Archive for June, 2016

Makin candidate, Mark Aldridge, most in touch with his electorate.

June 30, 2016

Mark Aldridge Independent for Makin, is winning the grass roots support in his electorate, based on his representation on Social Media, and grass roots work in his electorate.

Mark 3

Marks recent media releases which paint a clear picture of where he stands on a variety of political topics, the very same topics. recent polls say are supported by the voters in his electorate.

“Protecting our Farmers and producers is one thing, but my position is the farms themselves are strategic assets, and ought not to be for sale to foreign interests” says Mark

Mr. Aldridge runs several farmers markets which service his electorate “Farm Direct” community markets, in Salisbury heights and Lights view, also spending years setting up and supporting other markets in the north, including his first major market in Parafield.

The markets are simply my attempt to bring change at a grass roots level, they were never set us as a political ploy, they are there to simply support my community and the local producers themselves.

“I grew up in the North, in Parafield Gardens, and now live in Penfield amongst the farmers, so uniting them both has been a tremendous success” says Mark

One of the great things about my advocacy work in the north is that I spend much of my time in the electorate chatting with the community, so I feel very connected to them. I believe this is why I have such great support and such a detailed understanding of their needs at a grass roots level.

When asked about recent media articles, Mark said “I have never been very popular with the media to be honest” they at times seem as out of touch with the people as the major party candidates. The election debate coverage so far between the supposed leaders, clearly shows they have no idea what change the public care even calling for.

Real jobs, securing our primary production sector, improved support for our pensioners and veterans are not on the agenda, in fact my opponents in Makin, are still calling for increased immigration and foreign aid, obviously little do they realise, the public do not agree.

The only issue my support is facing is a hostile media, who as usual, feel they have a right to dictate both the policy’s to be debated and restrict coverage to their favoured candidates.

“Makin voters should know me well enough by now to know what I stand for, sadly those that don’t will probably be swayed by media propaganda, rather than any open debate on the topics of concern. Even the Messenger press have refrained from letting their readers know who is running, which is very sad for local democracy”. Mark said.

Once the election is over, regardless of the outcome, I will still be here for the community and continue to work in their best interests, so losing an election only affects the resources I have to do my job. I will still be looking for ways to improve services and opportunities for the voters of Makin, long after the other candidates disappear for another few years.

 

Written by Mark Aldridge in the absence of any journos that are allowed to write about me J

Advertisements

Independent demands support and protection of our farming industry

June 29, 2016

The viability of Australia’s vegetable industry is still under threat from cheap imports, according to industry body AUSVEG.

IMG_8715

Figures show nationally the amount of land sown to vegetables decreased by 12,000 hectares last financial year, resulting in a $159 million drop in the value of the Australian vegetable industry.

In 2014-15 the amount of vegetable-growing operations dropped by 15 per cent.

“Australia does not need to import produce at the expense of our own production. In fact we should be growing to meet the demand of increased immigration, while migrations numbers remain so high” says Mark Aldridge, Independent candidate for Makin.

Mushroom production dropped 29 per cent, while capsicum and tomato production fell 12 per cent, which is why I have open producer markets, so stop the decline in local plantings, says Mark.

“During the 2014-15 financial year, it is purported there was a 7 per cent increase in foreign imports of vegetable produce, and that is this is alarming to the domestic industry”.

“Australian growers are having difficulties with is their competition against subsidised foreign imports, and the massive costs of running their farms in Australia ” he said.

Until we find a way to support and protect our growers, my market concept “Farm Direct” is an ideal platform to keep some of the smaller growers on the land, those who can’t afford the middle man s grab.

“Australian produce is some of the best in the world”, so how can it be viable to ship produce from the other side of the world, other than deficiencies in foreign trade deals.

Our government have been quick to step in to rescue big industry, so where is their support for our farmers and in fact my Market plan?

 

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin

AUSTRALIA’S INDEPENDENTS DAY JULY 2 2016

June 28, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S INDEPENDENTS DAY JULY 2 2016

vGFKeK1467085104

This week you have a chance to change politics, you can address political mediocrity, not necessarily based on a massive choice of inspirational candidates, but by sending a strong message that we the people demand our voices are heard.

Taking away the power of the two party systems, is the only way we can bring about political and social change.

Before globalization, Australia was leading the world, we had the best health care, topping the list with 17 beds per thousand in our hospitals, we led the world in innovation, research, small business flourished so did manufacturing, we made everything, exported it, and when you brought Aussie made, you know it would last.

We were a proud nation leading on the world stage; we were the envy of the world.

We exported more than we purchased, which created jobs, security, and our nation prospered, we were in deed the lucky country.

