Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday December 17, 2010
MEDIA RELEASE - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira in the NSW state election, has announced she supports a freeze on electricity price increases for households. Her statement comes after an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) survey that shows more than half of all low-income families with mortgages are struggling to pay their power bills.
'The people of NSW, most of whom are already struggling with cost of living expenses, saw electricity price increases in July. Over the next three years prices are set to rise by at least 20% and up to 64%. These are increases that many people simply cannot afford and will drive people further into debt. The government needs to put controls in place that will guarantee no further price increases for households', said Harvey.
'At the same time, we need to stop all discounts given to big business. In 2005-2006 the fossil fuel industry was given up to $1.9 billion worth of electricity subsidies across Australia. Imagine if this money was used instead to help those low-income earners, or used to invest in clean, renewable energy? People shouldn't have to put up with price increases while the big polluters are receiving handouts.
Harvey stands for keeping public assets in public hands, including opposition to the privatisation of electricity. She announced her support for the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) statement that the union wouldn't support candidates who support privatisation.
'Bernie Riordon, ETU Secretary, was sacked as NSW ALP President for his union taking a principled stand that they cannot support candidates who support electricity privatisation. This shows how out of touch the Labor Party is. How could the ETU support the Labor government, which has already privatised electricity assets, which will see job losses, price increases, less reliable service and less environmental safeguards, as has been the case in Victoria and South Australia?
'The fact is that the vast majority of people in this state want to keep electricity in public hands. As a candidate, I pledge to fight for the annulment of the sale of recently sold electricity assets, which was done in an undemocratic and secretive manner and oppose the further privatisation of the electricity network. I will be guided by the principle that public assets should be held in public hands and should be used for the public good', Harvey concluded.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
MEDIA RELEASE - Paola Harvey, socialist candidate for Keira, has called for a massive funding boost to public transport in order to fix the system's chronic problems.
'We need to move away from car dependency and encourage more people to use public transport, but the NSW government is doing the opposite. In 2009-10 there were 2.3 million fewer passenger trips on the NSW rail network compared to 2008-09. Poor management and lack of investment over many years has pushed people out of the system. This is unacceptable for social and environmental reasons', she said.
'Complaints are also on the rise. People are sick of delays, overcrowding and bad communication. It's time to turn things around. Boosting funds to expand public transport will encourage people back and dramatically reduce carbon emissions as less people are forced to rely on private cars. Decent public transport is more equitable; it assists the economically disadvantaged and those looking for work.
'To encourage as many people as possible to make the switch from private car transport to public transport, a three-month trial of free public transport should be conducted across all urban, regional and rural areas. If the trial confirms a significant increase in public transport patronage, it should be made permanent. The usage of Wollongong's free CBD shuttle buses shows this is likely to happen.
'The savings made by society in lower air pollution, less road congestion etc would outweigh the costs of making public transport free. In addition to our health and the environment, common sense demands this approach be taken up', Harvey concluded.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
NSW is not for sale! Community need NOT corporate greed!
Wednesday November 24, 2010
MEDIA RELEASE - Paola Harvey, community activist and part-time student, will contest the seat of Keira in the March 2011 NSW elections. Harvey, a member of Socialist Alliance, is a leading equal marriage and climate campaigner in the Illawarra. She is a founding member of Equal Love Wollongong, the organisation leading the struggle for marriage equality, and is a member of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN). Also a member of Resistance, socialist youth organisation, she’s active in campaigns for youth rights, education and employment. The Socialist Alliance is also standing local campaigners Jess Moore, Patrick Harrison and Stef Skibicki for the Legislative Council.
"NSW Labor has got to go. They keep pushing privatisation despite overwhelming opposition. Their continual scandals and corrupt conduct have destroyed trust and the undemocratic Part 3A legislation has been used to run rough-shod over communities. Locally, the people of Wollongong and Shellharbour still do not have the democratic right to an elected local council, the result of a state government decision", said Harvey.
“But the Liberal-National Coalition is no alternative. If anything, it would slash and privatise community services at an even greater pace. We need a community-based alternative, one that puts the interests of ordinary people first.
“NSW should lead the way to a 100% renewable energy future by investing in a baseload, solar-thermal power station. It should also expand and improve public transport to help reduce carbon emissions. The transition away from fossil fuels will generate thousands of jobs but it won't happen under Labor – they are totally tied to the big polluters. It’s time to put people and the planet before profits.
Harvey is calling for society's wealth to be redistributed to ensure real rights for all, not just the rich: "Health, education, employment and welfare are human rights. We need to increase funding to our public schools and hospitals; and stop the sell off of our public assets. Only with public investment can we fight unemployment in an organised way”, she said.
"We stand for real equality, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, or marriage equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people. Through this election we’ll be campaigning to build on recent victories such as the steps toward legalising same-sex adoption in NSW. We must put an end to blatant discrimination and prejudice.
"NSW is not for sale! We need a state government that puts community need ahead of corporate greed. Local communities need to take back the power - and the only way to do that is to fight for it", Harvey concluded.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Paola is quoted together with fellow Equal Love activist, AJ Corradini.
As the rally marched through Wollongong Mall they were greeted with cheers and applause from onlookers. Over 400 signatures were collected in the Mall in support of marriage equality in the days leading up to the rally.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Paola is pictured here in an article from the Wollongong Advertiser. Check out also the coverage in the Northern Leader titled 'Adoption bill shares the love', by visiting http://www.northernleader.com.au/article/adoption_bill_shares_the_love and Green Left Weekly: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45285
Monday, November 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
One of our main themes in this election campaign is: for community need not corporate greed, it sums up well how we relate to the issues you've raised as a Neighbourhood forum.
We've campaigned for fresh elections to Wollongong City Council since councilors were sacked in March 2008. Deepening democracy and involving communities in decision making is the best way to combat corruption and bureaucracy. The opposite has happened here and in Shellharbour.
We are deeply committed to the continuation and expansion of the free shuttlebus service in Wollongong. Even before the shuttle was introduced we campaigning hard to public transport to be made frequent and free. This was the theme of our campaign launch on Monday. The service should be expanded; the take up by passengers shows its viability. A service between Wollongong and Warrawong that travels through Figtree is one route we've identified for example.
The undemocratic Part 3A should be scrapped. The State Government should not have the right to over-ride local plans and standards; we wouldn't cave under pressure from the developers.
We are strongly committed to affordable housing, it's a basic human right. But our approach would be very different to the status quo. Boarding houses are important, for example, and we support an expansion of these as part of a roll out of public housing stock. But local communities, not government bureaucrats, must direct where it goes and in what form. Community forums such as this are in the best position to know what's best in terms of density, size etc. We are opposed to 'backdoor upzoning'. It should be mandatory for landlords to submit DAs for boarding houses, and it's their responsibility to provide clean and safe accomodation.
Rezoning applications for development on the Illawarra Escarpment should be refused. Land slippage, flooding, deforestation are all important issues.
Finally, we advocate a massive expansion of rail infrastructure and operations, to facilitate a transition from 'trucks to trains'. NSW desperately beeds a better rail system, and that requires boosting investment in suburban and high speed intercity rail. Just one example: we campaign for the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton link.
Put people and the planet before profit, that's our approach summed up. Thanks again for inviting me to speak here tonight, good luck with your campaigns to empower people so the local community can stand up for its rights.