sometimes our politicians can do good things together

Amidst what seems to me to be pretty poor performances from both sides of the chamber in our Federal Parliament of late, it is heartening to hear that they can sometimes get results when they put their minds to it. The following excerpt from Graham Long at the Wayside in Sydney…

Dear Inner Circle,
Wow! My note to you two weeks ago set off an explosion of care. I hardly know how to thank you all. What an inner circle and what a weapon of mass construction. The explosive response to my e mail saw a deluge of e mails, letters and phone calls that reached all the way to the Prime Minister. Your voice set off a reaction in the media that amplified the cry for help. By the Monday after my “now or never” call to the inner circle, I was on Sunrise on Channel 7, page 3 of the SMH, a good piece in The Punch, and on Channel 10 News. I was also on 2UE, 2GB and with our faithful friends on ABC 702.
Minister Albanese visited Wayside on Wednesday of last week. He saw first hand the state of the building and the quality of the work we were doing with an ever shrinking facility. He promised that he would do his best to secure 2 million dollars for us, matching the grant that was given by the NSW Government.  We had a phone call to say Minister Albanese was coming to Wayside on the Friday to announce a gift from the Australian Government of 3 million dollars. WOW. Our reasoning had been that 2 million would only leave us another 1 to 2 million to raise which we thought was daunting but achievable. 3 million dollars actually secured our future and put the commencement of building date in sight somehow raising 1 million dollars doesn’t seem anywhere as daunting now. What a day Friday was and what a vote of confidence we’ve received from the Australian Government. Thank you Minister Albanese for acting with such resolve. We hope one day when someone asks you what your finest achievements were, that, “saving the Wayside Chapel in one day” ranks in your top few.
Saving the Wayside may be one of the issues with the most bipartisan support in this country. I can tell you that Malcolm Turnbull has been into Wayside on many occasions without cameras or any hint of publicity. When we first launched our drive to find 7 million dollars, about the third or fourth donation that we received was from Lucy and Malcolm personally and the figure they put their hands up for had so many zeros that it would be judged as generous no matter who in the world gave it. Such generosity and personal support has been a great encouragement and Malcolm was as keen as anyone to see the right outcome for us last week: He phoned me nearly every day last week. Wayside must be one of the few places in this country where we have deep admiration for both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

~ by Garry on November 19, 2009.

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