House debates

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Gilmore Electorate: Work Experience, Gilmore Electorate: CCTV Cameras

7:10 pm

Photo of Joanna GashJoanna Gash (Gilmore, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Colleagues would know that we always have work experience people in our office and we ask them to speak about their experience. I would like to quote from the speech by Kate Sinclair, a year 12 student at Kiama High School. She writes:

Currently I am half way through completing the HSC and lately I have found myself looking more and more toward the future, wondering what is next for Kate Sinclair. As I near even closer to the dreaded October I find myself praying for November to come; but when November does come, what then? I have pictured myself in all walks of life varying between an incredible range of career opportunities: differing from surgeon to politician to secret agent. As thinking of the future became a more frequent occurrence, a life in politics started to seem a lot more appealing than other careers. I was experiencing an exponentially growing interest in the political world; but Monday night Q&A would no longer suffice. So I thought to myself 'what better way to see the world of politics than to experience it first hand?' And thus I contacted Joanna Gash about work experience. I was thrilled by her prompt reply and how easy the planning process was.

The weeks passed and it was time to begin my work experience. My first day was very exciting as I accompanied Gilmore's Liberal candidate for the coming election, Ann Sudmalis, to some of her village visits. It was surprising how many citizens attended with such a wide range of issues they wanted to bring to … attention. Throughout the day we visited three spots. It was a fun, practical day where I was able to talk to Ann about several things, including a political career.

I spent the rest of the week in the office where I did several odd-jobs and designed a brochure to encourage young people to enrol to vote as soon as possible. As I completed my work I was interested to know what the other staff were doing—I found myself continually looking around and watching how smoothly the office functions due to Jo's hardworking team. I had a very pleasant week in the office due to the staff being incredibly warm, welcoming and easy to talk to.

After my time on work experience my fascination with politics has grown. Having the opportunity to have a meaningful career where I can make a real difference is beyond appealing. I hope that sometime in the future I am able to pursue a political career; but for now I am focusing on finishing the HSC with the best mark I can. I had a fantastic week in Jo's office; it was a pleasure to meet the outstanding team Jo has behind her, as well as spend time with Jo and Ann. I am thankful and appreciative to [particularly] … the office staff for sharing their time and providing me with an insight into working for the community at the political level.

That was Kate's speech.

While I have some time left I would like to briefly mention the issue of CCTV cameras in the Shoalhaven. As many in this House would be aware, the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal recently directed our council to switch off our CCTV cameras in the Nowra CBD, stating that operation of CCTV by local councils constitutes a breach of the Privacy Act.

To the credit of the New South Wales government and local members Gareth Ward and Shelley Hancock, Premier Barry O'Farrell has now promised to quickly change New South Wales law so that our council can turn these cameras back on within a few days. But I am still concerned about the possible implications that the Commonwealth Privacy Act may have on CCTV operations by local government. This decision by the tribunal could have ramifications across many electorates of those in this House. This is why I have written to the government requesting that they get immediate advice on the Privacy Act and CCTV, with a view to amend the Privacy Act to reaffirm the right of local councils to safeguard their ratepayers. Despite sending this urgent correspondence almost two weeks ago, I am yet to hear anything from those opposite.

I would also like to commend the residents of Gilmore for their almost united support in favour of these cameras being switched back on. Certainly the police force and the business community are all very supportive of the CCTV cameras.