Qld election: socialist candidates call for radical change

Mike Crook.

Following Queensland Labor Premier Anna Bligh’s announcement that a state election would take place on March 24, the two Socialist Alliance candidates issued a joint statement.

Mike Crook, who will contest the seat of Sandgate, and Liam Flenady, who will stand in South Brisbane said on January 27: “The major parties in the upcoming Queensland election stand for the neoliberal status quo. What the people really need is a radical transformation of the system.”

After an almost unbroken reign of 22 years, the Queensland ALP appears to be facing an electoral rout in the coming poll. The latest opinion poll, released in the January 27 Courier-Mail, shows Labor making up some ground, but still trailing the Liberal-National Party (LNP) by 59 to 41 percent on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor holds 51 seats, to the LNP’s 31. Independents hold the remaining 7 seats in the Queensland Parliament. Bligh called the election after new evidence delayed the release of the final report of the inquiry into Queensland's disastrous floods in January last year. Any adverse findings in the flood inquiry report will likely have a big impact on the campaign.

The March 24 date means that Queensland council elections, due for March 31, will now be delayed until April 29.

“One of the biggest issues arising from last year's floods is the failure of the private insurance companies to pay out on fair claims,” Crook and Flenady said. "We are calling for the re-establishment of a state-owned insurance company to offer automatic coverage for floods, fires and cyclones, and take on the greedy private insurance corporations.

“We also want to put up front an alternative to the ALP government's sell-off of public assets, with the support of the LNP opposition. The Socialist Alliance calls for Queensland Rail National and other privatised state enterprises to be re-nationalised under workers' and public control.

“SA will also be campaigning against the coal seam gas industry; demanding no new coal mines and the phase-out of existing mines, with large-scale creation of green jobs; and a total overhaul of the public transport system.

“These are just some of the key policies we will be advancing in this campaign," they said. "To implement this program of radical change we are calling for a government genuinely accountable to the people: For a government of the 99 per cent, not the 1%”.

[For more information on the Queensland Socialist Alliance election campaign, or offers of assistance and financial support, phone 07 3831 2644, 0423 741 734, or email brisbane@greenleft.org.au.]