Brunswick battle of progressive values between ALP and Greens – @Takvera #vicvotes

The next government of Victoria is not likely to be decided in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs where I reside, but in marginal electorates in Melbourne’s east and bayside suburbs, and regional electorates around Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. But the innercity and inner north may see a sea-change in representation, if the results of the 2013 Federal election with the re-election of Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt and recent polling are anything to go by. The Greens may win the seats of Melbourne and Richmond, a Lonergan research poll reveals in a report in The Age, and are in with a fighting chance in Brunswick, and have longshot hopes in Northcote […]

Labor and Liberal no show at #vicvotes Coburg Fair Food Forum reports @Takvera

For Fair Food week at Coburg Farmers Market a forum was held to discuss food and agriculture in the context of the Victorian state election on 29th November 29 2014. After all, food is an essential ingredient in our economy, our culture and society. It is something we all consume and relate to. Yet neither of the major parties provided a candidate from two electorates to attend this forum. All candidates for the seats of Brunswick and Pascoe Vale who had so far committed to stand were invited to speak. If you remember the Federal Election last year many novice Liberal candidates went to ground and refused to appear in […]

Greens increasing pressure on Thomson in Wills reports @takvera

By John Englart 4 September 2013 I was recruited by Margo to cover the election in the safe Labor seat of Wills (Seat Profile) in mid July. After writing 21 articles I suspect I have put in far more time and work than some of the candidates. We are at the point in Wills where the Green vote may overtake the Liberal vote for the first time. The Greens are beginning to challenge Labor. The campaign was marked by the absence of Liberal candidate Shilpa Hegde from all public forums and interviews. Surely the Liberal Party doesn’t expect people to vote for a candidate who doesn’t even attempt to engage […]

Public transport versus east-west link tollroad issue in Melbourne electorates reports @takvera

By John Englart 30 August 2013 The Victorian Government is proceeding with the East-West link tunnel tollroad which would connect up the Eastern Freeway and Alexandra Parade to Citylink severely impacting Royal Park and Moonee Ponds Creek. It is an $8 billion project with high impacts on the seat of Melbourne, but also traffic and environmental impacts in Wills. It comes at a time when several rail infrastructure projects need to be built to upgrade and renew the ailing public transport network to cope with Melbourne’s booming population. Population boom: why we need Doncaster rail, Mernda ext, + more PT, not east-west link @Vic_Premier #trainsnottolls http://t.co/GFqDBDRF7t — Frere Tak (@takvera) […]

Wills Forum ends with call for compassion and decency to be reclaimed in politics reports @takvera

By John Englart 1 September 2013 The 3rd and final meet the candidates forum for Wills was hosted by the Brunswick Uniting Church on Friday night. Five candidates attended to present their policies and to take questions from a moderator and from the audience. But it was the very last response to the very last audience question that struck a responsive chord from all present. The question was “What can we look forward to under a Tony Abbott Government for Wills?” Candidates on the panel included Adrian Trajstman (Sex Party), Tim Read (Greens), Kelvin Thomson MP (ALP), Margarita Windisch (Socialist Alliance). Philip Sutton (Save the Planet party) was a late […]

Dean O’Callaghan brews beer to save the planet in Wills: Interview by @Takvera

By John Englart 29 August 2013 Meet Dean O’Callaghan, or Deano Goodbrew, as he is known around the streets of Moreland in Melbourne’s inner north. He is standing as the only Independent in the seat of Wills. Dean runs a small sustainable business called the Goodbrew company. “That is my bread and butter. I started the Goodbrew Company in 2007 and it’s a business set up to make beer, events and social gatherings. In general to be wholly sustainable. So I put solar panels on brews, kegs on bicycles and ride to socially and environmentally aware events and I pour drinks into composting cups. People dig it. That’s my job,” […]

Most candidates in NBN-connected Wills reckon Labor got it right: @takvera interviews

By John Englart 27 August 2013 The Wills suburb of Brunswick was the first metropolitan pilot site for Labor’s NBN in 2011. The world is changing rapidly with large movements of digital information, requiring faster internet speeds to deliver content to meet our needs (see Steve Jenkins and Lachlan Hinds article on Why is fast, reliable Internet so appealing?. Kelvin Thomson and Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a successful launch at the completion of the pilot project at Brunswick neighbourhood House a few weeks ago. It was wonderful to have @AlboMP @KelvinThomsonMP @Jane_GarrettMP Visit BNH today & switch on more homes to #NBN. — Brunswick NH (@Brunswick_NH) July 24, […]

If threatened species could vote … Wills candidates discuss biodiversity with @takvera

By John Englart 23 August 2013 Environment and biodiversity have hardly rated a mention in this election campaign. But the election is being held on September 7, Threatened Species Day, with World Wildlife Fund Australia launching a series of television ads on the impact of climate change on the environment. Even many common plants and animals are facing dramatic biodiversity decline as a result of climate change. But environmentalist Margaret Blakers argues in The Guardian, we do have time to turn it around if there is political will. Australia is grossly underfunding biodiversity conservation. The carbon pricing package that Julia Gillard negotiated with the Greens and independents included the establishment of a $1 […]

Wills candidates agree on climate but differ on urgency and the coal menace, reports @takvera

By John Englart 22 August 2013 On a cold and rainy Monday evening in Wills, in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, voters gathered at the concert hall in Coburg Town Hall to hear what candidates had to say on climate and sustainability issues. The hall was full with about 140 people in attendance. Climate Action Moreland, a local community group active on climate issues, started organising the event in July, and other community groups endorsed it.  The date was set before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd named the election date. All the candidates who had declared their intention to stand were invited. Come the night, Kelvin Thomson, the sitting Labor MP, Tim […]

Equal Love and gay marriage law reform: Wills candidates talk to @takvera

By John Englart 18 August 2013 Gay marriage law reform, equal love, is about ending a disrciminatory practice presently enshrined in law. It would be something so easy to do and to move on to much bigger issues. Yet it lingers as an issue at another Federal election. This week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised that if re-elected, he would introduce a bill on the issue within 100 days and allow Labor party members a conscience vote. Tony Abbott this week labelled gay marriage as “the fashion of the moment” in a radio interview. He has refused so far to similarly allow a conscience vote on the issue by the […]