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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 March 2016
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 MARCH 2016 Cotsis set to run in Canterbury in NSW NSW Labor frontbencher and upper house MP Sophie Cotsis is set to replace Linda Burney in the state seat of Canterbury if, as widely anticipated, Ms Burney contests the seat of Barton at the coming federal election, according to The Sydney Morninh Herald. The move opens the way for NSW Labor left faction assistant secretary John Graham to take the vacant upper house position created by Ms Cotsis moving to the lower house. Barton is held by Liberal Nick Varvaris but after a redistribution is a notional Labor seat on 5.4 per cent. It is understood NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley is supportive of Ms Cotsis, who is opposition spokeswoman for ageing, disability services and multiculturalism and also Canterbury councillor Esta Paschalidis-Chilas, from the left. The secretary of the Canterbury state electorate council, George Houssos, has written to members inviting them to a meeting "to discuss the potential move to impose a candidate by factional leaders in our area". Mr Houssos, from the right faction, is touted as another potential preselection candidate. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Labor fails diversity test in federal parliament Of 226 senators and MPs, only 16 per cent have one or both parents born overseas The Labor party is failing to accurately represent Australia's multicultural communities because it does not have enough federal senators and MPs from ethnically and religiously diverse groups, the founder of a new diversity initiative says according to a Guardian report. Set to run in Canterbury: Sophie Cotsis. PHOTO: DEAN OSLAND. Varvaris, who holds Coalition’s most marginal seat, might quit parliament Greek Australian MP Nick Varvaris, who holds one of the Coalition's most marginal seats, is yet to confirm he will recontest the next federal election. The member for Barton, whose electorate was changed as part of a redistribution, is in discussions with the party about his future. He won the seat of Barton from Labor with a margin of just 0.3 per cent in 2013, but according to the ABC's election analyst Antony Green, the electorate in Sydney's south is now a notionally Labor seat following a redistribution by the Australian Electoral Commission. Senior figures in the Liberal Party have told the ABC they believed Mr Varvaris would not recontest, facing the prospect of campaigning against deputy NSW Opposition Leader Linda Burney. A spokesman for Mr Varvaris said he was in "discussions" with the Liberal Party about his preselection. A spokesman for the Liberal Party's federal director confirmed the party was talking to the MP about his future. If Mr Varvaris departs, he will be the 24th MP or senator to leave ahead of the next federal election. According to the report, more than two out of five Australians - 43 per cent - have at least one parent born overseas. Of the 226 senators and members of parliament, only 37 - or 16 per cent - have one or more parent born in an overseas country other than Britain. Labor party branch members Jieh-Yung Lo and Wesa Chau were moved to start Poliversity, the partisan group encouraging greater representation from ethnically and religiously diverse Australians, after reviewing the current situation in federal parliament. Poliversity aims to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to enter Maria Vamvakinou politics, and helps foster community engagement for those already in politics. It officially launches in Melbourne on Friday night. Federal Labor's spokeswoman on multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland, acknowledges that cross-cultural understanding is lacking in parliament. Parliamentary veteran Maria Vamvakinou decided to throw her support behind Poliversity because she wants the next generation of politicians to have the same opportunities she had under the "accepting" Whitlam regime. "You can't just take diversity for granted," she said. "Those battles are never won in perpetuity; they need to be fought constantly. "We need to embrace the next wave of migrants. I still do come across people [in my electorate] who do not like, or resent, that I am an advocate for the Muslim community or multiculturalism. "We're not as representa- tive as we should be," Vamvakinou said. Chau says "discussions need to happen" on the role quotas play in promoting ethnic diversity at a parliamentary level, but acknowledges that they are hard to implement and may not be effective. Vamvakinou and Rowland are both cool on the idea, saying that structural bias needs to be addressed before numbers of non-Anglo politicians can increase. ‘Angry’ anti-sky rail protesters’satirical song compares Dimopoulos to Hitler Oakleigh state Labor MP Steve Dimopoulos has described an anti-sky rail group's YouTube clip comparing him to Hitler as "bizarre" and "offensive". Member for Barton Nick Varvaris. The anti-sky rail lobbyists, describing themselves as "a bunch of angry residents", had posted the short satirical Skyrail Steve video on YouTube, according to The Leader newspaper. It has now been removed. The Skyrail Steve Dimopoulos Song started with footage of Mr Dimopoulos saying the sky rail is an "awesome idea" before the singer breaks in with: "Sky rail Steve, what do you mean when you say you consulted communities? That's crap, you never spoke to me, now you treat us like we live in Nazi Germany." The video, which had more than 650 views before being removed, also showed a military tank running people over with Mr Dimopoulos driving. Members of the No Skyrail lobby group have distanced themselves from the makers of the video. Dianne Hunt, secretary of Lower Our Tracks Inc., organisers of the No Skyrails campaign told The Leader that Lower Our Tracks Inc. did not approve the video concerned. Oakleigh Labor MP Steve Dimopoulos has been likened to Hitler in a satirical anti-sky rail protest song.
12 March 2016
26 March 2016