Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Combined union float - Fremantle Festival Parade

Unions: Part of the Fremantle Community
 Join the combined union contingent in the Fremantle Festival Parade

3pm, Sun 15 Nov
Carpark #11, Marine Parade

Sam Wainwright  0412 751 508 (MUA)
Michelle Sheehy  0412 772 137 (ASU)

Hilton Harvest Lunch

On Sunday I attended the "Lunch in the Park" put on by the Hilton Harvest Community Garden

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Save Beeliar Wetlands - 1000 people rally on Oct 31

Around a thousand people rallied to show the continued and determined oppostion to the proposed Roe 8 extension that would seriously damage the Beeliar Wetlands. Local residents, state MPs, local government representatives and members of the Nyoongar community all addressesd the rally. 

A number of speakers emphasised how expanded rail freight and public transport infrastructure would be a far better alternative to the endless expansion of freeways to cope with increased road congestion. 

Congratulations to the Beeliar Heritage and Conservation Council for organising such a spirited and colourful display of opposition to Colin Barnett's freeway addicted madness.

To find out more or to get involved in the campaign go to

[Photos by Zeb Parkes.]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Neighbourhood Watch Community BBQ

Congratulations to everyone who made the community BBQ in Grigg Park on Sunday October 25 such a success.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Anti-nuclear fundraiser: Duck & Cover Hop

WHEN: Friday 6 November 2009

WHERE: Fremantle Town Hall

TIME: 7.30pm-midnight

TIX: $30 unwaged / $40 waged / $60 solidarity
*all tickets include supper

Fully licenced bar available


Travel back in time, dust off your cool threads and get crazy for a cause at the Duck and Cover Hop – Fremantle’s first and finest retro radioactive ball.

Dance the night away to Harry Deluxe and DJ Atomic ‘Burn’, with special appearances by the radioactive ladies of Sugar Blue Burlesque and the Swing Academy.

Join the Conservation Council of Western Australia, Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia Fremantle Anti Nuclear Group and The Greens at the

The DUCK COVER HOP retro radioactive 1950s ball


GRIGG PARK, SUNDAY 25 October 2009 from 12.00 noon Sausages & buns provided, soft drinks for sale. The entire community is invited to join in and reinvigorate the community spirit of Hilton. Come along to visit with your neighbours, meet new ones and make new friends. If you are able, please bring a salad or sweet to share, but most importantly, just bring yourselves. Mary Barton Suburb Manager Neighbourhood Watch Hilton

Thanks to all who supported my campaign

[On the right is a paid advertisement in the Fremantle Herald. Below is the text of a letter I've submitted to the Herald.]

I’d like to extend a big thanks to everyone who supported my council election campaign. I believe council can and should be trying to get greater community participation in decision making, involve in community life people who are often excluded, take a lead on protecting the environment and stick up for workers rights. If I can make even a small contribution in this regard it will have been worthwhile.

I’d also like to acknowledge the other candidates for Hilton Ward. We’re all pretty passionate about our ideas on how to improve our community, but there was no mud-slinging or dirty stuff. Outgoing councillor Alice King as well as fellow candidates Bob Smith, Dave Hume and Frank Acocella were all quick to wish me well and I thank them for it.

Furthermore there were some areas where we were in strong agreement; such as the desperate need for proper public toilets that meet modern accessibility requirements at the Hilton shops, and improving public transport use through a Fremantle Free Transit Zone and an eastern CAT service reaching into suburbs such as Beaconsfield, Hilton and Samson. I hope we can make some progress on these two issues soon.

Thanks again,

Sam Wainwright
(Councillor, Hilton Ward)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sam sworn in to council

Sam Wainwright being sworn in as a Fremantle City Councillor
19 October 2009

Sam's (temporary) council name plate

Fremantle Council

Sam with campaign manager Justine Kamprad

Sunday, October 18, 2009

First socialist elected to Fremantle Council

New councillor for Hilton Sam Wainwright thanks supporters

Newly elected Hilton councillor Sam Wainwright summarised what he saw as the significance of his election to Fremantle Council, “It’s a victory for all those like me who believe that the council can and should play an active role in involving people in decision making, protecting the environment, campaigning for workers rights and making a place in the community for people who are too often left out, such as indigenous Australians or people with disabilities.”

