Graham Matthews, Sydney
Prominent Stop the War Coalition activist Pip Hinman has been pre-selected as the Socialist Alliance candidate for the Marrickville by-election on September 17.
Hinman, a Newtown resident and parent, will be campaigning for total non-cooperation by the NSW government with threatened federal anti-union laws, and against NSW Labor's proposed job cuts.
"We will be collecting local residents' signatures on an open letter to Premier Morris Iemma that calls on his government to reject individual contracts for state public sector workers, guarantee unfair dismissal protection for all workers in NSW and refuse to use state police to enforce Howard's anti-union laws. We will approach other candidates to sign up as well", Hinman told Green Left Weekly.
"The NSW Liberal and Labor party leaders, John Brogden and Morris Iemma, are participating in a dangerous public sector job-slashing auction", said Hinman. "Public services are already badly run down and these corporate profit-first parties want to slash public spending further. And for what? To give more tax cuts and subsidies to real estate agents, developers and other big companies."
Reports that 1000 jobs have been slashed in the health department and another 4000 jobs are to be cut over the next six months to pay for Iemma's handout to real estate agents and developers through his abolition of the vendor tax, are an outrage, Hinman said. "And John Brogden threatens to cut more if the Liberals are elected to government. He would be giving big companies yet another handout in the form of a payroll tax cut."
The community and the environment cannot afford profits-first governments anymore, Hinman argued. "I have a young daughter in the public school system and, like other parents, I know that schools needs more funding, not cuts. I don't want her and other children to grow up in a society where basic public services and the environment are sacrificed to fatten corporate profits."
The Socialist Alliance will also be campaigning for extended and free public transport as a radical response to the transport crisis in the area, and in defence of public education, housing and health. The Socialist Alliance opposes the proposed desalination plant and supports recycling water instead.
"Civil rights, now under serious attack under the cover of 'anti-terrorism' laws, is another issue we will be campaigning around", Hinman added. The Socialist Alliance is also actively involved in the campaign for same-sex marriage rights.
The Socialist Alliance will be directing its second preference to the Greens.
From Green Left Weekly, August 31, 2005.
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