The Shooters and Fishers Party and the Liberal Party are working together to manipulate democracy and to dilute the voting rights of NSW residents. And they're doing it by blatantly misleading the public.
In his speech to Parliament today introducing his Bill, MP Robert Borsak from the Shooters Party repeated ill-advised conspiracy theories and made a number of misleading claims to argue why the City's voting rules needed to change.
He also confirmed this was a move driven by vested interests, right wing media and shock jocks and said the NSW Government wouldn't have supported his Bill without Alan Jones at 2GB driving for change and without the support of the Daily Telegraph.
He said and I quote:
"I also thank 2GB broadcaster, Alan Jones, who has been a driving force for this change for a long time. Without his assistance, I doubt that the government would have been persuaded to support this sensible and long overdue bill.
"I also would thank the Daily Telegraph, and in particular, Andrew Clennell and Alicia Wood, who have also been supportive of the proposal."
Robert Borsak 14/8/14
The community needs to ask - just who is running NSW?
This morning, before the Bill was public, Liberal City of Sydney Councillor Edward Mandla released a "fact sheet" about the Shooters and Fishers Bill which said the NSW Electoral Commission will continue to prepare the roll but in his speech, Mr Borsak said it would be prepared by the City's CEO. It's just further proof that neither the Liberal Party nor the Shooters really know what they are doing.
Here are the facts:
CLAIM: "I have put procedures in place to make it harder for businesses to vote"
FACT: I have nothing to do with electoral procedures. Elections are run by the independent NSW Electoral Commission under rules set by Parliament and they decide what people need to do to confirm their eligibility to vote. At the last election the City gave the Commission $250,000 to run a campaign encouraging businesses to vote.
CLAIM: "Business and economy are rarely discussed in Council"
FACT: Since the last local government election in 2012, over 70 significant policies, strategies and action plans relating to the city's economy and support for business have been brought to City of Sydney Council meetings.
CLAIM: "The City is diverting business rates to garner residential votes"
FACT: The City of Sydney has a $1.9 billion infrastructure program over the next ten years. This includes an investment in our CBD of more than $560 million to support business including $220 million for light rail and the pedestrianisation of George Street - a project the CBD business community lobbied hard for.
CLAIM: "Businesses weren't consulted on the City's plans to tackle climate change and don't support plans for trigeneration"
FACT:The City ran the largest consultation process in its history to develop Sustainable Sydney 2030 - our long term plan for the City. Businesses were a key part of its development.
Businesses are amongst the leading groups taking action on climate change. While the Shooters and Fishers Party and Liberal Party deny the need for action the business community is streets ahead and they're working with the City on a range of innovative programs.
Our Better Buildings Partnership includes leading public, private and institutional landlords that collectively own 60 per cent of Sydney's CBD office space. They've signed up to reduce emissions and so far have achieved a 31 per cent reduction saving $25 million.
The CitySwitch program for commercial office tenants, co-founded in Sydney and now sponsored nationally has saved almost 33,000 tonnes of emissions and $8.2 million in energy costs. Our Smart Green Business Program has assisted 366 businesses.
Last year, the City, Eureka Funds Management and Frasers Property and Sekisui House signed a historic $26.5 million Environmental Upgrade Agreement to install a trigen plant in the Central Park development at Broadway. 65,000 square metres of retail and commercial space in 14 buildings in the development will be supplied local, low carbon energy by trigen.
CLAIM: "Businesses weren't consulted about the cycleways"
FACT: When I first became Lord Mayor it was business workers and CEOs who lobbied the hardest for a safe bike network. Local businesses have been consulted every step of the way and the vast majority support our work.
This claim highlights just how out of touch the Shooters are with Sydney businesses, for example:
- The Sydney Business Chamber has said "most businesses now support staff who want to cycle to work."
- The Property Council has said "I know the debate about bike paths can be a contentious one - but it is being led by people who work in the city."
- The Committee for Sydney has said "It is reassuring to see the ongoing commitment to light rail, strategic improvements for pedestrians and the continued roll out of cycleways."
Parts of the network in the CBD are now being built by the State Government, who have done the research and agree that residents and businesses want safer bike infrastructure.