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Issue #1677      March 18, 2015

NSW Elections 2015

Throw out the privatisers!

The Communist Party of Australia calls on NSW voters to reject the Baird government’s privatisation plans on March 28. The Liberal/National government is trying to lure NSW citizens with false promises of $20 billion to fix infrastructure to be paid for by privatising the poles and wires of the state-owned electricity industry.

The CPA is implacably opposed to privatisation. The utilities and services privatised by previous ALP and Coalition governments ultimately benefit the wealthy (the top one percent) and are paid for through higher charges and poorer services for the great majority of NSW residents, especially the working class and marginalised groups like pensioners. Revenue from the poles and wires brings $1.7 billion per year for public health, education and other services. Privatisation will mean this annual income is lost for 90 years.

The ALP’s change of heart over privatisation is welcome but caution is needed. Trade union pressure was clearly influential here but this was not a decision on principle. Significantly ALP leader Luke Foley stated that he was “not an ideologue on privatisation” – a position that was enough for South Coast Labour Council Secretary Arthur Rorris to decide to run as an independent in the election.

The fact that this Labour Council head has broken from the ALP is a welcome development. Australia needs a grassroots welling up for real change and the development of an electoral alliance with the working class as its primary focus and culled from a community and union coalition. We wish Arthur Rorris good luck and urge voters in the Wollongong area to give him their number 1 vote on March 28.

The NSW electoral system is still riddled with opportunities for rich vested interests to influence how this state is run. Both major parties still have the smell of corruption hanging over them. It is important that people insist that Parliament be run for the benefit of all and that the MPs we elect ensure there is a fair distribution of the wealth of this rich state. The ALP is claiming that it has “changed’” from the bad old days of Obeid and others.

The Greens have shown that their form of politics is clean and in stark contrast to the scandals of the major parties.

Labor and Liberals both have their hands on their hearts, promising relief from the housing stress suffered by so many people in NSW. The crisis reaches from the homeless to the well paid.

However, both the Coalition and the ALP rely on the market and the private sector to solve the problem. This neo-liberal approach to economic and social issues is typical of both Liberal and Labor policies. They reject the effective positive solution of concentrating on providing a massive increase in public housing.

There are many challenges in NSW but they will not be dealt with by any pro business party, whether Liberal or Labor. The Communist Party calls on its members and supporters to work and vote for your local Green, Socialist Alliance or progressive independent in both the lower and upper houses. Do not be fooled by any of the right-wing minor parties like the Shooters and Fishers or the Christian Democrats.

On March 28, vote for Green, progressive independent or Socialist Alliance candidates, followed by a vote for the ALP and put the Liberals last.

Next article – “Lifestyle choices” – the “gaff” that says it all

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