Liberals wiped in Brisbane election
BY JIM MCILROY
BRISBANE — The Labor administration of mayor Jim Soorley swept to victory in the Brisbane City Council election held on March 25. Soorley gained 56% of the primary vote; Liberal candidate Gail Austen won just 38%.
Labor has picked up two more seats on the council, giving it 18 seats to the Liberals' six. Liberal Party leaders immediately began bickering over who was responsible for the debacle and hold grave fears for the party's chances in state and federal elections, due by next year.
Gay and lesbian rights campaigner Tamara Tonite gained 13,000 votes for mayor, around 3%. Anarchist candidate Brian Laver and Community Alliance representative Rob Wilson both received 4000 votes, or 1%.
Democratic Socialist candidate Coral Wynter gained 800 votes (4.8%) in Central ward, and Graham Matthews, the other Democratic Socialist candidate, gained around 700 votes (3.8%), in Dutton Park. Community independent John Tracey received around the same vote as Matthews in Dutton Park.
Matthews and Wynter issued a statement saying they were pleased with the result for the Democratic Socialist campaign. "Our how-to-vote leaflet was clearly headed: 'Vote socialist: For a workers' alternative to Labor'. Those hundreds who gave us their first preference were making a definite statement for a socialist alternative to the economic rationalism of the major parties.
"The challenge now is to mobilise those thousands of people who support socialist ideas into action to implement them."