Inspiring launch for progressive council ticket

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Community Voice — a united grassroots ticket to contest Wollongong City Council elections — was officially launched on July 8 at Wollongong Town Hall.

The ticket is an exciting development for the Illawarra community. It will contest all positions in the September 3 election, including Lord Mayor.

Community Voice has developed a platform based on community democracy, social justice, job creation and sustainable development.

It will preselect candidates for councillors on July 24 and for Lord Mayor on July 31.

Participants will spend the next two weeks holding conversations and discussions with community groups, neighbourhood forums, migrant communities and other groups to ensure the process is as inclusive as possible.

Present at the launch were rank-and-file trade unionists, community activists, and high profile community members such as Reverend Gordon Bradbury, who nearly won the seat of Wollongong in the NSW elections, and Michael Organ, Greens federal member for Cunningham from 2002-04.

The Illawarra Greens have decided to stand against Community Voice in two of the three local wards in Wollongong, despite helping to develop the ticket’s platform.

Participants in Community Voice will continue to urge the Greens to rejoin the process to maximise the community’s chances of gaining a real voice on council.

Community Voice spokesperson Felix Bronneberg said at the launch: “The September election provides residents with an unprecedented opportunity to create real change in the administration of our city.

“Let us not forget why our previous elected Council was sacked — because of closed-door deals done by corrupt Labor councillors and senior bureaucrats.

“The Labor party, which is yet to apologise to the community for its abuse of power, is a reminder of the most shameful episode in the history of our local government.

“Community Voice represents the interests of the community, not developers. The community must decide how to create a brighter future for our city.”

[For more details phone Felix 0434 264 171 or Mike 02 4268 1580.]

From GLW issue 886