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Issue #1712      November 25, 2015

CPA SA State Conference

The 25th South Australian State Conference of the CPA was held recently in Adelaide. The Conference heard reports and elected the incoming State Committee. State Secretary Bob Briton reported on a challenging period for SA Branches since the last Conference and a troubling political scene at the international, national and state level.

“The international situation described at the 12th National Congress of the Party remains as it was in 2013 – highly charged with potential for war in several spheres. US imperialism is desperately pursuing its unchanged strategy for global domination despite economic stagnation at home and in the economies of its traditional allies, including Australia,” Bob said.

“We are being drawn closer into the war fighting plans of the US with higher ‘defence’ spending, more US military bases and facilities being made available to the US and its allies. There are closer military ties with Japan, including the probable purchase of submarines. Wars Australia has participated in, or otherwise encouraged, have caused large numbers of refugees to seek asylum in the country, only to be met by the most appalling mistreatment.

“Racist groups are on the march again, fanning the flames of division on behalf of the capitalist system, which fears unity among the oppressed. The tensions leading to terrorism have been exploited to increase surveillance of the Australian population and put police state structures in place.

“De-industrialisation has hit SA hard. GMH’s exit from manufacturing in 2017 will be devastating for a state already suffering the worst unemployment in the country. The trade unions have not been able to mount effective resistance to this process or insist on the creation of new industries. I believe the state government has used the uncertainty about the economic future of the country to put nuclear options in front of the people that otherwise would not have been entertained. The Royal Commission into the nuclear energy cycle is clearly designed to deliver a waste dump, at least, for SA.”

While the report was self-critical about the Party’s performance in SA, Bob pointed to a number of achievements.

“The Party in SA has engaged in some very visible campaigning around the question of uranium exports through Port Adelaide. It has been good, united front work with other progressive forces in the city. It has been the best campaigning we have done since our election campaigns in Lee and Port Adelaide. Our presence on the Internet has grown in professionalism and reach thanks to comrades Craig and Nick.

“One of Craig’s recent memes on Facebook has reached over 32,000 people and been shared over 400 times. This is impressive. Nick’s creative use of Twitter secured me an interview on the John Saffran and Father Bob show on ABC’s national Triple J radio station. We have a lot of potential in this sphere to attract people to our Party,” Bob said.

At the end of the Conference, Max Cordwell presented a clock given to him by the late Premier of Tasmania and state Secretary of the BLF, Jim Bacon, to Jimmy O’Connor for his service to the struggle of workers in SA. This refers to Jimmy’s principled stand in his work as an organiser in the CFMEU, in the course of which he was hounded by the Fair Work Commission and fined by the Federal Court in August.

Next article – Did BHP Billiton know their dams would collapse?

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