Greens give the old parties an “F” on truthful campaigning

“The old parties have been peddling fear and fiction and need to get their facts straight,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“As I door-knock around the electorate, residents tell me that both the old parties have been whipping up hysteria about refugees and are telling porkies when they talk about investing in education when they are both proposing $2.3 billion cuts to universities, including cuts at the University of Newcastle,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“That’s why the Newcastle Greens have organised a forum with keynote speakers around three big issues in this election period: refugees, education and homelessness,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

The four keynote speakers for the Fear, Fiction, Fact Forum are (bios below):

  • Joel Pringle, Australians for Affordable Housing
  • Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition
  • Rob Long, Teachers Federation; Hunter TAFE
  • Tom Griffiths (Phd), Vice President National Tertiary Education Union; Newcastle Branch

“The Greens different approach to refugees will save lives by offering a safe, legal and humane alternative to dangerous boats – instead of just more cruelty. The Greens will provide an extra $70 million per year in emergency funding for safe assessment centres in Indonesia which provide shelter and welfare services to refugees while they wait for assessment and resettlement,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“We will fund an investment scheme to build 122,000 new social housing dwellings across Australia to care for those in most urgent need of secure affordable housing. More social housing will relieve pressure on the housing market while giving security to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“Whether it’s going to university or TAFE, or taking on a trade – we need an education system that gives every child this opportunity. The Greens will commit an extra $2 billion over the forward estimates on top of the government’s $3 billion to help bring public schools up to the Schooling Resource Standard sooner and oppose Labor’s $2.3 billion cuts to universities,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“Of course these things cost money and will be funded from a well constructed mining tax, ending tax breaks to the mining corporations, implementing a millionaires’ tax and a public support levy on the big banks. These measures will raise an extra $42.7 billion of revenue over the forward estimates,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

“The old parties should stop speaking in half truths and peddling fear – they should listen to the experts and get their facts right,” said Greens Candidate for Newcastle Cr Michael Osborne.

Contact          Michael Osborne on 0439 442 984 Greens Candidate for Newcastle

Bios for key speakers

Joel Pringle – Campaign Manager, Australians for Affordable Housing

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations, established to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. Australians for Affordable Housing advocate that all Australians should be able to secure housing that they can afford. Currently one in ten Australian households are in housing stress, paying more than 30% of their income in housing costs. Paying too much for housing makes it harder for people to pay for the other basics, like food, clothes, transport and healthcare. Australians for Affordable Housing is calling on both federal and state governments to make the changes required to make housing more affordable. Prior to his present position, Joel worked in a number of roles in the community sector focussing on development, social policy and advocacy. As a community activist, he has been involved in a number of campaigns including Aboriginal rights and mobility access on public transport. Joel has served on boards of a number of organisations, including serving as Chairperson of The Settlement, a neighbourhood centre and social housing provider in inner Sydney.

Ian Rintoul – founding member of the Refugee Action Coalition

Established in 2000, the Refugee Action Coalition is a democratic, grassroots activist collective, representing a broad cross section of the community. While RAC members have diverse political and personal views, RAC’s role in the campaign for refugee rights is informed by an understanding of the bigger political picture, including an historical and international perspective. In fighting for the rights of people fleeing persecution, RAC responds to the inspiration, courage and suffering of particular individuals. At the same time,  exposing and challenging the underlying political, social and economic causes of refugee movements and the violent abuse of refugees’ rights. Ian Rintoul was a founding member of the Refugee Action Coalition in 1999, actively campaigning to shift public opinion and building protests against the Howard government’s anti-refugee policies. He has been active around refugee issues since the early 90’s when the Hawke Labor government first introduced mandatory detention.

Rob Long – NSW Teachers Federation organiser for Hunter TAFE

Rob Long is a Tourism and Hospitality TAFE teacher with over 20 years’ experience in vocational education and training. 15 years of government cuts to post school public education and traineeships, has motivated Rob to advocate for TAFE students at State and National levels. Rob is currently the NSW Teachers Federation Organiser for the Hunter TAFE region advocating on behalf of students and teachers who are facing increased fees and debt due to State Government planning to privatise TAFE funding in 2014. Further information can be found at

Dr Tom G. Griffiths (PhD)

Senior Lecturer, Comparative and International Education CIEGUN Program Leader.

School of Education, University of Newcastle

Member of National Tertiary Education Union (Newcastle Branch) Executive Committee, and Enterprise Bargaining Team.

Tom Griffiths is a senior lecturer in comparative and international education, and co-director of the Comparative and International Education Group University of Newcastle (CIEGUN). His research has two inter-related trajectories: the development of world-systems analysis as a theoretical framework for politically engaged research; and the study of the models of mass education to support socialist political projects informed by this framework. Most recently Tom has completed a co-authored volume (with Robert Imre): Mass Education, Global Capital, and the World: The Theoretical Lenses of István Mészáros and Immanuel Wallerstein, New York: Palgrave Macmillan; and a co-edited volume (with Zsuzsa Millei): Logics of Socialist Education: Engaging with Crisis, Insecurity and Uncertainty, Dordrecht, Springer. Tom’s research has consistently sought to explore education’s contribution to the transition of our current world-system toward a more democratic, equal, just and peaceful alternative.

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