Greens and ALP preselect candidates for #Wills2016 #Ausvotes reports @takvera

The 2016 Federal election is warming up in the seat of Wills, in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs. Preselection and nomination of candidates for the ALP and Greens has taken place. For some background of the seat see the Wills seat Profile I wrote in 2013. [View the story “Greens and ALP preselect candidates for #Wills2016 #Ausvotes” on Storify] Disclosure: John Englart while expressing progressive politics, is not a member of any political party. He is an active local observer of politics in the seat of Wills and pursues issue based politics through local environmental and community groups such as Climate Action Moreland and Sustainable Fawkner.

East West Link a collision course for Victorian state election: @tackvera reports

In the lead-up to the Victorian state election in November 2014, the East West Link tunnel toll road continues to be a divisive and unpopular issue for the Premier Denis Napthine and his Liberal Government. The toll road is projected to cost $8 billion to connect the Eastern Freeway and Alexandra Parade to Citylink as phase one, with subsequent extension planned to the Western Ring Road. The issue was a factor in federal electorates in Melbourne in September, 2013, and probably contributed to The Green’s Adam Bandt’s re-election as the Member for Melbourne, and helped Greens candidate Tim Read supplant the Liberals for second in the Wills electorate based upon […]

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 […]

Ford Closure and economic transition an issue in Wills reports @takvera

By John Englart 27 August 2013 In May Ford Australia announced closure in 2016 of its car manufacturing plants at Broadmeadows and Geelong which will result in the loss of about 1200 jobs when production stops. Car manufacturers have been subsidised by government handouts to entice them to continue manufacturing in Australia. In 2012 the Federal Government gave $34 million to Ford for production until “at least the end of 2016”. General Motors is also feeling the economic pinch in South Australia. The loss of manufacturing and economic transition are not new to the residents of Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Manufacturing of whitegoods and the clothing industry has been taken offshore […]

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, […]

Food and agriculture debated by Labor and Greens in Wills: @takvera reports

By John Englart 25 August 2013 Discussing Food and agriculture policy may seem a little bit incongruent in an inner urban electorate, but the forum held in Wills at the Coburg Farmers market on Saturday highlights that city people are concerned with farming and agricultural practices that affect everyone from farmers to city consumers. The public forum was organised by Transition Coburg, initially with sitting Labor member Kelvin Thomson, Liberal candidate Shilpa Hegde and Greens candidate Tim Read. Shilpa Hegde withdrew with no reason given and Margarita Windisch from the Socialist Alliance was added. Questions followed short presentations. About 70 people attended the forum, quite a large number given the […]

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 […]