Half-Term for Labor… and a 50-50 2pp?

Don’t listen to the polls unless they suit you, and then don’t listen then, but surely Labor finding themselves at a 50-50 two party preferred 18 months into what they hope to the be the first term of many should be a wake-up call for Albanese and co? The fear of many in my circles in they’re seeing it as a signal they need to be more like Dutton, and the rushed legislation to continue criminalising the immigrants that had been ruled to be detained indefinitely illegally doesn’t sit well. Labor needs to remember they’re not necessarily losing votes to the LNP by being shit-lite, but to Greens and Independents from across the political spectrum.

They saw it blatantly with the election of Dai Le in Fowler, Labor took a population for granted, and in more than one seat went against the wishes of the local branch to pick their candidate. And Keneally’s loss was spectacular, And State and Federal parliamentary Labor are thumbing their nose once more at voters they continue to take for granted – Muslim and Arab families, and those who love them, by ignoring their local branches – including the PM’s own Marrickville –  calls for stronger language to be used when calling for Israel to stop their slaughter in Gaza and the rest of the region. The “pause” we have at the moment, Israel not receiving any condemnation for its blatant breaches and ridiculous actions that their army is willingly boasting about on Tik Tok of all places.

But what do I want from Labor? Have I given them enough time? Let’s look at their current 10 points they and their stans keeps talking up and letcha know how they’re working in reality.

1. Energy bill relief

For me in NSW, as a concession card holder, I get a total of $500 over this financial year credited to my account. This has ben $125 each quarter so far, but it has quickly disappeared and been absorbed by the doubling of the power bill by taking on the kids – who while they also have concessions can’t get additional support towards the bill, because it’s once per household. I hear that different places are rolling out more community batteries soon, which is awesome and really helps balance that load, but wouldn’t it be nice if renters were able to get their landlords to install solar and take advantage of that cheap cheap electricity?

2. Cheaper child care

Initial reports of fees going up with the subsidy going up abound, overall child care costs less per hour per child now than it did. But there’s many parts of the country where there are not enough places, workers are still underpaid for what they do to support the little ones and there’s still a requirement to be working or studying a certain amount to access the subsidy, which rules out a lot of precarious workers and kids who would benefit developmentally from attending childcare or preschool.

3. Increased rent assistance

*insert snorting milk out of nose gif here* – I’m getting a whole $13 a week extra in rent assistance now. And my rent is going up $60 a week in the upcoming move, not even taking into account the thousands we have to spend to move between bod, rent in advance, overlapping rent, and utilities, cleaning, petrol and van hire, time off work for Bruce and general stress expenses. “Fortunately” Bruce received his Nan’s inheritance earlier than expected, and instead of using that for car upgrades and tools for work we’re having to drop a lot on this move, and hopefully get some of it back when we get the bond, sell my AU and hopefully sell some of Bruce’s car parts. But it succcckkkkkkkkssss.

4. More Medicare bulk billing

I’ll letcha know Wednesday if I get bulk billed, but nothing on the doctor’s website indicates they’re going back to bulk billing kids and concession card holders despite the increased incentive, so I’m gonna rock up with that $69 to pay and hope they tell me nah, it’s on the government. But we’ll see.

UPDATE 29/11 – I wasn’t bulk billed.

5. Cheaper medicines

Not for concession card holders, ours were indexed with inflation on Jan 1. Happy for those without concessions who’ve seen some of theirs go down though.

6. Boosting income support payments

How’d my frens out there on youth allowance and jobseeker spend their extra $20 a week? Don’t know, it just got absorbed because the costs of essentials continue to grow faster than inflation? Yeah, if you see someone shoplifting, no you didn’t. And, no there was no increase to DSP, my $59 a day partner rate is doing some heavy lifting.

Graphic design of a garbage dumpster on fire with bin juice pooling at the bottom above the text "centrestink"
Centrestink bin fire by Jez Heywood

7. Fee-free TAFE training

In select courses and limited in number, and with Austudy and Youth allowance so far below the poverty line how can you even AFFORD to study even if the course itself is free? How do you pay for transport and internet and food and texts and course supplies?

