The campaign launch for Mike Crook, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate in the March 24 Queensland state election, took place in Einbunpin Park, Sandgate, on March 4. About 25 people, including several Greens supporters, attended the launch, which was held next to the lagoon in the seaside suburb.
Crook told the audience: “For the major parties, Labor and Liberal National Party, the big corporations pay the piper, and therefore call the tune. For the Socialist Alliance, we believe that the really worthwhile political activity comes from the grassroots.
“We call for an end to the privatisation of public assets, and their return to state hands. We need to nationalise the coal and other mining industries in order to fund progressive policies.
“These natural resources are not theirs — they rightfully belong to the people. These private mining corporations represent an incredible threat to the environment, including the renewed push to commence uranium mining in Queensland.
“An example of this threat is the destruction of Gladstone, especially the beautiful Gladstone Harbour. This endangers the UNESCO world heritage-listed region surrounding Gladstone.
He said Green Left Weekly “is the only newspaper in Australia to give truthful reportage of these issues.
“We need an alternative vision for the future, such as we see in revolutionary Venezuela. In Australia, 80% of mining revenue goes to private profit. In Venezuela, more than 60% of the oil revenue is directed to social programs for the people.
“In short, capitalism is about things; socialism is about people.”
Liam Flenady, Socialist Alliance candidate for South Brisbane, also addressed the launch. “People are alienated from the two main parties, but still need to be convinced of real alternatives," he said.
"Our job in the Socialist Alliance is to get socialist ideas out into the community. Our policies in this election are aimed at Queensland issues, but in the framework of a global crisis."
After the launch, teams of supporters went out into the surrounding suburbs to letterbox Crook’s Socialist Alliance campaign leaflet.