Red Leather #143

Red Leather | 24.10.19

$100,000 in ALDI bags is no way to run the Labor Party. You have until 5pm tomorrow to make a submission to the Lavarch Review. I urge you to make a submission.

My submission starts:

I have been a member of the NSW Labor Party for twenty-nine years. I joined at nineteen because I wanted to stop talking about changing the world and instead wanted to be part of the change to a fairer, more sustainable, economically robust, innovative and creative Australia. Joining Labor was (and is) about being able to be part of change that can be delivered through the election of Labor governments.

I choose Labor because I want to be part of a movement that sees Australia as the lucky country, an inclusive and dynamic place where everyone, no matter where you come from or what your circumstances, can find a way to a good life.

For the past thirty years I have participated at every level of the Labor Party. I have been a member, a branch official and a delegate to state and national conferences. I have been a local government councillor. For the past 14 years I have had the great privilege of being a Labor Member of the NSW Legislative Council. I have briefly been the state leader of our great party.

In 29 years, there have been eight General Secretaries and ten state Labor leaders. I have witnessed former MP’s and influential party members go to gaol or be forced to resign in disgrace as ICAC referrals, electoral commission investigations, illegal activity and sordid personal behaviour have revealed that there is something fundamentally wrong with the party I love…..the full submission can be found here:

Apologies to those readers of Red Leather who aren't members of the Labor Party, this edition has a fair chunk on that - though scroll down for a lot of other things as well.

Kind regards


Members of NSW Labor have until 5pm tomorrow to send their submission to the Michael Lavarch review into the governance and culture of the NSW branch of the party.

Emergency meetings across NSW have brought rank-and-file members together to discuss their views on how they believe the party needs to change. If you would like to read my submission to the Lavarch Review, you can access it right here.

This is your chance to express your ideas to make sure our party is built on the principles of honesty, integrity and fairness. Send your submission by 5pm Friday 25th October here: [email protected]

Massive congratulations to everyone involved as Sydney has won our bid to host WorldPride 2023!

Sydney will be the first WorldPride event in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing us to celebrate the LGBTQI community across our region.

Importantly, this event will also shine a light on parts of the Asia-Pacific where the LGBTQI community still experience discrimination with 43% of countries in this region criminalising sexual activity between two people of the same sex.


Late last week, I made my submission to the NSW Disability Advocacy Review being conducted by the Commissioner for Disability and Ageing. I believe that people with disability must be the decision makers about what is best for them. People with disability should be given everything they need to fully participate in decision making, and I am fully committed in holding the government to account with the ongoing transition to NDIS.

There is an ongoing & urgent role for advocacy organisations to not only assist individuals in the transition to the NDIS but to ensure that systemic advocacy continues into the future to make sure NSW makes good its commitment to a community that is inclusive and accessible to all.

Individual advocacy is essential to protect people's rights, provide informed, non-biased advice & information that enables people with disability to access support & services that meets their needs.

Systemic advocacy ensures that individual experiences, trends & emerging gaps in the consideration & inclusion of people with disability are used to inform, educate & advocate for systemic changes that give effect to the Disability Inclusion Act & truly move NSW to an accessible, inclusive & just society.

Labor is fully committed to funding disability funding into the future and supports the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance #StandByMe campaign.

I want to congratulate SNAICC, the national voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children for the Family Matters Report for 2019. The revelations in this report are astounding and demonstrate to comprehensive failures of the NSW Government to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up an astonishing 40% of kids in out-of-home-care in the state. We've seen a 20% drop in the amount of those kids in care with Indigenous carers. The only thing we can expect from this is intergenerational trauma and an inexcusable disconnection from Country and culture.

Click here to see my speech in parliament on this issue and you can read the full report here.

And finally, a win: during Poverty Week last week, the NSW Legislative Council passed my motion to call on the Federal Liberal-National Government to #RaiseTheRate of Newstart payments.

People struggle to get by on only $40 a day across NSW, forcing them into poverty. This is completely unacceptable in a prosperous society like ours. Check out my speech about Poverty Week below: