What a day yesterday was, up out of bed at 5.45am to catch the train down to Sydney and I find there is trackworks. So hop on the rail bus which takes you down via the F3 (now known as the M1) freeway. If you are like me driving on that road, then you have your hands firmly gripping the wheel with an intent look on your face as the road dips and swerves around hills and mountains, across bridges seemingly suspended in mid air and hugging the road as the juggernaut trucks sway past you. Fun, not. So to sit back in a modern coach as it leisurely sweeps down hills on it way to Sydney is a pleasure where you can enjoy the scenery. You have time to chat to your fellow riders and a couple who will be going to the same market as you. (See paragraph below.)
I came down from the NSW Central Coast to help my daughter with her stall. There was trackworks on the Sydney Trains so I caught a rail bus down opposite me was a elderly lady travelling with her grand-daughter. The lady was dressed in full modern vintage clothes, I asked her if she was going anywhere special and she replied "We've come from Newcastle and are going to the Round She Goes Sydney's Preloved Fashion Market, we have been travelling for 3 hours now, do you know the way to Marrickville?. I wish now I had taken her photo.
After arriving at Central, it's onto a city train (yes, some were running just not on the northern or some inner city lines) trundle out to Marrickville then a brisk walk up the hill to the town hall. I bypassed all the hopeful shoppers to the front desk. "I'm here to help my daughter with her stall" I say and am ushered into a hall in utter chaos, people rushing to and fro with armfuls of clothing and dodging racks of handbags and coats.
I finally track down my daughter who is serenely setting up her stall, everything is labelled and tagged, and whom also grabbed some chairs as its going to be a long day. 10am to 3pm. The doors opened to the general public and it was on for young and old, we took turns to go out and grab a drink and some lunch and then back into the fray again. FUN. We were packed up by 4pm, with not so many journeys to the car as pre market so that was great. Natalie dropped me off at Strathfield for the journey home. I arrived home at 7.45pm after having to catch two buses, one to Hornsby to change for a coach to the Central Coast. All I wanted was a banana roll and a coffee for dinner, a catchup on twitter and facebook to see what every one else had been up to during the day and then off to bed. Today has been Wash Day, getting ready for work this week.
Tonight I rise to invite Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit the beautiful state of Western Australia. I do this in good faith because we are only a matter of weeks away from a historic by-election that will determine not just the final makeup of this chamber after July, but will decide much more of consequence to the people of Western Australia whether they're thinking of voting for the Greens or not.
Prime Minister you are welcome out west, but this is a respectful invitation to think carefully about what baggage you pack when you make your next flying campaign stop over.
When you arrive at Perth airport you'll alight on the traditional country of the Whadjuk Noongar who have sung this country now for more than forty thousand years. This is two hundred times the age of the city that stands on the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan, the Swan River.
Understand that you're now closer to Denpassar than to Western Sydney in a state where an entire generation has been priced out of affordable housing. Recognise that you are standing in a place where the drought never ended, where climate change from land clearing and fossil fuel combustion is a lived reality that is already costing jobs, property, and lives.
Mr Prime Minster, at your next press conference, we invite you to leave your excruciatingly boring three word slogans at home.
If your image of Western Australia is of some caricatured red-neck backwater that is enjoying the murderous horror unfolding on Manus Island, you're reading us wrong. Every time you refer to us as the mining state as though the western third of our ancient continent is just Gina Rinehart's inheritance to be chopped, benched and blasted, you're reading us wrong.
Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you arrive and start talking proudly about your attempts to bankrupt the renewable energy sector, or cripple the independence of the ABC and privatise SBS, if you show up waving your homophobia in people's faces and start boasting about your ever more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different kind of welcome. People are under enough pressure as it is without three years of this government going out of its way to make it worse.
It looks awkward when you take policy advice on penalty rates and the minimum wage from mining billionaires and media oligarchs on the other side of the world.
Awkward and kind of revolting.
It is good to remember that these things are temporary, for anyone listening in from outside this almost empty senate chamber. The truth is, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and this benighted attempt at a government are a temporary phenomenon, this too will pass and we need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture.
Just as the reign of the dinosaurs was cut short to their great surprise, it may be that the Abbott government will appear as nothing more than a thin greasy layer in the core sample of future political scientists drilling back into the early years of the 21st century.
2014 marks thirty years since the election of the first representative of what was to become the Greens, my dear friend and mentor, Senator Jo Vallentine. She came into this place as a lone Western Australian representative speaking out against the nuclear weapons that formed the foundations of the geopolitical suicide pact that we dimly remember as the Cold War.
Since the first day of Senator Vallentine's first term, the Greens have been articulating a vision of Australia as it could be. An economy running on infinite flows of renewable energy. A society that never forgets it lives on country occupied by the planet's oldest continuing civilisation, and a country that values education, innovation and equality.
These values are still at the heart of our work, nowhere stronger than on the Walkatjurra Walkabout which will set off again later this month to challenge the poisonous imposition of the state's first uranium mine on the shoreline of Lake Way. As the damage done by the nuclear industry is global, so remains our resistance.