Wainwright is a Co-convenor of Socialist Alliance in Western Australia and activist in the Maritime Union of Australia. He said, “I think I’m the first socialist elected to public office in WA for a long time, if not ever. Most candidates for council try to appeal to the middle ground and keep their political affiliations quiet. I don’t believe in that approach. I think it’s better to be upfront about your beliefs. Throughout the campaign I emphasised that I was a staunch socialist, unionist and environmentalist.”

He added, “I didn’t expect everyone to sign up to everything I stand for. But I did ask people to believe that I would be a hard working campaigner for their rights. I’m really grateful and humbled that so many people have shown their confidence in me and saw my background as a positive.”

Wainwright thanked the diverse range of people that supported his campaign, “Active support came from all sorts of places: members of Socialist Alliance, the Greens and the ALP all pitched in; many unionists and community activists helped out; and last but not least, everyday residents who don’t wear a political label but want to see the sort of change that we talked about in the campaign. The election result belongs to these people and I know that the hard work now begins.”

Commenting on the mayoral election Wainwright said, “With three different Greens members running for mayor I was worried that they would takes votes from each other and allow a more conservative candidate to win. However Brad Pettit’s win was emphatic and I extend my congratulations to him for his strong and vibrant campaign. There has been a real changing of the guard on the council and I expect there will be some passionate and intense debate about the future of Fremantle. I think this is a good thing and will be arguing my case like everyone else. At the same time I pledge to work constructively with the rest of council where we can find common ground on the way forward.”

Victory for Sam by 100 votes

Sam Wainwright won 438 votes (33.44%) - over 100 more votes than Sam's nearest competitor and enough to put him over the line for the Hilton Ward of Fremantle Council.

Official election results are here.

At a victory celebration last night, Sam told supporters that this victory was for the whole Socialist Alliance and the diverse supporters of his campaign. He was proud that this campaign had been successful while being fully open about his socialist, environmentalist and unionist convictions.

Sam is the first Socialist Alliance member to be elected to a local government position in Australia.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I stand for

You can see a summary of what I stand for...
By clicking on this link

or Downloading my election flyer which covers these points:

Make Fremantle a fight climate change council ** Support rights for council and community workers ** Reconnect Samson with Fremantle City ** Maintaining our beaches, parks and green spaces for everyone ** Value older and long term residents - Rates based on ability to pay, not just house value ** Council Democracy and Services Provision ** Samson Shops ** Council support for community gardens ** Hilton Precinct

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better public transport, now!

I’m committed to dramatically improving public transport services. We need to organise to put pressure on the state government to spend more of the billion of dollars in mining royalties on public transport infrastructure. This is vital to make a more liveable city and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. A good first step would be the introduction of a CAT service linking Fremantle to Beaconsfield, Hilton and Samson. We also need a Free Transit Zone such as already exists in the Perth CBD. We also need to build an extensive light rail network to move tens of thousands out of their cars and into public transport.

For a great vision of what such a system could look like check out this plan developed by Greens senator Scott Ludlam.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Media reports from Sam's disability policy launch

Click on these images to see media reports from the Fremantle Herald (left) and the Fremantle Gazette (below) on Sam's disability policy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Locals have a say at Samson BBQ

In spite of on again off again showers locals came down to tell Hilton Ward Candidate Sam Wainwright about what is important to their community.

It is important to really listen to people. When you're put in a position of elected responsibility you have to make sure every one gets a say and you consult with the broadest range of people possible. - Sam Wainwright

Sam bought an ideas board down to the park where he wrote the ideas locals gave him about how to improve the community. Along with surveys and door to door consulting with locals Sam hopes all locals feel free to approach him with a confidence they will be taken seriously.

