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.

Young people occupy a unique position in society. They face both formal and informal discrimination, as well as disproportionate social and political exclusion. They are often the first to be hit by, and are more affected by, homelessness and the housing crisis, violence, poverty, social exclusion, attacks on workers and students and other social problems.

But young people have the power to play a radicalising and explosive role in the struggle for a better world and it is from them that the socialist movement and the Socialist Alliance will be strengthened and renewed.

Considerable progress has been made on updating the text of the draft Climate Charter to take into account the changing political circumstances, new approaches to sustainable design and technology, and the science behind the latest changes to global and national climate.

With the rapidity of these changes, and the fact that the outcome of the Copenhagen conference is still not clear at this time, it has been proposed that a final text of the updated Charter should not be produced at this time.

This proposal is to change the Socialist Alliance policy statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender to include Intersex people.

We live in a society in which attempts to dictate sexual preference and gender identity through promoting the gender stereotypes and homophobic attitudes which underpin the heterosexual nuclear family and by promoting marriage and the nuclear family as the only legitimate model for relationships.

It has been noticeable for some years now that the pattern of commitment that people make to the socialist cause has changed.

Some people have pointed to the changes in the welfare system or in student’s support payments as parts of the reasons for this.

It can be frustrating, when we know that there are big issues facing humanity and yet it is hard to break through the façade of ordinary life to bring people into a commitment to action to improve their lives.

  1. Socialist Alliance re-affirms that it will continue to support and propose strong, progressive and ambitious solutions in key debates in the climate movement, and that our climate movement strategy be designed to achieve rapid and constructive changes to government climate change policy, even if this means that all of our desired policy goals are not immediately adopted.

The Socialist Alliance acknowledges the important historical role socialists have played in major struggles for Aboriginal rights throughout the last century. Through our new Charter, we commit ourselves to continuing in this tradition, supporting and championing Aboriginal self-determination and Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs, while linking Aboriginal struggles to other movements, especially the trade union movement.

The transition working committee on education committee has drafted a set of 10 points which it feels should form the basis for the National Executive discussion on socialist ideas for Socialist Alliance from next year.

I want to thank Graham Matthews for his work in producing a full-length style public transport policy draft for Socialist Alliance. Nonetheless, I suggest we may need to continue the drafting process for this policy area beyond the conference.

I believe the draft has a number of problems. In suggesting this I’m drawing substantially on our experience of sustainable transport campaigning here in Cairns. I will try to relate some of that experience as responses to the policy draft. I apologise for the point format of this contribution.

Green Left Weekly is a great newspaper, but its lack of rivals can blind us to its faults, for lack of anything to judge it against.

The format of Green Left has barely changed over the nearly 20 years since it began publishing. In this time the internet has arrived and changed news presentation dramatically. Print media are struggling everywhere, as people go online for information.

For 20 years we have had employer-contributed compulsory superannuation (ECS), currently at the rate of 9% of gross income. This was “sold” as part of the social wage and as an expansion of the provision of enhanced retirement benefits for Australian workers beyond those then limited to public sector and management in the private sector. It is another example of the ALP-ACTU Accord betrayal of Australian workers.