Price campaigns for green, left alternative
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — In one of the shortest election campaigns in Australian political history, the Labor, Liberal and National parties have produced few real issues so far for the September 19 poll.
Following a brief flurry of controversy over the Goss government's plan to increase tobacco taxes, the Nationals have finally succeeded in provoking a storm of opposition from unions and the ALP by releasing an industrial policy which would scrap state awards and the State Industrial Commission, while forcing workers into "voluntary employment agreements".
Courts would be given the job of resolving disputes, and compulsory unionism would be banned.
In a blunder which had Nationals leader Rob Borbridge backtracking rapidly, the Nationals initially announced lower minimum pay rates for women than men — an end to the principle of equal pay for women.
With this gift to Goss, the Nationals have virtually ensured a substantial Labor victory.
Nevertheless, as Democratic Socialist candidate for Brisbane Central Susan Price's election manifesto explains:
"In the last three years, the Goss Labor government has done little to improve the lives of Queenslanders. Unemployment has increased, public transport fares have risen, health care expenditure is still 25% below the national average, there are no significant urban environment programs and the coastline and forests are still under threat from sand mining and development."
Price says that what is needed is "a movement which unites the key issues of the environmental crisis, social justice and democracy".
Her platform includes repeal of the state's anti-abortion laws; "urgent action to protect our urban and rural environment"; real jobs for young people; real land rights legislation; anti-discrimination legislation to protect gays and lesbians; and expanded democratic rights.
For further information, or to help with the campaign, phone (07)358 4875.