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Statement by Michael Byrne - President of the East Liverpool Progress Association - April 2021
I am no political careerist, more a catalyst. I am 70 years of age living in Sydney's southwest around Liverpool. I have broad experience in local civic engagement and community development - leadership or founder role in
* East Liverpool Progress Association - member since 1980;
* Led the 1986/7 Citizen's campaign for the citizens to choose in a poll to elect their Mayor directly.
Mark Latham was the first publicly elected Mayor of Liverpool in 1991, with the support of the East Ward Progress Association.
* Liverpool City Council's Economic Development Unit - 1992-94.
* Moorebank Community Association (closed);
* Liverpool Boating Association ( now Chipping Norton Lake Sailing Club) - to sail is to fly and we can do it locally;
* Garie Surf Life Saving Club - active surf lifesaver (2000 to 2010) and President 2007-2010;
* Casula Power House Citizen Committee 1994;
* I have been occupationally engaged in IT Services since 1968.
Served as President of Technology Advancement Group (TAG) - a national body of IT business systems consultants and implementors.
I acknowledge membership of two political parties in the past.
In 2011 I joined the Democratic Labour Party with the goal of making it a wider political reality after it had a Victorian Senator elected in 2010-11. I observed, and experienced, the antics of ideology / narrow religion driven characters who "had the numbers" after they culled the membership.
Note: My Christian faith is inspired by the Scriptures and informed by, and my worship practice is in, the Catholic Church.
In 2019, I gave assistance to Mark Latham in his election to the NSW Legislative Council by standing as a Candidate for my local seat of Holsworthy for his One Nation Party. The local East Liverpool vote for Mark saw his running mate attain the last Seat won in the NSW Legislative Council count.
I have stood in several other Local / State / Federal Elections as a purposeful stand on matters to provide " purposeful choice". Fundamental to our democratic freedom is Choice - but who do you have to choose from?
I encourage and work for an Informed Citizen to stand with pen in hand at the polling booth. My observance is that Politics has been just another exercise of consumption. We "consume" the politics that is delivered to us. We act as election consumers. Some will never change brand, others shop around. Yet, the product has deteriorated.
What is observable is the erosion of the exercise and spirit of public service in the political caste. That has morphed into political careerism which puts "Party Power First". Self-interest reigns as the key motivator in politics. Whether they are the "go-getters" or the dopey Party seat fillers.
This social cancer has leaked into the public service - long gone is the spirit of frank and fearless advice.
All this is evidenced in the experience of East Liverpool, and beyond, with the advancement of the Moorebank Intermodal Freight Terminal (MIFT).
We have much to expose on that.
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