Greens take on TAFE cuts in Ryde march

Greens NSW MP John Kaye and Greens candidate for Ryde Justin Alick joined TAFE teachers, students and members of the local community for a March to Save TAFE on Saturday morning between the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE’s Ryde and Meadowbank campuses. Dr Kaye, who is the party’s Education spokesperson, said at a concluding rally in Meadowbank:

“The Baird government is dragging $600 million out of TAFE’s annual budget into a market that is gamed in favour of corner-cutting, for-profit, private providers. “Labor would allow this amount to increase to $744 million. “Either way, students in Ryde and across Sydney will not be able to access quality, affordable vocational education and training, while corporations will be pocketing profits from public funding. “The impacts of these cuts are already being felt by students and teachers, and they are only going to get worse. Across the state more than 1,100 full time permanent positions have been removed from TAFE, courses have disappeared or had their hours cut, and fees have massively increased. “The Greens have taken our campaign to Save TAFE to the streets to warn the community what’s at stake unless there is a strong vote for TAFE on the 28th of March,” Dr Kaye said.

Greens candidate for Ryde Justin Alick said: “The Northern Sydney Institute has been hit hard by the Liberals’ cuts to TAFE and the introduction of their so-called ‘Smart and Skilled’ market. “The Greens don’t believe there is anything smart or skilled about slashing over 100 full time positions from the Northern Sydney Institute in a single year, cutting support for students with a disability or increasing fees to unaffordable levels. “There is nothing smart or skilled about squeezing TAFE’s budget so that the last ship building course in NSW, offered at Meadowbank, is teetering on the edge of collapse. “Northern Sydney Institute has seen its world-class Fine Arts courses reduced and fees drastically raised. “Time for face to face teaching in some hands-on courses has been reduced by up to 62% with no mandated amount of class time for courses. “The Greens say enough is enough.” Mr Alick said.

Walk 4 Water

A group of activists undertaking an epic walk from Cataract Dam south of Sydney to Parliament House passed through Ryde on Friday 27th February. The Walk for Water is aimed at raising awareness about the danger that coal and coal seam gas mining poses to Sydney’s drinking water supply. At a rally at West Ryde Pumping Station and at Ryde Park the walkers were harassed by Mr. Coal, who offered to look after the symbolic water bottles the walkers were carrying in exchange for bags of money. The walkers knew better and rejected his bribes. Pablo Brait, from Our Land, Our Water, shocked the audience by saying that “We appear to be the only country in the world that allows mining in water catchments and yet no-one is allowed into those catchments to see what damage is being done.” Greens Ryde candidate, Justin Alick, told the group “The Greens are leading an evolution towards clean politics and clean energy. We are the only party which understands the dangers of coal and coal seam gas for our water supplies and the only party which has, and will continue to fight for no more coal or coal seam gas mining. Renewable energy is possible, affordable and essential.” Mehreen Faruqi, Greens MLC congratulated the walkers for their efforts, and said that “As an engineer who has spent two decades working on water and catchment management, I appreciate the vital importance of making sure water is protected for the people of NSW and our environment.” Afterwards, the walkers continued on to Minister Anthony Roberts office, and an event organised by Ryde Flora and Fauna Preservation Society. Our Land, Our Water members also took part.


The Greens Clean Up


The Greens Epping and Ryde teams cleaned up  a stretch of Terry’s Creek at the bridge on Sunday 1 March as part of Clean Up Australia Day. Community members joined the group. Collectively they managed to fill five sacks with rubbish – mainly plastic. They also hauled a shopping trolley out of the mud next to the creek, and pulled a kids’ bike from the creek.

Ryde Greens’ candidate, Justin Alick, said “The Greens will introduce legislation in the new parliament to ban single-use plastic bags. The community is really behind us because people see the damage plastic bags do in places like Terry’s Creek.

Epping Greens’ candidate, Emma Heyde, said “The Greens are not just committed to cleaning up local waterways and streets. We are also committed to cleaning up dirty politics in NSW by reforming laws around electoral donations. “When politics is all about paying back favours to big donors, the community loses out,” Ms Heyde said.


Greens promise to build heavy rail link

The Greens have committed to building the Epping to Parramatta rail line. The Greens’ plan is possible, affordable, and essential for the economic and social wellbeing of northwest Sydney. The line will result in access to high quality jobs and will dramatically reduce car movements and travel times for commuters.


Greens candidates from Northern Sydney and Parramatta joined Greens’ MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi at Epping Station today to celebrate the Greens’ commitment to keeping the Epping to Chatswood line connected to the Sydney Trains network, and extending it to Parramatta.

This commitment forms a key part of the Greens’ strong and costed plan for transport in NSW, which is aimed at getting cars off roads in favour of an integrated network of heavy and light rail, and bicycle and bus lanes.

Parramatta Greens’ candidate Phil Bradley said, “The Epping to Parramatta train link is critical to boosting jobs growth in Western Sydney.

