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Socialist Alliance contests Fremantle by-election

Union activist, waterside worker, community campaigner and former Young Labor leader named as Socialist candidate for Fremantle by-election

The Socialist Alliance is pleased to announce that its candidate in the May 16 Fremantle by-election will be Sam Wainwright. Wainwright, aged 38 is a wharfie, member of the Maritime Union of Australia and activist in the Fremantle Community Solidarity group.

Wainwright is a former member of the ALP and was Secretary of Young Labor in Tasmania where he grew up. He commented, “Both the Liberals and Labor are loyal servants of big business. Liberal plays tough cop while Labor plays soft cop. It’s long overdue that we have a discussion in this country about creating a 100% pro-worker, pro-environment and pro-community political force. That’s what we want to do in this election.”

As a waterside worker Wainwright is particularly passionate about the environmental, planning and social challenges relating to Fremantle Port. He said, “Because the Fremantle Port Authority like Western Power was corporatised, it functions like any other profit hungry business at the expense of its workers and the community it is supposed to serve. Witness its ludicrous ING property development which has nothing to do with running a port.”

He continued, “The corporatisation of state government owned instrumentalities must be reversed. The CEOs should be removed and replaced with boards elected by the community and people that work there, and state government representatives. Let the community decide what hazardous cargoes they are prepared to have loaded there, how the port should be developed and so on.”

He went further, “Stevedoring operations should also be taken out of the hands of private operators and assumed by the state as well. It’s long overdue that we reverse all the privatisation that has taken place and expand the state sector.”

Wainwright explained, “In order to confront the challenges of the recession and halt global warming, vital sectors of the economy such as transport, telecommunications, power and mining need to be nationalised and community controlled. Without this we will simply not be able to protect peoples’ living standards or save the planet. Look at the Pacific Brands debacle and Kevin Rudd’s worse than useless emissions trading scheme. Yet to my knowledge Socialist Alliance will be the only party advocating this course.”

On global warming he said, “We are committed to the campaign to convert Australia’s power generation to 100% renewables by 2020. This means no expansion of coal fired power at Collie. Instead this must be rapidly phased out and the region developed as a centre for the production of renewable energy technologies.”

For more comment contact Sam Wainwright 0412 751 508 or fremantle@socialist-alliance.org

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