Sydney Alliance: People power draws bipartisan commitments

Sydney Alliance: People power draws bipartisan commitments

Over 900 people gathered in Westmead for the Sydney Alliance Pre-Election Assembly on 28 February. The night featured powerful storytellers, expert negotiations with politicians for commitments that would change lives around NSW and some great entertainment including Vietnamese lion dancers, and a beautiful performance from the Auburn Uniting Church Tongan Choir at the Sydney Alliance Assembly.

By the end of the night, we had shown our collective power as an Alliance and held politicians to account on the things that matter most to us.

Matt Kean from the Coalition, Daniel Mookhey from Labor, and Jenny Leong from the Greens shared their vision and indicated their commitments to our agenda. 

Uniting continued to play a significant role in supporting the Alliance. Parramatta Mission Volunteer Coordinator Chao Zhou was one of the night’s cochairs, Uniting Church Engagement team member Jono Row was a stage manager, and Advocacy team member Deepthi Mathew was in the Negotiating team and the night’s Powerpoint operator, while Moderator Simon Hansford and Uniting NSW.ACT Executive Director Tracey Burton were two of the night’s VIP’s on the stage. Uniting staff and Uniting Church members also came out in strong numbers to participate in the gathering and add their voices to the chorus for change. 

After the assembly both major parties have committed to:

  • End ‘no grounds’ evictions during periodic tenancies; those renters in a periodic agreement won’t fear an eviction for asking repairs. 
  • Start consultation on introducing minimum mandatory energy efficiency standards in rental homes: so we can start the process of having energy efficient homes, reducing our energy consumption and therefore our energy bills.
  • Radically boost the supply of social and affordable housing so that key workers and the growing number of people experiencing homelessness have a place to call home.
  • Any new social and affordable housing homes delivered through development partnerships remain so in perpetuity, meaning without a time-bound unless there is an opportunity to develop more social homes.
  • Meet with Sydney Alliance partner organisations in the first 100 days after forming government to discuss the issues facing temporary migrants and once a year during the next term, in a public assembly, both said they would be honoured to do so.

This is the power of us working together! We all were able to secure those commitments before the election on March 25th. This was only possible by sharing our stories through relational meetings and table talks and by connecting within the diversity in the alliance.

Deepthi Mathew, Uniting Social Justice Advocate


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