By Melanie Sjoberg
MELBOURNE — Colleen Hartland, a long-time activist in the western suburbs, will contest the seat of Footscray in the next state elections.
She is a member of the Hazardous Materials Action Group, and was until recently a representative on the Western Suburbs Environmental Task Force.
"The main issues will be the environment and unemployment", she told Green Left Weekly. "In particular, we will make the connections between the Active Employment Strategy and problems with high unemployment in the area. We want to counter the arguments of the chemical industry that they are the only source of jobs."
Hartland sees health, education and transport as "interlocking issues". "The ALP ignores the needs of the west" she said. "They have made no attempt to tackle the hard questions of the chemical industry, despite the high accident list."
Hartland withdrew from her role as community representative on the ministerial task force because "it took little action and had no power." As far as she knew, it had not even met this year.
Footscray is a safe Labor seat held currently by Bruce Mildenhall. It will also be contested by Democrat Hans Paas and two independents. n