ACT Labor membership continues to grow
It might be due to Tony Abbott, it might be due to Andrew Barr or it even might be due to Jeremy Hanson but membership of the ACT Labor Party has reached new heights.
There are now more members of the ACT Labor Party than members of the Canberra Liberals and ACT Greens combined. That’s right, there are more than 1700 Labor members in our Territory.
And that figure looks set to grow some more after a range of new membership rules were introduced at the Labor Party’s annual conference in Woden on Saturday. The main change is that you now don’t need to be a member of a union to join the Labor Party. This could seriously open the floodgates.
While the reduction of eligibility requirements for pre-selection secured most of the mainstream press, removing the union requirement could take engagement in politics in the ACT to another dimension.
Frustrations boil at Westside
The troubled-yet-surprisingly good shipping containers at Westside Acton Park have continued to cause major headaches for the ACT Government.
After being hit by construction delays, poor visitor numbers and politicians calling it “the beginnings of a detention centre,” the government has taken over the running of the site from developers Stromlo Stomping Grounds.
Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes told The Canberra Times, “a blind man on a galloping horse” could see things had not gone well at the site and the plan is now to “activate” the site.
Good luck. If done well, this could be a fantastic site. I’m not sure if Dawes will ever win over the naysayers though.
A sleepy month for the Opposition
It’s the tail end of winter but the Canberra Liberals don’t seem to have a spring in their step just yet. Since my last piece, the party has been very quiet. A few words muttered on the ACT Government’s renewable energy targets (“power bills going up through the roof across Canberra”), a few on Simon Corbell’s retirement and a few interviews with local radio.
No media releases, no Facebook updates, no announceables of any sort.
In early September 2011, then Opposition leader Zed Seselja announced one of the party’s major 2012 election policies – support for the University of Canberra Public Hospital. That was about 13 months before the election.
We’re almost at that stage of the election game again but there’s no inkling yet of any such big policy move under Hanson’s reign.