Leigh Hughes, Adelaide
Tom Bertuleit and Amy McDonell, the Socialist Alliance's Senate candidates in South Australia, have pledged to not only do everything they can to stop further privatisations, but to also to fight to return essential services — such as electricity, water and telecommunications — to public hands.
"Economic rationalism has only brought benefits to a tiny minority, the already rich, and hardship for the rest of us", Bertuleit said on February 14. "Too many people are suffering because of the privatisation of public assets, the run-down of public health and education services and the casualisation and deunionisation of the work force."
Bertuleit, a 47-year-old fitter and turner who now works in computer-aided design and drafting, has spent most of his life in South Australia, in Whyalla and in Adelaide. He has a longstanding concern about the environment. Bertuleit joined the Socialist Alliance because, he said, he realises "that the rapacious nature of free-market capitalism underlies so many of the world's problems, including environmental problems".
"I am standing for the Socialist Alliance because mainstream parties and politicians have no interest in fixing the problems", Bertuleit said. "In fact, they assist their corporate backers to cause the problems and shift the cost on to working people. It is up to the people to resist the onslaught of economic rationalism and reclaim our country."
As a university student, Amy McDonell, 20, has first-hand knowledge of the terrible impact of the federal Coalition government's attacks on higher education. She has been politically active since she was 17 years old, and was one of the Adelaide organisers of the Books Not Bombs student network which mobilised thousands of secondary students against the Iraq war in 2003. She is an activist in the No War coalition and helped organise the 2003 Reclaim the Night march in protest at violence against women.
From Green Left Weekly, February 18, 2004.
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