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Joe Toscano for Northcote

The Victorian Legislative seat of Northcote is located approximately five kilometres north east of Melbourne. It includes the suburbs of Alphington, Fairfield, Northcote, Thornbury and parts of Preston. The electorate is bounded by Darebin Creek in the east, Merri Creek in the west, the Yarra River in the south and Bell St in the north. It is approximately 25 square kilometres in area and approximately 55,000 people reside in the electorate. It is rapidly becoming gentrified. Significant pockets still have people on old age, disability and single parent benefits living in the electorate. It also has small pockets of Housing Commission homes. The electorate is much more diverse than the rest of Melbourne. A significant overseas born population rubs shoulders with tertiary educated professionals as well as an aboriginal population that has traditionally lived in the area.

I am standing because I am angry at the Andrews led Labor government’s policies on housing, especially public housing. I'm standing because it is important that different viewpoints to the ones that are traditionally pushed by the state government and the media are raised, discussed and acted upon.

In October 2016 Friends of Public Housing (Victoria) approached Public Interests Before Corporate Interests to assist them with a public housing campaign they were having difficulty bringing to the public’s attention. It didn’t take me long to realise the Victorian state government was hellbent on privatising what was left of public housing in Victoria. Very few Victorian politicians in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council were concerned about what was happening to public housing. Defend And Extend Public Housing was launched to highlight this important issue.

I'm sick of being treated as an idiot and ignored by a Labor government that has lost its way. A government which believes roads and public transport are more important than how and where people are housed. It’s time the Andrews led Labor government was forced to come to its senses.

Currently, the Victorian Greens support the defence of what is left of the public housing sector. The Victorian state government holds a two seat majority in the Legislative Assembly and does not hold a majority in the Legislative Council. If they continue to push for the privatisation of public housing and for public private public housing partnerships in a rapidly shrinking public housing sector, they will destroy the only protection the public have against the private sector totally dominating the housing market. Public housing is everybody’s business. A strong public housing sector puts downward pressure on rents and housing prices. A strong public housing sector improves educational outcomes for disadvantaged children, decreases crime and resolves the problem of homelessness overnight.

If the six billion dollars that is collected in stamp duty every year by the state government is earmarked for public housing, the government could spot purchase or build over 20,000 to 25,000 units or houses every year. At least 70,000 Victorians every year could be housed in public housing. I'm sick of the many (the public) being constantly put before the interests of the few (unaccountable corporations). I'm sick and tired of governments, especially Labor governments, working for the rich and powerful. It’s time to stand up and fight for what is right. I feel so strongly about the lack of government accountability to the many (the public) I am funding this campaign with my own money. By funding my own campaign I won’t owe any political favours to anyone. I need your help, not just in terms of voting but in terms of helping me get these ideas across. It doesn’t matter where you live in Victoria, you can highlight to the Andrews led Labor government that if they don’t change their tune they face the very real possibility of having to deal with a hung Parliament after the next state election in 2018. Put a shot across the bow of their ship. Turn around their parliamentary agenda so public interests always take precedence over corporate interests.

Download the political platform I am standing on -

Dr. Joseph Toscano