Raising the BARR – Week ending 04/08/2023

Yes or not Aboriginal representative to parliment vote Indigenous art
Raising the Barr

Please, Let’s all Respect both the Yes and No Vote

In the coming months we will all be asked to vote on the question of a Voice to Parliament.  Some people will vote Yes and some will vote No.

Hopefully we will all respect the vote of each of our family, friends and neighbours.  Hopefully, in instances when we vote differently from one another, we will agree to respect the views of the other.  Hopefully, as Aussies generally do, we will all rise to the occasion as an opportunity in our wonderful democracy, and not demonise the task.

A national referendum is a rare and wonderful thing.  It’s a time when we, the people, genuinely get to have a say in the future direction of our country on a single item.  This is massively different from a general election vote when we choose one team, or the other, and then kind of lose control of the decisions that the one team makes for the next couple of years.

A referendum vote, and the decision that comes on that issue, is our decision.

At the heart of a referendum vote is the question – should we keep doing things the way we have been doing things, or, should we take a new path.  And generally speaking, people that are happy with what we have been doing so far, will vote against change, while people that think we can do things differently will vote for change.

As your local State MP I can tell you that I will be voting “yes” but I will also be 100% respecting the fact that others will be voting “no”.  I hope that you can offer your neighbour, whichever way you or they vote, that same respect.

The Wages of our Public Servants

As promised during the election campaign, the new Government is negotiating with our public servants on their wage increases, and not simply applying a hard and fast 2.5% flat rate as had the previous Government.

With inflation at more than 2.5% for the past 3+ years, if wages aren’t growing at least that rate, then in real terms our workers are worse off today than they were in the past.  Since when has it been OK in Australia for workers to go backwards, not forwards?

I think it fair to say that all of the negotiations are tricky and that there is no “one size fits all”.  Some Unions, on behalf of their workers, have accepted a 4.5% increase to wages.  Another Union, on behalf of workers, has negotiated a flat $3,500 increase for all of their members, meaning workers on $50,000 per year get close to a 7% increase while other workers on $150,000 a year get something closer to a 2% increase.

There is still plenty of water to flow under the bridge on all of this, but I for one am very happy to see the end of the 2.5% wages cap.  The truth is that the more money we put into peoples’ pockets then the easier it will be for them to meet rising cost of living expenses and still have money in the pocket to spend in our local businesses.

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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325.


You can also follow me on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp”,  follow me on Instagram at “claytonbarrmp“ or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au