By Lesley High
ADELAIDE — Green Alliance launched its campaign and selected candidates for the state elections at a meeting here on October 30. Trish Corcoran and Col Smith will stand in the Legislative Council. Green Left Weekly spoke to both candidates.
Col Smith, a long-time peace and environmental activist, explained that the campaign has two main aims. "Green Alliance hopes to provide a viable alternative to the two major parties and to raise the profile of the environmental and alternative political movements.
"Green Alliance is running on a range of environmental and social justice issues encompassing peace, social and economic justice, employment and technology, and the environment and conservation.
"The construction of the submarines and the extension of the public transport system are major issues that Green Alliance is focusing on.
"In order to reverse the trend of high car ownership and usage, we need to provide a decent public transport alternative. Also high on the agenda are World Heritage listing for the Lake Eyre Basin and reducing levels of waste in the state.
Smith stressed the importance of an alternative voice also at a national level. "The work of the WA Green senators is something really positive. It highlights the fact that a party's majority in the lower house doesn't give them the absolute right to set the political agenda."
Trish Corcoran, a member of both the Democratic Socialist Party and the radical youth organisation Resistance, explained that Green Alliance does not focus just on environmental issues.
"This is central to the reason Green Alliance was formed. We think that environmental problems and social problems should be seen together. Green Alliance bases its policies on ecological sustainability, social and economic justice, grassroots democracy, disarmament and non-violence.
"We put environmental politics at the forefront but we believe we need to address the economic and social crisis in society before we can find lasting solutions to the environmental crisis."
The main points in Green Alliance's social policy are: a guaranteed minimum income, Aboriginal land rights, support for the agricultural sector, free education, wage justice and job creation.
"We see unemployment as a total waste of human resources and we would aim to extend the public sector in order to further environmental projects at the same time."
Like Smith, Corcoran sees the aim of the Green Alliance campaign as reaching out to people and involving them in an active environment movement.