Tuesday June 27, 2017

#GriffithVotes: Hotspots

Written by David Marler
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#GriffithVotes Sunset   

The Federal seat of Griffith in Queensland will go to a by-election on February 8, 2014 after 2 time Prime Minister Kevin Rudd resigned from Parliament.

#GriffithVotes Corner Oxford & Love Streets   Traditionally, the Australian media descend upon Bulimba, Queensland to gauge public opinion ahead of any voting for the federal division of Griffith.

However, as lovely as this cafe strip is, we don't all live on its main street of Oxford.

Kangaroo Point overlooks Brisbane City & is another popular spot for politicians & the member for Griffith to hold press conferences.
I suspect the lead up to this by-election on February 8th will be no different but in the off-chance journalists & candidates would like to do something different, here's a quick tour. 
The electorate is a quiet, suburban satellite of weatherboard homes to Brisbane's East. Living here are working to middle class families; professionals & public servants.

Many small business thrive in the area; doctors, mechanics & restauranteurs.

The division is extensive. It engulfs the Queensland state electorates of South Brisbane (ALP), Greenslopes (LNP), Bulimba (LNP) & a part of Chatsworth (LNP).
  #GriffithVotes Map 
At its centre, it incorporates the famous 'Gabba cricket ground at Woolloongabba.
#GriffithVotes Kangaroo Pt   Not too far away is another cafe & pub strip known as Stones Corner. The area is home to a cultural diversity of new Australians.

Many different languages are spoken along its main stretch of Logan Road.

Sadly, we never hear from them at election time. On such issues as asylum seekers, their experiences may just sound a different opinion to that of the government.

To the West, Griffith takes in the bohemian and aptly named, West End.
Boundary Street is also home to dining & pub culture, following the Brisbane River down to Southbank.
The area is also home to some of our First Australians who established an Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy in Musgrave Park; the site is a traditional meeting place.

We never hear from this community at election time. It is only when state and local governments attempt to evict them from the park that it makes the news.
  #GriffithVotes Stones Corner
Aboriginal activists say a 'sacred fire' in a Brisbane park will be re-lit

'Aboriginal activists say a 'sacred fire' in a Brisbane park will be re-lit'

#GriffithVotes West End   As one end of Brisbane Airport's runway juts out into Moreton Bay, Griffith is the electorate most effected by noise.

The successful member for Griffith needs to balance the concerns of the electorate with those of commercial interests.

Obviously, the airport cannot be shut down but should a late night/early morning curfew be imposed?

These are debates that need careful review and discussion as Brisbane City expands into the 21st century.
Griffith byelection: first skirmish is over Brisbane airport noise pollution

'Griffith byelection: first skirmish is over Brisbane airport noise pollution'

The northern boundary of Griffith follows the Brisbane River toward the Port of Brisbane. When the inevitable floods come, the river people band together in recovery.

To the south, Griffith extends to the Holland Park area.

Just over the border, in nearby division of Bonner is Nursery Road State Special School which caters for many disabled children through its conductive education & early intervention programs.
  #GriffithVotes Musgrave Park
Some children come from as far away as the Gold Coast to attend the school.
Nursery Rd State Special School

'Nursery Rd State Special School'

#GriffithVotes Airport  
As such, The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an important program for many families in the electorate & surrounding area.

By far the biggest issue ahead of the by-election and the one Australia is most interested in is Medicare co-payments.

Terry Barnes, a former adviser to Tony Abbott when he was Health Minister in the Howard Government, recently proposed a $6 Medicare charge when visiting the GP or hospital emergency room.
LNP candidate for Griffith, Bill Glasson, backs $6 GP fee

'LNP candidate for Griffith, Bill Glasson, backs $6 GP fee'

Labeling it a 'GP tax', Labor quickly opposed the plan. Candidate Terri Butler @terrimbutler labeled it 'reckless'.

However, when questioned by the ABC, LNP Griffith candidate Bill Glasson said he backed the idea as long as it was fair and equitable.

This was a surprising revelation given that Glasson, an ophthalmologist & former President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), had spoken before Prime Minister Tony Abbott had commented on the plan.
  #GriffithVotes Bulimba Ferry
On social media, Glasson was swiftly dubbed; $6 Bill.
#GriffithVotes Medicare   On a national sense, the by-election is seen as a referendum on the Medicare co-payment & also on the performance to date of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
With nominations for candidates closing on 16th January, three candidates are so far standing; Bill Glasson (LNP), Terri Butler (ALP) and Geoff Ebbs (Greens).

You can read more about the candidates in the Westender.
Westender Blog for Griffith

'Westender Blog for Griffith'

NoFibs also has coverage at the following:
Griffith Elects coverage at NoFibs

'Griffith Elects coverage at NoFibs'

You can read more analysis from Australia's best election analyst; the Richie Benaud of Australian political commentary, Antony Green @AntonyGreenABC.
Antony Green's 2014 Griffith by-election blog

'Antony Green's 2014 Griffith by-election blog'

#GriffithVotes Bulimba Festival  
Oxford Street, Bulimba

'Oxford Street, Bulimba'

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