We need to increase democracy not just in a formal way but encourage all people to be involved and create the forums for them to do so - Sam Wainwright

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Let's make Freo a leader in access, awareness & inclusion"

Hilton ward candidate Sam Wainwright proposes improvements to council disability access and inclusion plan:

“We’ve only just begun; let’s make Freo a leader in access, awareness and inclusion”

Candidate for Hilton Ward in the Fremantle Council election Sam Wainwright has released an action plan titled “Disability access and the City of Fremantle-Let’s lead the way”.

Wainwright said, “Existing council policy is good as far as it goes, but there’s so much more that could be done. In this plan I’ve identified four key areas where we could do more to allow people with disabilities to participate more fully in the life of our community. These areas are: council employment; staff awareness of disability; health and recreation; new developments, re-developments and the street-scape.”

Regarding new developments and re-developments Wainwright’s plan calls for all commercial and other public premises to meet disability access and inclusion standards as laid out in the Australian Building Code. Furthermore he says that a general requirement for all new large scale housing developments (private, government or community) should be to include a minimum requirement of 25% disability accessible housing stock as part of that development.

Wainwright observed, “Like building in energy efficiency, there is no significant extra cost to make buildings accessible if it’s done at the time of construction or re-development. However retro-fitting is more costly and inconvenient. This is why we have to get it right the first time.”

He added, “To meet the demands of an ageing population and to give people with disabilities real access to community life, we need to dramatically expand the stock of housing that meets accessibility standards.

Among other policies Wainwright calls for Council to explore the opportunities to employ a personal assistant on site within the recreation centres to assist people with disability and ageing residents in areas such as showering and getting changed.

The policy was formed with the input and advice of activists in the WA Disability Collective and Women with Disabilities WA. Wainwright added, “I couldn’t have begun the process without these committed activists. I’d particularly like to thank Helen Errington from the WA Disability Collective who spent a whole day road-testing Fremantle’s street-scape, facilities and buildings.”

Wainwright threw out this challenge, “Ask yourself, if someone in a wheel chair visited your house could they go to the toilet with dignity? Like most people, and with some embarrassment, I would have to say no. We have to turn this situation around. But it’s not just about physical infrastructure, important though that is. It’s about creating the ethos of making our community as inclusive as possible. If someone with an intellectual disability gets on the bus and tries to strike up friendly conversation do we look away, or do we extend the hand of friendship? Both as individuals and a community we must embrace these challenges head-on.”

The action plan “Disability access and the City of Fremantle-Let’s lead the way” can be read in full at

For further comment by Helen Errington (WA Disability Collective) on her special Freo “road test”: 0419 196 046 or

Also for general comment: Rayna Lamb, Coordinator Women with Disabilities Western Australia Inc.

Policy: Disability access and the City of Fremantle - let's lead the way

By Sam Wainwright (candidate for Hilton Ward)

[General Information from the City of Fremantle’s 2007-2012 Disability Access and Inclusion Plans as required under the Disability Services Act 1993 (WA)].

There are approximately 24, 276 people living in Fremantle which includes a large ageing population. The disability population within the City of Fremantle is approximately 9000 people. Additionally, there are almost two million visitors to Fremantle on an annual basis, though the proportion of these visitors who are either ageing or have a disability is unclear.

Given the large number of Fremantle residents affected, either directly or indirectly, by disability, it is therefore essential that the City of Fremantle have a strong disability access and inclusion policy, to ensure that all of its citizens are able to participate on par with their able-bodied counterparts, and enjoy the same life opportunities.

Thus, the following areas have been targeted to ensure such a process:

  • Local employment within the council for people with a disability;
  • Health, well-being and community recreation;
  • New developments;
  • Re-developments; and
  • Streetscape design.

