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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 November 2018
4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM VICTORIA More than 20 Greek Australian candidates are vying for our votes in next Saturday’s election Victoria's State election is only a week away and the rival parties have already taken it to the road, selling their policies and trying to win over the voters. Neos Kosmos, has found 21 candidates of Hellenic background fighting for the vote of their constituents and the wider community of Victoria on the 24 November election out of a total 887 senators and members of parliament. Here is the list of the Greek candidates we have put together: Nick Staikos, Australian Labor Party candidate for Bentleigh George Mavroyeni, in- dependent candidate for Bentleigh George Georgiou, independent candidate for Brunswick Kerry Sourasis, independent candidate for Brunswick Jason Soultanidis, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party candidate for Cranbourne George Neophytou, Independent candidate for East Gippsland Jennifer Kanis, Australian Labor Party candidate for Melbourne Kat Theophanous, Australian Labor Party candidate for Northcote Andrew Edmonds, Liberal Party of Australia/Victorian Division candidate for Oak- The Victorian Socialists, bringing issues of social justice to the election debate Upper house candidate, Steve Jolly outlines the new leftist party’s policies DIMITRIS TROADITIS The Victorian Socialists are a new coalition of the biggest leftist organisations in the country, the Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Alternative, along with prominent figures of the Left. There are candidates of the new party in several electorates, but their main aim for this election is to gain at least one seat in the Upper House, particularly in the Northern Metropolitan Region. Their main candidate is City of Yarra Councillor Steven Jolly, a well known political activist. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, he sets out the party's policies. Despite some of you having participated for a long time in the community struggles around Melbourne and Victoria, the Victorian Socialists are standing for the first time in the State Elections. Who actually are the Victorian Socialists? It is a new coalition of the Left based around the elected socialist Councillors in Melbourne, who are probably the only politicians in the country whose vote has risen election after election. It includes progressive writers, trade unions, migrant organisations including Kurds, Tamils, Afghanis and Eritreans, plus socialist organisations and ordinary left wing people. It's the biggest socialist party in recent Australian history. We believe the ALP has to sexism in words and deeds, one example being the fact that our unions lead the fight for equal pay for equal work. We led the fight for same sex marriage in Melbourne. We have massive support in the LGQBTI community. betrayed working class people and that the Greens are not radical enough. We aim to win a seat in the Northern Metropolitan Region (upper house) where five members are elected via proportional representation. Can you very briefly give us the main focus of your program? We are Australia's No. 1 opponent of fascism and racism and have organised all the rallies against these evil ideas as well as rallies to support refugees. However, we understand that racist and fascist ideas grow in areas of disadvantage when people are desperate. Right wing populists use people's despair to whip up racism against minorities. This is historic fact. Therefore, we link our opposition to fascism and racism to policies and campaigns that unite ordinary people in the fight for jobs and services for the poor. We are 100 per cent opposed Climate change is real and a crisis our leaders underestimate. In the northern suburbs, we want a job-creating, publicly-owned recycle plant on the old Ford site in Broadmeadows as most recycling now goes to landfill. We want a massive expansion of public transport – one reason being it'll get people out of cars and lower air pollution. On social justice, that is literally in our name and DNA. There are no social justice issues in Melbourne where we are not either organising and/or in the front line. If you care about social justice, don't just vote Victorian Socialists, join us. One of the most crucial concerns of the Greek community is maintaining and extending Greek language and culture in all the levels of the educational system. What do you have to say about this? The Greek language is spoken by about 15 per cent of people in some parts of the northern suburbs of Melbourne. It needs to be embedded into our school curriculum. State government needs to release the funds to protect Greek language and culture in schools and society. Greeks also face the pressure of an ongoing demand for facilities and services for the ageing. What are the Victorian Socialists intending to do about this? In Yarra, where I am a Councillor, many elderly people in minorities including Greeks, Chinese and more are worried sick about being in an aged care facility where their dietary and cultural needs are ignored. I've worked to expand aged care and culturally specific aged care in my area. There needs to be a State government matrix – a plan to expand aged care as the aged population expands, and to make it both all-in and specific to the needs of Greeks and other groups. We can't leave this to the market. Certain parts of the Greek community have suffered in some way due to the Labor government’s taxi industry policy. If elected what will you do to meet such community demands and needs? We need to immediately compensate those who were paid out too little. Some are hundreds of thousands of dollars behind. The State government has never had a bigger surplus. It can afford to pay up and compensate taxi owners the full difference between what they originally paid for their licence and the pittance they were given by the government. The Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria found yet another ally in the face of Kathleen Maltzahn. The Victorian Greens candidate for Richmond issued a statement praising the Greek community on its ongoing achievements. "We support the continued teaching of the Greek language here in Victoria," reads the statement, which goes on to express the Greens' support on the Bulleen development issue. "We [...] believe the Greek Community of Victoria has been very poorly treated by the Labor Planning Minister, Richard Wynne. The Greens understand how important the Bulleen vision is for Melbourne's Greek community as a place to come together and for older members of the community to live with dignity. It is clear to us that the broken promises to the community are about one thing only: driving down the value of the Bulleen site so that Labor can take it over as part of building a new tollroad, the North East Link. The Liberals also want to build the North East Link, meaning that their promises to the community are hollow. The Greens will fight to stop the North East Link, keeping the site in the ownership of the Greek Community. The Greens support the Greek Community's vi- leigh Parashos Kioupelis, independent candidate for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, Australian Labor Party candidate for Oakleigh Andrew Katos Liberal Party of Australia/Victorian Division candidate for South Barwon Jim Doukas, Australian Country Party/Give it Back candidate for South-West Coast Tess Nagorka-Tsindos, Animal Justice Party candidate for Thomastown Arthur Bablis, Democratic Labour Party candidate for Yan Yean Upper Parliament: Christina Zygouras, Victorian Greens candidate of the Australian Greens Party in Northern Metropolitan Jenny Mikakos, Australian Labor party Candidate in Northern Metropolitan Carmela Dagiandis, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party candidate in Northern Metropolitan Ethan Konstantinou, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate in Northern Metropolitan Chris Tzelepis, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate in Northern Metropolitan Philip Dalidakis, Australian Labor Party candidate in Southern Metropolitan The Greens side with the GCM on the Bulleen development debate Kathleen Maltzahn, the Victorian Greens candidate for Richmond. sion for a community space and turning half of the site into wetlands conservation zone and a park and we will advocate for it. If a few hundred people switch their votes to the Greens at this election, we can be in balance of power in both houses of Parliament, making us very powerful. By stopping North East link, we can give the project the best chance of success."
10 November 2018
24 November 2018