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Issue #1561      22 August 2012

Housing Action election campaign launch

A soup kitchen was held to launch the Housing Action team campaign for votes for Mayor and Councillors in the September 8 local government elections in Sydney.

Professor Hal Pawson addressing the launch of the Housing Action Team on August 19 at the Gaelic Club, Surry Hills.

Mayoral candidate Denis Doherty, Communist Party member and well known peace and social justice activist, said: “We have already had an impact on the electorate as we see candidates competing to show how concerned they are about housing and housing stress in our area.

“This is too little too late as the Clover Moore team, the ALP and the Liberals have been voting in favour of policies that undermine public and affordable housing for years.”

Council candidate Raul Bassi, a member of the Socialist Alliance, stressed the importance of two left parties and independent activists working together.

Professor Hal Pawson from the University of NSW gave the keynote address at the launch.

He pointed out that local government could by example encourage other levels of government to reject neo-liberalism and instead return to the principle that governments should be involved in the provision of housing.

He went onto to say: “The bigger picture here is the lack of political commitment to government action to ensure affordable housing provision... .

“Public housing has been in suspended animation now for 30 years and the commitment to not-for-profit housing as an alternative has been half hearted, at best.

“Underlying government policy at state and federal level, there has been a usually implicit consensus that … housing can be left to the market.”

The launch was well attended and funds were raised for the campaign.

The Housing Action team appeals for CPA members and supporters to help with letter boxing leaflets and on polling day, September 8. Please contact Denis on 0418 290 663.  

Next article – Myths about refugees and asylum seekers

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