Brigitte Ellery is a public housing advocate and member of Geelong Radical Women. She is a disability pensioner who is employed casually as a personal care worker. She is the preselected Socialist Alliance candidate for the Victorian State seat of Geelong North.
“I’m standing to help make Socialist Alliance widely known as a political alternative. People are fed up with both Labor and Liberal. Many will be attracted to the Socialist Alliance vision of creating a just world. The world’s problems can be solved. There is no reason why there needs to be a single poor person in the world. We can house, feed, clothe and educate every man, woman and child if we redistribute the wealth.
Education is a big issue that Socialist Alliance will campaign around in the State election. We demand a huge boost in funding to primary schools, secondary schools and the TAFE system, which is woefully under-funded. In Victoria, TAFE has a lower level of funding than anywhere else in the country, and its teachers are the worst paid. Job insecurity, as a result of casualisation and short-term contracts, is a major issue for teachers. We’ll also campaign against casualisation of the workforce generally, which hits women particularly hard.
We need a massive injection of funds into the public health system. Services are in a poor state. There’s also a real need to improve wages and conditions for nurses and other health workers.
Public transport is another priority for Socialist Alliance. We oppose the State government subsidising private companies to run public transport. Socialist Alliance would re-nationalise public transport. There is also an urgent need to improve services. Some parts of Geelong have reasonable services, but some outlying suburbs have no public transport. We support a proposal to extend the train line to Grovedale. And Socialist Alliance will campaign to electrify the rail services between Geelong and Melbourne.
Public housing is a huge issue. The main problem is that there is a chronic shortage of housing stock. Geelong has a ten-year waiting list. That is simply not good enough. The price of private rental is now sky high because of the property boom — low income people cannot afford the rents.
We’ll be opposing the proposed Stonehaven Power Station (see article page 23). Campaigning to stop logging in the Otways is another key local demand. The destruction of beautiful rainforests is criminal, and this logging has a serious impact on Geelong’s water supply.
Achieving lasting solutions to everything from the provision of services and protection of the environment to ending sexism, racism and homophobia is achievable by eliminating the drive for profits and implementing socialist policies based on fairness and equality.”