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Ross Smith on why he should be elected to an ALP committee

The letter below was sent to ALP members when Ross Smith stood in 2011 for the NSW ALP Policy Forum. It outlines some of Ross's involvement and positions in the ALP and more broadly. It provides an insight into the ALP side of Ross's involvements.

Dear Fellow ALP member,

The purpose of this 'letter' is to seek your support of my candidacy in the forthcoming elections for members of the NSW ALP Policy Forum.

My name is Ross Smith. I submitted a nomination for the NSW Policy Forum which has been accepted. My policy statement submitted as part of my nomination was -

"I believe:

  • Policy should be developed in accordance with traditional Labor values to promote Social Inclusion, equity of application, and universality of benefit to the Australian community.

  • The function of Policy is to enhance the quality of life experienced by the Australian community and thus ensure the community's well-being.

  • The focus of policy should be derived from the community's knowledge of unmet and emerging need within the community.

  • The spirit of policy should not be influenced by fear, favour, personal allegiance, or vested interest.

  • Secure supply and access to food and housing, plus sanctity of life, should underwrite all policy."

I actively believe in the Pledge on my ALP Ticket, and its content. Without restricting its generality, my particular area of interest is the pursuit of social justice and equality in all areas of human endeavour.

My nomination form was signed by ALP members from the seats of Sydney, Willoughby, Wyong, The Entrance, Parramatta, Marrickville, Heffron, Oatley, Londonderry and Mt Druitt. My nominators were drawn from the membership of both major factions within the NSW ALP.

I believe that advancement of the Aims and Objectives of the ALP should be of prime importance to the ALP membership, and should not be endangered by the promotion of factional interests.

I am a member of the Redfern Branch of the ALP, where I have held the office of President and am currently the Treasurer. I am a longstanding Branch delegate to the Heffron State Electorate Committee and the City of Sydney Local Government Committee. I have served multiple terms as President of the City of Sydney Local Government Committee.

I am fully supportive of the current expressed desire on the part of the NSW ALP to re-engage with the Rank and File Branch membership. If achieved it can only serve to strengthen the Party.

I support the drive to re-engage with the broader community of NSW. Successful re-engagement with the Community would provide a means of enhancing the achievement of the ALP's Aims and Objectives, whilst enabling access to the community's knowledge and concerns.

I have served multiple terms on the Boards of various Community organisations in a variety of roles including Secretary, President and Treasurer over the last thirty years, and continue to do so. The areas of the comnunity served by these organisations include the Children, Youth, Disabled, Aged and Mental Health sectors, plus the general community. I continue to remain engaged with these organisations.

I have a particular interest in the Housing sector. I was a founding member of the ginger group Labor for Affordable Housing which was active prior to the Federal Parliamentary Party creating the first shadow Ministry for Housing, a position filled by Kim Carr.

I have been involved .in the Public Housing sector for many years [I hold the belief that government ownership of Housing stock is a legitimate form of infrastructure investment that has the capacity to deliver benefit to all sectors of the community]. As part of this involvement I held one of the twelve seats on the former NSW Public Housing Customer Council and hold a seat on the current twelve member NSW Social Housing Tenant Advisory Committee resourced by the NSW Government. I was involved in the conception and subsequent delivery of the Anti-Privatisation campaign around Electricity and other government owned infrastructure that culminated in a historic vote of support by the NSW ALP membership at the State Conference. I still hold the belief that it is fit and proper for the state to own and operate infrastructure that supplies benefit to the people and community of NSW for the purposes of enhancing their quality of life and wellbeing.

My personal networks, both within the ALP and the Community sectors extend across NSW. This keeps me in touch with the concerns of the community and the ALP membership in the rural, regional and metropolitan areas of NSW.

I respectfully ask that you support my candidacy in the forthcoming ballot for the membership of the NSW ALP Policy Forum.

Ross Smith