Sharon Bird, Federal Member for Cunningham, and Stephen Jones, Federal Member for Throsby, today condemned the decision by the Abbott Government to shut the Wollongong Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) office.
“In his media release the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Michael Ronaldson, has announced that the Wollongong VAN will close and a veteran information service will be provided by Department of Human Services service centre in Nowra,” Sharon Bird said.
The Abbott Government is gearing up to break its pre-election promise to thousands of local pensioners that there would be no cuts to their payment.
“Tony Abbott said time and time again before the election that he wouldn’t change the pension but today we learn that’s exactly what his Government is planning”, said Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird.
Before the election, Tony Abbott made a solemn promise to Australian pensioners:
ABBOTT: I can assure your listeners that there will be no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no changes to pensions, no change to the GST.
[Tony Abbott – 5 September – ABC AM]
Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones welcomes the approval for the next stage of construction for the Shone Avenue upgrade at West Dapto and urges the Abbott Government to ensure funding for further regional infrastructure projects are not cut in the upcoming May Budget.
“Dapto is one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Illawarra and the West Dapto housing development is essential to make sure that local infrastructure keeps up with demand and the Illawarra economy continues to grow", said Jones.
“The previous Labor government awarded Wollongong City Council $13.92 million for the project - the largest amount of funding of any regional area under our Building Better Cities program."
Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones have today welcomed the International Court of Justice’s historic decision in the case Australia took against Japanese whaling.
“The former Labor Government brought this case against Japan in 2010 and it was strongly supported in our local area. I am very pleased that this decision will mean that a program which has seen Japan kill thousands of whales in the Southern Ocean will at last be brought to an end,” Ms Bird said
“Labor is opposed to commercial whaling”, said Jones.
Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:27): The opposition looked forward to this debate with great anticipation. When in government we repealed over 16,000 acts and regulations. We thought this was the business of government each and every day and not just something you consign to one particular day of the year, preceded my mountains of press releases and lots of hyperbole.
Mr Nikolic: Why didn't you do it?
Mr STEPHEN JONES: I hear the member for Bass. He sat down short when he had time to speak on this matter. He did not use all of the time allocated to him, so the dignified thing for him to do would be to be quiet now that someone else is at the dispatch box.