Council Employment for people with disabilities:

Currently, the City of Fremantle has made a commitment to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the Council. Whilst this is a welcome feature of the Council’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, it needs to be strengthened in the following manner:

  1. set employment target to reflect the proportion of working aged City of Fremantle residents with disability (approximately 25%);
  2. develop strategies to ensure that people with disabilities employed within the City of Fremantle are distributed equitably across all layers of Council – from front line administrative positions, through to professional and managerial positions and establish incremental targets to ensure that this occurs;
  3. actively encourage the application by local residents with disability as part of this process;
  4. ensure that an appropriate training and development strategy is implemented to facilitate the career development of council employees with disability; and
  5. adopt procurement strategies which require all outsourced services (not just those delivering ‘traditional’ public services) to recruit and employ people with disability and implement contractual monitoring procedures to ensure that this process is maintained.

Staff Awareness of Disability:

  1. implement extensive orientation package for staff (both front end and non-public contact roles) covering the issues of disability, ageing, cultural diversity, gender and Aboriginality; and
  2. establish annual staff development strategies to ensure that staff awareness of disability, diversity and ageing issues are up-to-date and relevant to the local population groups.

Health, Well-being and Recreation:

Even though general health activities are outside the Council’s jurisdiction, the Council does have the capacity to implement a range of planning and regulatory practices to ensure that private health services are delivered with dignity and respect. In particular, the Council has the capacity to ensure that all private medical practices, well-being centres and recreation services are both accessible and inclusive through the following means:

  1. all new business licenses in the area of health services (including medical, general practitioner, physio, occupational therapy etc) must comply with disability accessible building standards and make any modifications prior to receiving operating approvals;
  2. all new businesses within the area of health services must undertake disability awareness training, or demonstrate that they have a thorough knowledge of disability, particularly in regards to understanding the differences between health related issues and disability issues to ensure that they can serve all of the potential client group;
  3. all recreation and wellbeing organizations (gyms, fitness centres, alternative therapy centres etc) meet building access requirements, and disability awareness requirements as outlined in the above two points;
  4. the council will upgrade annually one children’s playground to meet disability access and inclusion requirements for the local children of Fremantle.

Local recreation facilities will be upgraded to ensure disability accessibility, which is built on the principles of independence, dignity and respect. Staff will be required to undertake disability training. Training will target specialized staff who provide recreation programs within the Fremantle centres to ensure that they can make a diversity of adjustments to their programs to meet all of the participants. Thus, this is greater than ‘disability awareness training’.

Council will also explore the opportunities to employ a personal assistant on site within the recreation centres to assist people with disability and ageing residents in areas such as showering and getting changed.

Finally, accessible parking bays at key recreational and cultural sites need to be expanded, particularly for wheelchair users. While Council allows ACROD parking holders to use any available parking at any time, the width of the parking spaces render this ineffective as wheelchair users are unable to manoeuvre within this limited space and it may, in some instances, be dangerous.

New Developments, Re-developments and Street-Scapes:

All new developments will be required to meet disability access and inclusion standards as laid out in the Australian Building Code. To ensure that this occurs, I will recommend that Council adopt the following process:

  • applicant needs to demonstrate clearly within the application process how the development meets the disability standards as outlined in the Australian Building Code;
  • planning check this process and identify any issues that have not been addressed and if there is an exemption (such as heritage) then alternative disability access and inclusion standards must be identified;
  • planning application is sent to the Fremantle Council’s Disability Access Committee (DAC) to view the application to ensure that this has been met;
  • once approved by the DAC, the process can then be sent to Council – the cover page must clearly indicate this process has been followed and where in doubt, council approval should not be granted.

It will be a general requirement for all new large scale housing developments (private, government or community) to include a minimum requirement of25% disability accessible housing stock as part of that development.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where state government royalties should be spent

The majority of the proposed Fremantle rates rise is to cover increased costs associated with the Canning Vale recycling plant. I accept the argument by Martin Anda (Fremantle Herald, Thinking Allowed, 8 August 2009) that we can and must shift to a comprehensive system of recycling, re-use and composting. We can’t dodge this cost by returning to the bad old days of dumping everything in landfill.

