Labor head starts sub-continent media for elections

By Vijay Badhwar

Federal and State election in NSW is still a year away. But the Australian Labor Party (ALP) sensing a change in its favour, at least at the Federal level, is gearing up to draw support, to gauge sentiment and critical issues for various communities and to introduce their leaders through the ethnic media.

It was one such event on 17 February at the Belhaven Manor at Wentworthville. Many of the ALP bigwigs were there, including Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, NSW Opposition Leader, Luke Foley, NSW Shadow Treasurer, Ryan Park, Labor Member of NSW Legislative Council of Indian heritage, Daniel Mookhey, among many others who mingled with the Sub-Continent media to share their experiences with the community. Harish Velji, a Labor Party executive, was one of the sponsors of the evening.

Chris Bowen was fresh from his recent visit to India. He said that the rise of Asia created enormous opportunities while the trade with India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was massively underdone. He recommended to establish a joint team of officers from DFAT, Austrade, Agriculture and Industry to help Australian businesses to tackle non-tariff barriers.

Labor Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communication and Shadow Minister for Small Business and Citizenship and Multiculturalism, predicted that India would leap-frog from agriculture to technology to become a world leader. “India’s number of start-ups in recent times is really amazing,” she said.

Michelle Rowland lamented Turnbull Government’s performance in National Broadband Network, which, she said, failed on every account ”“ speed, cost, as well as delivery. This, despite Mr Turnbull’s clarion call to make Australia an innovative country, she said.

Daniel Mookhey introduced his boss, Luke Foley, as the person who visited more Hindu temples than him. Mr Foley, who represents one of the most culturally diverse constituencies of Australia, Auburn, stressed the importance of introducing second language teaching in NSW. “Literacy in Asian languages will better prepare our future generations,” Mr Foley said.

He also outlined his priority to keep NSW safe by strengthening laws against discrimination and racial violence. “Making NSW as the most prosperous, harmonious and fair state in the world is my ambition,” Luke Foley said.

The sub-continent media was given ample photo opportunity before the 13 Labor Members of Parliament left for the evening.




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