Liberal and Labor politicians, who govern for the big corporations at the expense of people, have overseen decades of cutbacks to social services, privatisations and attacks on our democratic rights.
The neoliberal consensus has meant that our public health and education systems have been starved of funds and semi-privatised. It has also meant that our working lives are less secure and our work rights have been undermined.
All this has made Australia a harsher, more unsustainable and unequal society.
Australia is among the highest carbon emitting countries in the world, per capita, contributing to the global climate crisis. Our forests, farming lands, reefs and water systems are under serious threat from environmental destruction caused by extractive industries.
For 14 years, governments and the corporate media have waged war against refugees — a war which has given rise to a cruel and expensive detention regime, now being promoted to the world, and the deaths of thousands of asylum seekers.
More recently, governments have starved Aboriginal organisations of funds and have begun to close remote Aboriginal communities.
This government-fuelled racism – poisonous in its own right – is part of the background to recent attempts to undermine universal rights such as Medicare, our retirement pension, unemployment benefits and other welfare rights.
Australia is a wealthy country with the resources to provide everyone with a decent, comfortable life and to provide aid to our regional neighbours. But the reality is that 60% of that wealth is in the hands of the richest 20%, while the poorest 20% own virtually nothing.
We need a radically different future: one that provides for human development, meets community need, protects our environment and guarantees a safe climate; one where our economy operates to ensure social and ecological need; one where participatory democracy means people make the decisions in society; one that promotes cooperation, solidarity and justice for all – an eco-socialist future.
As Naomi Klein said during her visit to Australia, “we have to challenge this system head-on”. To do this, we need to build a strong, active, democratic movement of the majority. We need to forge alliances between workers, communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all those under attack – so we can take on the power of the corporations and build that future together.
1. Solidarity and collaboration. Not dog-eat-dog competition.
2. Environmental sustainability & eco-socialism. Not environmental degradation and destruction that hits the poor the hardest.
3. Participatory democracy. Where workers and communities make decisions directly and representatives are accountable and recallable
4. A social and democratic economy. Where people's needs come before corporate profits.
5. Equality. Between peoples, nations, religions, genders and sexualities.
Socialist Alliance candidates are activists who are involved in the movements: they are workers; trade unionists; students; environmental campaigners; refugee rights activists and community organisers.
All Socialist Alliance candidates pledge, if elected, to take an average worker’s wage, and to donate the rest to the movements for change.
Socialist Alliance candidates will use their positions to be a voice for the majority, against the power of the wealthy minority, to build campaigns and empower communities, to shine a light on injustice, exploitation and cruelty, and to strengthen the movement for system change.
Tax the corporations and the rich — no GST: Scrap the GST; for a progressive tax system where the wealthy pay their share; introduce a wealth tax for the super rich; an immediate rise in company tax to 49%; tax the big polluters; end the billions in public subsidies to mining corporations banks and energy companies; and end rampant tax evasion by multinationals
Public ownership: Nationalise the mines, banks and energy companies, under community and workers’ control; take back the wealth so that it can be used for social and environmental purposes; oppose and reverse the privatisation of public assets and services.
Real climate action: Scrap the ‘Direct Action’ fraud; urgent public investment and emission reduction targets to achieve 100% renewable energy within 10 years; bring the power industries under public ownership and democratic control; stop fracking and all unconventional gas mining; tax the corporate polluters and billionaires; make the shift from coal and gas to renewables with a just transition for workers; justice for climate refugees and those displaced by climate change; ban the logging of old-growth forests; begin an urgent program of reforestation, sustainable farming and biodiversity protection; enforce the rehabilitation of mine sites by companies.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights: No community closures; treaties now to respect sovereignty and land rights; repeal the Stronger Futures laws; abolish racist welfare quarantining and compulsory income management; no uranium waste dumps; close the gap in Aboriginal health, education, employment and housing; implement all the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; fund language and culture programs and bilingual education in schools; Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs — not tokenistic Constitutional recognition.
