Community ticket to contest local government election in Parramatta

Katrina James, Susan Price and Douglas Hawthorne. Photo: Vivien Miley

Community Need Not Corporate Greed will field a team in the Parramatta local government election on September 4.

The Rosehill Ward ticket is headed by Susan Price, a local climate and social rights activist and founding member of the Socialist Alliance. She is running with Katrina James, founder of The Westies, local community events organiser and photographer and long-time socialist activist and passionate supporter of Aboriginal rights and anti-racism campaigns is IT worker Douglas Hawthorne.

“For too long, developers and corporate interests have sought to dominate decision-making,” said Price. “We need to reassert our power as organised residents. After all, we are the ones affected by inappropriate development, heritage and environmental destruction, privatisation and outsourcing, cuts to services and the rising cost of living.”

The activists are involved in the campaign to save Willow Grove and support the CFMEU green ban. “We pledge to join with other residents in putting our bodies in front of bulldozers — if needs be — to save this piece of Parramatta’s heritage,” James said.

The ticket is calling on the City of Parramatta to declare a climate emergency and commit to becoming a zero emissions council by 2030. They also want the council to initiate consultation with local First Nations’ elders about how to mark Invasion Day in the local government area.

Social and economic pressures are bearing down on Parramatta residents, especially during the pandemic. The Community Need Not Corporate Greed ticket wants council to initiate programs to house the homeless in vacant dwellings, expand public housing projects and mandate low-income housing in all new developments.

“Council should instigate a sliding scale of council rates indexed to income,” said Hawthorne. “Council services should be properly funded by the state and federal governments, and there should be an end to the privatisation, outsourcing and contracting out.”

Community Need Not Corporate Greed says community must be put at the centre of decision making.

“We stand for open council, where residents have a genuine say,” said James. “That means an end to confidential briefings by developers, regular ward meetings to ensure accountability and resident-initiated motions to council.”

[To get in touch, email Susan Price or visit the Facebook page.]

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