Archive for the 'Discussion' Category

Macquarie Candidates – Peter Whelan – Liberal Democrats

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I am standing as the Liberal Democrats candidate for the seat of Macquarie, in the August 21st federal election.
I am a farmer, businessman, investor, family man, with qualifications in electrical engineering and hold a private pilot’s licence.
I am an active sporting shooter, fox, rabbit and deer hunter and enjoy playing golf every week.Peter Whelan - Liberal Democrats
I am 66 years old, married with 6 granddaughters.
I live in Glenorie and am Treasurer of Glenorie RSL Club. (drop in and see us sometime, at the friendly little club in the bush!)
I am National President of the Liberal Democratic Party.
I strongly believe in the principles of free enterprise, individual responsibility, small government and low taxes.
The Liberal Democrats are opposed to the three “old” parties, Liberals,
Labor and The Greens, who all want to tax us to the hilt, then decide how they will spend OUR money.
We believe that taxpayers want to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Taxpayers can best decide how they will spend it, or invest it, or save it, or whatever. Bureaucrats in Canberra do not know how best to spend our money, or how we should run our lives.
We could get rid of tens of thousands of unproductive Government employees, reduce middle-class welfare rorts, return power to local communities and be far better off.
For example, the Liberal Democrats would push for all State firearms registries to be closed (as has been done in Canada) and the money thus saved, put into improving mental health and dental services.

Macquarie Candidates – Terry Tremethick – Carers Alliance

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Terry Tremethick is a devoted husband and father of 3 children the eldest of whom has quadriplegia, so disability is the lived experience of Terry and his loving family.

Terry has live in the outer western suburbs of Sydney all of his is life. He currently works in IT and had lent his hand to many charities and organisations as a volunteer over the years.Terry Tremethick

Terry knows from personal experience that political outcomes can be influenced by direct action. Terry’s wife and son appeared on Channel 10 to argue that carer-families in NSW should be exempted from the increase in registration for heavy vehicles. Their direct action influenced the NSW government to exempt carer-families from the increase from 1 July, this year.

Carers Alliance is proud to have Terry as a candidate in Macquarie. Terry has a strong track-record in advocating for people with disabilities and carer-families. His desire is to change the face of government so people with disabilities and carer-families are tangibly recognised in Australian politics.

Policies – The first is the major one supported by many not just us. All are taken from

National Disability Insurance Scheme (see

It’s time to change the way services for people with disabilities are funded and structured in Australia.

It’s time to make services for people with disabilities and their families effective, equitable and efficient.

Almost every Australian has cared, or is caring, for a family member with a disability, or knows of a family doing so. Many of these families fall through a huge gap in Australia’s social services network.

Those who acquire a disability through a workplace or a motor vehicle accident generally receive financial support. However, for those who acquire permanent disabilities in other accidents, are born with a permanent disability, acquire a permanent disability through a medical condition or have a permanent mental illness, there is no automatic support to meet their needs.

Other policies here –

Protecting the rights of children

Carers Alliance believes society owes the Child the best it has to give. Accordingly children must be given the support requisite for their normal development, materially, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

A National priority

All children with special or additional needs must have a legislated right to service.

All children deserve the right to the supports that will maximise their potential whatever that may be.

The health system is the first point of entry for all children: There must be:

  • National global assessments of developmental, emotional and physical ability at prescribed stages of infant and early early childhood
  • Full assessment of physical (including vision, hearing and dental), emotional and psychological health of the child at prescribed developmental milestones up to the age of 16 years.

Special Needs Health

Developmental Disability Health

Many adults with intellectual disabilities do not need special medical attention. It is important for primary care physicians to recognize that, in general, adults and older persons with an intellectual disability have the same needs for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment as the general population.

Having said this those who do need medical attention discover that Australia’s hospitals are ill equipped to deal with people with moderate and severe cognitive disability with limited communication who are often unable to express pain and discomfort and often serious illness is left undiagnosed.