8. Building more affordable homes

Hoping to see these happen, but wow, there’s a long time before we see any impact there. And how the fuck does one even define affordable when it just needs to rent out $10 a week lower than market rate. Which is unaffordable for essential university trained teachers and such let alone supermarket workers, students and disabled people. It doesn’t stop rents continue to go up, renters being in such a vulnerable position. State, Federal and Councils need to directly buy and build public housing. They only way to fix the housing stock is to build for those at the bottom, get the families out of the caravan parks and tents, allow families to live and stay in a community for their kids to grow up, not fear having to move at the next rent hike.

9, Expanding Paid parental leave

I’m incredible uninformed on this. Probably would have been awesome as a baby producing allied health worker on $100k a year. As the second parent of a newborn, the son in law was entitled to two weeks off mutual obligations when bub was born, and got cut off several times for missing appointments because the baby was up all night. At least parents next is gone, but hey all those parents who got to access single parent payment up to their kids turning 14 now have to do mutual obligations…

10 Creating jobs and getting wages moving again

Oooh is that the 3000 Centrelink jobs to deal with the massive call wait times, months delays in processing payments and the 180 staff leaving the agency each month? Union members are striking in the meantime because despite promises to restore the public service the government can’t agree to a pay seal for Services Australia staff. The government needs to set the standard it expects from the rest of the employers out there, and in this they are failing.

A red background with text 10 ways we are helping Australian with the cost of living 1. Energy bill relief 2. cheaper child care 3. Increase rent assistance 4 more medicare bulk billing 5. Cheaper medicines 6. Boosting income support payments 7. fee-free tafe training 8. Building more affordable homes 8. Expanding Paid parental leave 10 Creating jobs and getting wages moving again

So yeah, I’m tired, stressed, broke and disappointed in the Albanese government’s first 18 months. I’m sad to see Palestinians being killed and the founder of the Friends of Palestine unwilling to put his neck out and condemn the slaughter.

I’ll get through this move, and vow to use the faster internet I’ve been promised by TPG to do what I can to continue to speak truth to power. We get the keys in a week, and hand back the keys for the current place on the 13th.

Send coffee, cleaning products and chocolate. So much chocolate.

Love you guys.

Upcoming Australian actions to Save Palestine – November 4-5

Skip to Content Stand With Palestine Take Action Volunteer Donate Email your MPs Events Resources Legal Aid Upcoming events Sunday, November 5 - Melbourne Protest: Keep Standing With Palestine! 12:00 pm, State Library Victoria Event Details Sunday, November 5 - Brisbane Rally for Palestine 3:00 pm, Queens Gardens Event Details Sunday, November 5 - Perth Protest: Stop the Genocide in Gaza 12:30 pm, Forrest Place Event Details Sat, November 4 - Newcastle Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Free Palestine! 1:00 pm, Newcastle Museum Event Details Saturday, November 4 - Geelong Free Palestine Rally and March 12:00 pm, Little Malop Street Event Details Saturday, November 4 - Sydney Protest: Stop the Genocide in Gaza! 1:00 pm, Hyde Park (North) Event Details Sat, November 4 - Canberra Stop the Genocide in Gaza - Palestine Rally 1:00 pm, Garema Place Event Details Saturday, November 4 - Hobart Stand With Gaza: Saturday Vigils 1:00 pm, Hobart Town Hall Event Details Sunday, November 5 - Adelaide Free Palestine, Free Gaza: Keep Up the Protests 2:00 pm, Parliament House Event Details STAND WITH PALESTINE We stand in solidarity with the First Nations of this place, and recognise their enduring connection to Country. Soverignty was never ceded, and this is and will always be Aboriginal land.

