Socialists announce WA candidates

February 14, 2022
Socialist Alliance Western Australia candidates: Sam Wainwright (left) will run in the seat of Fremantle; Petrina Harley (centre) and Alex Salmon (right) will run for the Senate.

Socialist Alliance announced climate activists Petrina Harley and Alex Salmon will run in the Senate in Western Australia. Sam Wainwright will run in the House of Representatives seat of Fremantle.

Harley is a mother, teacher and fierce advocate for human rights. She campaigns for the rights of the LGBTIQ community, refugees and First Nations peoples’ rights. She is a passionate environmentalist, involved in the campaigns to stop Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link freeway projects and most recently the campaign to stop fracking.

“Scientists have been warning for more than 30 years that the extraction and burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming," she said. "Yet, the federal government continues to use public funds to subsidise massive new coal and gas projects.”

Harley locked-on to a concrete barrel at the Burrup Hub as part of a 16-hour blockade protesting Woodside’s Scarborough Gas Project. “When the government is more concerned with pleasing their fossil fuel donors than protecting human life, we can’t wait for 2050 targets," she said. "Already people are suffering the consequences of climate change.”

Salmon, Harley’s running mate, is a long-time socialist who has been active in many campaigns including the refugee rights and anti-war movements. A legal archivist who lives in Fremantle, he is a regular Green Left contributor covering workers’ rights and union struggles.

Citing trade union rights, women’s suffrage and the anti-Vietnam War movement, Salmon said only collective struggles by ordinary working people have ever won rights. He recalled the words of slave abolitionist Frederick Douglass who said: “Power concedes nothing without a demand”.

Wainwright lives in Fremantle and is a disability support worker. He was a wharfie for 12 years, before serving as a councillor in the Hilton Ward between 2009 and 2021. Wainwright played a key role in Fremantle Council’s contribution to ending the “Australia Day” fireworks ceremony and spearheading the now nationwide discussion about January 26.

Wainwright believes it’s time to become a republic “with a constitution based on a treaty with Indigenous Australians and a bill of rights and that enshrines the protection of nature”.

“We need to fundamentally restructure the economy to serve our and the planet’s needs. But for that to be possible, we need to bring large monopolised sections of the economy into democratic community ownership. That’s no small feat; it will mean breaking the hold big business has over our lives. And that will take people power.”

[Check Socialist Alliance for more details.]

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