By Karen Fletcher
BRISBANE — "When I become Lord Mayor of Brisbane there will be no dump in Rochedale." So said Jim Soorley at a fundraising dinner for the campaign against the Rochedale dump in Brisbane several weeks prior to the poll at which he was elected lord mayor, in March.
"I have those words indelibly etched in my brain", Glenys Head, spokesperson for the Southside Action Group, told Green Left Weekly. "We got Jim Soorley elected. He has not kept his promise."
Glenys and more than 250 other local residents voted at a public meeting on July 28 to endorse an independent "Stop the Dump" campaign in the next state elections.
Glenys said the unanimous support for the proposal was a direct result of the failure of the Labor Council to keep to its promise to stop the dump. In the upcoming election, SAG would not support the ALP, the Liberals or the Nationals.
"The Labor Party burnt us very severely. We got Jim Soorley in, and once he got there he refused to take any notice of us. We believe government should be more responsive to ordinary people. We will never trust the word of a major party politician again. We have a case before the courts, but judges don't respond to people power. We have decided that our only weapon to fight this thing is politics."
Information obtained by the group indicates that there will be a state election in December, some 12 months earlier than required.
The Southside Action Group has resolved to run five candidates, in the electorates of Mansfield, Redlands, Springwood, Salisbury and Mt Gravatt.
Candidates would be selected on their commitment to the rights of ordinary people, and particularly to environmental issues. Naturally the dump would be a central issue, but small business issues would also be addressed.
Glenys said the group had not yet selected a name for the team, but that the slogan would be aimed at Jim Soorley: "Do a service for others, not just for yourself".
People interested in assisting with the campaign should contact Glenys Head on 349 9728.