Yesterday the LGTBIQA+ Mardi Gras parade was held and we saw the Army marching down the streets of Sydney. The sacred Australian Army whose millions of soldiers have fought for our rights and freedoms for over a century, was marching in support of a political movement.
The Australian Army under the now infamous ret’d General David Morrison introduced a lapel pin in 2013 that consisted of the Rising Sun badge encapsulated by the rainbow flag that is associated with the ‘Marriage Equality’ movement. This left leaning failed former Australian of the Year went against the Army’s own policy of showing no political leaning associated with the institution to introduce this badge to be worn on their uniforms, a place where no previous badges have been allowed.
Not only should the Army not be associated with the Mardi Gras campaign let alone involved with the any political movement, the fact remains that while those soldiers may have the belief that we should have marriage equality in Australia, the Army should not pay their soldiers to attend a political march. That’s right, those soldiers would have been paid. They put on that uniform to represent the Army and therefore would have been paid. Our hard working tax payer dollars going to a cause that the Army should not be sticking their fingers into.
The Army has contradicted itself in this decision to march. On Anzac Day, our troops are not allowed to wear their uniform unless they are attending official events. This is a horrible fact. The fact that our current serving personnel cannot wear their uniform on a day that offers us a quiet moment to reflect on the sacrifices that our former and current defence personnel have taken to protect us.
The relationship that David Morrison began between the Army and the Marriage Equality movement, needs to be severed. The four year relationship needs to be over. The Army is a sacred, time honoured institution that is beyond the political tugs of war that are commonplace in our modern Australian society.
So the past 24 hours for those in the hospitality industry has been one of frustration and anger directed towards the Fair Work Commission who decided to cut Sunday penalty rates.
We’ve seen both sides of Government and the Unions come out and talk about the decision. We have seen Brendan O’Connor and Bill Shorten with one now very well known Coles employee have a press conference and claim that he was going to be affected by the pay cut. But alas, the company he works for contacted the ABC and allowed Coles not to be dragged into the mess and inadvertently caused Labor to look like the bunch of fools we already knew that they were.
But here’s a perspective that doesn’t seem to want to be published. I am a bar worker. I have worked in this pub since December last year and I am paid a big enough wage, that given enough shifts, I can afford to live every week. Yes my life revolves around the shifts I have. It revolves around the small amount of money I get paid on a weekly basis. I am one of the lucky ones though, I pay rent to my boyfriend who then pays our landlord. If I can’t afford rent for the week, I pay as much as I can and then my boyfriend pays the rest.
Even though I am paid a measly $22.00 per hour to go to work, I know my boss is a small business owner. I know the challenges that small business owners go through. In the small town where I live, I have seen 3 shops close down in the past 4 months. Some of those spaces have not been filled. I know that they have got bills to pay, food to put on the table for the bistro and a bottleshop to run on top of all of that.
While I wish that the Fair Work Commission did not cut my Sunday pay, I would rather take the percentage pay cut and keep my job, then allow my boss to then run in the negative and lose his business. At the end of the day, we are lead by a somewhat conservative government who claims to care about small business. So while everyone else is up in arms about their pay cut, I’ll keep my mouth shut and support them. Small business makes our country towns, it makes our cities and it sure does make our country into what it is today.
With a Ministerial reshuffle due in just a few weeks, speculation continues into what the new cabinet will look like. Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier John Barilaro look set to keep the current makeup with minimal changes.
Now that this Government has reached the two year mark, it is a good time to review how they have gone and what changes are set to occur.
After a 2016 riddled with controversy, Health Minister Jillian Skinner is set to keep her position in cabinet but be removed from the Health portfolio. Current Ministers Dominic Perrottet, Anthony Roberts and Mark Speakman are said to be at the top of the list to inherit the portfolio.
Conversations are continuing into whether or not to expand the cabinet from 22 to 23 Ministers to accomodate little known Upper House member Scot MacDonald.
The Nationals are not without controversy with former Deputy Premier Troy Grant, Minister for Arts, Racing and Police set to stay in Cabinet but only keep the Police portfolio. Minister for Local Government Paul Toole is also set to keep his position in cabinet while it is unknown what Ministry he will receive.
Underperforming Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Early Childhood Education Leslie Williams is tipped to be asked to go and sit on the back benches, while Safe Schools advocate and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is speculated to announce his retirement in March.
Well liked Minister for Roads Duncan Gay will be asked to stay on as Roads Minister on the condition that he step aside a year out from the 2019 election in which he is set to retire.
This Government spent the first year building the infrastructure that the community wanted but lost their way in 2016 with controversial policies costing the Government the seat of Orange.
Whether this reshuffle will bring about the much needed change in the State Government and get them back onto the path of winning is yet to be seen. If nothing has been learnt from the 2016 mistakes, I fear we may see a Labor Government in 2019.
ANZAC Day marches across the country are a great opportunity for those who served in war in our history to stand proud as we all look on with eyes wide open in awe of what they’ve given up for us.
In our current terror climate, it is sad to see that some councils have found it necessary to cancel them due to an increase in costs. Blue Mountains City Council in NSW, is a prime example of this. They planned to take away many veterans one day to put the medals on and to keep the spirit of their mates alive.
The fact that there is an increase in cost to cover the chance of a terror attack means that it should be a wake up call for those who are in power, from all three levels, that there needs to be more done. We are letting these people into our country and allowing them to be radicalised in what is meant to be a free country is what makes this sad.
But there is a saving grace in this. Councillor Brendan Christie took to his Facebook page this morning to announce that the Council had backed down from its plan to cancel the marches.
Congratulations Brendan. You’ve stood up for so many who sacraficed their lives and families for us. Thank you for being the lone wolf in making this situation right.
Let our Veterans march. Let our Veterans be celebrated in the way they should be. We have stifled many parts of our speech, let’s not include this one on the list.
Disgraced former Labor minister Eddie Obeid has today been sentenced to 5 years jail with a 3 year non-parole period for misconduct while in public office.
The sentencing occurred at the NSW Supreme Court where Justice Robert Beech-Jones condemned Obeid stating that he had lost the public’s trust by abusing his power as a Minister and backbencher.
This sentence follows a court hearing in June, where a jury found him guilty of lobbying a public servant regarding the Circular Quay leases without providing notice of his family’s interest in the properties.
Mr Obeid has a long standing history as being corrupt. He was ousted as being a key stakeholder in a mining licence granted during the Bob Carr days of NSW Politics, to the Upper Hunter. As well as questions being raised about the mysterious fires that engulfed his printing practices many years ago.
The 73 year old has had some health issues this year but Justice Beech-Jones had no sympathy and sided with the Crown’s argument that full time custody of Mr Obeid was the only appropriate penalty for a man as corrupt as he.