More than 250 people turned out for the launch of the Victorian Socialists 2022 Victorian State Election campaign.
The party is targeting the Northern Metropolitan Region – where it attained around 4% of the vote in 2018 with a ticket headed by Yarra City councillor Stephen Jolly – and the Western Metropolitan Region, in the Victorian Legislative Council.
In addition, the party is standing candidates in each of the 22 lower house electorates covering these two regions.
Liz Walsh, Victorian Socialists lead candidate for the Western Metropolitan Region, said “workers are being hammered right now” by increasing cost of living.
“If you go to a food bank drive-thru in any Melbourne suburb, you’re going to see long lines of cars. Around half of the people in those cars will have jobs [yet] they can’t afford to put food on their tables [or to pay their] bills.”
“What’s driving this inflation […] is the greed of big business, of companies like supermarket chains, infrastructure companies, […] who are making record profits by inflicting pain on the rest of us.”
Walsh also took aim at the Andrews government, describing it as “one of the worst employers going — with a 1.5% wages cap for the public sector.”
“Condemning this wage cap, and urging workers to organise collectively to smash it; standing alongside workers on any picket line that might exist across the North and the West, anyone willing to have a go; that’s going to be central to the Victorians Socialists state election campaign.”
“We know which side of the class war we stand on.”
Nahui Jimenez, who is the Victorian Socialists candidate for the Brunswick electorate, said politicians and the wealthy “are waging a conscious war on the planet.”
“They’re doing this in the name of profit and when we think about ‘what is the political movement that we need […] that can deal with the question of climate change’, we’re not going to find this in the halls of parliament.”
“I think the kind of political movement that we need is one that says no, [that] we’re willing to stand up to the profit-driven system that is capitalism and we’re willing to take a stand, even when it’s hard to be able to do that.”
“We’re basically out of time to tinker around the system, we need real action.”
Jimenez also slammed the ‘draconian anti-logging protest bill‘ labelling it an “absolute disgrace.”
Cecilia Judge, a frontline healthcare worker and union workplace delegate with the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, described the healthcare crisis as “hardly groundbreaking journalism.”
We’ve been in crisis for decades.
— Cecilia Judge
“Successive Labor and Liberal governments have continued to deny us of resources [as well as] cut funding [while] expecting healthcare workers to pick up the slack.”
“What’s more, there has been a number of long-term issues in our system that our governments have known about and have done nothing to rectify.”
“What we’re seeing in healthcare at the moment, under the COVID-19 pandemic, are the chickens coming home to roost.”
Jerome Small, Victorian Socialists lead candidate for the Northern Metropolitan Region, said:
“We spend our lives, our talent, building monstrosities when we could be building houses, hospitals […] when we could actually be looking after people and looking after the planet.”
“It’s [therefore] pretty easy and sensible to say we need a whole different setup to this.”
“The same goes with the energy system. It’s really easy to find people [in the La Trobe Valley] who know […] we’ve got to get the hell out of coal.”
“If it was put to a vote […] I know which way the vote would turn out.”
“It’s not stupidity, it’s the end of stupidity. It’s not squaller, it’s the end of squaller.”
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