Volume 9

Following our recent National Executive meeting it was requested that we include a copy of the original motion on the NDIS tabled at the 9th National Conference for reference.

On behalf of the Socialist Alliance (and the Democratic Socialist Perspective), I attended “Socialism 2009”, a conference of the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM), on November 14 and 15, 2009.

Brief background on PSM

The PSM was formed on May Day 1998, from plantation workers and anti-evictions activists. In some ways similarly to the Socialist Alliance, it is a relatively young party, although its tradition goes back far beyond its 11 years of existence.

For centuries, simplistic population theories have been advanced to explain poverty, hunger, famine, disease, war, racism and unemployment. Climate change is just the latest in this long list of issues that has been seized on by supporters of population control. In each case, the real social and economic causes of these social ills have been glossed over.

Australia’s immigration policy should be non-discriminatory on the grounds of nationality, ethnic origin, religion, language, gender, disability, sexuality, age, socio-economic background or skills.

The problem

Since the introduction of modern agriculture, the quality of Australia’s soils has dropped dramatically. Inappropriate agricultural practices and methods have led to ongoing soil loss, salinity and soil structure across the country, threatening the viability of many rural communities, and endanger Australia’s future food security.

In many areas, irrigation water is dangerously over-allocated, frequently wasteful and used on inappropriate crops, and is becoming more and more scarce, threatening the viability of agriculture in many parts of Australia.

Currently the base rate for the unemployed is $226.65 per week while the basic minimum wage is set at $564 per week. Currently the unemployed can earn $31 per week before deductions kick in. In 1995, that amount was $55 per week.

We demand:

Premable

The following draft of a public transport policy for Socialist Alliance expands and extends existing national policy, by incorporating work done for the NSW state elections in 2007, articles for Green Left Weekly and other research. It attempts to both illustrate the problems with the existing situation, where inadequate provision of public transport disadvantages poor communities and the environment and point the way to an socially and ecologically sustainable alternative.

Here are some possible resolutions for the upcoming January conference. The first could be additions to similar proposals others are working on.

Introduction

At our Sixth National Conference, in December 2008, the Socialist Alliance adopted a resolution on a framework for energy policy which rejected “carbon trading and the ‘cap-and-trade’ model as they are incapable of reducing carbon emission levels adequately, socially inequitable within countries and between the First and Third Worlds, and open to massive abuses.”

It also adopted a general approach to financing the transition to energy sustainability through:

Socialist Alliance supports the right to marry regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

In other countries civil unions have been offered to the LGBTI community to placate the movement for equal marriage rights. This is not the situation in Australia, where even civil unions have been suppressed by the federal government because they "mimic marriage". It is for this reason that the Socialist Alliance supports civil unions as well as marriage rights. Yet civil unions are not a substitute for marriage rights.

Socialist Alliance demands of the government:

December 3, 2009

Dear comrades,

On behalf of the Socialist Alliance, we would like to send warm, socialist greetings to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, thanking you once again for the invitation to participate in the International Meeting of Left Parties held in Caracas, November 19-21, 2009.

The outcomes of this event are already having an important impact on the world, particularly among left and progressive forces, and we a grateful that we could be part of it and contribute to its success in our own modest way.