Socialist Alliance says: Community need not corporate greed

November 8, 2022
Socialist Alliance candidates from left to right: Sue Bolton, Arie Huybregts, Sarah Hathway and Angela Carr. Photo: Chloe DS

Below is the Victorian Socialist Alliance 2022 election campaign platform. Please get in touch if you can help out.

• • •

The cost of living is going through the roof. Nearly everyone is feeling the pinch.

Corporations and their billionaire owners increase prices and cause inflation. They make huge profits, but pay little or no tax and try to keep your pay down.

We have a massive housing crisis. For most people, a house is their home. For developers, where you live is their chance to make a profit.

Corporate subsidies must be abolished, with funding redirected to public health, education and transport.

We have an overloaded health system, from the “000” call centre and ambulances to emergency departments, hospital wards and allied health.

Public schools are underfunded. Teachers are leaving because of poor pay, overwork and short-term contracts.

Public transport fails to meet our needs, which costs the environment as well.

The climate crisis grips the world with extreme heat, cold, floods, storms and fires.

We urgently need to transition to 100% renewable energy without leaving workers behind. The energy industry must be returned to public ownership.

The capitalist profits-first system is incapable of solving the climate crisis or reversing growing inequality. We need community and workplace campaigns based on social justice and solidarity. These will replace corporate power with ours, in order to distribute society’s wealth equitably and save the planet.

Electing a socialist to parliament, who will live on a worker’s wage like you, can help win change by giving a broader voice to these grassroots campaigns.

For cost of living help:

  • Cap the cost of electricity, gas and water for low-income households.
  • Remove the cap on wage increases for public sector workers.
  • Free or cheap public transport.

Fix the housing crisis:

  • Build decent affordable housing for all.
  • Immediately freeze rents for two years and ban “no grounds” evictions, and then permanently cap rents.
  • Build 100,000 new public housing dwellings in the next five years through an emergency plan.
  • End the conversion of public housing into social housing: stop this “privatisation by stealth”.
  • Purchase for public housing all dwellings left vacant for more than 12 months.
  • Expand emergency accommodation services as an interim measure until a Housing First model is established to combat homelessness.
  • Force developers to allocate 20% of units to affordable housing.
  • Establish a state-owned body to provide low-interest home loans.
  • Renovate substandard landlord holdings and make them public housing.
  • Repair and decarbonise public housing.

For better health:

  • Rebuild public health (including mental health) by reintegrating its services and reversing years of funding cuts.
  • Boost funding for public mental health services urgently, especially for children and young people.
  • Expand community-based health care networks (community health centres, reproductive and sexual health clinics) and include free paediatric care at community health centres.
  • Increase spending on health education and preventative medicine to reduce demands on hospital and acute health services.
  • Expand public dental care funding so that all who need dental care can access it.
  • Reverse the privatisation of sections of the public health system.
  • Provide victims/survivors of sexual abuse with free long-term trauma therapy, medical treatment and support services.
  • Build a new public hospital for Geelong’s northern suburbs and provide hospitals and community health centres in rural Victoria.

For better education:

  • Invest in making public schools better in every neighbourhood, with no hidden costs to parents.
  • Reduce class sizes and teacher workloads.
  • Employ more school counsellors, teachers and education support staff.
  • Ban NAPLAN and all standardised testing.

For better public transport:

  • Fund an accessible public transport infrastructure blitz to make public transport 100% accessible for all. It should get just as much priority and funding as the level crossing removal program.
  • Expand public transport into all parts of Melbourne and expand regional public transport within regional cities and between towns and cities.
  • Duplicate the Upfield train line and other single-track train lines for more frequent trains and fewer cancellations.
  • Extend bus networks with more frequent services, weekend and night services
  • Return public transport to public ownership.
  • Free or cheap public transport.
  • End expensive toll roads and redirect the money to public transport. Stop the North-East link.
  • Expand safe cycling infrastructure.

For climate and environmental action:

  • Phase out fossil fuels — no new coal or gas projects. Ban unconventional gas exploration and maintain the ban on fracking for gas.
  • Invest to achieve 100% renewable energy, from sun, wind, wave and geothermal sources, by 2030.
  • End all subsidies and tax breaks to fossil fuels companies.
  • Urgently develop a transition plan to guarantee alternative jobs for workers with no loss of pay as fossil fuel power stations begin closing down. Make the Latrobe Valley a manufacturing hub for renewable energy and develop other new industries there.
  • Bring the energy industry back into public ownership.
  • Upgrade the bus fleet to be 100% electric.
  • End the logging of native forests and transition to plantation timbers. Increase support for alternative jobs in logging communities.
  • End land clearing and logging in important water catchments to preserve water quality.
  • Provide more parks and green space in urban areas, including wildlife corridors.

To end developer greed:

  • Ban land banking by developers.
  • Ban political donations by developers.
  • Force developers to build affordable and accessible housing.
  • Guarantee the community’s right to have a say over development by retaining notification and review rights.

For social justice:

  • Negotiate Treaties with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Provide adequate funding for Aboriginal-controlled community organisations.
  • Expand abortion access to make it free and accessible in all parts of Victoria.
  • Stop gender and family violence, with expanded funding for women’s refuges and community-anti-violence campaigns.
  • Address gendered poverty.
  • Provide public disability services to people with disabilities who miss out on NDIS funding.
  • Have the state government lead the way in providing fully accessible infrastructure such as public transport and fully accessible services.
  • Provide more support for asylum seekers and refugees, especially people who have no access to Medicare, Centrelink payments or work rights.
  • Oppose racism, discrimination and Islamophobia.
  • Support the LGBTQI+ community, including free provision of gender-affirming healthcare.
  • Fully decriminalise sex work and the sex industry.

To invest in jobs and skills:

  • Create incentives to attract new health workers, disability support workers, teachers and education support staff:
    • provide free tuition,
    • wages for students doing placement,
    • permanent jobs for those who want permanency,
    • reduced workload, and
    • increased wages.
  • Fund more graduate program positions for all healthcare workers.
  • Increase funding for the public TAFEs; end public funding for private training organisations.
  • Legislate apprenticeship ratios.

For a fairer justice system:

  • Stop locking up children in jails. Raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 and stop detaining children under the age of 16. Provide holistic early intervention support to children and families.
  • Stop police investigating police. Establish an independent misconduct investigation agency.
  • End the militarisation of the police and ban the use of projectile weapons purchased in 2016.
  • Waive the $2.3 million of COVID-19 fines imposed on young people.
  • Make incarceration a last resort by repealing the punitive bail laws that jail people accused of minor crimes and ending mandatory sentencing. Redirect people to community service for non-violent offences.
  • Increase and guarantee funding for state integrity agencies, including the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Ombudsman.
  • Invest in homes not prisons. Invest in providing safe, affordable housing to keep people out of prison instead of expanding prisons.
  • End over-policing and racial profiling of communities.
  • Increase funding to Victoria Legal Aid and Community Legal Centres.
  • End the privatisation of prisons.
  • Legalise cannabis, decriminalise drug use, and treat addiction as a health issue. Provide safe injecting facilities and pill testing.

For democratic rights:

  • Scrap anti-democratic laws banning forest protests.
  • Provide full rights for workers to organise and fight. The state government shouldn’t use anti-worker laws against state public sector workers.
  • Stop police busting up union picket lines.

[To find out more and to help out, visit Socialist Alliance.]

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