I’ve been part of the Victorian Socialist party since it started, and the party is really about a fresh perspective in politics, not about career politicians, it’s about genuine activists who want there to be a completely different set of priorities to the mainstream parties. Our slogan ‘people before profit’ really just sums it up, and it sums up my approach to social and economic justice.
One of the big things locally is the fact there are refugees still in detention in the Mantra Hotel. A lot of people don’t know they are still in their rooms 23 hours a day. And this is right in the heart of progressive inner north Melbourne.
What we would do is use the platform of the council to run a much more high-profile campaign around the detention. Using it to make it a much more public issue. One idea I had was to push to have council meetings held in the lobby of Mantra.
But also, there is a dire lack of childcare which is publicly funded. We are also for the full public provision of aged care, especially with what has been happening with this barbaric treatment of older people.
There is a lot of talk around sustainable development, but actually the regulations are pretty weak. I mean we are for a much higher percentage of developments being allocated to public or affordable housing.
Such a growing population needs adequate green space and open parkland. During the pandemic local residents have been granted access to Northcote Golf Club.
“I’m really keen to see a new plan for Northcote Golf Course based on community consultation, but I don’t think it should be kept exclusively for people who play golf. It’s the biggest patch of green space in the whole of Darebin. It seems unfair for it to not be accessible, seeing as people have enjoyed it so much.
“The interests of ordinary people being represented on council is so important. There are often connections people have with developers or builders or particular business, but the Victorian Socialists are unique in not doing any deals with major parties or cooperate interests. We stand up to people in power, if people want councillors who are more like that, we are the people to vote for.”