Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1. Reverse the privatisations and support public ownership and control of services;
2. Rescue our environment with a transition to 100% renewable energy and green jobs, and protect natural biodiversity;
3. Increase investment in improving and rapidly expanding public housing, health, education and transport;
4. Include and support women, Aboriginal people, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) people, people with disabilities, refugees, the Muslim community and all those who are scapegoated or ignored;
5. Empower genuine grassroots, democratic control of our lives in our communities and workplaces.
Wednesday March 23, 2011 - Local candidates for the Socialist Alliance have condemned the attitude of the two major parties towards action on climate change. They have also renewed calls for BlueScope Steel to build the cogeneration plant. Tony Abbott's visit to the steelworks and Ross Garnaut's comments that BlueScope should receive "assistance" for "90 per cent of their obligation" to reduce pollution have put the issue back in the spotlight.
Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Keira, said: "Tony Abbott doesn't even acknowledge the scientific consensus on climate change, he claims that carbon dioxide isn't a villain. How can we trust his comments on local industry when he displays no understanding of climate science?
"The truth is, the framework for a price on carbon, giving way to an emissions trading scheme, is a step in the wrong direction. Ross Garnaut's comments that BlueScope should only have to pay for 10% of its pollution shows how ineffective this sheme could end up being. If the big polluters can easily absorb the cost without changing their practices, then what's the point?
"BlueScope have known about the need to seriously reduce emissions for many years. They recently reneged on their greenhouse gas reduction deal with the state government by putting off building the cogeneration plant. The plant would reduce carbon emissions by 900,000 tonnes a year, but the steelworks have used excuse after excuse for the delays in construction.
"There is already too much carbon in the atmosphere; we need to reduce emissions across the board including in the steel industry. The state government should require the steelworks to start construction on the cogen plant now. If BlueScope can't afford to take this action they should be required to open their books to workers and the community. If they refuse they should be placed under public ownership, not given more handouts. Why should BlueScope's profits be placed ahead of a safe climate future?
Wollongong-based Legislative Council candidate for the Socialist Alliance, Patrick Harrison, argued: "The standard corporate response to any loss in profitability is to pass the cost onto workers. We've seen this with the steelworks during the recession of the 1980s, and if our state government does nothing, we could see it again in response to this carbon tax. But a publicly owned steel industry would mean the government could guarantee jobs and take action to make the industry cleaner.
"We need state and federal governments to be taking bold action in the face of the greatest threat our species has ever faced. Instead, Abbott is using Labor's carbon tax as another excuse to whip up fear and xenophobia, claiming that China and Indonesia will take our jobs.
"Mr Abbott's comments assume that this is an inevitable move - but the truth is, governments have a responsibility to protect jobs and the economy in a regional area like the Illawarra. Corporate hand-outs aren't going to stop companies moving offshore to cut costs - we saw that with Pacific Brands, which received millions of dollars of government assistance before moving offshore. Instead, we need a government that's willing to stand up to big business and stop them from moving our industry offshore.
"Neither the Coalition nor Labor is willing to do this. If the people of the Illawarra wish to protect their local industry and jobs, then they should vote 1 Socialist Alliance on March 26', Harrison concluded.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Watch Paola's speech to the Wollongong rally for International Women's Day, held on Saturday March 12, 2011. The main demand of the action was for pay equity - supporting the campaign of the Australian Services Union (ASU) for equal pay for equal work.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Watch Paola's speech to the March 5 Wollongong rally in support of the people of Libya struggling for freedom. Other speakers included Libyan students; Dr Munir Hussain, Chairman Omar Mosque; and Gordon Bradbery, independent candidate for Wollongong.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Check out one of Paola's contributions during discussion at the March 2 forum organised by Illawarra Community Care. Paola, who works as a carer herself, called for a boost in funding to the industry and for an end to competitive tendering. For her full speech visit: http://paolaharveyforkeira.blogspot.com/2010/03/paola-harveys-speech-to-illawarra.html
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Thursday February 24, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, will launch her campaign this Monday February 28, 10am at the University of Wollongong's main bus interchange on Northfields Avenue, Gwynneville. She will be joined by local Socialist Alliance candidates for the Legislative Council, Jess Moore and Patrick Harrison.
