Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paola addresses Neighbourhood Five meeting

Thanks for the invite to speak here, I'm Paola Harvey, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment