Draft Agenda

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Underlined speakers are still to be confirmed as of November 11

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Friday, December 5
6.00 PM-9.30 PM
Welcoming BBQ

Saturday, December 6
Special Public Forum
Financial meltdown — what working class response?
The world, including Australia, faces a triple crisis: galloping global warming, financial meltdown heading towards global recession and collapsing living standards for millions, caused by rising prices of the basic essentials of life.
What can be done? This special seminar, initiated and hosted by the Socialist Alliance as part of its Sixth National Conference, looks to help unionists, environmentalists and community and social activists understand and develop a working class response to the triple crisis.

Discussion points will be distributed to participants beforehand and projected on screen for elaboration during the forum. All Socialist Alliance conference resolutions will also be made available to the forum, although only voted on under the appropriate session on Sunday.

9.00 AM
Welcome by Tim Gooden, Secretary, Geelong Trades Hall Council

9.00-9.15 AM
Welcome to country (Trevor Edwards, Wathaurong Nation)

9.15-10.15 Session 1
The financial, environmental and social roots of the crisis
Jamie Doughney (Victoria University); David Spratt (Carbon Equity Project); Lisa Macdonald (Socialist Alliance); Chair: Ruth Ratcliffe.

Questions and discussion

Morning break


  • Reregulation or nationalisation-answers to financial chaos (Workshop facilitator: To be confirmed)
  • The food and fuel crisis (Workshop facilitator: Pat Brewer)
  • Global warming and cutting emissions (Workshop facilitator: to be confirmed)
  • The water crisis (Workshop facilitator: To be confirmed)
  • Unions and climate change (Workshop facilitator: Tim Gooden/John Parker )
  • Building the anti-capitalist movement in a period of capitalist crisis-the Communist Party of Australia in the 1930s (Workshop facilitator: Terry Townsend)


1.15-2.15 Session 2
Building the worker, community and environmentalist alliance against the crisis
Dave Kerin (Union Solidarity); John Rice (Adelaide Ecosocialists); Luke van der Muelen (CFMEU, La Trobe Valley); Mel Barnes (Resistance); Chair: Sue Bull.

Plenary Disucssion
What are the core elements of an anti-crisis program?

Jeremy Smith (NTEU, University of Ballarat)

Afternoon tea

3.50-5.15 Session 3
What politics and campaigns to rebuild the union movement?
Chair and session presenter: Susan Price
Guest Speakers Noel Washington (CFMEU) and Chris Cain (WA MUA)

Policies and resolutions for adoption (Not exhaustive)

  • Any changes to Worker and Union Rights Charter
  • ABCC as needed
  • Education
  • New federal IR legislation
  • NSW electricity privatisation
  • Union involvement in anti-war campaigns such as Afghanistan and civil liberties
  • Socialist Alliance attitude to worker candidates in 2010 federal election

5.15-6.30 Session 4
Campaigning workshops

  • Building the climate change movement (Workshop facilitators: David White, Ben Courtice)
  • Aboriginal rights struggles(Workshop facilitators: Sam Watson, Peter Robson)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual (Workshop facilitator: Rachel Evans)
  • Anti-war and Anti-terrorism (Workshop facilitators: Pip Hinman, Kathleen Halfpenny)
  • The Western Saharan struggle (Workshop facilitators: Margarita Windisch, Ron Guy)

6.30-7.30 Session 5
Latin America’s struggle for a new world
Chair: Kiraz Janicke (Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network)
Nelson Dávila (Chargé d’affaires, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)

The Great Socialist Afghan Feast
Guest speakers: Rob Stary (Civil rights lawyer);Margarita Windisch (Socialist Alliance)
Music: Jack Mancor, Zane Alcorn and Sean Seymour-Jones
Our hosts: Paul Benedek and Tim Gooden
With multimedia presentation: ‘On the streets: Socialist Alliance 2007-2008’

Sunday, December 7

9.00-10.00 Session 6
Socialist Alliance Perspectives and Tasks in 2009
Session presenter: Sue Bolton (Victorian State Convener)
Chair: Ron Guy
Greetings: Grant Morgan (Resident Action Movement), Victorian Greens, Resistance

10.00-11.00 Session 7

Our tasks in the Indigenous rights movement

Session presenter: Sam Watson (Indigenous Rights Spokesperson)
Chair: Jess Moore
Greetings: Pat Eatock

Policies and resolutions for adoption (Not exhaustive)

  • Charter of Aboriginal rights
  • Northern Territory intervention

Morning break

11.20-1.00 pm Session 7
Our work in the environment movement
Session presenter: David White (National Environment Coordinator)
Chair: Brianna Pike
Guest speakers: Cam Walker (FoE) Beyond Zero Emissions

Policies and resolutions for adoption (Not exhaustive)

  • Climate Change Charter second edition, water
  • Green paper
  • Energy


1.45-3.00 Session 8
Guest speakers: Soubhi Iskander (Communist Party of Sudan, Socialist Alliance) Dr Brian Seneviratne (Fighter for Tamil rights, Socialist Alliance) Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Turan Ertekin (Party of Labour, Turkey, Socialist Alliance)
Chair: Pip Hinman

Policies and resolutions up for adoption (Not exhaustive)
4.Tamil rights
5. On strengthening ties with left migrant organisations

3.00-4.30 Session 9

Building the Socialist Alliance workshops

  • Branch-building: Presentations from Illawarra, Hobart, Sydney West and Geelong. Workshop facilitator: Bea Bleile
  • Election campaigning. Workshop facilitators: Zane Alcorn and Alex Bainbridge
  • Using the web site, blogs etc. Workshop facilitators: Dave Riley and Steve O’Brien.
  • Strengthening Socialist Alliance-Green Left Weekly ties. Workshop facilitators: Emma Murphy and Simon Butler.

Afternoon tea

4.50-5.30 Session 10
Building the Socialist Alliance in 2009
Chair: Rachel Evans
Resolutions from workshops
Proposals around Seeing Red and Socialist Alliance-Green Left Weekly link
National Treasurer’s report
Constitutional amendments

5.30-6.15 Session 11
Election of national officeholders
Chair: Lisa Macdonald

The Internationale