a worker in their employment after 6 months and that worker loses their job (as opposed to claiming they are ‘independent’ and leaving them to their now unsubsidised fate then we must place and maintain as many as 10 others simply to keep our previous place in the ridiculous Star Ratings
Repeatedly pointed out to the ineffective and now redundant Minister Ellis to receive only increasingly hostile replies.
The Fringe Benefits Tax was another disaster. A policy pulled from the air by a desperate leadership bereft of consistent thought through ideas and, if enacted, ruinous to the many small not for profits and Public Benevolent Institutions that relied on FBT packaging to offer competitive salaries.
BMW had an answer to the “BMW Tax” within a week of the policy being floated. All we had was recourse to the media. The now unemployed Member for Lindsay (a decent bloke) rang me to ask why I had not approached him before I made such a well publicised public fuss only to realise I had indeed and waited a week for any reply before going public.
And plenty more examples.
Here’s the truth: we are focused on serving the needs of Australia’s most disadvantaged citizens, we are consistent with actions that support these words. We are Western Sydney and battlers across Sydney – you would think we would be Labor heartland.
The truth is that it was not us that moved.
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