We now we have around 2 beds per thousand in our hospitals, we sold of our medical patents, we undermine innovation, Industry has been pushed of shore taking our job security with it, all in the name of globalisation and free trade.

Since we opened up our nation to globalization we have lost more than our rights, our self-determination, our sovereignty, we have lost our way and our way of life and our place as one of the best nations on earth.

Out of touch politicians with no idea how to recover are now selling the farm so to speak, selling our primary industries, farms and water to countries that would never let us buy theirs, they are now told what to do by people we never elected, again under this new global agenda.

Our supposed representatives lost sight of our long term future, coming up with short term answers to long term problems, increase our population by immigration, borrowing money to send of shore to help others. When that money ran out, they sold of our infrastructure, ports, and power production not to find money for us, to appease agreements made with others, again people we do not meet or get to elect.

This election, most of the candidates not only back this agenda, they want to increase immigration, increase foreign aid, borrow more money, make selling the farms even easier, and do that by further reducing our services, our health care, our education and undermining our sovereignty.

England voted to restore its democracy, just as we should, but as you will see those who wish to dictate our way of life, those that want to engineer our society will really step up, and I would say in doing so they will expose themselves and their agenda.

We do not need free trade, trade deals what allow others to buy our farms yet won’t sell us theirs, and we don’t need to compete with those on $10 a week, because we never had to, we don’t need to buy our vehicles from overseas, we used to build and export ours to them, and we can build them again.

Don’t fall for the bullshit that globalization is good, or the only way forward.

We have to demand change now, we still have the know-how, the factories and the infrastructure to rebuild, we still own some farms and infrastructure, we can pay of our debt and buy back the farm, but it will take hard work and sacrifice, the same hard work and sacrifice that built this country in the first place.

We can ensure that sacrifice is shared with the corporate sector, by demanding they pay their fair share of the tax burden, by the re-introduction of tariff protections, and by abolishing any trade deals that disadvantage us as a nation.

We need to limit immigration, fix our trade deficit, restore protectionism, cut back foreign aid and get our back yard in order, and the last thing we need is foreign body’s, and dodgy trade deals telling us how to run our nation, because it is what has destroyed all the hard work of our forefathers in the first place.

The government and their Media mates have you believing all of this rubbish is good for you, and that people like me, that speak the truth are nutbags, but in your heart you know the truth.

Like the English BREXIT vote, we can take back that which is rightfully ours, our rights, our liberties and our freedoms, and regain the label of the lucky country, and then we can use that position to help those in need.

Not by sending them money, but providing the services they need.

The two party political systems have been written by the two parties’ to empower the two parties, they are nothing to do with democracy, in fact they work against democracy, the concept of a free and informed choice, against our sovereignty and our ability to determine our nation’s future and protect its peoples best interests.

Every term in government we give these people, in every country, is leading us further away from recovery; their election means less social services, less real jobs, increased selling of our strategic assets, farms and water. The further these parties lead us in a downward spiral, the harder it will become to rebuild.

All we have to do is deny them our vote, deny imported produce our money, and deny the media the power to educate us.

Be the change you want to see in this world, not just how you vote, but how you spend, and what you share on social media, and more than anything else, how you treat your fellow people.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin……. A difference!

PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS, Mark Aldridge Independent

June 21, 2016
PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS

My views thus far;                                                anim

It is important to note that while we debate the way forward, specifically with measures to address the breeding of dogs, the legislative framework proposed should also apply equally to the breeding of cats and any future companion animals.

I would recommend that state and territory governments include the breeding of cats in any legislative reforms.

I would recommend that responsibility for the administration and enforcement of these initiatives be shared between state and territory departments of local councils, and state and Territory divisions of the RSPCA, in the case of the RSPCA powers of litigation must include debate in relation to set prosecution, enforcement and procedural guidelines.

I note that a number of states are already engaging in legislative reforms that will give effect to many of the strategies proposed. It is important that such amendments are nationally consistent) to prevent regulatory “black holes” which may undermine efforts to address these concerns.

Traceability

The ability to trace the origin of puppies to their mothers and breeders is crucial for facilitating appropriate regulation and transparency in dog breeding activities.

It will provide local government with a cost-effective mechanism for auditing and monitoring breeders to ensure they are complying with their statutory obligations.

It will also give prospective dog owners the reassurance they are seeking to ensure they do not contribute to the perpetuation of unscrupulous puppy farming/breeding operations.

Registration of breeders

All people who wish to engage in breeding companion animals should be required to register as a dog breeder with their local council. The application of this requirement should be broad and apply to any person who wishes to keep more than one entire female regardless of whether that person has a stated intention to engage in breeding.

