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Party Statements – 2013

On the federal election

Statement from the Communist Party of Australia

June 19, 2013

During its term in office, Labor has persisted with the pro-corporate, pro-wealth, anti-union agenda of its predecessor. It is also clear that the election of an Abbott-led Coalition government would lead to a worsening of the conditions of the people of Australia and further hamper their capacity to fight for their interests. It is important that members and supporters become active during the election campaign to help break the two-party system dominated by the big parties of capital. The CPA will be producing a leaflet dealing with key issues for members and supporters to distribute.

At the federal election on September 14, the CPA recommends to its supporters to put Coalition candidates last on their ballot papers along with other reactionary candidates including those from the RiseUp Australia Party, Family First, Bob Katter Party, Democratic Labor Party, One Nation, Chrisitan Democrats and so on. The CPA supports the campaign by trade unions to put Abbott last. We recommend a vote for Labor ahead of these reactionary groupings.

Unfortunately, elections in Australia are not held on a level playing field. As in the USA, the parties and candidates with the deepest pockets make the biggest impact. The sheer cost of fielding a candidate precludes most parties or organisations representing the poor from participating. If they do gather the necessary funds to stand a candidate, they must then find a huge sum to pay for a vast number of advertising leaflets, plus an equally vast number of How To Votes. There are sundry other expenses too, all designed to keep small parties and independent candidates from breaking the cosy power-sharing arrangement between Labor and the Liberals. This dominance must be broken.

Therefore, the CPA recommends voting for left, progressive independent or Green candidates in the Lower House. Though the Greens compromised badly on a number of important questions during their time in virtual coalition with Labor, including over the mining and carbon taxes, its overall policy approach is significantly more progressive than that of the ALP. The Greens’ position on the vital question of industrial relations is preferable to that of Labor. It is vital that the Greens build their numbers in the Senate, so the CPA recommends voting for the Greens in the Upper House to prevent the Coalition obtaining an absolute majority.

The Communist Party of Australia does not believe that parliaments are the main forums for the determination of the overall political direction of the country. Legislation by parliaments is kept within bounds established by the ruling class and in response to pressure exerted by means of class struggle by exploited people. Nevertheless, the CPA understands that a number of extremely important questions are facing workers at the federal election to be held in September.

While we will be working to keep Abbott out of office and encourage other people to join these efforts, we know the job of building an alliance of left and progressive forces with a strong Communist Party at its core will still be with us after the poll on September 14. That task remains our main priority.

 


Statement on position of National Organiser

June 12, 2013

On behalf of the Central Committee Executive we wish to thank Denis Doherty for his service to the Party during his time as CPA National Organiser. Comrade Denis recently submitted his resignation which was accepted with regret.

Denis was elected to his position by the 11th Congress in 2009 and has promoted activity in the Party with great energy and enthusiasm. He travelled extensively helping Branches with their work and focused on raising funds for the Party.

We wish him further success in his work in the Party, his activism in the community and in the peace movement.

In comradeship,

Vinnie Molina – National President
Bob Briton – Acting General Secretary

 


Active and United for a Socialist Australia:
Statement on the leadership change

Central Committee Executive

June 1-2, 2013

The Central Committee Executive of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) today announced that it has accepted a request by Comrade Hannah Middleton to be relieved of her responsibilities as General Secretary of the CPA. Comrade Hannah will remain active on the Party’s Central Committee and other leading Party organisations.

Comrade Hannah Middleton is the first female General Secretary of the CPA and has made a long and distinguished contribution to the advancement and consolidation of the Party during her period as General Secretary from 2009.

The Central Committee Executive today announced the appointment of Comrade Bob Briton as Acting General Secretary to lead the Party until the Central Committee meets in August.

The Party and the working class face great challenges as a likely conservative rightwing government takes power in Australia. The working class will face savage attacks on wages, conditions, rights and social standards. The development of the Party’s future leadership in the lead-up to these struggles is seen as a necessary and a practical step to ensure the Party operates effectively and can play its role as a revolutionary party.

