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.

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.

Moved: by Illawarra branch — Matt Garner to present at conference.

In writing this report, I am reminded of why we are all probably feeling a bit tired as the year winds to an end. Having a Labor government in power at both federal and state levels has not made the work of Socialist Alliance any easier, except that maybe more people can see that our democracy is failing us on any of the big issues of our time and, as the Earth heats up and social injustice rages, many people are looking for an alternative.

Our present health care policy is a very general statement of orientation and priorities advocating a clear preference for preventative health measures based in the community. It calls for Medicare to be restored and extended and advocates that the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories be re-nationalised.

Read it in full here:

A key element of Socialist Alliance projections for the year ahead is going to be a recruitment campaign. Much as I appreciate the energy generated by campaign modes, I think it is a mistake to go forth with a lot of rah-rahing and the best of intentions and expect that will sustain us.

Below are a list of proposed amendments to the constitution put forward by the Socialist Alliance National Executive. The rationales that introduce each section were written by Peter Boyle who convened a Constitution Working Group (of Bea Bleile, David White, Greg Rowell, Dick Nichols, Dave Riley and Peter Boyle) that prepared the amendments for the National Executive's consideration.

A number of proposed amendments to the constitution have been proposed by a Constitution Working Group and considered by the National Executive. This is an explanation of my dissenting view in the Working Group and in the National Executive to some of the proposed changes to national leadership structure (Sections 6 and 7). I have prepared this explanation as it is my view that most members are not properly aware of the implications of the changes proposed.

These amendments propose to give the National Executive:


Role of trade unions

The role of the trade unions is to defend the basic interest of the workers, such as working conditions and wages. Unions have come into being with capitalism itself as working class organisation of resistance to the exploitation workers faced by the bourgeoisie. The existence of unions also highlights a fundamental conflict of class interests inherit in the capitalist mode of production that strives forever for increasing profits at the expense of workers.

Special decision of the international meeting of left parties

Caracas, November 19-21, 2009

The Socialist Alliance calls upon the NSW government to order the closure of the Lake Cowal open pit gold mine. The mine is operated by Canadian company Barrick gold.

The mine uses in sodium cyanide and other process chemicals which end up in a tailings dam. The tailings dam subsequently has the potential to release poisonous dust containing cyanide, arsenic and cadmium into the air which could contaminate agricultural land in the region. Lake Cowal is itself an ephemeral lake, which is periodically subjected to major flooding.