The theme of the launch, ‘make all public transport frequent and free’, is a key campaign priority for Harvey. It reflects Socialist Alliance’s commitment to job creation, social justice and immediate action to combat climate change.
‘Public transport in NSW has been seriously neglected, but the free shuttle in Wollongong shows the benefits of an efficient, frequent and free service. Nearly five million passengers have now used the shuttle, an astounding success. Why not learn the lesson and dramatically expand the idea to encourage more people to leave the car at home?’ said Harvey.
‘Making public transport frequent and free will require a large increase in funding. But the benefits, including significant job creation and reduced pollution, would far outweigh the drawbacks.
‘The Begian city of Hasselt introduced free public transport and patronage increased by 870% within a year. The government found they saved money overall, given the subsequent savings on health, road maintenance and construction, and also on ticketing.
‘It's a socially just response to the chronic problems of traffic congestion, lack of parking and lack of mobility faced by poorer sections of the community. Having limited transport options is a major barrier to job seekers finding work, something that our proposal would help overcome.
‘Free public transport would see a dramatic improvement in people’s health. Not only would respiratory diseases and other illnesses associated with pollution decrease, but patient access to care would improve. The Cancer Council estimates that currently 90,000 people per year are refused health related trips on community transport due to lack of capacity. This is simply unacceptable.
‘We stand for putting people and the planet before profit. Making all public transport frequent and free is a common sense response to many of the problems faced by the people of NSW. The free shuttle service proves it’s viable, so let’s get on with the job’, Harvey concluded.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
** MEDIA RELEASE **
Friday February 18, 2011 - Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Keira, Paola Harvey, has challenged her fellow candidate John Dorahy of the Liberal Party to immediately renounce the racist remarks and actions made by his party in the so-called “immigration debate”.
The challenge has come after the racist One Nation party claimed that the Liberals are using One Nation policies. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald also said the federal Liberal Party's spokesperson for immigration Scott Morrison wants to capitalise on electorate fears of "Muslim immigration", "Muslims in Australia" and Muslim migrants' supposed "inability to integrate".
Harvey said: 'The remarks made by the Liberal party are downright disgusting and dangerous. First, it raised the idea of cutting foreign aid - a policy stolen from a One Nation party campaign. Next it complained about taxpayers money being used to fly relatives of dead refugees from Christmas Island to the mainland to attend the funerals of their loved ones. Now we have learned that the Liberal party has discussed running a racist scaremongering campaign which is targeting a specific religious and ethnic group.
'Just when you think the Liberal party can't get any lower, they find a way. It's time for all those who believe in a just and fair society to stand up and fight back against this assault on immigrants. That is why I'm making this challenge to the Liberal candidate for Keira today.'
So far, no candidate for the NSW Liberals has spoken out against the racist scaremongering remarks.
Harvey said: 'John Dorahy may well say that this issue has nothing to do with state politics or his electorate, but no-one should take such a proposition seriously. How are Muslims or immigrants living in Wollongong meant to feel when they see Dorahy's party saying such things? Can he give a guarantee that he or his party in New South Wales won't go on a similar witch-hunt? These are answers that we all deserve to know.
'Many will remember the leader of NSW Liberals in 2007, Peter Debnam, calling for the arrest and gaoling of 200 people of Middle Eastern appearance for no reason at all. A racist streak runs deep within the Liberal party. The people living in the electorate of Keira deserve to know whether John Dorahy rejects this and supports the rights of all immigrants to live in this country free from harassment and vilification,' Harvey concluded.
