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.