Different registration requirements can of course apply to individuals seeking to register two breeding dogs, as opposed to those seeking registration for the operation of a larger scale commercial breeding establishment, which may consist of 4 or more breeding dogs.

All registration details should be collated in a state-based breeder register maintained by the administering authority, in this case it may be best to have the data base managed by local councils.

Members of the public should be able to search the register to ensure the accuracy of the breeder registration number provided by a breeder.

State and territory animal management legislation should be amended to provide for these requirements and the associated registration procedure.

The legislation should make compliance with a prescribed breeding standard a condition of registration, with an accompanying regular inspections regime to verify compliance.
 
Microchipping

State and territory animal management legislation should provide for a requirement to microchip puppies before they reach say “12 weeks of age” and prior to their sale or transfer.

The legislation should also require the information recorded on the microchip database to include the microchip ID number for the animal’s mother, and the breeder’s registration number and details.

The process of recording such information should be prescribed in legislation and include requirements for the owner to provide evidence of the accuracy of the details to be recorded.

Such evidence may include the provision of a driver’s licence or other personal identification, and registration certificate for the breeder bitch for instance. The microchip database should be licensed and regulated by the responsible authority.

To enable effective monitoring and enforcement, microchip databases should have a mechanism for recognizing maximum numbers of puppies that can be recorded to any one breeding bitch or breeder registration number, to again ensure accountability.

For instance, if a breeder is registered as having two entire females, the maximum number of pups that can be linked to that breeder’s registration number within one year may be set at an educated quantity.

If the maximum number is exceeded this should be flagged in the microchip database and an automated notification sent to the relevant local government authority. A local government officer could then contact the breeder to establish the reason for exceeding the prescribed limit and conduct further investigation if necessary.
 
Disclosure of breeder registration number
 
The animal management legislation should also impose a requirement for the breeder registration number to be displayed at the point of sale and in all advertisements for a companion animal. This would enable a prospective buyer to search the relevant breeder register to ensure the breeder number is legitimate.
 
Breeder Standards

Each state and territory should adopt mandatory standards for the breeding of dogs under their animal welfare legislation. Compliance with the standards should also be made a condition of registration as a breeder. Breaching the standards could therefore attract punitive penalties under animal welfare legislation, and revocation of the breeder’s registration at law.

To ensure the welfare of breeding animals, the breeder standards should include the following key welfare standards. Breeder standards should be informed by the five freedoms and ensure the animals’ physiological, behavioral and social needs are met.

Exercise and socialization

Daily opportunities to exercise, play, explore and socialize are necessary to maintain the mental and physical health of animals. Exercise and socialization must be sufficient to meet the animals’ behavioral, physiological and social needs.

These same standards should also be applied to shelters and organisations like the RSPCA and AWL.

Animals must be provided with opportunities to socialize not only with their peers, but also humans in a secure environment on a daily basis. The exercise area must be an additional and separate area to the area where the animal is normally housed.

In addition, opportunities to exercise in a secure outdoor area with natural lighting must be provided daily.

Staff / animal ratios for breeders

The ratio of staff to animals must be sufficient to ensure that each individual animal’s physiological, behavioral and social needs are met and that a high standard of care is provided.

Animal shelters and pounds should offer similar practice models.

Housing

Housing must meet the physiological, behavioral and social needs of the breeding animals and their offspring. Housing facilities must be designed and maintained to provide a clean, comfortable and safe environment.

The housing space should be as large as possible. At a minimum, the housing area must provide sufficient space to allow animals to walk around freely without obstruction, and to sleep and eat away from areas where they defecate.

In addition, housing should be designed to make use of natural lighting and to provide animals with access to outdoor enclosures. Animals should be housed as appropriate for the individual animal, individually or in compatible groups.

Housing standards must cover aspects including temperature, ventilation, clean air, noise, light, spaces, drainage and security etc.

Animals in non-kill shelters MUST be allowed to be housed in larger enclosures that offer greater room to move, and ought to allow areas that are not concreted.
 
Breeding Management

Breeding animals must be physically healthy, free of disease and inherited disorders. Prior to using an animal for breeding, the breeder must consult with a registered veterinarian to determine whether the animal is suitable for breeding.

If deemed suitable, the breeder must develop an appropriate breeding management program for each individual breeding animal based on veterinary advice.

Breeding animals must have reached full physical development (maturity) prior to breeding based on veterinary advice.

Breeders must screen potential breeding animals under veterinary advice for health problems (inherited disorders, genetic defects and exaggerated physical features) and behavioural problems. If such problems are detected the animal should be excluded from breeding.

Breeding mates must not be closely related to each other.

