Socialists in bid to make Marrickville council accountable

Jill Hickson, Josie Evans and Pip Hinman.

The below on June 29.

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A team of three experienced Socialist Alliance activists will stand in Marrickville Council’s north ward at the upcoming elections.

Socialist Alliance, which is contesting the elections on a platform of Power to the People, is a social justice and ecological party.

“Councils should be extensions of the community”, said lead candidate Pip Hinman.

“To be able to do this, council has to be responsive to residents’ lives and concerns and, importantly, be accountable. Regular ward meetings, councillors being subject to the right of recall and referendums on any issue if 10% of residents support it, would help.”

Hinman, a long-term resident in Marrickville, is involved in several community campaigns. She is passionate about grassroots democracy, where people have a say in the big decisions affecting their lives. She’s a mother of a teenage daughter and a proud unionist.

Looking after the housing needs of the vulnerable is close to Josie Evans’ heart, the second member of the team. Evans, also a mother, is a tenant representative and tutor, and is an organiser with the local group, Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney.

Evans said: “The dangers and unknowns of coal seam gas production are too great for the community to condone the wholesale explosion of the industry – as the major parties would want.

“With the exception of the Greens councillors, Marrickville baulked at allowing residents the chance to exercise their say by refusing to back a non-binding poll on coal seam gas exploration in the local government area at the time of the council elections. The Greens’ motion wasn’t supported by Labor and the independent councillors.”

Jill Hickson says she is running on the Socialist Alliance ticket because she wants council to reflecting the views of ordinary community members.

Hickson has brought the global and local together through her many years of activism. Her experiences have included secretly filming Indonesian political prisoners during the Soeharto dicatorship to campaigning against US nuclear ship visits to Western Australian ports, and working to develop stronger community participation and sustainability at the Addison Road Community Centre.

She works with her partner John Reynolds at Art Resistance at Marrickville’s Addison Road Centre — a unique community arts space.

All three activists on the Socialist Alliance ticket are keen to share their ideas on how to make Marrickville Council more engaged and responsive.

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