Alexander talks up 24-hour spy cameras in low-crime Bennelong


By Jack Sumner

5 August 2013

The July 10 edition of the local Weekly Times featured Cameras to zoom in on racism, in which federal MP John Alexander proposed that the federal government pay for CCTV cameras on shop awnings in Rowe Street, Eastwood, in the heart of his Bennelong electorate in Sydney’s northern suburbs. Why? “A few months ago a Sydney man, Mr Kim and his Korean aunt were racially abused on a bus” and “—while the crime rate in Eastwood is one of Sydney’s lowest, some crimes involving Korean speakers are not always reported”.


On July 31 Mr Alexander’s regular Weekly Times contribution was Tackling local crime. He confirmed that he was “fighting for more CCTV cameras” because he had been told by the President of the Korean Chamber of Commerce “on July 20 a knife-wielding assailant threatened a local shop owner before stealing her money”.

On August 1 I emailed Mr Alexander’s electorate office the following:

In this week’s edition of The Weekly Times Mr Alexander devotes his “Serving Bennelong” piece to justifying his fight for more CCTV cameras in Eastwood.
Could you please explain why Bennelong’s Federal MP should be giving this his priority attention when :

  • It is based upon only one specific complaint.
  • Eastwood is an area with a low number of reported crimes.
  • Some law abiding residents of Eastwood might resent their privacy being invaded by CCTV cameras.
  • This is a matter which is the responsibility of local authorities & NSW State government.

Does Mr Alexander’s devotion to this issue foreshadow his making “law & order” an issue for the forthcoming election campaign? 

I have not yet received a reply or acknowledgement.

In my letterbox yesterday I found a message from Mr. Alexander advising me that “We will stop the boats – again.” and “A Liberal Government will again deliver stronger borders with tough proven measures”.



I also received a leaflet from the NSW Teachers Federation with “A message from parents, principals and teachers” suggesting that I “tell John Alexander and the federal Liberals: Our children need Gonski schools funding”.


After receiving this message first hand from teachers at a recent “Meet the Candidates” forum, (reported separately) Mr. Alexander will understand that the education of their children will be an important issue for some voters.  It would appear from the above that it is not yet high on his campaign priorities’ list.

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  1. joy cooper says

    Thanks Jack. The CCTV promise is a “look over there” type of policy. The type of political promises used when the candidate or party is trying to deflect the voters’ attention from issues that really do need addressing. CCTV cameras are surely a local council’s area of jurisdiction, not federal. It is like when federal candidates say they will fix the public transport, a state issue. They feel safe making these populist statements in that they know they won’t have to deliver on their promise.

    John Alexander is travelling down the well-worn Liberal path of making people think they should feel terrified or unsafe in their safe communities then coming along saying “I’ll make you safe & secure”. It is the old manufacturing a concern that doesn’t exist trick. Saves them having to answer the real questions that do need a solution such as education.

    • How amazing. Jason Li just announced a new policy: $200,000 for CCTV in Eastwood! Exactly the same as Alexander, just a week later. He even brought out Jason Clare for the announcement.

      I guess Jason Li “is travelling down the well-worn [Labor] path… Saves them having to answer the real questions…”

  2. Has been tennis player soon to become has been politician.

  3. Why do the clowns think they can stop one person being on the sea? And why do the dumb, racist media largely nod in approval that such a thing can be done?

  4. Actually the FACTS (remember them?) are:
    A) The local chamber of commerce requested CCTV from Ryde Council because of a high number of crimes, most of which were not being reported to the police because, culturally, Asian people (in general) are embarrassed at being a victim of a crime
    B) Ryde Council rejected the request because the reported crime rates are low (as they were told it would be)
    C) a woman was robbed at knife point there a few weeks ago.

    So Jack, you are either saying that when these concerns are raised with Alexander as local MP he should respond with “bad luck” or “you should act more Australian and report the crime”. Because if he raises the issue as a local concern he must be fear mongering(because he is a Liberal and that is all they know how to do).

    Something tells me that if Jason Li had raised this matter you would be extolling the virtues of his culturally sensitive locally minded approach to public policy.

    No fibs? BS!