Where an animal exhibits or produces offspring with an inherited disorder or characteristic that has been identified as compromising the animal’s quality of life, health or welfare, that animal should be excluded from breeding and should be de-sexed.

Any animal that does not meet with the requirements to breed, must be either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer. These animals should not be euthanized unless it is deemed necessary and in the best interests of the animal by a veterinarian.

The breeder must not euthanasia/cull healthy offspring simply because they do not conform to a ‘breed standard’, to ensure compliance all births and deaths should be covered in a yearly report.
 
Veterinary and General Care

Veterinary care and general care (e.g. grooming, parasite control etc) must be provided as required to ensure the health and welfare of the animal, as found in present animal welfare legislation

All animals in shelters or breeding facilities must be checked every day and receive appropriate and sufficient food and water.

If an animal displays signs of illness or injury, veterinary care must be provided immediately. Euthanasia of all companion animals, must only be performed by a veterinarian.

Retirement and re-homing policy

Retired breeding animals, animals that are unable to breed or animals that are unsuitable for breeding, should be de-sexed and either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Any unsold or returned animals must be provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility either permanently or until they can be re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Transfer/transport of animals

Animals must be transported safely, securely and comfortably. Transportation must be appropriate for the animals’ biological needs and must not compromise animal health or welfare.

Animals must be in good health and fit for the intended journey. The only exception to this requirement is when the animal is being transported to a veterinarian for treatment.

Transport containers should enable the animal to lie down flat, turn around, stand erect and stretch with clearance. They should be robust and escape-proof, sufficiently enclosed to provide a sense of security whilst allowing adequate ventilation, appropriate temperature and the ability to inspect the animal during the journey.

Transfer/transporting guidelines must be researched and apply to all carriage of animals.

Animals must be provided with sufficient food, water and rest before, during and after the journey, according to their biological needs.

The transporters/handlers must be trained and competent in the transport of companion animals to ensure the health and welfare of the animal. The transporter is responsible for the care of the animal

Interim Orders

It is not uncommon for defendants in animal management and welfare prosecutions to challenge enforcement action, and to appeal court decisions resulting in long and drawn-out legal proceedings.

I have also seen the court process dragged out by prosecution authorities (abuse of process) where there is financial gain in doing so, all prosecutions must meet a national set of procedural guidelines to ensure just and equitable use of the courts time.

When this occurs it is important that the welfare of any seized animals can be appropriately provided for while the matter is before the courts. Often in cases involving puppy farms the number of animals seized and the ongoing veterinary treatment and care required can result in the incursion of significant costs.

State and territory animal management and welfare legislation must provide mechanisms for the relevant prosecuting agency to apply for orders with respect to the ongoing ownership of the animals, the costs associated with the ongoing care of the animals, and prohibiting the defendant(s) from continuing to engage in the business of puppy farming while the matter is before the courts.

Any party that is found to abuse the court system as either a defendant or prosecutor ought to be responsible for all costs orders.

No animals seized should be killed or adopted out until ownership has been fully debated, the original owner should be able chose where they are housed and cover the costs until an outcome has been concluded.
 
Interim Ownership Orders

Most state animal welfare Acts already have provisions which allow inspectors to apply to a magistrate for an order that any seized animal(s) be forfeited (transfer of legal ownership) to the State while legal proceedings relating to those animals are still before the courts.

Presently these orders of forfeiture award the power to deal with the animal in any way fit, including destruction, changes need to me made to ensure the best services for the animals, until any legal proceedings are concluded.

In most cases, such an application will be decided “in the interests of the animal(s)” concerned. Equivalent provisions should also be inserted into animal management Acts to allow for such applications to be made following enforcement action taken by government departments for breaches of breeder licencing obligations, for instance “non-compliance with mandatory breeder standards”.

Orders against an animal’s owners ought to allow freedom of choice as to which authority looks after the animals during the court process, to ensure transparent cost and support factors.

Interim Prohibition Orders
 
It is not uncommon for unscrupulous breeders to continue engaging in the business of puppy farming while legal proceedings are still before the courts. This puts further animals at risk and places additional strain on the resources of enforcement agencies.

Should further enforcement action be required, Animal welfare and management legislation should provide for an application to be made to a magistrate for such defendants to be prohibited from engaging in puppy farming activities while legal proceedings against them are before the courts.

If the prosecuting agents case is found wanting, under current animal welfare legislation it is the minister who is responsible, in such cases the minister ought to find remedy in the courts against said authority.

Contracts between the minister, appointed inspectors or their employing agency’s must be available for public scrutiny.

Monitoring and Enforcement
 
In recent times there have been many issues with the RSPCA’s awarded powers of prosecution, which appear to have no procedural checks and balances, the RSPCA indeed have the Experience to police animal welfare legislation, but prosecution practices may be best left to Police services.
 