For this reason Carers Alliance believes there is a place for specialist developmental disability clinics in all major teaching hospitals to provide educational and clinical practice supports for primary care physicians caring for people with intellectual disabilities. These clinics would enable medical practitioners to gain experience in clinical conditions  or other discomforts which are often expressed through challenging behaviour and often result in the patient being sedated without pain relief with the primary condition left undiagnosed.

Aged Care

Individualised Funding of Aged Care Services
Most people as they age would prefer to remain living in their homes, surrounded by those they know and the comforts of familiarity.

Carers Alliance will fight in the Senate for individualised funding for in home services and community support services.

Mental Health

Carers Alliance is deeply concerned with the narrow scope of mental health policy from the major parties.

Carers Alliance will work towards ensuring that 15% of the health budget is for mental health services

Person Centred Funding

Carers Alliance is  committed to person centred funding that places the consumer at the heart of service provision. Currently the block funded model  sees recipients powerless and at the mercy of the funding body.  The provider determines what services a person can have and when they can have them, allowing little autonomy.

Most people living with disability in Australia know where their best interests lie. It is not only reasonable but socially necessary to provide individually tailored services that fit into the lifestyle of the service user.

Macquarie Candidates – Amy Bell – Independent

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Macquarie’s only Independent candidate,Amy Bell,  is a 31 year old mother of three from Katoomba.
With a Bachelor of Nursing from UWS and a history of grassroots environmental activism,  moving into Birth activism after witnessing a medical monopoly over womens autonomy in pregnancy and birth.

Amy cites the passing of key legislation by a determination signed the night before the election was called as the catalyst to her candidacy .

In the last year consumers have despaired at the control the medical lobby has exerted over both major parties regarding health reform.  We are now facing a situation where long awaited Medicare reforms are completely controlled by the medical lobby.  Doctors will have to physically agree to all care that a midwife, with a Medicare provider number – a registered health practitioner in their own right – provides before the mother is eligible for a rebate.

This reform could have given women in the Blue Mountains greater safety through a local midwifery service, instead they will continue to face uncertainty and danger. The Blue Mountains Hospital maternity service is not sustainable in its current form.

Amy has a strong sense of community, having volunteered with Australian Breastfeeding Association, represented consumers on the maternity consumer consultation board at Katoomba Hospital, performed with Ruby Bloomers Womens circus and co-hosts the Birth Hour on BluFM.

Amy knows the concerns of the community, because she is part of the community, and will represent the voices from Macquarie.

Candidates for Macquarie Round-up

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

With nine official candidates in the forthcoming federal election, Macquarie residents will have one of the broader choices of representative.  Katoomba Leura Online has emailed each of them to ask why they should be elected. We’ll post the responses over the next few days.

The request below was sent to:

WHELAN, Peter         Liberal Democrats (LDP)
BELL, Amy             Independent
McCALLUM, Carmel      The Greens
TREMETHICK, Terry     Carers Alliance
TEMPLEMAN, Susan      Labor
BATES, John           Australia First Party
PORTELLI, Luke        Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
CORNELIUS, Jason      Family First
MARKUS, Louise        Liberal

Mountains train fares to increase?

Friday, July 4th, 2008

There have been some stirrings following the release of the IPART discussion paper for train fares. The recommendation is for the fare structure to be a ‘flag-fall’ charge then a per kilometre fee. Initial media reports suggested this could see Blue Mountains users paying up to 50% higher fares. The paper also calls into question the discounts available for weekly tickets.

In response, the government stressed this was a discussion paper only, but recently reports are appearing that link the IPART fare structure to a revived Tcard electronic ticketing system:


IPART are calling for submissions to, so if you have a view, it would be a good time to share it.

Food Co-op management no confidence?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

The Gazette is reporting a no confidence motion in the food co-op board. I don’t know the particulars of this fight, and it looks like it has a personal element, but just from the point of view of an ordinary member, it looks like a problem.

The last newsletter talked about raising prices and membership fees in order to fund a new location and a change management consultant. This sounds like such a bad business decision it could be on a TV show. It smacks of the last communication you have before the news comes that the organisation is now insolvent and the new managers are attempting to refocus on ‘core’ business.

I suspect if there was a little less “world’s best practice for co-operatives”, and a little more common sense, the co-op would continue to do well.