Asylum seekers: End the boat turn-backs; protect the rights of medical, teaching and security staff to speak out about abuse in detention; honour Australia's UNHCR obligations; close offshore and onshore detention centres and end mandatory detention; restore all Australian territories to the migration zone; end deportations and end ASIO security veto of refugees.
Against racism, defend our civil rights: End the racist targeting of Muslims; defend anti-discrimination laws; scrap ‘anti-terror’ laws; abolish ASIO and all spy agencies; repeal data retention laws; put the police under community control; adopt a Bill of Rights.
Workers’ rights: Scrap all anti-union laws; close down the Trade Union Royal Commission; recognise workers’ right to strike and organise in law, including solidarity actions; increase the minimum wage; restore penalty rates; recognise the right to secure work for all – reverse casualisation; full industrial, residency and citizenship rights for all migrant workers; expand apprenticeship programs; guarantee retirement and access to the pension for all at age 60.
Industry and jobs: Retool Australia’s manufacturing sector for the production of renewable technologies and public transport; immediate public investment to create jobs in providing better public housing, schools, hospitals and health facilities; create jobs by introducing a 30 hour week, with no loss of wages.
Social rights: Reverse the attacks on sole parent pensions; scrap "Work for the Dole" schemes; no compulsory income management and other forms of welfare quarantining; a guaranteed basic income for all; lift all welfare payments above the poverty line and index them to maintain real value; boost funding to community-based aged and childcare services; expand disability services and access; restore the universal right to the aged pension.
Women’s rights: Reverse the gender pay gap — for equal pay; reverse the cuts to single parent pensions; enshrine the right to publicly-funded abortion; restore and expand funding to women's shelters, refuges and community anti-violence programs; employer-funded, paid parental leave.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer rights: Full marriage equality; full rights for trans and intersex people; full, publicly-funded medical services for gender transition; fully-funded school programs for non judgemental sex education and anti violence campaigns; full adoption rights.
Youth rights: Right to vote at 16; boost funding to youth services; full pay for young people – no youth wage!; expand youth housing programs; expand apprenticeship programs; no fees for TAFE and University; restore Austudy and Youth Allowance to a living wage.
Justice: Decriminalise drugs and divert policing to address domestic violence, corporate tax evasion, and other corporate crimes including environmental vandalism; end mandatory detention; for prevention programs, community-oriented rehabilitation schemes and alternatives to imprisonment; fully fund legal aid; maintain policing and corrective services in public hands; reverse the privatisation of prisons.
Education for all: Reverse the funding cuts to public education; make public education free at all levels; expand the public education sector and massively increase funding to vocational education and TAFE; end public funding to private schools, tertiary institutions and training colleges.
Housing for all: Tackle homelessness and the housing shortfall with a large-scale expansion in quality public housing; cap rents and mortgage repayments at 20% of income; expand emergency accommodation services; target housing provision for at-risk youth.
Free healthcare for all: End the back door co-payments; restore free, universal health care; boost funding for preventative care and chronic disease management; free dental care; end subsidies to private health insurers; expand community-based health care networks; boost funding to mental health services.
Public transport in public hands: Make public transport frequent and free; boost investment in suburban and high-speed intercity rail; reverse the privatisation of public transport services.
International aid, not war and occupation: Bring back all military forces from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East; no participation or support for imperialist interventions; isolate apartheid Israel; end ANZUS and US military bases in Australia; cut military spending and boost development and climate change aid to poor countries; reverse the cuts to Australia's overseas aid programs — for a massive increase in Australia's aid budget; end Australia’s interference in the affairs of countries in the Asia Pacific; independence for West Papua.
Democracy, not corporate dictatorship: Participatory democracy which empowers people and communities; proportional representation at all government levels; election campaigns for all candidates publicly funded to a fixed amount; end careerism and rorting — put politicians on an average worker’s wage; all government positions subject to recall; Scrap the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).