Monitoring and enforcement operations for any new legislative agenda, best be shared between local government animal management officers and state and territory RSPCA inspectors.

A targeted inspections regime that consists of both proactive routine (yet unannounced) inspections, and a reactive inspections strategy that responds to identified data discrepancies and complaints from the general public, should be developed between the relevant government authorities who are empowered to do so by animal welfare legislation reforms.

Prosecutions must be kept in line with community expectations and best practice; this would be best achieved by the development of a nationwide set of Compliance Prosecution and Enforcement Policies.

Said guidelines could be in line with the present Department of Agriculture policy in WA, to ensure openness and transparency, consistency and public interest criteria, and any contractual agreements between government and corporate entity’s empowered by animal welfare legislation, Must be made public as should any  Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution policy.

Intent;
 
In recent years while doing an over view of current animal welfare legislation in most states, it has become relevant to debate animal abuse cases in relation to intention, presently animal welfare legislation in terms of recent litigation, uses wording that is open to misrepresentation and misunderstanding..

Failure to mitigate harm, has been a charge laid on carers, where the animal in question came into their care with existing medical or behavioral conditions, the lack of the inclusion of the intention has seen many carers face unwarranted charges, creating even more reason for improved prosecution guidelines.

Support services, improved education and animal welfare orders are a much more pro-active approach to ensure the best interests of the animals and their carers is paramount.

Overview;
 
Support for those who care for or rescue companion animals or in fact native animals is very limited, as are their protections.

Improved and understandable regulatory reforms are long overdue, to ensure animal welfare standards are kept up with community expectations across the board.

QUESTIONS ALSO RAISED; 
 
The ability of people to purchase entire animals, I suggest an application for a permit through the regulatory authority.
 
Working dogs and animals used in rural locations.
 
Kill rates in shelters and the use of Behavioral issues to excuse kill rates.
 
Genuine financial reporting of government funded charity’s and rescue groups.
 
The need for an ombudsman to address complaints against entities and inspectors empowered under animal welfare legislation

We have a long way to come to bring animal welfare protections up to meet the expectations of the community at large. Educated debate is the only way forward, which is best served by community forums with a view to legislative reform.

I am only an amateur, but every little step in the right direction is a good step.

Mark Aldridge  Independent Candidate for Makin
 
Community advocate & animal and civil rights lobbyist 

INDEPENDENT CALLS FOR A MASSIVE CUT TO FOREIGN AID $$$.

June 21, 2016

MAKIN CANDIDATE CALLS FOR FOREIGN AID REFORM

aid

 

Australia is already one of the largest donors to foreign aid, yet I wonder how much of that money ever makes it to the people most in need.

I am well-travelled and use my time to help those most in need in Asia, yet I never see Aussie aid, making it to where it was originally destined.

In Australia we have a massive jobs shortage, so why can’t we kill two birds with one stone, by immediately cutting cash aid programs, and invest the savings employing our people to head to those countries in need and offer grass roots support on the ground where it is genuinely needed.

We have great minds and experienced workers, civil construction experts, primary production workers, so on and so on, that can’t find work, so let our nation pay them to educate and support those in need in countries that are lacking in said expertise.

Corruption swallows up most of the cash and grants we send overseas, I know I have seen it first hand, in Indonesia alone, the locals have no access to free health care or even doctors, so where are the billions we donate there actually ending up?

I see the other candidates in Makin calling for increase foreign aid, and suggest they head over seas and look for results; I bet they won’t find any. Most of the great work being performed in the countries that are recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars borrowed and sent there by Australia, are funded directly by compassionate Australian donors.

Aus-Aid itself admits a percentage of all foreign aid goes missing, where is a pertinent question we should all ask.

Most of the poorer nations have little access to fresh potable water, healthy food and very few of them can afford health care and access to free education, so if the tax payers are going to fund these nations, best it be the people in need, not more money for their sometimes corrupt officials.

While we consider all this, lest we forget our own, while we are sending billions of borrowed dollars overseas, one might consider our homeless, our veterans, our vulnerable children on critical waiting lists, but I suspect that is called protectionism, something our politicians now days frown upon, I wonder why.

Never fear change.

 

Mark Aldridge Independent for Makin…………..a real difference.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

INDEPENDENT takes to the courts to protect local community events and Markets

June 20, 2016

Do you oppose the closure of local Markets, Fetes, fundraisers and Community events!

market and some cars, x trail 050

 

 

“A recent legal attack on local markets, fetes and community events by self interest in the grocery industry has left doubt regarding the future of community events” says Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin and founder of Farm Direct community markets.

