Clear alternative

Laurie Whelan, Greens candidate for Bendigo West

Jill Loorman writes (‘Money for jam’, Opinions, October 16) that she would vote for a political party that: (i) promises to abolish stamp duty; (ii) removes the ‘right’ accorded mineral extractive industries to explore and mine privately-owned land; and (iii) commits to full state funding for upgrade and maintenance of public transport.
In stark contrast to the major parties, the Greens have clear policy statements addressing each of these concerns.
Contracting out the delivery of Victoria’s public transport to private consortia has resulted in the rorting of public funds and a continued decline of our public transport infrastructure. The Greens are committed to a public transport system wholly owned and operated by the state government on behalf of the people of Victoria. Funding of these services will take priority over freeway development.
With regard to the issue of minerals exploration and mining, the Greens have pledged to protect prime agricultural land, the water table and land with high biodiversity values from inappropriate and damaging use, including mining. The Greens do not support mineral exploration or mining on private land without landowner permission. This position is consistent with a campaign by local residents in the Macedon Ranges to prevent the granting of a mining exploration licence to a Perth-based company (‘Mine bid withdrawn’, Midland Express, October 23).
On the issue of stamp duty, the Greens have promised to replace stamp duty with a fairer, broad-based land tax, based on the unimproved value of the land, with concessions for low-income household. More broadly, the Greens recognise that secure and affordable housing is a fundamental human right, and that housing-related poverty must be eliminated.
Jill notes that she has never voted for either of the major parties. But she doesn’t need to – there is a clear alternative.

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