on Monday, 20 February 2017.
On the 13 February we kicked off five days’ worth of Your Agreement, Your Vote Forums in target seats across the metropolitan area.
We had invited all of the local candidates for the target seats to participate in a panel discussion and Q&A session. The forums were a chance for members to directly ask the people who want to represent them in the State Parliament the questions they want answers to before they vote.
We continued to encourage CPSU/CSA members to elect a government that will ensure that the public sector can continue to deliver valued services to West Australians.
The members invited to the forums are electors in the key seats that will shape the Government this election. They have a crucial role in determining who will form Government after the 11th March 2017 and the forums were a unique opportunity to make an informed decision ahead of the start of early voting on the 20th February.
The forums were a fascinating insight into the policies of the parties.
Here’s the wrap up of each event:
BICTON MONDAY 13 FEBRUARY
Panellists for this event were: Louise Dickmann (Greens), Lisa O’Malley (WA Labor), Steve Kepert (Independent), Carl Maddox (Julie Matheson for WA), Alex Brownbill (Flux) and Richard Eldridge (One Nation).
While we expected Roe8 to be an issue people wanted to talk about, the key question was about permanency and we got some interesting answers. Lisa O’Malley from Labor talked about the Labor policy to convert public sector staff to permanency as part of a commitment to providing real improvements to essential services. Louise Dickmann (a TAFE Lecturer) said “I understand there should be a mix of casuals but at the moment it is out of whack, and it becomes very stressful to do our work” and Steve Kepert, the Independent for Bicton who is running on a platform of opposing the Pert h Freight Link said: “There are people with a lot less job security out there than people in the public service.” Alex Brownbill made it clear that the Flux Party method is to ask people what they want to rather than having a view themselves and Richard Eldridge from One Nation said “Job security is very important.”
WANNEROO JOONDALUP TUESDAY 14 FEBRUARY
Emily Hamilton (WA Labor for Joondalup), Max Wilson (Independent for Wanneroo), Sabine Winton (WA Labor for Wanneroo), Alison Xamon (Greens for North Metro) and Alannah MacTiernan (WA Labor for North Metro) took part in our panel.
Our Q and A discussion was very interesting with all candidates indicating their support for the sector. Alison Xamon and Emily Hamilton talked about their membership of the CPSU/CSA and what it had meant to them to be members.
Alannah MacTiernan and Alison Xamon also talked about the need for institutional memory in the public sector.
SOUTHERN RIVER WEDNESDAY 15 FEBRUARY
Terry Healy (WA Labor), Steven Secker (Independent) and Ash Srivastava (Julie Matheson for WA) took part in our panel.
Terry Healy talked about his experience as a teacher and the impact of funding cuts on the support staff at his school saying “I have 32 kids in my English class and I lost core staff, and it really hurt me because it hurt my kids.
Steven Secker is also passionate about education and talked about the Government’s will to find money for big projects while they cut the public sector.
Ash Srivatava opposes privatisation of prisons saying: In the US prisons have been privatised, what does a business man who runs a prison want? More business, but the public sector doesn’t want more business there’s the difference.”
BALCATTA MORLEY / MT LAWLEY THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY
This was our biggest forum with seven candidates on the panel. They were: David Michael (WA Labor for Balcatta), Anne-Marie Ricciardi (Greens for Morley), Amber Jade Sanderson (WA Labor for Morley), Matt Roberts (Greens for Mt Lawley), Simon Millman (WA Labor for Mt Lawley), Tim Clifford (Greens for East Metro) and Jim Taylor (Flux for the East Metro).
David Michael and Tim Clifford are both members of the CPSU/CSA. It’s worth noting that the Liberal member for Morley did send his apologies for this forum. The first question was about the wage increase with the Labor panellists saying that a fair wage was essential but in the current economic conditions, the permanency provisions and secure employment are important. Tim Clifford from the Greens talked about the importance of reclassification of positions and conversion to permanency from contracts.
SWAN HILLS FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY
This was our most lively forum to date with Jessica Shaw (WA Labor), Danusha BHOWANIAH (Julie Matheson for WA), Evan Webb (Greens) and Julie Matheson (Julie Matheson for WA). The One Nation candidate, Sandra Old had apologetically withdrawn earlier in the day saying that she had been advised by her party leader not to attend.
During question time, a member asked Julie Matheson about her promise to axe 22 Departments. This started a lively discussion between the candidates about the role of the public sector. Jessica Shaw made it clear that she thought that public sector were simply doing their jobs as directed by the Government and that the solution to an issue with a department is to change the government not cut the department.
The Ellenbrook train was also a hot issue with Labor promising that it would be delivered and there was much debate about the GST with the Julie Matheson for WA representatives arguing strongly that they thought WA deserved more GST funding.