What we're about
Are you concerned about what “your” government in Canberra is doing for (or to) you using your taxes? Does it seem that our Parliament represents the special interests of super rich multinational corporations, miners, media magnates, and sometimes extortionistic unions, rather than those of us who actually elect them?
If you think we could and should have better governments at national, state and local levels, we hope you will share your thoughts and experiences along these lines, and help us in trying to actually do something about the situations that bother you.
It takes knowledge and political engagement to influence our parliamentary representatives to work for those of us living in their electorates – or if needs be, to elect others who may better represent us. So, a group of concerned individuals who are members of the Greens branches in Macedon and Nillumbik in the McEwen electorate is interested to meet and discuss political and environmental issues with you, and work to see that those we elect to office represent our individual interests. Or, where those we elect seem to represent someone else, work to elect people who will represent us by supporting the kinds of policies we want.
In 2013 we were faced with the choice between a chaotic Labor government disrupted and led by ex union apparatchiks with little practical experience in the real world, versus Coalition ideologues who seem more interested to tax and squeeze the battlers and those who have the least, in order to benefit already super wealthy plutocrats. We think our present representative, Labor's Rob Mitchell, is doing a good job, but in the 2013 election, thanks to the chaos in the Labor Government caused by ex-union apparatchiks there was a major anti-Labor swing, and "Liberals" now control the government. Although Rob survived the swing, his margin over the Liberal's Donna Petrovich was only 313 votes. He just barely won the seat with Greens' preferences.
McEwen is predominantly rural, but many of us living on large properties still have to commute to the City earn our livings, so issues that concern us range from metropolitan issues in southern parts of the electorate to rural and agricultural in the northern parts. Given the distances involved, doorknocking is not a particularly effective way to meet people and discuss your political interests. We think it is far better to meet people in your local pubs in the evenings or on the weekends when people with specialist knowledge on relevant topics can be invited to join us, and discuss our respective interests over a meal and/or a drink. See below for a map of the local pubs where we would like to meet.
You don't have to be Green to join the conversation, we are happy to hear ideas from Liberals, Labor, PUPs and anyone else. In fact, our organizing group includes ex Labor and Lib members.
The organizers have a variety of contacts inside and outside of politics who we think might be happy to share their ideas with us at these meetups. The kinds of topics we are considering for these discussions include (in no particular order):
• environmental issues (climate change, sea-level rise, bush fires, landcare)
• agriculture and sustainability (water, soil depletion, foreign ownership, markets, GM, animal welfare)
• school and tertiary education policy (costs and funding, curricula, religious education, trades)
• health & aging (medicare, health insurance, pensions, superannuation, aged care, end of life issues)
• sustainable infrastructure (roads, rail, telecommunication, port, schools, community services)
• population growth, migration, refugees (human rights policy, infrastructure requirements, sustainability)
• energy issues (fracking, mining, nuclear power, sustainable solar, wind, wave, hydrothermal)
• taxation & economics (growth and de-growth, fossil fuel subsidies, equitable taxation)
• improving our local councils where they could be doing better
• defence related issues (serving members, procurement, requirements & support for a local industry)
We have identified 11 centres in the McEwen electorate shown below where we think we can find a suitable pub that will be within 5-10 km of most voters in the area, and propose to hold one or more meetups in each of these pubs, on topics that will be announced in advance via this Meetup site. Check the announcements of upcoming events for a pub near you.
Join the Meetup
There is no cost or formal obligation (other than your interest) to join the group. All we need is your email address for notifications relating to the Meetups. The list will not be used for party political purposes or shared with any other organization.
Map of McEwen - click HERE (http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/e/9/a/3/highres_435899811.jpeg) to see a larger version.