Socialist to contest Geelong council elections, calls for sustainable jobs

Sarah Hathway, third from left, at a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne.

Union organiser and activist Sarah Hathway will contest the City of Greater Geelong local council elections for one of two positions in Windermere Ward, which covers parts of Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Norlane, Corio, Lovely Banks and Lara.

Hathway lives in Norlane with her partner and 2-year-old daughter. She grew up in Whittington and attended school and TAFE in Geelong. Hathway is a member of Socialist Alliance.

“I’ve been an activist for most of my life and these tough times mean we need local fighters on council.

“Norlane and Whittington are underserviced, and often ignored. Councillors and state MPs claim to do a lot, but little seems to change.”

Hathway was one of many campaigning for Geelong to declare a climate emergency last year, just before Australia’s devastating Black Summer fires. It did not, because two Windemere councillors sided with Liberal Party-aligned conservatives to prevent the declaration from being agreed to.

“We are facing serious challenges to our health, economy and environment, but some councillors want to stick their heads in the sand,” she said.

“There is hope, however. It is good that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has sided with the community to oppose AGL’s push for a liquefied natural gas storage unit at Crib Point. Council was listening to the community’s concerns about the project’s posing unacceptable risks to the environment.

“They did not accept the company’s spin about providing jobs either.

“Geelong has a high youth unemployment rate, and even before the coronavirus pandemic there was a lot of competition for jobs.

“Council needs a plan to push for sustainable green jobs which offer people security and decent conditions.

“It can be done in tandem with a push for good services. This why I’m running under the slogan ‘For Community Need’.”

[Sarah Hathway will host an online campaign launch on August 30. For more information, visit Sarah Hathway socialist for Windermere Ward on Facebook or email sarah.hathway@gmail.com.]