Socialists run for council with anti-corporate message

Susan Price, Blair Vidakovich and Pip Hinman. Photo: Peter Boyle

The Socialist Alliance has announced three candidates for the Inner West Council elections to be held on September 9.

Pip Hinman will run in Stanmore, Susan Price will run in Ashfield and Blair Vidakovich in Leichhardt.

Hinman, who has run as a local Socialist Alliance candidate in previous local, state and federal elctions, is an activist in many social campaigns. She is president of Stop CSG Sydney, a community group which successfully stopped fracking in St Peters in the 2011 and eventually got the gas licence covering metropolitan Sydney cancelled.

Susan Price, also a local Socialist Alliance candidate in previous elections, has been an active unionist for more than 20 years. During that time she has held a number of elected roles in the National Tertiary Education Union including as branch president at the University of New South Wales between 2006 and 2010 during which time she led strike actions to defend workplace rights and conditions.

Blair Vidakovich has been active since he was 16, and is currently organising for the new Retail and Fast Food Worker's Union. He is completing a doctorate in philosophy and is also active in the campaign to defend penalty rates.

The ticket will focus on how to make council transparent, democratic and accountable to the community. Its campaign slogan is: “Community need, not developer greed”.

“People are sick of being trampled underfoot by greedy governments and corporations”, said Price. “They worry that the forced amalgamation of the inner west three councils will mean a less representative and less accountable local government.”

“The NSW government rushed through council amalgamations to weaken comunity resistance to developer greed and to pave the way for the multi-billion-dollar private tollway scam that is WestConnex,” she continued.

“We totally oppose WestConnex,” said Hinman. “Money should be spent on expanding and improving public transport not building more motorways. We think WestConnex should be halted immediately and the communities already wrecked by this disastrous project rehabilitated. We also oppose the privatisation of Sydney Buses.”

“People want local government to work for our communities. It is the closest level of government to local communities, and it should be much more responsive,” Hinman added. “There is a rich history of democratic and inclusive council practice that was pioneered in the former Leichhardt Council and we should build on that tradition. Councillors should be accountable to local ward and precinct meetings and act as facilitators of direct community action.”

“Housing stress is a major issue,” Vidakovich said, having recently moved to Leichhardt. “Many students and workers are finding it very hard to make ends meet. There are also many people who simply have no place to go. Council must come up with solutions that can ease that stress and this will be one of our key focuses. Council should help provide affordable, quality and sustainable public housing, support rent regulation and mandate really affordable housing as a significant part of all major housing developments.

[To get in touch with the campaign on Facebook go to Socialist Alliance for Inner West Council or here. Authorised by R. Evans, 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW 2007.]

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