The Socialist Alliance's candidate in the February 13 Altona district bi-election, Margarita Windisch, has welcomed state transport minister Lynne Kosky's resignation as overdue. But she says Kosky was just a symptom of a larger problem for Victorians — a negligent Labor government with the wrong priorities.
"Our state government has constantly failed people, and the utterly shambolic public transport system is just one example", Windisch told Green Left Weekly. "The ALP is nothing more than a political machine that puts profits before people.
"While Premier John Brumby wines and dines those with enough money to buy his ear, struggling public services, soaring utility costs and opinion polls are ignored. The Brumby government is all about putting big business before the needs of people and the environment."
The state government has prioritised spending more than $300 million on refurbishing the state's tennis centre, while public services are in crisis.
In the face of looming climate disaster, if urgent action isn't taken, the Socialist Alliance is campaigning for an expanded, well integrated, frequent and free public transport system.
Working towards a zero-emissions economy is critical, Windisch said. Sea-level rises threaten many of Melbourne's suburbs. The Socialist Alliance advocates a rapid shift to 100% renewable energy, together with a massive job-creation program.
Windisch is a former tram conductor and currently a community welfare teacher. She was part of the Dump Connex campaign in 2009, campaigning on train platforms and in carriages where hundreds of petitions were signed and more 100,000 pamphlets distributed to commuters.
She is an active union member, has taken part in anti-war collectives and campaigns for civil liberties, women's rights and public services. If elected, Windisch will prioritise:
* An expanded, frequent and free public transport system that is run by the public;
* The creation of green jobs a move towards 100% renewable energy;
* Sustainable water solutions;
* Investing taxpayer funds into urgently needed social services;
* Phasing out pokie machines; and
* Abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission, which unfairly targets building workers.
[Windisch will hold a bbq to meet local residents and hear your concerns at Logans Reserve, on the corner of Pier and Queens Streets, Altona, from noon on January 31. Phone 0438 869 790 or 0425 230 597 for more information, or visit www.socialistalliancemelbourne.blogspot.com.]