Town hall meeting
Peter Khalil's town hall zoom meeting
30 June 2020
Peter's meeting had a good feel to it but was not necessarily startling in the way of unexpected new ideas. The coronavirus was a perfectly good topic for a meeting though no-one was really convinced that it will make a big difference in any way, but it might somehow present an opportunity for change.
It is not clear who was invited to this meeting because it was not a real meeting advertised with posters, but an online meeting notified by email. The Greens for instance have ideas about coronavirus being a game-changer. If they were present that might have made for some diversity of opinion.
The format was pre-notified questions being put to Peter, like Q and A on the ABC, except with only one panelist. (Another time let's get Tim Read on as well.) At times it had the atmosphere of an ALP branch meeting with everything being agreed on all sides and Peter said nearly every question was a very good point. There should be free childcare, the police should be defunded in the harmless sense that there should be more people trained to deal with mentally ill offenders so the police don't have to, not enough is being done for aboriginals, we need to get to zero carbon emissions quickly and other things that I don't remember that were just as vaild before coronavirus as after.
There were signs of things that might be more controversial if they had been developed. A young man suggested the ALP had kind of sold out on the refugee issue. Peter K reacted to that. A lady said that locations in Coburg needed a facelift and we could do with less homeless beggars around. A man said that nothing was being done to support landlords in the present disruption. Peter said there might be a budgetary allocation for that but the next person thought it was greedy to ask. Perhaps the issue is that a landlord might have to wear it if a tenant simply does not pay rent at the present time.
Nancy Atkin of BRN had an off-topic point that we probably did not know about - increased traffic in back-streets thanks to Google Maps and the like routing users the back ways - could this be banned? The most off-topic question must have been my own - are any of the ALP branches in Wills stacked by Adem Somyurek or anyone else? Peter must know.
I should also mention that the idea of a Universal Basic Income for Australia came up and there was a novel reason advanced to have a four day working week. Peter showed some sensitivity about growing up in Melbourne and being thought of as a foreigner. That started a discussion with some less, some more affected by their experiences.
I will ask Peter to alert those who took part to the existence of this website. Any issue that was raised in his zoom meeting can be written about here. The post can remain in place indefinitely and discussion about it need never be closed. We will try to not to let issues that are still valid get buried over time. Some of the matters that came up in the meeting are already being tracked here; Peter's proposals about refugees for instance.
To those who did raise ideas at the meeting that they are serious about, maybe don't just leave it to Peter. You can publish it here. It is often remarked that, thanks I think to Paul Keating, the majority of the print media in Australia is owned by Murdoch. Luckily it is easy to set up an online journal of opinion these days, so please don't just complain. That is what this is.
When and if this website becomes well-used the procedure to log in as a new user and post an article or a reply will be made automatic, just like wikipedia, but meanwhile let us just organise it by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Report by Robert Durkacz, 30 Jun 2020