Vote Socialist for Yarra on October 22!

Yarra is one of the few places in Australia where community activism still thrives. We have saved schools and kindergartens, stopped the sell-off of public housing, defeated the monstrous East West Link and become the first local government in Australia to divest from fossil fuels and refugee detention. These campaigns and victories have made Yarra a fantastic place to call home. They were all made possible by the hard work of local socialists.

However, the community we have built is symptomatic of the growing divide between rich and poor. Yarra is a municipality of extremes with three of Melbourne’s largest public housing estates standing alongside multi-million dollar homes along the Yarra river. In between, property developers are making millions by cramming multiple storeys of ‘dog box’ apartments onto tiny plots of land. As a socialist I support development and new infrastructure, but it should be planned to improve our community not simply line the pockets of big developers. We need to fight for the inclusion of affordable housing and increased public transport, parking, schools and childcare facilities to accommodate a growing population. We need to ensure low income workers, students and pensioners still have a place in Yarra.

Privatising profits while socialising debt only increases inequality. We need a political revolution that rethinks how we can use public resources to construct a more equal society. In Australia the current political debate is dominated by the scapegoating of those most in need. I, along with my team, unashamedly stand for the interests of ordinary people against the dominance of big business. We are not politicians who come out of nowhere every four years to ask for your vote. We are activists who fight for our communities all year round.

I was first elected to Yarra Council in 2004. I am extremely proud of my record and humbled by the many people who have organised collectively to help shape the city we live in. Now, I ask you to re-elect me alongside my team of community activists so we can keep up the fight and I can continue to serve the people of Yarra.

– Socialist Councillor Stephen Jolly


What we stand for:

Build real communities not lifeless suburbs

– Oppose the privatisation of public housing

– Fight for 20% affordable housing in all large housing developments

– Ensure developers include parking and other amenities on site

– Strengthen and enforce heritage protection and height restrictions

– Fast-track standard planning applications for ordinary residents

– For an increase to the pensioner rate rebate

For real action to address climate change

– Ensure Yarra is carbon neutral by 2019

– Prioritise investment in public transport

– Campaign for a rail line to Doncaster to reduce traffic congestion on Hoddle St

– Expand Yarra’s bike and pedestrian path networks

– Ban council investment in fossil fuels

– Reduce landfill with a council run food waste collection

– For efficient use of open space – Support community gardens

Defend and extend community services

– Stop privatisation and bring council services back into public hands

– Expand childcare and kindergarten services to wipe out the waiting list

– Develop a Yarra service hub for victims of family violence

– Build an indoor sports centre on Alexandra Parade and prioritise investment in local sporting infrastructure

– Fight for a safe injecting facility to minimise drug related harm in Richmond

– Oppose over-inflation rate and fee rises for residents

– Raise revenue from those who can afford to pay – developers, gaming venues and large businesses

For local democracy and diversity – Yarra is not just for the rich!

– For an Aboriginal controlled drop in centre on Smith Street, Collingwood

– Employ an LGBTIQ support worker to assist local high schools

– Ban council investment in refugee detention

– For accessible services for homeless people in Yarra

– Make Yarra News monthly and livestream council meetings

– Protect Yarra’s vibrant street art and utilise council venues for music and the arts

Our candidates:

Langridge Ward

Vote 1 Stephen Jolly – Stephen was first elected to Yarra Council in 2004 and has since led countless community campaigns for better services, schools and childcare, housing, parking and public transport for residents and workers in Yarra.

Vote 2 Mel Gregson – Mel was a leader of the successful community campaign to stop the East West Link. She is a founding member of No Room For Racism and helped organise residents to stop the government sell-off of public housing land.

Vote 3 Tigist Desta – Tigist is a public housing tenant and mother of four. She has been a vocal advocate for inclusive access to local public schools and fights for the right of public housing tenants to safe and clean housing.

Nicholls Ward

Vote 1 Chris Dite – Chris is a high school teacher, bookshop worker and proud unionist. He has led local campaigns for LGBTIQ rights and is pushing for Yarra Council to employ a LGBTIQ community support worker.

Vote 2 Bridgid O’Brien – Bridgid is a mathematician and currently works in Aboriginal Health. She is a dedicated environmentalist and organises the local community to protect the wetlands around the Yarra River.

Melba Ward 

Vote 1 Toby Dite – Toby is medical researcher in public health and a strong advocate for affordable housing. He is pushing for tougher restrictions on inappropriate development and for guidelines that include low-income housing.

Vote 2 Steph Putker – Steph works as a registered nurse. She is advocating for Yarra Council to do more to provide frontline services to address illicit drug addiction, family violence and homelessness in the area.

Our election launch:


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