[Dorahy is pictured, right, with fellow Liberal candidates in the Illawarra region]
The last few years have seen the NSW Labor Party go on a privatisation spree, selling off or trying to sell off crucial public assets. Not only that, we've seen consistent attacks on the public sector by the same Labor government, including on TAFE. Since 2003, as the Teachers' Federation has pointed out, spending on public vocational education and training in NSW has declined by 15.7 per cent. We need to reverse this trend and invest significantly in TAFE, knowing the advantages it gives to the state and all those who live in it. That is why I am happy to pledge my support for the Invest in TAFE for a Better State plan and the 5 points contained within it and will raise these issues in the campaign. I am very much looking forward to working alongside the Teachers' Federation to achieve the demands outlined in the plan.
Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Socialist Alliance candidates and women’s rights campaigners Pip Hinman (Marrickville) and Paola Harvey (Keira) described Keneally's position as 'cruel' and 'out of touch'.
'The fact that abortion remains on the Crimes Act means that anyone who has an abortion or assists a woman with one, can be jailed for up to 10 years.
'The possibility of imprisonment is ridiculous, but very real. Last year in Cairns, Queensland, where abortion is also still illegal, a women and her partner were charged with intent to procure an abortion because they purchased RU486 from overseas. They were eventually found not guilty - but only after having been put through a very traumatic experience.'
Ms Harvey said: 'The ALP has always told women that we should rely on a liberal interpretation of the law by the courts. But this is not enough, as the 2006 case with Dr Suman Sood showed. In a very complex case, Dr Sood was convicted for assisting an abortion.
'Opponents of women's right to choose abortion say that such a move would cause the number of abortions to skyrocket. Yet, the evidence from other states that have decriminised abortion doesn't support this.
'Women will continue to have abortions regardless of the law. They need to be safe and free from the possibility of prosecution.
'For at least a decade, surveys have repeatedly shown that the majorities in Australia support abortion rights.'
Ms Hinman said: 'Socialist Alliance campaigns for women's right to choose.
'The decision about whether or not to have an abortion has to be made by the woman concerned, in consultation with whomever she wishes," she said. "The state has no right to interfere,' she concluded.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - Socialist candidate for Keira, Paola Harvey, has slammed the Coalition's plans to deal with the region's youth unemployment as inadequate and a threat to public education.
'The so-called youth unemployment forum was really just a photo opportunity for the Liberal party. If they were really interested in discussing youth unemployment, why not invite other candidates to get a variety of views or more importantly, why not invite a wider range of young people who are unemployed? Perhaps they feared that young people would have spoken the truth and told them their plans are a dud', said Harvey.
The two major proposals were increasing the amount of careers advisers in schools and the second was to increase business links to schools.
'The first proposal is inadequate as a solution. The major problem with youth unemployment is that there are not enough jobs available, not that there isn't enough advice. The second proposal is just irresponsible. By increasing “business links with schools”, what the coalition actually means is increasing corporate control over education. This process can only lead to the undermining of public education.
'In the United States, corporate control of education has gone so far that some schools are now owned by large banks such as JPMorganChase and mega-wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates. We don't need a repeat of that here in NSW. Public education should be run for the public good, not as a subsidiary of big business.
Harvey has instead called for large-scale public investment in the region in order to lower youth unemployment.
'Increasing "business links to schools" won't address youth unemployment, because the fact is the private sector isn't delivering enough jobs for young people. Stronger business links won't make jobs materialise out of thin air. What we need is public investment in the region in order to create jobs and deal with some of the social problems we are facing.
'I'm calling for immediate public investment in socially useful jobs and training including in public transport, housing and renewable energy. Through this public investment, we can begin to deal with youth unemployment and climate change. The Coalition's plan, in contrast, won't create more employment and is a direct attack on our public education system', concluded Harvey.
Tuesday February 15, 2011 - Socialist Alliance Candidate for Keira, Paola Harvey, has called for immediate action by the NSW government to address the extremely high rates of depression suffered by young people across the Illawarra. She has stated that the government must increase funding to hospitals to enhance mental health emergency care to help deal with the impacts of the crisis.
'We need to recognise depression as a social problem, not just an individual problem', said Harvey.
