Socialists announce candidates for Fremantle and Willagee

Submitted by sam on Wed, 16/01/2013 - 14:37

Socialists run Sanna Andrew in Fremantle & Sam Wainwright in Willagee

The Walyalup-Fremantle branch of the Socialist Alliance is pleased to confirm its candidates in the Fremantle area for the March 9 state election. They are Sanna Andrew for Fremantle and Sam Wainwright for Willagee.

“Despite being a wealthy boom state many West Australians, particularly the most disadvantaged and those on low-fixed incomes, are being crushed and tossed aside. We're facing a housing affordability crisis and by 2015-16 the Barnett government will have cut 6.5% from vital public services”, said Andrew.

Andrew slammed Liberal candidate Matthew Hanssen's complete failure to address the actual policies of the Barnett government, “So far he's based his whole campaign on bagging Fremantle council. But what does he think about the cuts to disability services, the closure of country rail lines, the under funding of Warrawee women's refuge or the retention of Fremantle Hospital's emergency department?”

Andrew, who works with people recovering from mental illness, is furious about the 130 jobs cuts in the Department of Health, “This inevitably means cuts to vital front line services. But can Labor give a guarantee that they will reverse the cuts and kick the profiteers out of the public health system?”

Wainwright continued, “The Liberal government's slashing of public services should be the hot issue of the election and see these anti-social vandals tossed out. But they've got away with it because Labor's opposition has been so half-hearted. Labor never commit to reversing the cuts or the cancer of privatisation.”

Herself a Homeswest tenant Andrew said, “The people who can least afford it are paying for the failure of successive governments to properly invest in affordable housing. It's completely unsustainable for housing prices to keep outstripping income. We need massive new investment in public housing and tenant controlled cooperative housing. This would put downwards pressure on private rentals and property prices. The right to housing for all is more important than a capital gain for a few.”

The Socialists will also be campaigning for 100% renewable energy and a shift to rail freight for Fremantle Port. Wainwright said, “The Beyond Zero Emissions team at Melbourne University has demonstrated we could easily do it. Instead the Barnett government is investing in more coal and gas fired power stations, and freeways. They're fossil fuel junkies in the service of the coal, oil and gas companies.”

He added, “They've also let Fremantle Ports block the community wind farm project. The corporatisation of the port has seen it drift away from its proper mission and undermine good urban planning as they play property developer. We repeat our demand that the port be made accountable to the people it's supposed to serve by having a board that includes elected community and workplace representatives.”

Andrew said, “So where's the money going to come for more public transport and services? In some ways this gets the question the wrong way around. The question is, where's the money going to? For example every cent of the $1 billion that Troy Buswell wants to spend on freeways at the airport should go to sustainable transport.”

Wainwright added, “We're also proposing an increase in mining royalties, especially in light of federal Labor's capitulation on their original mining tax. Inevitably this sector has to be brought under public ownership if we are to control our own destinies. There's nothing radical about this, it's a democratic necessity. The mining companies and billionaires are the modern day equivalent of the squattocracy who've claimed for themselves something that belongs to all of us.”

Wainwright explained, “This is where we differ from the Greens. We think it's a pipe dream to imagine you can shift to an ecologically sustainable economy or make big improvements to social justice outcomes without serious wealth redistribution or confronting the control that big business has over government.”

Andrew concluded, “Regardless of who wins the poll on March 9, the decisive struggles to create a better WA will be in our communities, workplaces and places of education. We'll support these campaigns before, during and after the election.”

Sanna Andrew is a social worker with much experience in community mental health. With others she founded the award-winning organisation Growing Towards Wellness which provides a supportive environment for people recovering from mental illness to gain important work experience and qualifications in horticulture. Previously, as an Australian Services Union state councillor, she was very active in the community sector workers' historic equal pay campaign. She is the mother of two Noongar daughters and a Homeswest tenant in Hilton.

Sam Wainwright is a City of Fremantle councillor and long-term human rights activist and unionist. After working as a wharfie for twelve year he is now a disability support worker. Passionate about sustainable transport he helped relaunch the Fremantle Bicycle Users Group and is an active member of Fremantle Road 2 Rail. He lives in O'Connor with his partner Janet

For more comment: or Sanna Andrew 0405 208 943 & Sam Wainwright 0412 751 508