I’m privileged to represent one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the country. This has given me the opportunity to learn much about the Vietnamese community, particularly about their struggle for the recognition of human rights in their homeland.
In Vietnam today the government maintains a monopoly of political power, supported by a justice system that fails to consistently apply the rule of law.
I’m pleased, however, to learn that the Vietnamese authorities have released prominent human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and his colleague Le Thu Ha. Both are now living in exile.
I'm also happy to learn from the Australian Embassy that Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, who’s been on a hunger strike protesting the treatment of prisoners in Vietnam, has ended his hunger strike and is now being cared for.
It still remains a concern that four members of the Brotherhood for Democracy, as well as a blogger commonly known as Mother Mushroom, remain in prison serving very lengthy prison sentences on charges of violating vague national security laws.
I’ll continue to take an active interest in the matters and work with the Vietnamese community and the Australian authorities seeking the realisation of human rights in Vietnam.
Station parking needs attention
Insufficient commuter parking at the train stations at Glenfield and Edmondson Park is the one of the problems commuters of this area have to painfully deal with every working day of the year.
I’ve raised this problem with Anoulack Chanthivong, the Member for Macquarie Fields, a few times via emails and in person during his visits to the area and he’s been quite helpful.
However there’s been no outcome or no proper response from the NSW Liberal Government to date.
The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure continues to ignore the car-parking crisis petition which was started on change.org and which is calling for multi-level car parks to be built in the area. So far, it’s got more than 6700 signatures.
One would wonder why the State Government would plan to allow thousands of new houses and thousands of new families to settle in this area and not consider the basic infrastructure these residents would require to live a life.
It appears the state Liberal government is interested in collecting taking taxpayers’ money but building little infrastructure in the area with it.
Start passing bike-riders safely
After learning NSW Police have run no operations to target minimum passing distance to protect bike-riders, I did some research and found:
- That the number of fines for unsafe passing has fallen since the road rule began, from 33 infringement notices in the first year to only 28 offences during the most recent 12 months.
- That you’re four times more likely to win Lotto in NSW, than be caught for breaking the minimum passing distance law.
- Almost a third of the NSW population lives in Greater Western Sydney but less than an eighth of the dangerous-passing fines were issued there.
The Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club petition has got more than 2000 supporters in two weeks. It's getting coverage from Bicycling Australia magazine, online exposure across the country and an increasing number of overseas signatures. We've clearly hit a nerve, with dozens of passionate comments.
NSW Police tell me 65 fines for unsafe passing were issued from March 2016 to May this year. There's a concentration of unsafe-passing fines in and around Sydney CBD plus other bike-accident hotspots.
But only been eight fines in all of Greater Western Sydney during the two and a quarter years since the law was introduced (including Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury). This area has more than two million people, almost half of Sydney's population and a third of NSW's population. But less than an eighth of the infringements have been in Western Sydney. That’s less than 0.1 per cent chance of being fined. No wonder drivers don't comply. NSW Police must run proactive operations targeting dangerous close passes, just like they do for mobile-phone users.
RMS apparently has no information about the demerit points applying to minimum passing distance offences. This is very curious since the prescribed penalty is both a $337 fine and the loss of two demerit points.
Please see our petition at: change.org/p/protect-your-family-and-friends-with-safe-passing-distance-ametrematters.
Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club
Thanks from the kitchen hub
I just wanted to send you a warm thank-you note – to thank you for your support in reporting on our community kitchen event. On behalf of the Liverpool Community Kitchen & Hub and all of our supporters and friends, thank you! Next we’re planning to host an event for world poverty week.