The Socialist Alliance will field two long-term activists for the Victorian Senate on a People and Planet before Profit platform.
The party announced on August 26 that Melbourne-based civil engineer and climate activist Felix Dance will stand along with Angela Carr, a Geelong-based community services worker and housing and homelessness campaigner.
Dance told Green Left that he was motivated to stand because the profit-first system is “incapable” of solving the climate crisis, which has also spawned the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Inequalities between nations and communities are being starkly shown up by the pandemic. The same fault lines are shown up by climate crisis.”
Dance became active after seeing the enormous S11 anti-globalisation protest in 2001: “I got FOMO [anxiety from missing out] and started becoming involved in climate-related campaigns.”
“As capitalism lurches from crisis to crisis, inequality is accelerating,” Dance said, pointing to the steep rise in house prices and rentals while wages stagnate.
“Many young people have been forced to re-evaluate their ambitions while the rich get tax cuts.
“The myth that if we all work hard enough, or study enough, we’ll 'make it' is coming apart at the seams. There are alternatives, but we have to fight for them.”
Carr grew up in a disadvantaged household and understands hardship well. She first became active in campaigns for refugee rights and now campaigns for housing justice.
“In the midst of the latest pandemic outbreaks, workers and communities are being forced to do more with less,” Carr told Green Left.
“There are many now unable to afford rent because they cannot find jobs in a precarious work environment. Many have lived under the constant threat of eviction ever since the moratorium was lifted.
“In Geelong and many other regional communities, the housing crisis is getting worse. There are hardly any rental properties available, and rents are skyrocketing. The number of people turning to unfunded homelessness services is higher than ever.”
Carr and Dance said the growing inequalities are the result of neoliberal governments cutting public funding — particularly to important services such as health care and income support.
“How are people expected to cope with income support payments that are well below the poverty line”, Carr asked.
While the federal election date has not been set, the last date for a normal house and half-Senate election is May 21, 2022.
Socialist Alliance is standing long-term and respected Moreland councillor Sue Bolton in the inner north seat of Wills, and has announced it intends to run a candidate in Corio in Geelong.
[Get in touch if you would like to help out. Socialist Alliance's platform is available here.]