Socialist Alliance has preselected housing activist Rachel Evans for the inner-Sydney seat of Heffron and long-standing unionist and mental health nurse Niko Leka for the seat of Newcastle in next March’s NSW state election.
The party also preselected a ticket for the NSW Legislative Council, headed by long-time unionists Stephen O’Brien (Community and Public Sector Union/Public Service Association) and Paula Sanchez (New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association).
“NSW faces an unprecedented housing crisis and Dominic Perrottet’s Coalition government is determined to make it worse,” Evans told Green Left.
“He wants to destroy what little public housing remains. Right now he wants to evict residents in the Waterloo and Glebe public housing estates to help its big developer backers make even more profits.”
Evans’ campaign will focus on housing justice and defending and extending public housing. She said the sell-off of good public housing is “corruption on a massive scale”.
“We campaigned against the Coalition’s sell-off of Millers Point public housing and we are determined not to let it happen again.”
Evans, a long standing climate and LGBTIQ rights activist, is part of Action for Public Housing and the newly formed Sydney Climate Coalition.
Leka told GL that NSW could tackle homelessness and poverty by forcing developers to allocate a percentage of all new developments to public housing. He said NSW must phase out coal and gas while ensuring fossil fuel workers are not left jobless.
“We will be campaigning for much greater public investment in the health and education system,” Leka said.
While SA is developing its March 2023 platform, housing justice, how to ease cost of living pressures, health care and public transport are going to be central elements.
“This election is crucial for the future of the people of this state,” O’Brien said. He is a former steelworker who now works in the TAFE sector and is a CPSU/PSA delegate.
“After more than a decade of Coalition neoliberal rule we need to push Labor to stand up for public service workers and public infrastructure.
“NSW Labor has a bad track record on privatising public assets, and its ministers have also been found to be corrupt. If Labor is elected it will need to be held to account.
“One way of doing that is to support SA, which has a good track record of working with communities in struggle.”
Public transport campaigner and unionist Andrew Chuter from Sydney, senior lecturer and unionist Samantha Ashby from Newcastle and Joel McAlear from Wollongong are among those elected to the Legislative Council ticket.
[If you can assist with the NSW Socialist Alliance election campaign phone Rachel on 0403 517 266 or Jim on 0423 741 734.]