Seventy people from across New South Wales took part in the Socialist Alliance state conference on October 7 to discuss politics and political campaigns in NSW and plan for the March 2011 state elections.
The conference decided to run a “red-green” election campaign based on the slogan “NSW not for sale, community need not corporate greed!”
The conference analysed the crisis of Labor in NSW, which has stemmed from disgust at the ALP’s privatisation agenda, tensions between the ALP and the union movement, as well as the growing campaign against coalmining in the Hunter region and outrage at the greedy developer deals and stench of corruption hanging over the state Labor government.
The latest Newspoll puts the ALP primary support at jsut 23%. Meanwhile, support for the Greens has risen to 17%. However, speakers noted that the Liberal-National Coalition is currently sitting on 46% support.
With most analysts predicting a total rout of the ALP in the upcoming elections, speakers emphasised the need to build strong and united campaigns and alliances to fight the neoliberal onslaught expected to follow a Coalition victory.
As an example of the types of alliances and campaigns needed to defeat the major parties’ neoliberal agenda, Paul McAleer, Sydney branch secretary Maritime Union of Australia and Communist Party member, spoke about the successful campaign to stop the privatisation of Sydney Ferries.
Other speakers included: Susan Price, National Tertiary Education Union NSW vice-president and Socialist Alliance member; Zane Alcorn, environmentalist, hip-hop artist and Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Newcastle; Irene Doutney, Greens councillor on Sydney City Council; Adam Lucas, Beyond Zero Emissions; Rachel Evans, refugee and queer rights campaigner and Socialist Alliance upper house candidate; Karl Hand, Socialist Alliance member and Pastor of MCC Crave; Ben Kohler from Wollongong Resistance; Paola Harvey, convenor of Equal Love Wollongong and Socialist Alliance member; and Dick Nichols from the Socialist Alliance national executive.
The conference elected a Peter Boyle, Evans, Price, Jess Moore, Simon Butler and Simon Cunich to lead Socialist Alliance’s upper house ticket in the state elections.
A further 10 candidates were elected as part of the team, while leaving space to allow for other left-wing groups or independents to take part in a possible unity campaign.