I’m Vince Puccio, your Greens candidate for Murray-Wellington this state election.
I have become a Greens party member due to the experiences of my community, Yarloop, where the only party who have stood by us through thick and thin was the Greens.
Since 1996 I have been involved in addressing the adverse impact of the mining industry in Yarloop and surrounding communities to bring Alcoa and the Government to account. During this time I’ve worked hard with other community members in order to bring about some semblance of balance and protection, both for the impacted communities and environment. The Greens were the only party that actually worked with us and donated money to our cause in the early days of our campaign. This was when we challenged the lack of independent monitoring of emissions from the Alcoa Wagerup refinery and we created the Yarloop bucket brigade. This initiative was an offshoot of Community Alliance for Positive Solutions Inc. (CAPS) where we took the initiative of doing our own air sample testing and sending it to the USA for analysis. This in turn bought about CAPS and DEC Air Quality Branch to work together creating Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). I have lived in this area on and off since 1950, went to the Yarloop primary school, then Harvey high school. Before Alcoa come along, we had a thriving and happy community with a great lifestyle with many friends and family. In the last 20 years the demographics have changed greatly to the point I hardly know anyone.
My passions include:
- Fostering sustainable and safe communities
- Water conservation and protecting groundwater from contamination
- Protecting farmers and our food bowl
- Fighting for the right to clean air and healthy environment
- Making industry and government accountable to communities
- Changing the State Agreement Act ( by removing the protection mechanism to
- make industry more accountable)
- Creating a balance between industry, government and community where they can live and work together.
The destruction of small towns that are in the way of big business, with government blessing, is unacceptable. This destroys the social fabric, threatens public health and safety, and forces people to leave the area. While the major parties continue to take donations from gas and coal companies, this won’t change. We need to remove corporate influence on our democracy.
I have lived and breathed protecting our communities from the destruction of big business and the in-action of the government for the past 25 years. My own parents, close family and friends have all experienced the dislocation and loss caused by the impact of industry. I’ve seen local small businesses go to the wall while Alcoa pushed ahead with its own expansion agenda at any cost. My own home is in the line of the Wagerup refinery emissions and this causes me much concern for my own health.
I have recently retired after working for more than 2 decades at the Alcoa Wagerup mine. I have been a community activist for more than 20 years and am the Chairperson of CAPS which believes in positive solutions to complex socio- economic issues. I am also a guest lecturer where I share my experiences and knowledge with social work students at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.