The Socialist Alliance 2016 federal election campaign

The Socialist Alliance 2016 federal election campaign

Liberal and Labor politicians, who govern for the big corporations at the expense of people, have overseen decades of cutbacks to social services, privatisations and attacks on our democratic rights.

The neoliberal consensus has meant that our public health and education systems have been starved of funds and semi-privatised. It has also meant that our working lives are less secure and our work rights have been undermined.

All this has made Australia a harsher, more unsustainable and unequal society.

Australia is among the highest carbon emitting countries in the world, per capita, contributing to the global climate crisis. Our forests, farming lands, reefs and water systems are under serious threat from environmental destruction caused by extractive industries.

For 14 years, governments and the corporate media have waged war against refugees — a war which has given rise to a cruel and expensive detention regime, now being promoted to the world, and the deaths of thousands of asylum seekers.

More recently, governments have starved Aboriginal organisations of funds and have begun to close remote Aboriginal communities.

This government-fuelled racism — poisonous in its own right — is part of the background to recent attempts to undermine universal rights such as Medicare, our retirement pension, unemployment benefits and other welfare rights.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Australia is a wealthy country with the resources to provide everyone with a decent, comfortable life and to provide aid to our regional neighbours. But the reality is that 60% of that wealth is in the hands of the richest 20%, while the poorest 20% own virtually nothing.

We need a radically different future: one that provides for human development, meets community need, protects our environment and guarantees a safe climate; one where our economy operates to ensure social and ecological need; one where participatory democracy means people make the decisions in society; one that promotes cooperation, solidarity and justice for all — an eco-socialist future.

As Naomi Klein said during her visit to Australia, “we have to challenge this system head-on”. To do this, we need to build a strong, active, democratic movement of the majority. We need to forge alliances between workers, communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all those under attack — so we can take on the power of the corporations and build that future together.

What we stand for

Tax the corporations and the rich — no GST
Tax the corporations and the rich — no GST

Scrap the GST;

For a progressive tax system where the wealthy pay their share;

Introduce a wealth tax for the super rich;

An immediate rise in company tax to 49%;

Tax the big polluters;

End the billions in public subsidies to mining corporations banks and energy companies; and

End rampant tax evasion by multinationals.

Public ownership
Public ownership

Nationalise the mines, banks and energy companies, under community and workers’ control;

Take back the wealth so that it can be used for social and environmental purposes; and

Oppose and reverse the privatisation of public assets and services.

Real climate action
Real climate action

Scrap the ‘Direct Action’ fraud;

Urgent public investment and emission reduction targets to achieve 100% renewable energy within 10 years;

Bring the power industries under public ownership and democratic control;

Stop fracking and all unconventional gas mining;

Tax the corporate polluters and billionaires;

Make the shift from coal and gas to renewables with a just transition for workers;

Justice for climate refugees and those displaced by climate change;

Ban the logging of old-growth forests;

Begin an urgent program of reforestation, sustainable farming and biodiversity protection; and

Enforce the rehabilitation of mine sites by companies.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights

No community closures;

Treaties now to respect sovereignty and land rights;

Repeal the Stronger Futures laws;

Abolish racist welfare quarantining and compulsory income management;

No uranium waste dumps;

Close the gap in Aboriginal health, education, employment and housing;

Implement all the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody;

Fund language and culture programs and bilingual education in schools; and

Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs — not tokenistic Constitutional recognition.

Asylum seekers
Asylum seekers

End the boat turn-backs;

Protect the rights of medical, teaching and security staff to speak out about abuse in detention;

Honour Australia's UNHCR obligations;

Close offshore and onshore detention centres and end mandatory detention;

Restore all Australian territories to the migration zone; and

Rnd deportations and end ASIO security veto of refugees.

Against racism, defend our civil rights
Against racism, defend our civil rights

End the racist targeting of Muslims;

Defend anti-discrimination laws;

Scrap ‘anti-terror’ laws;

Abolish ASIO and all spy agencies;

Repeal data retention laws;

Put the police under community control; and

Adopt a Bill of Rights.

Workers’ rights
Workers’ rights

Scrap all anti-union laws;

No new ABCC (Australian Building & Construction Commission);

Recognise workers’ right to strike and organise in law, including solidarity actions;

Increase the minimum wage;

Restore penalty rates;

Recognise the right to secure work for all — reverse casualisation;

Full industrial, residency and citizenship rights for all migrant workers;

Expand apprenticeship programs; and

Guarantee retirement and access to the pension for all at age 60.

Industry and jobs
Industry and jobs

Retool Australia’s manufacturing sector for the production of renewable technologies and public transport;

Immediate public investment to create jobs in providing better public housing, schools, hospitals and health facilities; and

Create jobs by introducing a 30 hour week, with no loss of wages.