'It impacts on all aspects of society so the response has to been a societal one. 13% of the total disease burden in Australia in 2003 was related to mental health problems and illnesses, while for young people it was 50%. Beyond the health system, the rate of mental illness also harms people's ability to get employment, housing and be a part of community life. While it is a good thing for parents and friends to have talks with anyone they think is suffering from depression, it is obvious that talks alone aren't enough.
'Mental illness also disproportionally affects those already facing disadvantage. We can see the high amount of youth who suffer from depression, but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males, for instance, had a hospitalisation rate for psychological and behavioral disorders 2.1 times higher than non–Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in 2005. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females it was 1.5 times as high. Refugees who have fled terrible conditions in their own country and face detention when they arrive in Australia also face higher rates of mental illness problems.
Harvey also called for more equitable funding for prevention, promotion and early intervention in addition to treating mental illness.
'In NSW the mental health system is in a terrible state, the closure of large psychiatric institutions over the years has not been followed by a corresponding rise in resources or funding for out-patient or community-based services', said Harvey.
'We need a system based on positive mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention, which is focused on community care and involvement. This obviously requires the NSW government to commit to large funding increases, and more funding must flow to programs designed for early intervention.
'Early detection of mental health problems is vital. It can greatly decrease the rate of hospitalisation for people experiencing mental illness symptoms. It may also increase the chances of a better long-term outcome. Community awareness and understanding of mental health and mental illness is at the heart of a good prevention and treatment plan, but to gain that community awareness, we need a government that is prepared to properly resource and fund mental health programs,' Harvey concluded.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thursday February 3, 2011 - Socialist Candidate for Keira Paola Harvey has announced her support for the democracy movement that has swept Egypt and is on the verge of getting rid of U.S and Australian backed dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
'The images coming out of Egypt are inspiring to all those who believe in justice and democracy. People have overcome the fear of torture and even death, to assert their rights and show the world that the people of the Middle East don't need foreign armies to liberate them. They are just fine liberating themselves. My heartfelt solidarity and congratulations to Egyptian emigrates living in New South Wales and the local Wollongong area, many of whom have are living in exile due to the repressive regime. They must be feeling an overwhelming sense of pride in what is happening in Egypt and looking forward to a future free from oppression and dictatorship.
'As the rebellion has swept Egypt, so has a wave of volunteering. When people aren't protesting they are cleaning garbage off the streets, providing food to people, giving medical assistance and all sorts of other activities. Protesters are saying they are now proud of their country and they are willing to look after it.
'What is happening in Egypt proves a valuable lesson to the people of the world, including in Australia. That is, the best way to deal with the political, social and economic problems that society faces is to empower people. An empowered people can achieve what in “ordinary” times, seem like miracles. Seeing what is happening in Egypt reinforces why I'm running in the NSW state elections. I also want to live in a community that feels pride in itself, that is empowered and that overcomes problems by working together in a spirit of solidarity. This is what I will fight for while running in the elections and afterwards', concluded Harvey.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday February 1, 2011 - State election candidates for the Greens and the Socialist Alliance today issued a joint call for the annulment of the Calderwood development approval, that was granted by the NSW government under Part 3A last month.
Greens candidate for Shellharbour, Peter Moran stated:
Jess Moore, Socialist Alliance candidate for the NSW Legislative Council, added:
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, has stated the Coalition is no alternative for the people of NSW. Her comments come in the wake of Coalition plans to cut $3.8 billion of state spending.
‘It’s clear the Coalition offers no alternative to the Labor party. If anything, Barry O’Farrell’s plans will make things worse for the people of NSW. The announcement of their plans to massively cut public sector jobs and services shows this.
‘The Coalition has said very little so far, but people deserve to know what they actually stand for. O’Farrell is hoping to romp it in, not based on support for his policies, but because people are so fed up with Labor.
‘But remember last time they were in government we saw the privatisation of the State Bank of NSW. In opposition the Coalition voted for the introduction of Part 3A, legislation that has been used to run rough-shod over local communities. Also, this is the same party of John Howard and WorkChoices.
