The Brisbane/Meanjin May Day 2022 was celebrated by workers in a big march with banners (pictured) showing just some of the issues not raised by Australia’s alternative prime minister, Anthony Albanese, in his May Day speech at the Exhibition ground: casualisation of the workforce since the introduction of neoliberal policies introduced by Labor and Liberal governments; No wars; Independent foreign policy; no US bases; no nuclear submarines, no AUKUS agreement; end the US blockade of Cuba; climate action; fund tertiary education; workers power & worker control of the workplace; worker safety on site; worker solidarity; land rights, free Julian Assange; a nuclear free Asia-Pacific region and Justice for Palestine. This is what Labor leader Albanese had to say about how he is going to manage capitalism through its latest crisis. – Ian Curr, 4 May 2022.
In three weeks time, we can give this country a better future with a better government. We’ve been through a couple of really tough years, and essential workers, whether they be our nurses, our aged care workers, our childcare workers, our supermarket workers, our truck drivers, our police and emergency services have kept this country going during this difficult time. And I say thank you.
I say this to the workers here. You deserve more than thanks; you deserve a government that cares about secure work. You deserve a government that wants to increase your pay. You deserve a government that wants to give your family cheaper childcare, you deserve a government that wants to cut the costs of health care, you deserve a government that wants to deliver on affordable housing, you deserve a government as brave and committed to this nation and as ambitious as you are, and we will deliver that after May 21.
You also deserve a Prime Minister (Interjector: “Tax the rich. What about the rich? Tax the rich!”) who accepts responsibility, who doesn’t always look for someone else to blame, who unites the country rather than divides it. Because hope and optimism are much better values than division and fear. And that is all the Morison government has got.
If any, if any issue defines the nature of this government at the moment, I want to single out one group of workers, the aged care sector. Because what we have is our essential workers are the unwilling victims of Scott Morrison’s cost of living crisis. What we know is the cost of everything is going up, but people’s wages aren’t. And where you have a Royal Commission that says that unless we address the poor pay of people in the aged care sector, the crisis will just get even worse, when we have those circumstances. And you have a government that can’t even make a submission to the Fair Work Commission, saying that they support the recommendations of that Royal Commission, then this is a government that is unworthy of this greatest nation on Earth. If I’m Prime Minister, I’ll accept responsibility. I’ll turn up or work hard. And I’ll act in the interests of this nation each and every day to give us a better future.
So friends, we have just 19 days to go 19 days to determine whether we actually move forward with that plan for a better future. Not just addressing cost of living, but making more things here addressing the challenge of climate change for the opportunity that it is to create jobs here in Australia and acting, acting in the interests of working people, whether it be people in the aged care sector, whether it’s making secure work, an object of the Fair Work Act, whether it’s making gender equity and object to the Fair Work Act. 19 days to go. No pressure, folks, but I’m relying on you. I’m relying on you Brisbane. to bring this home, because I know that you know how important this election is not just to your future, but the future of your kids and the future of this country. Together, we will give Australia a better future. Thanks very much.
Happy May Day.
2 May 2022
Photos by Lachlan Hurse
And let’s not forget Clive’s contribution to climate justice…