NSW is the land of agreement and rejection. Nothing sticks around longer than a disagreement at a town hall. While the Greens and Labor may have a cause, they can never have the practice in. While we have a party worthy of commendation (of which we are one), all we can offer is our criticism. Let’s applaud the Coalition for opening up rural areas to 250,000 more people. Let’s be critical of the Greens for their desire to prohibit Aboriginal affairs from being run by the Commonwealth government. For our part, we say no. Let’s challenge those who want to seize the power of our elected representatives and push it further. Let’s attempt to enable them to exercise their own judgment, not be manipulated by those who hold the power. Given our number of seats we could stand to lose to the Coalition and pressure those responsible for whatever decisions they make, I stand firm in this choice of argument. And we say yes.

Pilot legislation will show us what this nation can be like. But every community has a right to be represented by a community representative. That means all that we can do as a community. It doesn’t mean that we just have to accept each other without argument. We can argue with each other to get solutions for our problems. We can struggle to make our voice heard in public councils and get the message across to the Federal and state governments. But in a time of change, let’s make the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a blueprint for what we can achieve as a community. And let’s lead this discussion by setting a pathway for making changes in education and infrastructure — giving everyone — from indigenous and disadvantaged communities to all of us — equal access to opportunity. Let’s hope that if we make progress with the debate that we are having in the House of Representatives, it will be shared by all Australian people.