Qld SA candidates: Reverse privatisation madness

The Socialist Alliance Queensland released the statement below on March 2.

* * *

The three Socialist Alliance candidates in the March 24 Queensland state election, two of who are former Labor Party members disgusted at Labor's betrayals of public interests, have called for a new trade union and community campaign to reverse the privatisations of the major parties.

“The catastrophic collapse of Brisbane’s train services on February 28 due to failure of power supply is a dramatic demonstration of the disastrous consequences of privatising the energy and transport sectors,” Socialist Alliance candidates Mike Crook (Sandgate), Jason Briskey (Dalrymple) and Liam Flenady (South Brisbane) said in a joint statement.

“Experience tells us that privatising these essential services carries a big cost in public safety, environmental safeguards and public service as cuts to regular maintenance, staff and infrastructure investment are carried out just to boost profits.

“We need a broad united front of the common people like the powerful coalition that is growing around popular opposition to coal seam gas (CSG) mining.

“The trade unions should voice the overwhelmingly anti-privatisation stand of their memberships, free themselves from the dead hand of the Labor Party privatisers and mobilise their memberships in a new mass campaign against this wholesale theft of public assets.”

Mike Crook, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sandgate, was a member of the Labor Party for 20 years. Mike joined the Socialist Alliance several years ago, having become increasingly disenchanted with the ALP’s anti-worker, pro-corporate agenda.

Mike became radicalised when working on mining and construction projects, becoming active in the union movement. He witnessed horrific accidents and quickly saw how most employers had no interest in the safety of their workers.

Mike is active in community and environmental campaigns in the Sandgate area, including the Transition Towns movement.

Jason Briskey, the former Labor Party candidate in the last state election, is the Socialist Alliance candidate in the northern Queensland seat of Dalrymple.

Jason was an ALP branch president and has been involved in every state and federal election since the age of 14. Jason is a long-term Charters Towers resident and his family has has had strong ties with the area for more than 90 years. Jason is a working single parent and a committed worker for his local community.

Liam Flenady, the Socialist Alliance candidate for South Brisbane, is a music composer, a researcher at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and a political activist.

Over the past few years Liam has been heavily involved in the campaign against CSG and has contributed to the movements to defend WikiLeaks, Occupy Brisbane and other progressive causes.

A resident of Highgate Hill, Liam is committed to putting genuine social justice, environmental sustainability and public ownership back on the political agenda in Queensland.

The Socialist Alliance 10-point platform for the Queensland state elections

People before profit. Planet before profit. For the millions, not the billionaires. For a liveable Brisbane and Queensland, meeting human needs.

1. Stop Coal Seam Gas: An immediate moratorium on existing CSG exploration and mining until safety of land and water can be proved. No new CSG projects. A royal commission into all aspects of CSG industry. A total ban on "fracking".

2. Take back the people’s assets: Re-nationalise QR (Queensland Rail) National, Energex and other privatised state enterprises under workers’ and public control.

3. For a state-owned insurance company: Re-establish a publicly-owned Queensland Government Insurance Office, to offer low-cost, comprehensive insurance, with automatic coverage for floods, fires and cyclones. Take on the greedy private insurance companies.

4. Set up a new Queensland State Bank: Provide low-interest loans to householders, farmers and small business. Stop the private banks ripping off the community.

5. Green energy, not coal: No new coal mines or coal-fired power plants in Queensland. Rapidly phase out existing coalmining. For a major state-owned program of solar, wind and geothermal electricity production for all future energy needs. Provide green jobs and retraining for coal industry workers.

6. Expand public transport: Invest in rail and buses, not roads for trucks and cars. Build free, frequent and fully integrated public transport networks throughout Brisbane and the regions. Oppose the recent fare hikes.

7. Quality universal, public health care, education and housing for all: For a full, independent restructure of Queensland Health, placing it under public control. Fund public schools, not private education. Expand public and community housing at reasonable rents.

8. Genuine justice for Aboriginal people: For a new royal commission into deaths in custody. Implement findings of the 1991 commission. Jail those responsible for deaths in custody. Grant full land rights now and pay “stolen wages” in full.

9. Repeal anti-abortion laws: Genuine equal pay for women workers. Grant full marriage equality for all.

10. For a government genuinely accountable to the people: Community councils and referenda, not fake “consultation”. End corruption and corporations buying political control. For a government of the 99%, not the 1% Support the Occupy movement.