The initial opposition was about Markets effects on businesses in the vicinity, but turned sour when our Markets relocation was approved and the approval was appealed in the ERD court (Environment and Development Court), says Mark

The legal team fighting our approval used an argument that has created a legal precedent that now has the ability to affect community events all over Australia.

I joined the action and studied hard to be a voice for the community in the courts, working with the council’s lawyers, but sadly we were out gunned on the day.

The finding has determined that a trestle table is now a shop, and a group of them is a shopping centre, putting community events like markets at conflict with local development law.

Where once they were considered merit applications (supported by the community) they are now considered non complying developments. The immediate effect of this change/precedent is that all regular community events must endure massive red tape and approvals at many levels, including the development assessment panel and with the state government.

“The costs alone could see the end of many present and future events and markets” says Mark.

It has become clear the community are opposed to this new precedent and are supporting of local and community events, so it is time for the state and commonwealth governments to step in and protect the community my amending the definition of a stall in the local legislation.

The community at large would indeed consider local events and markets as a merit form of development, so that should be reflected in the legislation.

Until then I have personally appealed the decision by the ERD court which will be heard before the full bench of the Supreme Court at, which will be heard in early August 2016.

The appeal is being sponsored by my markets and by the community itself though a successful online fundraising program, says Mark.

I have managed to get pro-bono legal support from a local law firm who also care about the local community and one of South Australia’s leading QC’s.

We hope to overturn the decision of the ERD court and put pressure on state and local governments to re-define the legislation to thwart any future attacks on local community events all over Australia.

The sad part of this story is the fact Parliament can sort all this by simple changes to the definitions in development law, but calls for their support have been met with silence. I tried contacting most existing members, even Nick, and no one has stood behind me other than State MP Mark Parnell.

Farmers markets, produce markets and local events are a not only great avenues to get the public out and about, they have become a god sent to our smaller farmers and producers, in fact a variety of small businesses in recent times, so the implications of this fight are wide spread.

There has even been court actions lodged to silence me speaking on these matters which I am vigorously defending in the District court, which clearly shows how powerful our opposition has become, says Mark

My markets not only protect the smaller operators, help create real local jobs, they also promote healthy eating, restore access to affordable fresh produce and help show case the best produce Australia has to offer.

I will not back down from this fight, as it has taken us many years working with the local community to build our markets, and since this Market was erupted we have seen way to many markets close down in the local area, in a time I believe we need even more.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin………….a difference.

aldridgemark@bigpond.com   08 82847482 / 0403379500

How 2 of SA’s senior journalists investigate and write a story.

June 17, 2016

As a federal election candidate, I have chosen to run an open ticket, what that means is I want the voters to decide how they vote.

Many of my friends and supporters wanted to know how I will personally vote, a hard question until a candidate meets the candidates, because I am not a fan of the direction the major parties are dragging us, and not all the minor parties inspire me.

So I went about messaging the candidates, one how ever “Craig Bossie” running for the Nick Xenophon Party, did not leave contact details or attend any of the AEC meetings or the ballot draw, so I searched the net and Face Book.

An internet search showed articles that Mr. Bossie had resigned from the party, and his Face book page, well the one with his wife and his photo, that came up via a search of his name, had not been used since December 2015.

So I sent an email to a couple of the senior political journos (Mistake 1) to ask if he was a real candidate still, and if they had his details.

With in a few minutes of sending the email, one of the journos phoned and said he was still in the race, and his FB page was active, while on the phone I walked in and she gave me the link to his FB page, which was a Xenophon based page, not found under a search of his name.

She let me know he had been diagnosed with cancer and was in recovery, so I apologized for asking and wished him the best.

I immediately let the other two recipients of the email know he was a candidate and I had found his details.

I then messaged him on line.

The media then ran a story on the Advertiser site, advertiser in print, the local Messenger for the area I am a candidate both in print and on line, making me look like a fool for asking, here is the text.

Heading:

Independent candidate Mark Aldridge says opponent may not be real, finds out he’s suffering bowel cancer

Text;

SERIAL independent Mark Aldridge has been left red-faced after it emerged a Nick Xenophon Team candidate he said may not even be real because of their absence from the campaign trail had been laying low while undergoing chemotherapy to battle bowel cancer.

Mr Aldridge, who is running against NXT’s Craig Bossie in the northeastern suburbs seat of Makin, sent an email saying Mr Bossie might not even be a “real” candidate.

Unfortunately for Mr Aldridge, Mr Bossie’s been quiet on the campaign trail after being diagnosed with bowel cancer and was forced to have a major operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Mr Bossie said he is “very much alive and breathing” after the surprise diagnosis.

