SA's candidate for NSW poll

On August 15, the Sydney Inner West branch of the Socialist Alliance preselected anti-war activist Pip Hinman as its candidate for the seat of Marrickville in the March 24 NSW election. The alliance will run an in-your-face campaign against the profits-first agenda of the Labor and Liberal parties.

Last week was a humiliating one for both major parties as it became public that Labor minister Joe Tripodi had profited from the sale of housing department land. In one of several deals, his company sold 11 properties to a developer at a considerable mark-up after purchasing them from the government. Labor Premier Morris Iemma defended his minister, lashing out at the Liberals for trying to make mileage out of this latest Tripodi scandal. He said it was a “bit rich” of the Liberals to complain about Labor’s corruption given they are also corrupt.

“Swindling is what the major parties do best”, Hinman told Green Left Weekly, “which is why we need a working-class alternative”. Pointing to the stampede by former state Labor ministers into the corporate world after leaving parliament in the past year, Hinman said, “It’s pretty clear to many that Labor and Liberal politicians look after themselves and rule for the big corporations”.

Hinman was the Socialist Alliance candidate in the Marrickville by-election last year, in which she campaigned for the state government not to cooperate with the federal industrial relations laws. “That message is still relevant today”, Hinman, a unionist, said. “The past few months of Work Choices shows how these laws punish workers, and the state government must be pressured not to comply with the push for individual contracts and for marginalising unions from the workplace.” The alliance is supporting the upcoming August 29 day of solidarity with the 107 WA construction workers facing huge individual fines for taking strike action.

Hinman is a leading member of the Sydney Stop the War Coalition. Working with the Arab community, she played a significant role in the solidarity campaign against Israel’s war on Lebanon. She spoke at the 20,000-strong July 22 rally and co-chaired the August 12 rally. The Socialist Alliance will also campaign against the state government’s support for Howard’s “anti-terror” laws, arguing that it is an excuse to whip up racism against Muslims and people of Arab background.

Hinman is the first Socialist Alliance candidate to be preselected for the March 24 elections. Further candidate announcements will be made in coming months.