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Issue #1443      17 February 2010

CPA election campaign launched in Lee

In Adelaide around 100 members and supporters of the Communist Party of Australia (SA) were at the Exeter Hotel on Semaphore Road last Saturday afternoon to celebrate the launch of Bob Briton’s state election campaign for the seat of Lee.

Bob Briton

It is the first time the Party has fielded a candidate in South Australia for a number of years, the most recent being Michael Perth, who ran in the seat of Port Adelaide at the 2000 federal election.

Referring to the Party’s election campaign slogan “Another SA is Possible”, CPA State Secretary and poll contender Bob Briton outlined the Party’s policy platform for 2010. He told the enthusiastic crowd, many of whom were sporting the slogan on bright red t-shirts, that people don’t want a state government that is wedded to big business and the development of military industries.

“We want to bring utilities back into public ownership and control, but more than that, we want new public enterprises to build the sustainable energy and transport infrastructure that we need. If there are social needs here we should do the building here. We don’t need to import trams from overseas, for example, when we have the manufacturing skills to do it here in South Australia,” he said.

In a speech that was highly critical of the Rann government’s treatment of injured workers, Mr Briton took aim at current Member for Lee, Michael Wright.

“There was a report released just yesterday that says the government is going to revisit WorkCover and continue its attacks on it. Michael Wright was the Minister in charge of industrial relations when changes were made which had the effect of sending sick and injured workers back to work quicker and sicker,” said Mr Briton.

“We were told that we (South Australians) needed to rein in the cost of WorkCover in order to maintain our AAA credit rating. We now know that the agencies that distribute those ratings were complicit in the debacle now referred to as the Global Financial Crisis,” he said.

“In order to keep the main players in casino capitalism happy, workers’ compensation in South Australia was downgraded. This is a betrayal,” he added.

In referring to the incredible quantities of water used by mining companies, the CPA’s candidate for Lee said, “We say no to a future South Australia which is like a hole in the ground left by accident-prone uranium mining companies.”

Stressing that a strong campaign must soon be organised against the militarisation of South Australia, Mr Briton said the Party is against the production of aggressive and destructive weapons which, contrary to government spin, are not being purchased for “defence” purposes.

“Spending on submarines, warships and the acquisition of Aegis missiles and joint strike fighters is not in our interests, it is part of a global military strategy with the United States, which ultimately doesn’t serve the interests of the American people either.”

Mr Briton was also critical of the state government’s acceptance of sponsorship money from weapons manufacturers.

“I think there’s something a little bit dysfunctional when a weapons manufacturer is investing money in science and maths programs in our local high schools,” he said, referring to a deal that saw US weapons manufacturer Raytheon supply laptop computers to Aberfoyle Park high school in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

Mr Briton said he was confident the election campaign would continue to grow and that it would go some way to eliminating that often heard refrain “I didn’t know you people (communists) were around anymore.”

In closing, Mr Briton encouraged potential members to join its ever-increasing ranks with a call to action.

“We want to be energetic, campaigning and organising all the time. I think we’ve made a good start,” he said.

To find out more or to donate to Bob’s campaign, go to the state election website:
www.vote1communist.org.au 

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