However achieving this shift across the whole of greater Perth, where the majority of the state’s population lives is a huge job; comparable to running water or electricity infrastructure. Certainly it’s bigger than council budgets and council politics. I believe the state government should be helping fund this transition. No doubt they would cry poor, but this is why the dubious Liberal-Nationals “royalties for regions” policy needs to be put under the spotlight. Projects should be funded on merit, whether they’re in the bush or the city.

Ironically the “royalties for regions” money will not be used to buy back and repair our rural rail network which is collapsing as a consequence of its privatisation by a previous conservative government, even though saving this network was one of the Nationals’ election promises. At the same time worthwhile city projects like recycling plants are also excluded. This surely shows up the pork-barrelling nature of the whole thing. Instead of their bogus “royalties for regions”, we need to press for “royalties for re-use, recycling, railways and renewable energy”.

Sam Wainwright

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Abolish the ABCC - Community Solidarity

[This is a media release from the workers' rights campaign group Community Solidarity. Sam Wainwright is a spokesperson for Community Solidarity.]

Near fatality on same day as ABCC court case shows that coercive powers must be abolished
Community Solidarity calls on Melissa Parke to speak out for civil liberties

On Tuesday August 11 a worker on a city construction site survived a near fatal accident after falling fourteen metres down a lift shaft. On the same day Adelaide construction worker Ark Tribe had to face court, with the threat of six months jail hanging over his head, for refusing to cooperate with the Howard-era Australian Building and Construction Commission investiagtion of a safety dispute at his worksite.

"This is further proof that not only are the ABCC powers a breach of civil liberties, but they are impeding the work of occupational health and safety delegates and placing peoples lives at risk" said resident Dave Fox. Fox is a boiler maker, an activist in Community Solidarity and State Vice-President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

He continued, "Industries such as construction, mining, off shore oil and gas and stevedoring are some of our most dangerous. Workers in these fields need to be able to identify and combat safety hazards. But instead they have had their basic civil liberties stripped away by the ABCC which takes away their right to silence, deprives them of regular legal representation and conducts its hearings in secrecy."

He concluded, "Julia Gillard is wrong to say that these powers are still necessary. Blue collar workers are not terrorists. We deserve the same rights as the rest of the community."

Fellow Communty Solidarity activist and Maritime Union of Australia wharfie Sam Wainwright said that Rudd and Gillard had broken their election promises by not abolishing the ABCC and all of WorkChoices. "Federal Labor's legislation has only made minor changes to the WorkChoices regime. Their legislation is still in breach of International Labour Organisation standards."

Wainwright said that it was time for former human rights lawyer and Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke to take a stand, "Melissa has spoken to our union meetings and said that she is personally against the continuation of the ABCC powers and we believe her, but now is the time to speak out publically. We know she'd cop the wrath of the Labor caucus, but lives are at stake and this is no time to sit on the fence."

Included in this post are photos of the Community Solidarity members on the campaign trail against the ABCC.

For more comment:
Dave Fox . . . . . . . . . . 0410 410 592
Sam Wainwright . . . 0412 751 508

For specific comment on the August 11 accident:
Mick Buchan (CFMEU Organiser) 0419 812 861

For general information on the campaign against the ABCC go to:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Freo Gazette: "Reassess rates charges"

The Fremantle Gazette has reported on Sam's call to reassess Fremantle's proposed rates rise.

"Activist and candidate for the Hilton ward in the upcoming local government elections Sam Wainwright believes the foreshadowed 8.5 per cent rate hike should spark greater debate about Fremantle Council's sources of revenue," the paper reported.

"The way we calculate rates may be simple, but apart from the pensioner discount, it takes no real account of people's capacity to pay," Sam is quoted as saying.