Social rights
Social rights

Reverse the attacks on sole parent pensions;

Scrap "Work for the Dole" schemes;

No compulsory income management and other forms of welfare quarantining;

Aguaranteed basic income for all;

Lift all welfare payments above the poverty line and index them to maintain real value;

Boost funding to community-based aged and childcare services;

Expand disability services and access; and

Restore the universal right to the aged pension.

Women’s rights
Women’s rights

Reverse the gender pay gap — for equal pay;

Reverse the cuts to single parent pensions;

Enshrine the right to publicly-funded abortion;

Restore and expand funding to women's shelters, refuges and community anti-violence programs; and

Employer-funded, paid parental leave.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer rights
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer rights

Full marriage equality;

Full rights for trans and intersex people;

Full, publicly-funded medical services for gender transition;

Fully-funded school programs for non judgemental sex education and anti violence campaigns; and

Full adoption rights.

Youth rights
Youth rights

Right to vote at 16; boost funding to youth services;

Full pay for young people — no youth wage!;

Expand youth housing programs;

Expand apprenticeship programs;

Eo fees for TAFE and University;

Restore Austudy and Youth Allowance to a living wage.

Education for all
Education for all

Reverse the funding cuts to public education;

Make public education free at all levels;

Expand the public education sector and massively increase funding to vocational education and TAFE; and

End public funding to private schools, tertiary institutions and training colleges.

Housing for all
Housing for all

Tackle homelessness and the housing shortfall with a large-scale expansion in quality public housing;

Cap rents and mortgage repayments at 20% of income;

Expand emergency accommodation services; and

Target housing provision for at-risk youth.

Free healthcare for all
Free healthcare for all

End the back door co-payments;

Restore free, universal health care;

Boost funding for preventative care and chronic disease management;

Free dental care;

End subsidies to private health insurers;

Expand community-based health care networks; and

Boost funding to mental health services.

Public transport in public hands
Public transport in public hands

Make public transport frequent and free;

Boost investment in suburban and high-speed intercity rail; and

Reverse the privatisation of public transport services.

International aid, not war and occupation
International aid, not war and occupation

Bring back all military forces from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East;

No participation or support for imperialist interventions;

Isolate apartheid Israel;

End ANZUS and US military bases in Australia;

Cut military spending and boost development and climate change aid to poor countries;

Reverse the cuts to Australia's overseas aid programs — for a massive increase in Australia's aid budget;

End Australia’s interference in the affairs of countries in the Asia Pacific; and

Independence for West Papua.

Democracy, not corporate dictatorship
Democracy, not corporate dictatorship

Participatory democracy which empowers people and communities;

Proportional representation at all government levels;

Election campaigns for all candidates publicly funded to a fixed amount;

End careerism and rorting — put politicians on an average worker’s wage;

All government positions subject to recall; and

Scrap the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).


Decriminalise drugs and divert policing to address domestic violence, corporate tax evasion, and other corporate crimes including environmental vandalism;

End mandatory detention;

For prevention programs, community-oriented rehabilitation schemes and alternatives to imprisonment;

Fully fund legal aid;

Maintain policing and corrective services in public hands; and

Reverse the privatisation of prisons.

Our candidates

Ken Canning

I am a First Nations activist, poet and playwright from the Kunja Clan of the Bidjara Peoples of south-west Queensland.

Susan Price

I have been an active unionist for more than 20 years and joined my first union as a high school student.

Sharlene Leroy-Dyer

I am a descendant of the Guringai, Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Dharug peoples of NSW. I have a PhD in Management from the University of Newcastle where I am a full-time staff member.

Howard Byrnes

I am a crane operator and I have worked in the building industry for three decades.

Peter Boyle

I have been a socialist activist since the early 1970s, after I radicalised around war, race and class issues after my family migrated to Australia from Malaysia.

Chris Jenkins

I live and work as a nurse in Fremantle. I am actively involved in the campaign against the Perth Freight Link project and anti-racism campaigns.

Kamala Emanuel

Kamala Emanuel is a women’s health doctor and a mother. She is a passionate feminist who campaigns for abortion rights and against violence against women.

Zane Alcorn

I am a construction worker and climate campaigner in the seat of Wills.

Seamus Doherty

Séamus Doherty was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and emigrated to Australia as a plumber in 1974.

Sue Bull

As a health and safety trainer in the construction sector, I have seen enormous numbers of blue-collar and white-collar jobs destroyed in Geelong in the past 10 years.

Farida Iqbal

Farida Iqbal is active in the campaign to save the Safe Schools program. She is an active campaigner for equal marriage rights and has been involved in the Queer movement since 2003.