I’m so glad Maurie Mulheron has stated that Federation does not have a “re-elect Labor” campaign (Education, March 11, April 1). Not only is it such a forlorn hope in both the federal election this September, but also in the next two NSW elections in 2015 and 2019. Will there be an ICAC investigation not involving a former ALP state minister by 2020? That’s a fair question to ask colleagues.
As someone whose home town is Melbourne, I saw firsthand the attacks on the public service including public education that Jeff Kennett carried out. Not only has Kennett been a model for NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell but also Newman in Queensland. I was also a witness to the ALP, in its 10 years of government following Kennett’s defeat, not reinstating one of the 4000 permanent teaching positions that Kennett abolished. The ALP also did not reopen any of the many schools and hospitals that Kennett shut down.
Now that Julia Gillard has called the date of the federal election I would like to quote Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and say, “A plague on both your houses.” Some people won’t wear any critical comments of the ALP. It is the Alternative Liberal Party and it is whiffy. Yes, Tony Abbott will be Prime Minister. It’s not something to look forward to.
I believe we should build on last year’s Community Day of Action. Community and public actions can put pressure on O’Farrell as demonstrated by the wins that have been achieved by campaigning against coal seam gas mining. The Central West May Day march in Orange this year was built around opposition to O’Farrell’s cutbacks.