“The Greens’ commitment to building this link is evidence of the fact that we are serious about creating more jobs in the West,” Mr Bradley said.

Epping candidate, Emma Heyde, said, “the Greens see the Epping-Chatswood line as the backbone of jobs growth in Northern Sydney – to close it for seven months will be a disaster for small business owners and the customers they rely on.”

“There is no business case for closing and downgrading the line. The Greens will keep it fully operational and in public hands,” Ms Heyde said.

Greens’ candidate for Ryde, Justin Alick said, “Making the Epping to Chatswood line incompatible with the rest of the network is part of a plan to privatise large sections of the CityRail network.

“The majority of those who know about the Government’s plan to close, destandardise and privatise the our railway line are overwhelmingly against it,” Mr Alick said.

Greens’ candidate for Lane Cove, Pierre Masse, said “The Greens’ commitment to building the Epping to Parramatta rail line means that people on the Lower North Shore will be able to access jobs and education opportunities in the growth area of Western Sydney as well as the city.

“Instead of sinking more money into toll roads which makes traffic worse, the Greens’ have a long-term infrastructure plan which will be a source of high-quality jobs,” Mr Masse said.

The Greens’ candidate for Hornsby, Dr John Storey, said, “People in Northern Sydney expect and deserve an efficient train network. Building the Epping to Parramatta line is part of the Greens’ vision of a low-carbon economy and a world-class public transport system.”

Greens’ candidate for Davidson, David Sentinella, said “We are serious about tackling climate change, and the announcement that the Greens are committed to an integrated, efficient and extensive network of public transport in Northern Sydney delivers on this promise.

“The Greens’ plan will keep cars off already congested roads,” Mr Sentinella said.

The Greens’ plan comes after the release of the response to the submissions to the NSW Government’s proposal to close and convert the Epping to Chatswood line has been released. Out of all the public submissions, only ten per cent expressed support for closing the Epping to Chatswood rail line.

Be my divestment Valentine!

What’s the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? By promising to love a clean, green, renewable future – and eating cake!
Divestment Day is all about getting money out of fossil fuels and instead planning for a renewably-based econommy and Beecroft got behind the movement with a Valentine’s Day event.
Wies Schuringa from the Religious Society of Friends spoke about some of the actions many of Australia’s faith groups have taken to divest their money from banks and superannuation funds that have investments in fossil fuels.
Michael Bianchino from the Save Beecroft-Cheltenham Alliance spoke about recent government backing for coal mines on the Liverpool plains.
Dr John Kaye MLC pointed out that divesting from fossil fuels meant freeing up investment which could be used to fund clean energy projects.
Greens’ Ryde candidate Justin Alick used the occasion to talk about how coal seam gas has impacted people close to him, and how the divestment movement provided an exciting opportunity for people to make their desire for a renewably powered economy heard.
Everyone’s hero, Superannuation Man, provided a personal insight into how to go about divesting, and why individuals might consider moving their money from banks and superannuation funds that have money in coal and coal seam gas – and Coal Head Man didn’t have a word in response!
 Read about divestment in a paper by The Australia Instutute
 See what divestment is about here

Talking trains at Beecroft Station

There is very significant support amongst regular train travelers for the policy of keeping the Epping-Chatswood train line in private hands.

Commuters so not support the closure and downgrading of the line, which will mean a journey with at least two stops between the Epping area and the city.

The Epping-Chatswood link was finished in 2009 and cost $2 billion. The Greens’ policy is for the line to remain in public hands.

Read Greens’ Transport Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi’s media release on the campaign  Click here  

Speaking for the trees

Who speaks for the trees?

The pressures of development, the 10/50 vegetation clearing code, and the ETTT and North West Rail Link are having a devastating combined effect on our urban forest.

To highlight the issue, we delivered a Valentine’s Day card calling on the local member, Greg Smith MP, to preserve Epping’s trees and repeal 10/50.

Join the new group Stop the Chop see their Facebook page    here

See Greens’ Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge’s resources for communities fighting 10/50  Click here

Talking trains at Cheltenham

Greens’ candidate for Epping, Emma Heyde, talked to commuters at Cheltenham station this morning. The topic on everyone’s minds was the closure and ‘gifting’ of the Epping-Chatswood line to private interests.
Cheltenham is Emma’s ‘home’ station – she’s normally on the train rather than watching it go past. Along with everyone else, Emma will be changing trains twice to get into the city if the government goes ahead with plans to shut the service. Read a full report here

Summer Breakfast

Greens candidates Emma Heyde for Epping and Justin Alick for Ryde held a campaign launch on Sunday. As you can see the event was really well attended. Click here for a full report. The event was held at Emma’s house in Cheltenham. Emma comment afterwards was ” It was a real Green event we only had half a bin of rubbish which couldn’t be recycled !! ”


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