MINISTER MUST GET CENTRELINK WORKING FOR AUSTRALIA

It has never been more important for the social security safety net to be strong in this country. Labor has put pressure on the Liberal Government to provide better resourcing and staffing for Centrelink.  Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones campaigned strongly against the closure of the Warrawong Medicare Office in 2018/2019.  The Liberals have consistently ignored Labor’s calls to stop cutting staff and resources. Continue reading

SMALL BUSINESSES AND SOLE TRADERS SERIOUSLY CONCERNED THAT STIMULUS PACKAGE FALLS SHORT

Many small businesses and sole traders have raised concerns with local Labor MPs that they are not receiving any or sufficient government support, yet are already being seriously impacted by COVID 19. The Labor MPs also took the opportunity to remind the community to share their spend and think of small businesses when they are looking to shop and spend. Continue reading

RATE CUT WELCOME BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR THE ILLAWARRA AND SOUTH COAST

The Reserve Bank’s decision to slash the cash rate to the new low of 0.5 per cent is welcome but won’t be enough to help the Illawarra and South Coast through the looming economic crisis. We are calling on all banks, including our Illawarra based Banks to pass on the cut in full so that local households have more money in their pockets to spend in the local community. After four interest rate cuts in 10 months, it is clear that the Reserve Bank cannot do this alone. It is time for the Government to Act to support local households and businesses. Continue reading

STATEMENT FROM ILLAWARRA LABOR MPS ON THE PASSING OF VICKY KING

Labor MPs Stephen Jones, Sharon Bird, Paul Scully, Anna Watson and Ryan Park are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of long-term Wollongong City Council Councillor Vicky King. Vicky was a hard-working and long-standing community member having served on Wollongong City Council since 1987. Continue reading

ILLAWARRA TRANSPORT PROJECTS STILL ON INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA 2020 PRIORITY LIST

The Infrastructure Australia Priority List for 2020 released today still includes the important infrastructure projects for the region including upgrading the Picton Road and rail freight access to Port Kembla, noting the rail project needs to get started within the next five years. This latest official advice from infrastructure experts coincides with the secret final business case for the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, which was released in 2018 after a Freedom of Information request. Continue reading

MORRISON’S $3 BILLION URBAN CONGESTION RORT SEES THE ILLAWARRA MISS OUT AGAIN

Scott Morrison has been busted taking his rorts to the streets, with over 70 percent or $2.1 billion allocated from the Urban Congestion Fund going to Liberal Party seats and not a cent for the Illawarra.   The Urban Congestion Fund was established in the 2018 Budget, a year before the election. The Government did nothing for a year then topped up the Fund in the 2019 Budget. Continue reading

LIP SERVICE DOESN’T CUT IT MINISTER!

Local Federal Members, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, today welcomed the release of Australia’s Gateway Cities report: Gateways to Growth, which outlines the importance of Wollongong, Newcastle and Geelong in the nation’s economy and how they have been underestimated in terms of public policy. In launching the report, Minister Tudge, spoke about the importance of infrastructure in the three regions but failed to announce one dollar of investment for infrastructure projects. Continue reading

CHALLENGE TO WOLLONGONG BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS TO HOST A HOMELESS HUB MEAL

As we head into the Christmas season, Illawarra Labor MPs have put out a challenge to businesses and community groups to host a lunch or dinner at the Homeless Hub. This week, Illawarra Labor MPs and Labor branch members hosted a bbq with the works for Homeless Hub staff and clients.  The MPs dined with over 50 Homeless Hub clients and staff and provided over 200 home cooked takeaway meals for clients. Continue reading

OUR TAFES AND APPRENTICES NEED A PM NOT AN AD-MAN

While apprentice numbers continue to fall, course prices go up and teachers are sacked, the Federal Education Department’s latest annual report confirms that since 2014, the Liberals have failed to spend a massive $919 million of their own TAFE and training budget – an underspend of more than 17 per cent.  Continue reading

LIBERAL TRICKINESS AND NEGLECT FOR LOCAL ILLAWARRA INFRASTRUCTURE

The response to Questions on Notice by Sharon Bird MP regarding Federal Government investment in local infrastructure further demonstrated that this Liberal Government is more interested in playing politics and being tricky rather than actually tackling the question of much needed infrastructure in the Illawarra. Sharon Bird, Federal Member for Cunningham, last night called the Government out on their tricky responses to Questions on Notice regarding vital infrastructure projects. In speaking on a motion in parliament about the importance of transport links in the development of the Western Sydney Airport, Ms Bird made the point that the Illawarra is strategically important to this development and must be given attention by the Federal Government. Continue reading