- by Che Janz
- The Guardian
- Issue #2039
From left to right: Graham Treasurer, Che President and Ethan Secretary of the Sunshine Coast Branch. Photo: CPA
The newest branch of the CPA, the Sunshine Coast, had its first meeting on 9th January. The branch was part of the Brisbane branch before gaining enough members from the towns in the region north of Brisbane to set up an independent branch.
Its members bring very different experiences, due to age and walks of life, with unique knowledge of the Sunshine Coast. The Branch covers the area from Caboolture, Nambour, Maleny to Sippy Downs and Caloundra. This richness allows us to communicate and help the community in our own way, allowing us to bring in new members who see what we are doing.
The Sunshine Coast has a very high number of Pauline Hanson and One Nation voters, who see the Right as their only political support. This means that our branch of the CPA has found potential new members in the area interested in the issues we stand for as a Party among those opposed to One Nation.
The branch provides a much-needed Marxist Leninist party platform as an alternative to the far Right and the major parties, who have failed to address the acute problems of the region: homelessness and the rental crisis; drug abuse; youth unemployment; and the increase in the number of hate crimes. The Right has a great influence on local and state politics. These populists blame the problems on the youth for their own problems, rather than the capitalist system. The poor have become scapegoats, rather than politicians providing solutions to the region’s worsening problems.
The branch remains determined to bring the CPA’s message to the region, at a time of desperate social and economic need. Historically, the CPA in Queensland had produced Fred Paterson, an MP who retained his electorate despite the government’s Red Scare campaigned direct against him with the community supporting him. He provided much needed mutual aid and assistance at their time of need. This is exactly what the Sunshine Coast CPA is recreating.
Che plans to hands out grocery hampers to the large pockets of homeless camps spread across the coast and he volunteers at the local food banks. In the holiday season he plans to buy presents for the children of families in need. Ethan works with the Disability sector. Graham also worked in the sector before retiring last November. Graham grew up on a small farm near Glenview, north of Landsborough. Ethan and Graham are members of the TSU, The Services Union.
Nambour, the historical capital of the Sunshine Coast, was built on the sugar cane industry. With the closure of the local sugar mill the industry died, leaving hundreds out of work. Today Nambour’s main industry is fast food and retail. In Caboolture there is not one bank, despite it officially being a city. With the COVID-19 shut down many stores closed their doors leaving “For Lease” signs across the area.
Growing violence is a big problem, as Graham witnessed. The local 7/11 store was held up at gunpoint, and the gunman ran across my roof chased by police with their dogs. Banks and stores have shut down across the region, leaving behind poverty and unemployment, which the politicians are not tackling. This leaves a political gap which the Branch wants to fill.
The Branch contributes financially to Nambour and the area by having meetings in the local record store, which the owner has graciously allowed free of charge. Members buy lunches from the small takeaway stores, and visit the local businesses, such as the amusement centre and the bookstore. These small businesses provide jobs and the money helps to pay the recent rent increases. Shop owners have gotten to know us and listen to us speak about the problems with capitalism. They have become friends to the Party.
The first meeting was very productive, setting up our Branch account at a small bank that is very supportive to the community with its philanthropic causes. This is in marked comparison to the Big Four banks that have now left the region. Comrades got to know each other and what each can bring to the CPA Branch.
Having our meetings in Nambour allows everyone to get to know and to see firsthand the issues that confront the community and how we can help combat them. It is my personal conviction that with our leadership and the Branch’s resources we can bring Marxism Leninism to the Sunshine Coast, where we will become a relevant force in the future. We bring a Branch that is strong, united and respected by the community. We already have four new prospective members, one of whom, Oliver, joined the Party on the Invasion Day March, Thursday 26 January.