From https://www.standwithpalestine.au/events

Saturday, November 4

Sydney https://www.facebook.com/events/876606550689595

Protest: Stop the Genocide in Gaza!
1:00 pm, Hyde Park (North)

Newcastle https://www.facebook.com/events/1078164973182712/

Stop the Genocide in Gaza! Free Palestine!
1:00 pm, Newcastle Museum

Canberra https://www.facebook.com/events/659937209614006

Stop the Genocide in Gaza – Palestine Rally
1:00 pm, Garema Place

Hobart https://www.facebook.com/events/864009691604358/870902164248444

Stand With Gaza: Saturday Vigils
1:00 pm, Hobart Town Hall

Geelong https://www.facebook.com/events/864009691604358/870902164248444

Free Palestine Rally and March
12:00 pm, Little Malop Street

Sunday, November 5

Brisbane https://www.facebook.com/events/3629479243938913

Rally for Palestine
3:00 pm, Queens Gardens

Adelaide https://www.facebook.com/events/1258080934861619

Free Palestine, Free Gaza: Keep Up the Protests
2:00 pm, Parliament House

Melbourne https://www.facebook.com/events/679755940780706

Protest: Keep Standing With Palestine!
12:00 pm, State Library Victoria

Perth https://www.facebook.com/events/247511958303158

Protest: Stop the Genocide in Gaza
12:30 pm, Forrest Place

I’ll be at Newcastle on Sat.

EMAIL YOUR MP https://www.standwithpalestine.au/email-mps


10:00 am WEDNESDAY 1st NOVEMBER 2023
Anti-Zionist Jewish activists have led an occupation and staged a ritual inside the office of
Defence Minister Richard Marles at 90-92 Broughman St. Geelong. A number of protestors
have secured themselves by their necks in the office’s reception using bicycle locks and are
refusing to leave. Others have blockaded the office’s main entrance and raised banners
reading ‘Stop The Genocide’, ‘Not In Our Name’, ‘Disarm Israel’, and ‘ALP Supports Ethnic
The group – made up of members of Jewish, Aboriginal, and other communities – demands
that Marles and the Federal Labor Government withdraw diplomatic, economic and military
support for Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine. They call upon Marles to condemn
Israel’s devastating bombardment of Gaza and the West Bank. In the words of Jewish
demonstrator Nevo Zisin:
“I condemn the use of Jewish grief and trauma as justification for committing a
genocide against another people. The ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing of
Palestinian people goes against my Jewish values”.
Antimilitarist activist Zelda Grimshaw also took part and had this to say:
“The ALP’s Richard Marles acts as a broker for major international weapons deals.
Taxpayer dollars should not be funnelled into the pockets of giant weapons
corporations. Australian-made weapons should not be trained on the people of
Noemie Huttner-Koros, a Jewish artist and writer, said:
“As a descendant of Holocaust survivors, I refuse to let Israel’s far-right government
weaponise our grief, pain and fear for the purpose of war crimes, invasion and
genocide. We want to show Jewish people in the diaspora that we can speak up.
Jews & Palestinians can and do live together. I see it as my ancestral duty to fight for
justice, peace and liberation for all.”
Another Demonstrator said:
“As an anti-Zionist Jew from a lineage of non-Zionist Jews, speaking out against
racism and settler-colonialism honours my Jewish ancestors. Jewish resistance to
Zionism is older than the Israeli regime itself.”

For further comment and media, please contact:
Dr. Shoshana Rosenberg: 0452 205 028; shoshana.k.rosenberg@gmail.com
Noemie Huttner-Koros: 0432 925 664; noemie.hk@gmail.com
Declan Furber Gillick: 0488127993; management@declanfurbergillick.com
Zelda Grimshaw: 0407757367; zelda@wagepeaceau.org



Israel bombed a hospital, she exclaims as she returns to the dishes

Senator Fatima Payne: The killing of innocent civilians in Israel should be condemned and we condemn it. The killing of innocent civilians in Palestine should also be condemned and we must condemn it. The international community loudly and proudly condemned Russia’s occupation of Ukraine when it started attacking Ukraine in 2014 yet today the world watches as the state of Israel deprives the entire population—men, women and children—of the basic necessities of life: food, water, electricity, gas and medicines. We must condemn it.