‘Socialist Alliance is trying to build a pro-people alternative to both the Labor and Coalition parties. We stand for community need not corporate greed. We're committed to reversing privatisation, to putting the community in control of services and to investing in socially useful jobs and training. Anything less is no alternative for the people of NSW’, Harvey concluded.
Tuesday January 24, 2011 - Socialist Alliance has condemned the decision by Orrcon., local steel pipe and tube manufacturer, to sack 16 of its Unanderra workers. Orrcon, owned by the Hills Holdings group, received $486,500 worth of government assistance in 2007.
Patrick Harrison (pictured left), Socialist Alliance candidate for the NSW Legislative Council, said: ‘Shame on Hills. This is how they treat their workers in a region that constantly battles with unemployment. It’s heartless and unacceptable. And the fact that they’ve just increased some of their directors' pay by $250,000 is just a cruel slap in the face.
‘The federal government is approaching this in the wrong way. In 2007 Orrcon received $486,500 in federal funds to employ 14 people, but then sacked 27 people six months later. Now another 16 have been given the flick. Why are they allowed to get away with this? Who is the Labor Party governing on behalf of?
‘Julia Gillard should demand that Orrcon opens its books to workers and the community, to really see if they can’t afford to save these jobs. If this demand is refused Orrcon should be placed in public ownership and the jobs guaranteed by the government. Given the public handouts and our crippling unemployment, this is more than fair enough.
‘We need governments state and federal willing to challenge the corporate elite; governments who make decisions in the interests of people and the planet, not profit’, Harrison concluded.
Harrison is a young worker in Wollongong and a member of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Thursday January 20, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, has promised to never support privatisation of the electricity industry. Today she challenged all candidates to declare the same.
'Electricity must be kept in public hands, not sold off to private interests' , said Harvey. 'Every day brings new revelations about how the government has repeatedly lied to us about the terms of and the so called “benefits” of privatisation. The figures - showing that the sell-off will only net a profit of $400 million - are pitiful compared to the benefits of keeping electricity in public hands.
'$400 million will go no where near covering the costs of increasing electricity prices, unreliability of service, job losses and the damaging environmental impacts that are almost certain to follow from placing electricity in private hands.
'The foolishness of the deal can be seen in the fact that the public will have to pay for development of a highly contentious coal-mine, where the profits will flow to private business. In every single way this deal is a dud for the people of New South Wales.
'We are being ill-served by the Liberal opposition and the mass media who spoke out only against the terms of the sell-off but not against privatisation of public assets on principle. A privately owned power industry, like in Victoria, will push up prices, cut jobs, neglect maintenance and will make it harder to make the transition to clean energy sources.
'A publicly owned electricity industry can and should be run for the public good, whilst a privately owned industry will put profits above and beyond everything else. Privatisation should be rejected full stop and this is what I pledge to argue for in the elections', concluded Harvey.
Thursday January 20, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, has called on the NSW government to reverse its January 14 approval for a second gas-fired power station at Tallawarra. Harvey stands for the phasing out of coal and gas-fired power generation and immediate investment in a baseload solar-thermal power station.
'This decision is suicidal in the context of global warming. Australia's power generation is the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. It's urgent we begin the phase out of all fossil fuel based power generation and start the transition to baseload, renewable energy', she said.
'The recent tragic floods highlight the need to act now. While climate change isn't the sole cause of these events, there's undeniable scientific evidence that it is increasing their devastating effects. It's clear that the cost of continuing our reliance on fossil fuels will far outweigh the cost of phasing them out and replacing them with renewable, non-polluting alternatives'.
'The Tallawarra approval is also completely unnecessary to meet our future power needs. With serious implementation of energy saving and demand management, there would be no need for increased electricity generation capacity in NSW. But Liberal and Labor have no interest in this, they are totally tied to the interests of the big polluters.
'I'm standing to put people and the planet ahead of profit. The people of NSW need the Tallawarra approval to be reversed. Instead, the government needs to draw up plans for immediate investment in a baseload, solar-thermal power station, so the phase out of coal and gas-powered generation can start today', Harvey concluded.