“It’s responded really well … the outcome is extremely positive,” Ms Bossie said, adding he has been back up and busy for weeks with community meetings and working with volunteers.

When Mr Bossie was diagnosed, he withdrew from campaigning briefly, then withdrew that withdrawal when it was clear that he would make a full recovery.

Mr Aldridge said supporters were asking him how to vote in Makin.

“How can I answer them, if it is possible a candidate is not even a real one,” he said.

Mr Aldridge then later had to apologise for his “incorrect” email.

Meanwhile, Senator Nick Xenophon has defended his election candidates against criticism they are “crackpots”, arguing they’re better than “party hacks” put up by the major parties.

The popular South Australian Senator has come under fire from both sides of politics for his choice of candidates to contest the July 2 federal election.

Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek has described the Nick Xenophon Team members as “kooky” and “completely unknown quantities who might hold a balance of power position”.

“Some of the views that we have heard from them are pretty crackpot,” Ms Plibersek said, specifically referring to Kingston candidate Damian Carey’s view that acupuncture can cure infertility.

Ms Plibersek also argued NXT could go the way of the now fragmented Palmer United Party, whose former members Jacqui Lambie and Glen Lazarus defected to become independents.

“It is very clear that Nick Xenophon will be returned to the Senate himself,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The question then becomes how he manages the people he takes with him.

“These are serious positions where people will be making serious decisions about matters of national consequence.”

Senator Xenophon described his team as “a really good group of people”.

“They’re not party hacks,” he said. “They’re not the usual suspects we get from the major parties.

“They are good people who have worked in the charity sector, as medicos … therapists, people from small business backgrounds, people who have worked in the public service, people from all walks of life.

“There’s a really wide range of people.”

Senator Xenophon undertook a year-long candidate selection process, whittling down a group of more than 450 applicants nationwide in a bid to prevent internal rifts like that of the Palmer United Party.

Senator Xenophon also infamously split from one-time state Parliament running mate Ann Bressington, who in 2007 branded him a typical politician and “chameleon”.

His 2016 election team includes an emergency physician, former SANFL footballer, local councillor, farmer, mechanical engineer and former Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officer.

Former Liberal staffer Rebekah Sharkie takes on her old boss, Liberal MP Jamie Briggs, in Mayo. Former Democrat Craig Bossie is running in Labor-held Makin, against Tony Zappia.

All political parties are repaid $2.62 for each vote they garner at the federal election if they secure more than 4 per cent of the vote.

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) was paid $642,839 at the 2013 election but is expected to earn far more this year because it is running more candidates nationally.

I only asked a question, and received an answer, at no time did I intend to undermine Mr. Bossie or his sickness, obviously if I had found his active FB page or had not found the article saying he had resigned, I would not have sent the email.

The article enraged my family and my supporters who had a go at the journos, then the journos took to attacking me on twitter for the words of those who commented on their articles and my blog on what happened, expecting me to moderate the internet.

One person commented that the two article writers (yes it took two journos to write that article) saying they could do with a good man, so the journos took to twitter blaming me for the words of others, i was out putting up posters.

Lauren Novak and Tory Shepard were the journos, I have emailed them articles for many years, as a candidate and a community advocate, never one have they replied or run a story, even though most of the other media have covered my exposes and stories for the past decade of more.

This was their first story on me, and so well rounded 🙂  It was written to undermine my good name in the community, and they both knew I had not been aware of Craig’s sickness and had not intended to undermine him

This is the type of article two of the senior political writers in SA can come up with during an election, I think it is sad to be honest.

Mark Aldridge, Independent candidate for Makin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independent calls for an overhaul of private job agencies.

June 13, 2016

 

Independent calls for an overhaul of private job agencies.

jobs

Recent government reports wish to give private job agencies control over the incomes of unemployed people.

Handing job agencies the power to dock the Centrelink payments of unemployed workers for crimes such as failing to sign a jobs plan on the spot or not updating their résumé, is more power than these agencies should be awarded.

As an employer on the other end of this problem, I have already endured issues when it comes to trialling a new staff member, where once I was supported and encouraged to increase my work force. These NGO’s are making it impossible to create casual work with a view to full time positions.

With the dole already $391 below the poverty line, for many unemployed workers, deductions to their income support will place them in severe financial distress.

I am already receiving reports from job seekers getting cut off from their payments for missing an appointment, even when that is because they have a job interview or have found a day’s work.

“By proposing that job agencies should be given new unprecedented powers to financially penalise unemployed workers, we are sending a clear message to the employment services industry that these tactics are acceptable”

“I would like to see an inquiry to address these issues and to ascertain how these agencies are preforming” and if they are not pulling their weight, just maybe we can invest our tax payer dollars more wisely.

