Tribute to Blue Mountains Women

On this International Women's Day 2018 I recognise the many fantastic and inspiring women in the electorate of the Blue Mountains. It is not often that our humble hardworking staff are noted in this place.  Continue reading

Tribute to Marilla North

I recognise the fabulous work of Marilla North, author of the Come in Dymphna biographical series, which includes Yarn Spinners and Dymphna Cusack: Lucky in Love. The fascinating life of Dymphna has been uncovered in Marilla's brilliant recreation of her life. Continue reading

NSW Public Transport Services

I notice that the Minister does not have the intestinal fortitude to hang around and listen to me. My motion must be accorded priority because the farce that is this Government's mishandling and bungling of public transport matters must eventually come to an end. It simply has to stop. The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure is on the record telling the people of New South Wales that in the ideal world of his boyhood fantasies, the New South Wales Government would not be providing public transport at all. Minister Constance is kept up at night with visions of a fully privatised transport system that delivers mega profits to big business and does not employ a single worker. The failed New Intercity Fleet procurement project is testimony to that. Continue reading

40th Anniversary of 1978 Mardi Gras

I am pleased to discuss as the matter of public importance the fortieth anniversary of the 1978 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. In the past couple of years parliaments at a State and Federal level have taken significant steps on the pathway to progress and justice for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning [LGBTIQ] community. Continue reading

Housing Stress and Homelessness

As many members of this House know, housing stress and homelessness are currently the issues that present most frequently in our electorate offices. Every week several constituents, who often are in a state of quiet desperation as they face eviction and struggle to find a suitable new home they can afford, attend my electorate office. Continue reading

Tribute to Helen Walker

On 14 September 2017 Helen Walker passed away, leaving the Blue Mountains community, her friends, colleagues and family too soon. Helen was one of those people who restored your faith in the inherent goodness of humankind.   Continue reading

Blue Mountains Australia Day Awards

I acknowledge the Australia Day Award recipients in my electorate of the Blue Mountains and our newest Australian citizens. Continue reading

Tribute to Anne Gabrielides

Tonight I reflect on the life of Anne Louise Gabrielides. I also pay tribute to her life partner, Paul. Together they championed the rights of others, demonstrating a lived commitment to improving the quality of life of so many. Sadly, Anne left this world on 6 January 2018, surrounded by family and friends. She suffered from motor neurone disease and, although she was determined to make the best of her life, she eventually succumbed to her condition. Continue reading

Teaching and Education Legislation Amendment (Employment)

I make a brief contribution today on the Teaching and Education Legislation Amendment (Employment) Bill 2017. I do so as a teacher who worked for 25 years as a casual on rolling temporary contracts across Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury region in the years before I was elected to this place. It is this particular aspect of the bill that I wish to address. While I note that most of the measures in this bill are simple, practical ones, some changes are made to the manner in which casual teachers may be employed in schools in New South Wales. Continue reading

New Intercity Fleet Petition Debate

It gives me enormous pleasure to lead in debate for the Labor Opposition today on the petition of more than 12,000 signatures against this Government's ham-fisted New Intercity Fleet project on which billions of dollars of taxpayers' money has been spent buying new trains from South Korea which are not fit for purpose and, absurdly, do not fit the tracks. Blue Mountains, Newcastle and Illawarra commuters desperately need new trains to replace the ageing V sets, but we should not be forced to settle for whatever cut-price carriages this cheapskate Government seeks to foist upon us. Continue reading