Sutherland Greens launch Phil Smith, candidate for Hughes

A great day was had by all at Sutherland Greens federal election campaign launch for Hughes with our candidate Phil Smith.

Message from Phil:

Thanks for your enthusiastic support.

Am keen to give the Hughes electorate a choice of a party with policies that are coherent, connected, compassionate and visionary. The other parties’ policies are ragged at the edges from all the flapping in the wind of vote-seeking populism.”

If you want to help out, letter boxing, handing out materials at train stations or stalls contact my campaign team at

Sutho Greens Hughes launch

Phil launch

Free Trade Agreements do not benefit farmers

Free trade agreements fail to boost Australian agriculture and food manufacturing. Many claims are made that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with select trading partners will benefit Australian agriculture. OECD statistics say otherwise.
The balance of trade positions of Australian agriculture and food manufacturing have deteriorated since FTAs with New Zealand, the United States and Thailand have come into play.

Aboriginal Land Rights

aboriginalsVarious sources report concern with the Commonwealth Government’s push for 99-year leases and the Forrest Report recommendation that Aboriginal land to be privatised so as to be bought and sold. Essentially, the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments want Aboriginal traditional owners to agree to converting current ownership to 99 year lease titles so that they can fund public housing, facilities and infrastructure. Ian Viner’s letter to the editor (Alice Springs News) notes that the 99 year lease undermines the land-rights act.

He writes that – “ The truth of the matter is that the grant of 99-year leases to the Commonwealth is not necessary. The Land Rights Act expressly has provision for the grant of leasehold interests in traditional lands under conditions which preserve the traditional ownership of the Land Trusts and the in-built protections of the Act
It is wrong of the Commonwealth to promise funding for community infrastructure, including public buildings and housing only on condition of the handing over of 99-year leases. That is coercion or bribery no better than the exchange, colonial-style, of “beads and bangles” by which Indigenous people around the world were deprived of their traditional lands. Those days should have long passed out of Government thinking and policies.

The situation is worse when it is understood that the money the Commonwealth promises to spend if a community agrees to a 99-year lease will be the Aboriginal people’s own trust money taken from the Aboriginal Benefit Account (ABA). That really is a smoke and mirrors promise.

Water Wars

NSW Premier Mike Baird promised to restore confidence in the State Government after being elected unopposed as Barry O’Farrell’s successor; but can he do so?. The proposed Water NSW Bill that will abolish the Sydney Catchment Authority may hinder this goal. The plan is to create an entity to be called Water NSW. According to Isabel Mcintosh of the Protect Sydney’s Water action group:
“communities in NSW are concerned that the corporatizing of water management will remove government accountability for the drinking water of 4.5 million people. “SCA has been a steward for a clean, healthy drinking water supply for Sydney’s population. The loss of its specialist expertise when it comes to Sydney’s catchments and dam infrastructure will weaken this protective oversight. It also moves responsibility for damage from approved long-wall mining in our catchments one step further from the Premier. “Sydney is the only city in the world where mining is allowed in publicly owned water catchments. “Longwall mining is cracking river beds and damaging precious swamps. A coal seam gas licence also blankets the special areas. “The SCA has opposed mining activities in the Sydney water catchments in the past in the name of water protection. “The Sydney catchments are already damaged by coal mining, losing three billion litres a year from flow diversions caused by mining, and companies have been prosecuted for pollution of rivers and streams. “Recently the SCA investigated the possibility for all areas surrounding the reservoirs to be legislated as exclusion zones, but this was ignored by government. If the SCA lacked authority to protect Sydney’s drinking water catchments from longwall mining expansion, or even to secure changes to mining plans, what hope have the people of Sydney that a corporation will? The corporate role is to act in the interest of their shareholders, not the common good. A resource as important as the drinking water of greater Sydney should be governed and regulated in the public interest. To do otherwise is neglect “.

“Protect Sydney’s Water” is an alliance of more than 50 community groups from across Sydney, the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains that are calling on the NSW Government to protect Sydney drinking water catchments from destructive mining practices. More information can be found at :

The NSW Greens of course do not support fracking and certainly not the pollution in water catchment areas. If you want to show anti-fracking sentiment- Greens MPs Jeremy Buckingham and Jan Barham have printed bumper stickers and leaflets to promote campaigns. They are free to those who can put them to good use.. Use this link if you would like a free bumper sticker:

The opinions expressed in comment posted to this Website are entirely the responsibility of the various contributors. While the Sutherland Greens will do everything within reason to ensure that they are accurate and not defamatory, we accept no liability for them or the content of links included in them