I am hearing some of these agencies are putting casual workers through hell, where they should be concentrating on training people for those positions that are available.

Surely work for the dole, was not about endless interviews, or control of the unemployed by NGO’s, but via constructive opportunities and local community needs.

How can a genuine unemployed worker find a job, when they are spending their days appeasing private organisations, let alone ones that can control their lively hood in such a way?

The community needs genuine employment opportunities, and that is best achieved by offering innovative support services and funding solutions to local small business, local markets and industry.

 

Mark Aldridge, Independent Candidate for Makin.

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE CALLS ON THE POLICE COMMISSIONER FOR A PUBLIC APOLOGY.

June 12, 2016

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE CALLS ON THE POLICE COMMISSIONER FOR A PUBLIC APOLOGY.

 

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin calls on the South Australia Police Commissioner for a public apology.

While running in the 2013 Federal election, Mr Aldridge had his home raided, and endured a false arrest and detention on top of a host of improper conduct by SAPOL officers, which have been found to have occurred without any reasonable basis at law.

It destroyed my credibility as a federal election candidate for the seat of Wakefield in 2013, to such a degree I have had to change seats in the hope that the Makin electorate, where my good name may not have been so adversely tainted by the media coverage of my poor treatment at the time.

I am a law abiding citizen and a well-known community advocate, and I take the application of the law very seriously.

The Police ombudsman’s report on the matter which is backed by the police commissioner is of the view that I should seek recompense against the state for my treatment and illegal arrest and detention.

It is all good to consider compensation, but my good name has been brought into disrepute by SAPOL through their actions, so an official apology is well earned and long overdue.

It was not only the raid on my home, the false arrest and detention, but the continued harassment by a range of officers, that at the time made headline news, that has caused the most damage.

I pride myself in the good work I do for my community, and to think there are now people out there that think I am a criminal by way of my past treatment by SAPOL officers, that is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Independent candidates are not awarded much in the way of media attention during election processes, so the last thing I needed during my campaign was coverage of an invalid raid and arrest.

My legal team will file a damages claim in the coming weeks, but I want my good name restored immediately.

I ensured the commissioner was well aware of my treatment at all times during this debacle, so he would be well aware of the treatment I endured, and ought to know it would have had an effect on my good name, because the report is clear as to that fact.

I supplied the commissioner with extensive evidence regarding the issue that was not considered during the Ombudsman’s investigation, so he will be well aware that even though the findings exonerated me, the whole truth is very damaging not just to my good name, but the good name and mental health of my family as a whole.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

June 7, 2016

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

democracy 1

 

The Australian electoral commission for the past 2 decades has endured funding cuts, where one would hope we would expect increased funding in relation to secure democracy in this country.

Where once every Australian home received a now to vote guide in the mail, to ensure they knew how to vote, what their voting rights were, where the polling booths were, and how to make applications, all we receive now is propaganda.

Even worse, political parties are writing electoral law, even though they have the most to gain from structural biases, they are now even handling electoral applications, like postal ballot applications and the like.

Return addresses for postal ballot applications are now the head offices of political parties, in fact the political parties are now even printing electoral material, something most voters would never support and undermines the security of the ballot.

For those voters confused by new laws, or those who are either first time voters or new to this country, a call to the AEC to have questions answered are now being answered by Centrelink workers whose recent crash course in electoral law is resulting in misinformation.

Australia still embraces pencils and cardboard boxes, yet continue to claim to be one of the best democracy’s on the planet, and maybe we once were.

It is interesting to note here, that council elections are now afforded more robust electoral practices, the electorate receive a how to vote guide, a list of the candidates and in some areas, a basic overview of what the candidates stand for, so why are state and federal elections not considered worthy of these reforms?

Voting in a democracy is meant to be all about the Free will of an informed electorate, and the return of an election guide could ensure that happens.

Voters need to know how to vote, where to vote and know who the candidates are, I personally would toss in the freedom to only preference those they prefer, and only having to vote if they are inspired to, but I doubt parliament will support too much freedom.

In recent years election facts are clear that the system is failing, with missing ballot papers on the rise as are invalid votes, and one would hope that every vote was more important than that.

When winning margins can be a handful of votes, one would expect we ought to ensure every vote is treasured and protected.

I have been in and out of the court of disputed returns for 20 years fighting for electoral reform that empowers this nation’s voters. Simply because I truly believe we can repair the divide between the people and their representatives, by simply ensuring a fair and transparent system of democratic practice.

Bring back the how to vote guide, because democracy is the corner stone of society, and deserves more than the current discount system we are forced to endure.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin & community advocate.

08 82847482 / 0403379500