Proposed amendment to Australian politics and campaigns resolution

Amendment one:

Change point 29 of Farmers in crisis to read:

29. Australian farming is in crisis. Farm debt levels were at $68 billion in 2011. In 2012, 44% of debt was due to land purchases.

Amendment two:

Change points 31-33 of Farmers in crisis to read:

31. Family farmers are being taken over by corporate agribusinesses, farming land is being polluted by mining companies and the supermarket duopoly is paying producers prices so low that many do not cover costs. Meanwhile banks are foreclosing on drought‐struck farmers so they can sell the still-viable farms to corporate interests.

32. There is increasing speculation in buying water rights, and the mining industry can draw from the Great Artesian Basin and other national aquifers and pollute them at will.

33. Dairy farmers are crippled with debt, due to cuts in the guaranteed price for milk by supermarkets and processors. The flow‐on effect is wiping out jobs in regional areas around farms. Pressure on small farmers to ”get big or get out” has meant that in the past two years there has been a flurry of investment in factory farming in the $13 billion dairy sector from wealthy entrepreneurs and corporate investors, including mining magnate Gina Rinehart and retailer Gerry Harvey.

Amendment three:

Insert a new point 34 of Farmers in crisis (this will affect all subsequent numbering) to read:

34. Fruit and vegetable growers are also being pushed out of the industry as food processing industry is closed and moved offshore. Both foreign and domestic corporate interests are buying up our best agricultural land by whatever dirty trick they can manage, so they can directly export our best produce for premium overseas prices, leaving cheap and toxic imports for domestic consumption. Once bought, there is nothing to stop these corporations from establishing the toxic industrial agriculture that has destroyed American farmland and small farmers. Our farmers who manage to cling to their farms are increasingly crushed, by lack of alternatives to corporate supermarket contracts, into powerless managers contracted to fill quotas with specified seed and chemicals at whatever cost to themselves and their land.

Amendment four:

Change points 34 of Environment under fire to read:

35. Australia’s environment — including land, water and oceans — continues to be threatened by mining interests and climate change. The Great Barrier Reef bleaching event was a wake‐up call. Yet both the LNP and ALP in government have failed to tackle climate change and refused to take on the big polluters and make the necessary shift to renewables needed to drastically lower greenhouse gases emissions.

Amendment five:

Change points 35 of Environment under fire to read:

36. Communities have rejected proposals for nuclear waste dumps, yet state and federal governments continue to pander to the nuclear industry and mining interests. Unconstrained fracking and unconventional gas mining is attacking WA and the Northern Territory, the nuclear industry and the Adani and Shenhua coal mines will poison the Great Artesian Basin and Australian food production, and the major parties have been bought off to allow it.

Amendment six:

Change point 51 of Social and environmental campaigns to read:

52. First Nations traditional owners, joining with farming communities and environmental activists are maintaining the fight against unconventional gas mining, and winning some victories in keeping this industry at bay. But they are up against powerful interests that have unlimited resources to fight in the courts and lobby governments. This is a fight they cannot win alone.

Amendment seven:

Change points 59-62 of Our approach to read:

59. Socialist Alliance’s basic approach is to orient to campaigns where people are mobilising in bigger numbers, to seek to build campaigns and to influence organising groups to adopt open and democratic methods to organising and mobilising.

60. Socialist Alliance members also seek to use our media platforms, especially Green Left Weekly to put forward constructive alternatives, to give a voice to progressive campaigns, and to agitate for a struggle against the capitalist system and for an eco‐socialist future.

61. Socialist Alliance is committed to building and strengthening the social and labour movements, and building unity and solidarity between all groups under corporate attack, rural and urban; to taking full advantage of election campaigns, and to using the platforms of our elected representatives to build the struggle for social justice for all. The work of Socialist Alliance Councillors Sue Bolton and Sam Wainwright in organising alongside local residents is a practical example of what this can mean.

62. In order to bring about the fundamental changes needed to secure a safe climate and a future for generations to come, there is a need to unite all those forces across our class against the power of the corporations. Australians are looking away from the major parties for answers. There is receptivity for socialist ideas amongst working people and opportunities for a non‐sectarian socialist party to make ground and to seek out and build coalitions that can take the struggle forward.

63. The deepening crisis of capitalism and the political polarisation that results from a system ruled by the rich can give rise to far right populist forces, but also can give rise to left wing alternatives. This makes the task of raising socialist solutions to the crisis of capitalism all the more urgent. We have to be proactive and take setting the agenda out of the hands of the corporations, the corporate media and their rightwing political puppets and their campaign to divide us against each other. Their ‘War on Terror’ masks their introduction of their legal armoury against protest. Green Left is a vital tool. To best tackle the xenophobia and hatred feeding the growth of One Nation, we need to redirect the current ‘lifeboat politics’ created by austerity politics, which encourages working Australians to choose to battle over the budgetary crumbs to help their own communities and needy survive at the cost of sacrificing refugees and foreign aid. We need to aggressively push our alternative budget, which can more than fund comprehensive public welfare, health and education, along with creating jobs building alternative industries in renewables and clean tech, sustainable agriculture and food processing, infrastructure like high-speed rail and large-scale renewable generation, and merchant-fleet building, AND still allow for funding compassionate help for refugees and foreign aid. We have to consistently take our attack to the corporations and their major and minor party puppets and call for closing tax loopholes and taxing corporations at least at small business rates, ending public money handouts to mining corporations, and cutting the billions wasted on warplanes that don’t work and submarines we don’t need. And we need to be proactive in working with First Nation traditional owners, local farmers and communities to organise a blockade of the Adani and Shenhua coal mines when construction begins. This is our Standing Rock, and it cannot win unless support is coordinated with urban Australia. This is our opportunity to use our skills and our links and the respect we have earned through past campaigns to show leadership, to coordinate and unite social, environmental and labour movements to take on the corporations, as none of us can survive without clean food and water, and we cannot stand alone.