The paper also reported: "He also said the State Government should bear some of the costs associated with the SMRC Resource Recovery Centre."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Notre Dame Uni should pay its way

Sam Wainwright is one of two Fremantle Council candidates who have called for Notre Dame University to pay its way. The Fremantle Herald reported the views of Sam and Lloyd Hammond in its August 1 edition.

The paper quoted Sam saying that "the university is exempt from paying rates but relies on a whole range of council services and facilities that other universities would pay for themselves".

Further: "I think it should pay a civic amenity fee similar to the rates it would otherwise pay."

The Fremantle council is considering an 8% rates increase for residents.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First round of letterboxing - whole ward covered

We had a great time over the weekend (Aug 1-2) during which we letterboxed the whole of Hilton Ward (see map to left).

There were a number of people helping including: wharf workers, community workers, anti-nuclear & climate action campaigners, local school teachers, students and other O'Connor & Hilton residents.

It was a great efffort. THANKS to all involved!!! See you all soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Download Sam's flyer

Vote for Sam Wainwright - Hilton Ward
Community Activist, Socialist, Unionist

Download Sam's whole election flyer here.

Reconnect Samson with Fremantle City
Stock Road cuts Samson off from the rest of Fremantle, discouraging pedestrian and bicycle traffic between Hilton and Samson. We need an underpass or over-bridge across Stock Road to connect the two suburbs. We also need to campaign for better Transperth services to Samson.

Maintaining our beaches, parks and green spaces for everyone
As we build more medium and high density housing we need to maintain and even expand access to parks and other recreational space. This is why I’ve joined the campaigns against the various attempts by some developers to build on and privatise our coastline. The beaches belong to everyone.

Value older and long term residents - Rates based on ability to pay, not just house value
As property values have increased so have peoples rates. This puts an unfair burden onto pensioners, retirees and other people on modest fixed incomes who own their own homes. Like income tax, rates should be calculated on people’s capacity to pay. Let’s value older residents by making sure that fees and charges don’t price them out living in our community.

Council Democracy and Services Provision
We need to bring back all council services into council hands and stop further outsourcing to protect working conditions and services; and so residents have a say over how services are delivered.

Samson Shops
The lack of shops and community facilities in Samson has gone on too long. It’s ridiculous that people need to drive or cross busy roads to buy milk and bread. The council needs to step in and take ownership of the project.

Make Fremantle a fight climate change council
All levels of government - including Fremantle Council - need to ensure we make an urgent shift to a zero-emissions economy. Fremantle Council can help with its own infrastructure development and universal environmental standards in all new building approvals. More importantly, the council can help pressure state and federal governments to implement 100% renewable energy and free and expanded public transport. A Transperth Free Transit Zone in Fremantle and the implementation of the council bicycle plan would be a good start.

Council support for community gardens
Creating a Hilton community garden is a great idea. Let’s support communities that want to turn underutilised council and other land into community garden projects.

Hilton Precinct
The council’s done some great work in projecting how the Hilton shopping area could be transformed from a chaotic eyesore into a people friendly area, but the hurdle is the Main Roads classification of that part of South Street. This is no longer a justification because the Fremantle Eastern Bypass is not going to be built. If needed the council can organise to put public pressure on Main Roads and the State Government to get the project going.

Support rights for council and community workers
The council is an extension of the community and should set an example in workplace rights and standards. It should not use individual contracts or anti-union laws to drive down wages and conditions. The idea that this is good management that saves money is completely wrong because it undermines the working conditions of everyone in the community. Councilors have a right and responsibility to take an interest in employment conditions in our community.

Download Sam's whole election flyer here.

Sam Wainwright - biographical info

Sam Wainwright
Hilton Ward Resident, Community Campaigner

Hello, I live in O’Connor with my partner Janet and work at the Fremantle container terminal. I’m have been an advocate for workers rights,environmental sustainability and community democracy for around 20 years.

I’m active in the Community Solidarity group which has helped workers and communities fighting for their rights.

Being a wharfie, I’m a member of the Maritime Union of Australia, where I’ve been a workplace delegate and edit the union’s newspaper.