Mr Abbott your thoughtless cancellation of half a billion dollars of Commonwealth funding for the Perth Light Rail project has been noted. Your blank cheque for Colin Barnett's bloody and unnecessary shark cull has been noted. Your attack on Medicare, on schools funding, on tertiary education, noted.
The fact that your only proposal for environmental reforms thus far is to leave Minster Greg Hunt playing solitaire for the next three years while you outsource his responsibilities to the same Premiere who presides over the shark cull? that's been noted too...
You may not believe this Prime Minister, but your advocacy on behalf of foreign buyer technology corporations and Hollywood's copyright industrial complex to chain Australia into the transpacific partnership, even that has been noted. People have been keeping a record, every time you've been given the opportunity to choose between predator capitalism and the public interest, and it's bitterly obvious whose side you're on.
So to be very blunt, the reason that I extend this invitation to you, Mr Prime Minister, to spend as much time as you can spare in Western Australia, is that every time you open your mouth, the Green vote goes up.
You and your financial backers in the gas fracking and uranium industries have inspired hundreds of people to spend their precious time door knocking thousands of homes for the Greens in the last few weeks. Your decision to back Monsanto's shareholders instead of Western Australian farmers has inspired people across the length and breadth of this country to make thousands of calls and donate to our campaign.
As for the premeditated destruction of the National Broadband Network and Attorney General George Brandis's degrading capitulation to the surveillance state when confronted with the unlawful actions of the US NSA, even the Internet is turning green, for the win...
Geeks and Coders, Network Engineers and Gamers who would never have voted Green in a million years without the blundering and technically illiterate assistance of your leadership team? For this I can only thank you...
And perhaps most profoundly, your determined campaign to provoke fear in our community, fear of innocent families fleeing war and violence in our region, in the hope that it would bring out the worst in Australians, is instead, bringing out the best in us.
Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people's fears, and ram it as far from Western Australia as your tax payer funded traveling entitlements can take you.
What is at stake here in the most immediate sense, is whether or not Prime Minister Tony Abbott has total control of this parliament in coming years. But I've come to realise that it's about much more than that. We want our country back. Through chance, misadventure and somewhere, a couple of boxes of misplaced ballot papers, we've been given the opportunity to take it back, just one seat, next April 5 and a whole lot more in 2016.
SYDNEY ACTIVITIES OZ DAY
FREE ENTRY - Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydneywith special guided tours *
HALF PRICE ENTRY - Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney (oppositeHyde Park) *
FREE ENTRY (to permanent galleries) - Australian National MaritimeMuseum, 2 Murray St, Darling Harbour *
FREE ENTRY - Government House, Macquarie St, Sydney *
$5 ENTRY - Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Queen's Square, Macquarie St,Sydney *
$5 ENTRY - Justice & Police Museum, Corner Albert & PhillipSts, Circular Quay *
FREE ENTRY - Macquarie the Governor, 1810 - 1921 exhibition, 1 MartinPlace, Sydney *
FREE ENTRY - Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks *
$5 ENTRY - Museum of Sydney, Corner Bridge & Phillip Streets,Sydney *
FREE ENTRY - Parliament of NSW, Macquarie St, Sydney *
$12|Adult, $8|Concession, $6|Child - Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo *
FREE ENTRY - Reserve Bank of Australia, 65 Martin Place, Sydney *
FREE ENTRY - Royal Australian Historical Society, 133 Macquarie St,Sydney *
FREE ENTRY - St Stephen's Uniting Church, 197 Macquarie St, Sydneywith musical program & tours *
FREE ENTRY - St Mary's Cathedral, College St, Sydney with recitals,tours & mass *
Discount box office offering $25 same day performance tickets -Sydney Opera House MacquarieSt, Sydney *
$4 ENTRY - Susannah Place Museum, 58-64 Gloucester St, TheRocks FREE ENTRY - Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital, Lucy OsburnNightingale Museum, 8 Macquarie St, Sydney. *
FREE ENTRY TO GROUNDS - Sydney Observatory, Watson Rd, ObservatoryHill, The Rocks *
FREE ENTRY - The Mint, 10 Macquarie St, Sydney
The Tall Ships came into Sydney Harbour on Thursday. I had the day off so I headed down to Sydney. We had gone from 30C degrees the day before to 12C on Thursday obviously many people had not checked on weather and arrived to see the TS wearing only shorts and tshirts and summer dresses. It was cloudless and sunny when I left home and when I arrived it was very wet and chilly. I heard later that it had been hailing in my local area.
I didn't take many photos as the lens was getting wet.
Haven't been on for a while, just sorting through how I want my life to develop. So far, I have been distancing myself away from a group of friends I seem to have outgrown. Same old same old.
A couple of months ago I met an old friend from 10 years ago who invited me along to a new group he had started, we meet up on Friday evenings to have dinner together and some head off to various clubs to watch and listen to music.
This seems to be more my fit. I have met some lovely people and have been invited along to a Coffee and Chat group and another social group which travel down to Sydney to visit art galleries and museums and do ferry trips. Oh! a fellow I met told me about a local camera group. Its all happening.