West Brunswick estate to be sold to private developers

[By Sue Bolton] One of the public housing estates the state government wants to develop is in Brunswick West. The plan is to sell the land to private developers to be developed into a mix of private and social housing. However it isn’t guaranteed that the ‘social’ housing will be public housing. It may be turned into community housing run by not-for profit housing associations which charge higher rent. Continue reading

Why I voted against the council budget

[By Sue Bolton] The draft council budget was voted up on May 22. On May 23, right-wing councillor Ali Irfanli wrote on Facebook that I had voted against public consultation on the Moreland Council budget.

I voted against the draft budget because I disagreed with some measures in it. I certainly don’t oppose public consultation on the budget. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am consistently the councillor who most pushes for genuine consultation with residents.  Continue reading

Report on May 10 Moreland Council meeting

[By Sue Bolton] This is a snapshot of some of the issues voted on at the May 10 Moreland Council meeting.

Allowances for mayor & councillors
I believe that politicians’ incomes should be linked to either the median or average wage. I proposed a motion that the allowance for the mayor should be linked to the median wage ($43,836) and councillors’ allowances should be half that to reflect that the position is part-time ($21,918). I opposed the per annum allowances of $94,641 for the mayor and $29,630 for councillors, and proposed an alternative motion that the allowances should be linked to the median wage for all Australians of $43,836 for the mayor and half that for councillors ($21,918). There was no support for my alternative motion.  Continue reading

Morrison’s Hand-Out to Developers no Solution to Housing Affordability Crisis

housing[By Sue Bolton] The federal treasurer’s “solution” to the housing affordability crisis is to get state governments to relax restrictions on housing developers to increase supply. Scott Morrison told the industry’s peak body, the Urban Development Institute, on October 24 that “housing in Australia, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, is expensive and increasingly unaffordable, but that does not mean it is overvalued.” How can you have more affordable housing and keep prices up at the same time? The answer is you can’t do both. Continue reading

Report on July 13 Council Meeting

[By Sue Bolton] Issues that came up at the July Moreland Council Meeting were:

After hours respite service – We had a fantastic victory at the July council meeting when the council unanimously voted for my motion to fully reinstate the after-hours respite service for the parents and carers of children with disabilities. Council voted in December to axe the after hours respite service for carers without asking questions about the impact on carers who are also full-time workers. The service began phasing out from June 1st. Continue reading

Report on November council meeting

[By Sue Bolton] Councillors voted to disband a taskforce set up this year to make it easier for residents in McBryde St Fawkner to have their concerns about the operation of the factories across the road. Prior to the establishment of the taskforce, the residents had to complain to several different council departments about the multiple issues as a result of large factories operating in a residential area. Continue reading

Extend public housing to meet the crisis

[The following statement was released by Sean Brocklehurst, Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale, and Sarah Hathway, Socialist Alliance candidate for Geelong, on November 8.]

Victoria has a housing crisis. According to the 2011 census, 22,773 Victorians were homeless at that time. Many more people are barely able to afford rent or mortgage repayments. Housing is a human right. But the ‘free market’ system of production for profit has failed to deliver housing at a reasonable price to all who need it. Continue reading

Forum discusses Abbott attacks: Don’t agonise, organise

[By Tony Dewberry] Sue Bolton hosted and chaired a Socialist Alliance public forum at the Anatolian Centre in Coburg on November 21. The subject of the forum — ‘The Abbott government: don’t agonise, organise’ — was addressed by three speakers: Margarita Windisch, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Wills in the recent federal election; Chris Spindler, a Socialist Alliance member and union organiser; and Kate Borland, a public housing activist and independent candidate for Melbourne in the federal election. Continue reading

Coburg rallies for welfare rights

Welfare_Coburg[By Chris Peterson] A protest to defend welfare rights and public housing was held in Coburg’s Victoria St mall on August 3. The rally called for a rise in all welfare payments to a liveable income, the restoration of the sole parents pension, an end to welfare quarantining and public housing for all who need it. Continue reading

Retribution for successful public housing campaign

Atheton_Gardens[Media release] The Victorian government has “taken retribution against public housing tenants and their supporters who successfully fought off the privatisation of their open space at two of Melbourne’s public housing towers — Richmond estate and Atherton Gardens estate in Fitzroy [pictured]”, said Moreland councilor Sue Bolton. Continue reading