Our local Federal Member, Stephen Jones MP*, was supposed to attend our August Fairness In Child Support meeting. This was to discuss the Family Violence Bill and other similar issues. At the last moment, he chose not to attend, claiming that the meeting was a set-up.
This is a letter to the editor published in the local newspaper on 10 August 2011. This was in reply to his non-attendance.
* Stephen Jones is the Labor Member for Throsby (Wollongong), formerly held by Jennie George.
Letters to the Editor
Page 19, 10 August 2011
Keeping up with Jones.
I would like to express my disillusionment with the Federal Member for Throsby, Mr Stephen Jones MP.
As the local member, he is supposed to represent all constituents in the electorate of Throsby and not to be selective. He may not agree with what he is hearing. That is his right.
However he has a responsibility to listen to the concerns of others and not to bury his head in the sand.
Mr Jones was invited to a meeting of the Fairness in Child Support to discuss the changes relating to shared parenting. The new laws or the interpretation of the laws are going to disadvantage children and the rights of the child to grow up knowing both parents.
As such, this will cause hardship to a large cross-section of the community. The meeting was a way to express these concerns and maybe get some insight into how the Government reasoned to regressing a law introduced under the Howard years.
Mr Jones accepted knowing both the date and the content of the meeting. No set-up, just a way of getting answers and feedback. Months of planning went into organising this meeting. Then a week before the meeting, he decided to withdraw.
His actions have shown a lack of character and integrity. It is a clear sign that he has betrayed his slogan that he sprouted during the last election – that he would take on the hard issues.
Neville Edwards, Port Kembla.