I’m the Convener of the Fremantle branch of the Socialist Alliance and was a Candidate in the recent Fremantle by-election.

These activities have given me skills to get things done and to help people get active in their own community to make change.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Join Sam on Facebook

Make friends with Sam on Facebook:

Support Sam Wainwright for Fremantle Council cause:

Rates rise points to need for broader debate about council revenues

“How about royalties for recycling and renewables!”

Rates rise points to need for a broader debate about council revenues

Community activist and candidate for the Hilton Ward, Sam Wainwright, suggested that the foreshadowed 8.5% rate hike should be the spark for broader debate about the Fremantle Council’s sources of revenue and whether the state government should bare some of the cost associated with the SMRC Resource Recovery Centre. He said, “If such a rise really is necessary to cover council expenses then we need to have a bit of debate about how rates are calculated; whether Notre Dame University is paying its way in respect of the council facilities it uses; and to ask if the state government is shirking its responsibilities.”

Wainwright continued, “5% of the increase is to cover the rising cost of the SMRC Resource Recovery Centre that services a huge swathe of greater Perth. It’s only fair that the state government help share the cost. Waste management and recycling need to be planned like the delivery of other utilities such as water and sewerage. I think metropolitan councils also have a fair claim on a greater slice of state government revenues.”

“This is the problem with the National Party’s ‘Royalties for Regions’ pork-barrelling exercise. It’s doing nothing to fix urgent problems in the bush like the collapse of the country rail network while also cutting needy urban projects out of the picture. How about we have royalties for recycling and renewables!”

He added, “We also have to ask if Notre Dame University is really paying its way. The university is exempt from paying rates but relies on a whole range of council services and facilities that other universities would pay for themselves. This is not to deny that the university brings a lot of good things to Fremantle. But the fact remains that the residents and businesses of Fremantle are effectively providing a public subsidy to a private institution.”

“Every time the university buys another property it further undermines the revenue base of the council while increasing its demand on council services. Under its deal with the council Notre Dame only pays a token amount in recognition of its demand on council services. I think it should pay a civic amenity fee equivalent to the rates it would otherwise pay.”

Regarding the issue of rates Wainwright said, “The current way we calculate rates may be simple, but apart from the pensioner discount, it takes no real account of peoples capacity to pay. For people who own their own homes but who are on low fixed incomes or who have heavy mortgages, rising property values and rates are a real problem. We don’t want to price these people out of their homes. Can we devise a system that imposes higher rates on higher value properties but that is at the same time is coupled with a ceiling or other form of discount for residents on low incomes?”

For more comment contact Sam Wainwright: 0412 751 508

Saturday, July 25, 2009

People Power can save the planet

Sam Wainwright will be speaking alongside respected Hunter Valley coal miner Graham Brown at a public meeting and cultural night on August 15.

Graham Brown is a recently retired coal miner and current unionist and climate activist. He has a long record of arguing for feasible ways to phase out coal in order to combat climate change, without jeopardising the interests of coal miners and mining communities.

Sam will be addressing the topic "People power can save the planet". He will be arguing that it is still possible to win a safe climate future but only with a massive people's movement for change.

The event will include a meal and entertainment. More information about this event (which is part of the Socialist Alliance state conference) can be found here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

GLW: Wainwright to stand for Freo council

[The following article appeared in the July 15, 2009 Green Left Weekly.]

Alex Salmon, Fremantle
11 July 2009

Local community activist, socialist, wharfie and unionist Sam Wainwright will stand in the Hilton ward in the October Fremantle Council elections.

Referring to the May Fremantle by-election that that resulted in Greens candidate Adele Charles defeating high profile Labor candidate Peter Tagliaferri, Wainwright told Green Left Weekly: “I hope to bring a strong voice to council in favor of community democracy, workers’ rights and environmental sustainability.
“The recent by-election brought welcome winds of change; let’s extend that to Freo council.”

