Napthine pushing for anti-democratic laws targeting Councillors

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By Councillor Stephen Jolly

The Victorian state government has introduced a bill into parliament to further limit the powers of elected local Councillors. The bill includes big penalties for those breeching it’s beefed up rules.

The ‘Local Government Amendment (Governance and Conduct) Bill 2014’ is just the latest step in a process whereby right wing parties are trying to erode away the democratic rights won in the past.

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Stephen Jolly set to stand in Richmond

Jolly

By Socialist Party reporters

The Socialist Party is gearing up for a major campaign in an attempt to win the seat of Richmond in November’s Victorian state election. Socialist Party Councillor Stephen Jolly has been pre-selected as our candidate. The seat is largely made up of the municipality of Yarra where Stephen has been a Councillor for a decade now.

The party won 20% of the vote in the Yarra Council elections in 2012, including 35% for Stephen in his ward. Since then the Socialist Party has played a leadership role in the successful campaign against the sell-off of the open space surrounding the public housing towers in Fitzroy and Richmond. More recently the party has been integral to the community pickets of the East-West tunnel test drilling sites as well as the broader campaign.

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Council needs to make use of new zones

mattguy

By Councillor Stephen Jolly

Most readers of this website would have a gut feeling that planning law in Australia is geared towards the needs of big developers, not ordinary people. In Victoria this is especially the case.

The crisis in the local manufacturing sector has made profit-making in property speculation all the more important. The rapid growth of the city’s population has led to an unplanned boom in construction both in new outer suburban housing as well as inner-city residential towers.

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Keeping our parks public and accessible to all

gardens

By Councillor Stephen Jolly

For the second year running New Year’s Eve celebrations at Yarra Council’s massive Edinburgh Gardens in the inner north of Melbourne featured heavily in the Victorian media for days afterwards.

The beautiful park is situated in the inner northern suburb of North Fitzroy and has a good view of the city fireworks. It is increasingly become the site of choice for thousands of mainly young people to have a free, safe and exciting night to bring in the New Year.

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Anthony Main – Socialist Party candidate for Melbourne

election poster 2013 final

Prior to 2010 the division of Melbourne was held by Labor for more than 100 years. After decades of betraying their supporters they were replaced by the Greens at the last election. Many had hoped that Adam Bandt would better represent their interests.

Unfortunately soon after being elected the Greens made a pact with Labor and propped up the Gillard-led government for most of the last term. Disappointingly Adam Bandt voted for most of Labor’s unpopular legislation including the carbon tax package which handed over millions in corporate subsidies to big polluters and the bungled mining tax which only brought in a measly $126 million in its first six months.

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Tunnel fight heats up in Melbourne

rally poster

By Stephen Jolly

Last month the Victorian state government announced it would build a controversial toll road and tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway to Melbourne’s western suburbs. The cost is estimated to be between $8-15 billion.

The uproar from affected communities has rocked the political scene in the city and has become a big feature of the Socialist Party’s work.

The tunnel would lead to the loss of about 250 properties in North Collingwood, South Clifton Hill and North Fitzroy. If allowed to go ahead other homes would be up close and personal with a massive new road.

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Yarra Socialists News – Winter 2013 edition

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Yarra Socialists News is produced by Socialist Party Councillor Stephen Jolly. It is distributed twice yearly to every home in Yarra. We aim to keep residents informed about local issues and encourage involvement in community campaigns.

The Liberal/Labor tunnel obsession must be stopped

The proposed East-West tunnel will not reduce traffic congestion or pollution in Melbourne. The government says there will be no exit points until the tunnel’s end in the western suburbs. Given that more than 80% of the cars coming in off the Eastern Freeway are heading towards the city, most cars will therefore exit just before the tunnel starts – onto Hoddle Street, the very street that the tunnel was supposed to relieve!

The truth is that tunnel will make local traffic and pollution worse. The Age believes the tunnel can only be made profitable by huge toll costs and/or government subsidies to the private operators. It is a waste of taxpayer’s money.

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Residents need to organise against big developer greed

amcor

By Councillor Stephen Jolly

Late last month, a consortium including the massive Wesfarmers company, bought the now disused Amcor paper mill site in Alphington, in the City of Yarra, for $120 million.
This is the latest and biggest example in Yarra of developers and corporate giants buying up ex-industrial sites for residential, office and retail development. Huge profits are being made in this process.

This profit-making in the property sector stands out especially as Victoria’s manufacturing base is in crisis due to the high dollar and an inability to compete with the economies of scale in East Asia.

The developers inevitably propose mainly matchbox apartments with little or no open space, community facilities, or enough parking. The more units they squeeze in the more money they make.

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New laws target public housing tenants

housing

By Councillor Stephen Jolly

In what are probably its dying days, the Gillard ALP Government has administered a parting kick to Australia’s most vulnerable people. This most right-wing of Labor governments has tabled a new bill that is sneakily-titled and draconian in content.

The ‘Social Security Legislation Amendment (Public Housing Tenants’ Support) Bill 2013’ allows a “public housing lessor” (eg a State-based Office of Housing) to compulsory deduct rent from a tenant’s welfare payment if certain conditions apply. A tenant only has to be four weeks behind and have $100 owing for the Office of Housing to be allowed to directly access their income.

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Public housing campaign goes on the offensive

home meeting

By Socialist Party reporters

In late March the Victorian Liberal Government was forced to back down on its plans to sell-off open space at the Fitzroy and North Richmond public housing estates. This was due to pressure from the growing Hands Off Melbourne’s Estates (H.O.M.E.) campaign to defend and extend public housing. The campaign was initiated by the Socialist Party and is made up of local public and private housing residents.

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