Communal Luxury: How we can create a future for all of us

*Free Public Forum featuring Max Chandler-Mather, Cr Jonathan Sri, Amy MacMahon & Natalie Osborne*

We can have a future where everyone has access to beautifully designed public spaces, free public transport and the opportunity to pursue a rich cultural life. A future where instead of politicians privatising public services and land, and cutting corporate taxes, we used this country’s enormous wealth for the benefit of all of us.

But right now we have an economic system that can only survive by driving higher and higher rates of private consumption. We are told the only route to a good life is through harder work and buying more stuff. Yet our lives are becoming more stressful, with rising rates of anxiety, social isolation and loneliness driven by an economic system that has privatised almost every aspect of our lives. Many of us are working longer hours for less pay, while others can’t get enough work to live. This same system is driving devastating climate change that is already destroying people’s lives through longer droughts and heatwaves.

In Brisbane we are seeing the last remaining large tracts of land handed over to private developers for projects like West Village or the Queens Wharf Mega Casino.

So what would communal luxury look like?
💵🖥⚡️Democratically publicly owned essential services (banking, internet, energy)
⏰More free time with a 4 day work week and Universal Basic Income
🏞Beautiful public parks within walking distance of your home
🚌Free high frequency public transport (electric trams, buses, and light rail)
☀️💨Community owned wind and solar
⛹🏽⛹️‍♀️Well-funded, free sporting facilities
🌳🏖📚Community gardens, free public pools, libraries, museums and art galleries
🎻🎨Accessible community spaces for musicians and artists
🏘 Well-designed, universally accessible social housing
👶🏾👶 Free childcare
🏊🏽Clean, swimmable Brisbane river

What if instead of vicious overwork or poverty, you had a 3 day weekend with time to enjoy these new public spaces and help create vibrant communities? What if this was underpinned by real, meaningful treaties with First Nations peoples? What if instead of private luxury for a small few, we had public, or communal luxury for the many?

This future is entirely possible - but it means building a new national consensus. Come discuss what a future of communal luxury might look like and how we might go about winning it.

Jonathan Sri: First ever Greens councillor for The Gabba Ward. Jonathan Sri is a saxophonist and vocalist with Brisbane bands The Mouldy Lovers and Rivermouth.

Natalie Osborne is a Lecturer in Urban and Environmental Planning in the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University. Her work explores social, spatial, and environmental justice in cities, radical spatial politics, public spaces, and emotional geographies. She is a co-producer of Radio Reversal, a weekly critical theory and politics radio program broadcast on 4ZZZ 102.1FM, and an organiser with Brisbane Free University.

Amy MacMahon: Amy was was the Greens candidate for South Brisbane in the 2017 Qld State Election where she secured a historic 12% swing and 34% of the primary vote. Amy has helped lead environmental and social campaigns and worked with Bangladeshi farmers on climate change adaptation.

Max Chandler-Mather: Max is the Greens candidate for Griffith. Before being the candidate for Griffith he worked for the National Tertiary Education Union working with casual and contract research and admin workers to better organise and improve their rights.

  • February 28, 2019 at 6:15pm – 8:45pm
  • West End Uniting Church
    111 Vulture St
    West End, Queensland 4101
    Google map and directions
  • Elena Quirk


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