Wainwright was the Socialist Alliance candidate in the by-election in which the socialist vote increased.

“We’ve got strong views on workers’ rights and community democracy”, he said. “I think that through the by-election we demonstrated that we’re not just wide-eyed radicals: we’ve given serious consideration to the practical steps we can and need to take to tackle the big social and environmental questions.

“The local Socialist Alliance branch and a number of other activists and residents have asked me to stand in order continue to do this.”

Wainwright is keen to see the council become a forum for active community debate, participation and action, not just a passive arm of government administration.

“People have to understand that there is no white knight in shining armour to save us, whatever our main area of concern is, whether it’s massively extending and subsidising green technologies for the home or stopping nuclear-armed and powered ships from stopping in our port”, he said.

“Rather we have to get out and make change happen. Freo council can and should be helping this process, including helping community members organise to pressure state and federal government.

“It’s not good enough that businesses and wealthy residents who could install green technology don’t, whereas tenants and Homes west [public housing] residents who would love to have it can’t because their landlords don’t want to spend the money.

“This turns water tanks and solar panels into middle-class accessories when they should be something for everybody. These technologies need to be made a condition of planning permission and more actively subsidised by the Water Corporation and Western Power. The council should be doing its part and putting the pressure on the state government to do the same.”

Referring to the regular visits to Fremantle by the US Navy he said: “Fremantle is supposedly a Nuclear-Free Zone council but what does this really mean? At the same time we have nuclear-powered and armed vessels visiting our port, and the Australian uranium industry regularly meets at the Esplanade Hotel.

“Uranium exports through our port could be next. These things might be outside the jurisdiction of the council but that doesn’t mean the council and the mayor should silently dodge the issue. The council could be actively assisting Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group and be telling the uranium industry that we don’t want its blood money.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fremantle Herald reports Wainwright's candidacy

The Fremantle Herald reported the Sam's candidacy for the Fremantle council under the banner headline "Socialist to run in Hilton" in the July 11 issue.

"Sam Wainwright, the surprise package of the Fremantle by-election in May, has put up his hand to run for Hilton ward in the October council elections," the paper reported.

"The O'Connor wharfie and socialist wowed the crowd at the by-election debate with his ideas and his delivery," the paper said.

"Like former prime minister and Freo Labor icon John Curtin, Mr Wainwright writes and edits the marimie union's newsletter."

Sam told the Herald "I've got strong views on workers' rights and community democracy" and that "I think that through the by-election I demonstrated ... I'm not just a wide-eyed radical, but that I've given serious consideration to the practical steps we can and need to take to tackle the big social and environmental questions".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We support Sam for Fremantle Council

"Sam is an excellent candidate for Fremantle Council. He’s been involved in working class struggles for nearly twenty years. The MUA gives him full support and wishes him well because we know he can do the job."

Chris Cain
Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia
"Sam would be a great asset to the council. He will be dedicaded to the idea of including everyones views and creating a platform to help people get involved in their community."

Justine Kamprad
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (Womens and Apprentice Welfare Officer)
Chamberlain Street Resident
"Sam will get things done. He is a campaigner, not someone who just raises issues but someone who does something about them."

Geoff Walton
Fremantle Port Authority worker
Returned serviceman
Anti-nuclear campaigner
"I have known Sam Wainwright for well over ten years, and have campaigned with him on many issues. I find him very dedicated and committed to any cause that he is involved in. I have no doubt that if elected; he will be totally committed and a great asset to not only the constituents of the Hilton Ward, but to the greater Fremantle Council. I wish him all the best for his campaign, and I encourage everyone to consider voting for Sam, and supporting him your representative on the Fremantle Council."

David Fox
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (WA State Vice President)
boiler maker and environmentalist
"I support Sam because he passionately believes in trying to positively involve everyone in community life."

Sanna Andrew
Joslin St resident
Community mental health worker
Aboriginal Rights Coalition activist

[Organisations listed for identification purposes only.]