Comrade Briton joined the Socialist Party of Australia in 1984. At that time he was active in the Australian Capital Territory in struggles for low-cost housing, against unfair dismissals and in solidarity with the peoples of Latin America. He was the youngest person to receive the service award from his union (the ACOA which merged into the CPSU) for his leadership of the campaign to remove asbestos from the National Library where he worked.

Since moving to South Australia he has remained active around the issue of political prisoners in Colombia, solidarity with Venezuela and Vietnam and is treasurer of the South Australian May Day Collective. He has served for many years on the South Australian State Committee of the CPA and became its secretary in 2001.

He became a journalist on the Party’s weekly newspaper, The Guardian, at that time. He is a member of the MEAA. He was elected to the Central Committee in 2005 and has served on its Peace Sub-Committee. He is currently secretary of the CC’s International Department. He has represented the Party at several international forums. He is highly regarded in the labour movement in South Australia.

Comrade Andrew Irving has been appointed the Party’s Acting Assistant General Secretary.

They both join the leadership team of Comrade Vinnie Molina as National Party President and Comrade David Matters as Party Vice President.

These changes are occurring at a very important time for the Communist Party. This is our Congress year and comrades are currently studying the Congress documents and preparing amendments and contributions on the many areas of activity the Party has been involved in over the last four years.

The focus of this year’s Congress will be the strengthening and building of Party activity in the community particularly the working class, making all of our Party organisations centres of political activity.

 


Communist Party of Australia deeply saddened by the passing of Hugo Chávez

March 6, 2013

The Communist Party of Australia’s National President, Vinnie Molina, today expressed his Party’s sadness on the passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. “President Chávez was an inspirational figure to progressive people in Latin America and throughout the world,” Mr Molina said.

“As an Australian of Latin American background, I can appreciate just how much his efforts to unite the continent and to restore its sovereignty in the face of fierce opposition from the US meant to the people of the region. Hugo Chávez transformed Venezuela from a basket case victim of neo-liberal policy to one where the country’s resource income is spent on eradicating poverty and other social needs.”

“The example of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela spilled over that country’s borders and broke the grip of neo-liberalism on the governments of several nations,” Mr Molina continued. “Hugo Chávez’ leadership played a major role in unleashing the social forces now transforming Latin America. He helped enormously in putting socialism back on the agenda as the only alternative to capitalism, which is threatening the future of humanity through war and environmental disaster. Chávez’ name will forever be associated with the renewed advance of the peoples of the world towards socialism. Dangers lie ahead, but the commitment and achievements of Comrade Chávez should inspire us.”

 


Statement in support of the rights of Bob Carnegie

Vinnie Molina – CPA President

February 2013

The Communist Party of Australia expresses its full support for the rights of community activist Bob Carnegie and pledges solidarity with efforts to maintain those rights in the face of an outrageous attack.

The actions of multinational corporation Lend Lease subsidiary AbiGroup, in bringing 54 counts of contempt of court against the veteran activist, are rightly viewed by the public as an act of spite arising out of the success of a campaign to defend appropriate conditions for workers at the Royal Children’s Hospital site in Brisbane.

The Newman government stands condemned for joining in this assault on people’s basic rights of association and free speech. The use of a private firm to spy on activists protesting in support of workers and other acts of intimidation underscore the sinister nature of the attack on concerned members of the community and their support of rights in the workplace.

The CPA condemns these attempts to criminalise dissent in Australia; they are part of the broader agenda of the most draconian parts of WorkChoices kept in the Fair Work Australia legislation that was introduced by the Rudd and Gillard governments.

Bob Carnegie’s case has already attracted nationwide and international attention. Support will continue to snowball. The CPA endorses the call for the immediate withdrawal of all legal proceedings against Mr Carnegie.

 



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