Israeli missiles strike residential dwellings, civilians, multistorey apartments, health facilities as well as places of worship, indiscriminately killing men, women and children. We must condemn it. Human Rights Watch confirms that Israel is using white phosphorous in Gaza. That violates the international humanitarian law prohibition. We must condemn it.

The price tag of Israel’s right to defend itself cannot be the destruction of Palestine. Israel’s right to defend its civilians cannot equate to the annihilation of Palestinian civilians. I hereby call for an immediate ceasefire to come into effect, alongside many world leaders and experts. Food, water, medicine and humanitarian aid need to be allowed to get through and reach the victims. Mediation and talks need to start, as obviously violence has not solved anything for the past 75 years, and a just and long-lasting solution needs to be sorted out.

I roll some more marbles, drop some more fantasy units in the games that I play quite passively with twitch streamers, in the other window I scroll through tweets, playing speeches by world leaders, interviews of ordinary people. People excuse the genocide of the Palestinian people, saying they literally did this to themselves, of course.

I just want to buy a Palestinian flag marble, there’s an Israeli one. Consume my way through this. Like buying a Kuffiya with purple in the weave to wear this summer to keep the sun off my pale skin, Or in solidarity at at Rally, a rally they try to scare us off from going to with threats of random searches or fines and imprisonment. Because order is more important in so-called Australia than justice, be it social or climate. Keep the peace, keep the status quo, however racist that may be.

Israel bombed a hospital. 500 to a thousand people dead. Patients, homeless, internal refugees, doctors, nurses, teachers, the disabled who had nowhere else to go.

But what if Hamas were hiding under there?

What if?

Whatif Hamas were hiding in your town. Holding a meeting at the Workers Club, storing weapons in the highschool hall. Sure, wipe out your city, your town, It’s for the overall good, what’s 500 more brown lives.

Oh but this is where I have to condemn Hamas’ attack on Israel, and the kidnappings of Israeli civilians. And I do. Hamas should not have done that. They should also not have been able to sneak in under the gaze of the most technologically advance military in the world. Australia buys its Centrelink surveillance tech from Israel, they don’t need our military aid.

Hamas aren’t the good guys. But neither is the state of Israel.

(I pause to hang out my washing inbetween rain showers)

I curse that the kids bring out all their plates and cups to wash at once, but am pleased to have running water to wash with, food to feed them, a safe place for them and the baby to sleep. “First world problems” we say as we deal with out day to day mental health or cost of living pressures, holding baby Emery tight while babies are bombed evacuating as directed by their oppressors.

We voted against the Voice to parliament. The least we could do, give Blak people an advisory voice to the colonial government. My electorate voted over 70% no. I’m not surprised. One booth, Wollombi, yoted majority yes. I voted yes in a referendum we shouldn’t have had a say in.

But what do you expect? They say the voting pattern was similar to that of the 1999 republic vote that I missed out on by a year, the same seats leaning yea and no, The spread very similar, the same people voting for the status quo. The same people being blamed for being uneducated and poor, The same people being fundamentally happy with being a British colony, and even if we do think we should move forward from that, it’s not the pressing thing that people who are living day to day care to debate.

Yes, we are a racist country. If was the racist no, not the sovereign no, or the disengaged no that won on the day. You see this here in the gloating in the facebook groups, the Blak kids being followed in the supermarkets, the white people claiming they’re just as discriminated against as Aboriginal people.

But the disinformation comes through. I was waiting at the foodbank for the afternoon free pies, there was a small group discussing the referendum and how the new world order had something to do with it. How Covid was a conspiracy to make someone money, how this one guys was beaten up in school by black kids so that means they can’t be racismed against.

“It’s okay to be white” was a motion in our parliament, just as “Israel has a right to defend itself” too precedence over condemning their war crimes. Nazi’s in Melbourne get an armed escort home on the train while they harass and intimidate anyone not white. They take the chance to yell anti-Semitic slurs and graffiti while also calling the Palestinian protestors terrorists.

I just go back to making my cupcakes and doing my little chores.

Making my little family’s life worth living.

lemon cupcakes