Socialist groups and community activists of different stripes have come together under the banner of Victorian Socialists in one of the most ambitious bids in decades to get a socialist elected to state parliament. Green Left Weekly’s Jacob Andrewartha spoke to Stephen Jolly, Victorian Socialists’ lead candidate for the upper house Northern Metropolitan seat, about this initiative.
Nearly 100 workers at Note Printing Australia (NPA) in Craigieburn, which is owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), were locked out by their employer on August 10.
The workers have been campaigning for a wage rise of 3.5%. Their demand is in line with the appeal made by RBA Governor Philip Lowe to federal parliament in February, when he said that a generalised wage rise of 3.5% would help stimulate economic activity.
Residents of the Gronn Place public housing estate in West Brunswick vowed to resist eviction at a community forum on July 15.
Gronn Place residents’ spokesperson Neville, who has lived there for 30 years, said, “We will not let them tear down our homes,” adding that he would chain himself inside his home. “I'm not going anywhere. They’ll have to drag me out.”
About 80 residents and supporters attended the lively community forum, the first since residents received letters that they would be evicted.
The seeds of the current crisis of confidence in the capitalist parties in Australia go back to the 1980s when the Bob Hawke Labor government implemented its version of Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberal economic policies. The Hawke government also managed to achieve what previous Coalition governments had failed to do — seriously weaken the union movement.
While these reforms did not immediately create right-wing populism, once the reforms started to really bite by the late 1990s, it began to develop around Pauline Hanson.
The government has not made a mistake with the Centrelink robo-debt notices. It knows it is sending out incorrect notices.
Centrelink staff warned management the notices would be wrong and the new debt recovery system would incorrectly claim overpayments.
Community activists, residents and supporters came together to launch Sue Bolton's campaign for re-election to the City of Moreland Council in Melbourne's northern suburbs on September 10.
Bolton, a member of Socialist Alliance, received some heart-warming endorsements and pledges of support from a number of community members.