These are the things I care about – the reasons I’m running.
I’m not a member of Parliament (yet), I’m not a member of the Government, or the opposition. I’m not even a member of a political party.
I’m a community candidate. Between now and the election, I will do what political candidates are supposed to do. I will consult with my constituents. I will listen to and learn what matters to them. I will not tell them what they need – they will tell me. And I will take those platforms to Canberra.
Taking action on
Urgent action is necessary to address the impact of climate change. Our Parliament has lost a decade of opportunity, failing its citizens and the global community.
Hughes is a wonderland of natural beauty. From our rivers and beaches to our bushland and national parks. We couldn’t be luckier.
If elected, I will work hard to ensure our environment is protected and preserved for our children and grandchildren. I will be science-led, and make objective and rational decisions. I will be unencumbered by party positions, donor expectations and ideological thinking. I will force the transition from a fossil-fuel led economy to one powered by renewable energy. There is so much to gain – for the planet, for the economy – and no time to lose.
We can do more to help protect and preserve our beautiful surroundings in Hughes. After all, our lifestyle depends on it. We can and should support:
- Federal policies for renewable energy creation and storage, clean transportation, investment, and export of renewable energy;
- the introduction of an independent Federal Climate Change body to oversee and ensure the government’s progress in achieving its commitments; and
- small businesses in their transition to a cleaner future.
Integrity in Politics
The Federal Government promised the establishment of a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission, then put forward an inadequate and toothless version of one, then removed all funding entirely in the last Federal budget.
In recent years, the Australian Government has moved between rorts and scandals with apparent impunity. Consequences for misconduct are rare, short-lived and insufficient. Politics is supposed to be a noble calling – an opportunity to serve. That this has become almost laughable in modern politics is a very sad state of affairs indeed.
If elected, I will support the establishment of an Australian Federal Integrity Commission, and support amendments to electoral laws to bring them in line with Local and State Government requirements. We can expect very little in the way of effective government if we expect very little integrity from the people we elect to provide it.
2021 has shown us, more than ever before, that we need robust integrity measures at the national level. I would propose:
- the establishment of an Australian Federal Integrity Commission, with wide scope and jurisdiction, a strong legislative framework, and best practice investigative powers;
- amendments to electoral laws, including caps on donations and spending, and bans on donations from the alcohol, gambling, tobacco and mining industries; and
- truth in political advertising laws.
A robust, sustainable economy
Hughes is home to a vibrant, diverse and thriving community. So many families live, work, and run small businesses here.
As a matter of priority, the Federal government needs to help businesses rebuild after the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Long term (but starting immediately), we need to transition the economy from one reliant on fossil fuels to one with renewable energy at its centre.
The opportunities here are endless, and the Government needs to recognise and run with them. Maintaining a strong economy is key to a bright future for all.
So many of us not only live in Hughes, but work, and run small businesses here. Economic stability and prosperity is critical to maintaining our vibrant communities. I care about:
- assisting small businesses in their recovery from the pandemic. Governments must do everything necessary to continue to ensure small businesses thrive; and
- transitioning our economy to one that embraces the renewable energy industry. Australia is uniquely vulnerable to climate change, but also uniquely placed to benefit from it economically. The economic opportunities are vast.
Working towards a more equitable Australia
When it comes to building a more equitable Australia, governments have only served us platitudes.
Governments need to implement programs, allocate funding strategically and monitor progress. And they need to do it in areas that will benefit groups they don’t belong to. Gender equality will never be achieved until women feel safe and respected in their communities and workplaces. The NDIS will not serve its purpose if the Government continues to unconscionably reduce funding and participant numbers.
Equity should not be optional. It should be fundamental to civilised society.
I care about:
- enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution and establishing a Commission to supervise the treaty and truth telling processes as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
- ensuring women are given every opportunity to thrive. This is impossible unless Governments pay more attention to (and spend more money on) ensuring that women and children are free from violence in all its forms; and
- the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This changed the game for so many Australians. It MUST be properly funded.
I’m here to listen, understand and advocate for the issues that matter most to the electorate of Hughes. After thousands of conversations, these are the topics locals have told me they are most concerned about.
- Public education should be free, high quality, and funded on a needs-based model.
- I will work hard to restore funding to tertiary education and TAFE.
I care deeply about public education. Australian children deserve universal access to a high quality, well-funded education. It is a cornerstone of civilised society. If elected, I will be a staunch advocate for education. Our children – and our teachers – deserve nothing less.
- Our aged care system is underfunded, the workers underpaid, and the regulatory landscape too complex.
- I support the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, which called for fundamental and systemic aged care reform.
Fixing the aged care system will be hard. It will take time. But that’s what the Federal government is there for. For rolling up sleeves, and doing the complex, sustained, potentially unpopular work that needs to be done.
We have various mechanisms for understanding where the problems lie – like Royal Commissions. This government has been fairly quick to call Royal Commissions, but very slow to act on the recommendations. We’ve had a Royal Commission into aged care. Time to act.
- Foreign affairs and defence matters should be approached in a consultative, collegiate way in Federal Parliament.
- Unless there are very clear reasons not to, I will support the government of the day in its approach to these issues.
As an Independent on the cross-bench, my role would be to keep the governing party in check in relation to these issues – ask the right questions, encourage debate, and always, always communicate with my constituents. And then, vote. Always a conscience vote, always after consultation.
The world is an endlessly fascinating, sometimes confounding, truly remarkable, place. There’s always more to know. What I do know, is that living in it peacefully, securely and prosperously is a goal we all strive for. That’s what the people of Hughes tell me, that’s what I want for my family, and that’s what I’ll be working for.
I am appalled and ashamed about this country’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees over the last decade. If elected, I would do everything I can to ensure that Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, our systems for assessing their applications for asylum, and the conditions in which they are held are brought into line with or exceed our international obligations.
- Public healthcare should be free, accessible and high quality.
- Nurses should be better rewarded.
- Our Medicare system and pharmaceutical benefits scheme must remain well funded and accessible for all.
If the events of the last two years have shown us anything it’s that Australians rely heavily on healthcare. The system has never been so stretched – yet healthcare workers continue to keep us all safe and provide us with the care we need. I stand with nurses and support keeping healthcare accessible to and high quality for all.
- I support universal access to high-quality Early Childhood Education and Care, and Outside School Hours Care. These systems require a well-supported and properly funded workforce.
- I support 12 months of paid parental leave, to be shared between parents, which includes superannuation.
Families in Hughes are telling me: they need universal access to quality, affordable early childhood education. It gives children the opportunities they need to learn, and it gives parents the opportunity they need to go back to work, to thrive. So they can be the best parents they can be.
And the economic benefits are well known. It’s win/win/win/win. That’s a lot of winners.
Cost of Living Pressures
- There are no quick fixes
- Short-term cash splashes do nothing to help. That is vote buying.
- The long-term solution includes the transition to a renewable energy economy.
- Maintain pressure on the government to help businesses rebuild after the devastating impacts of the pandemic.
- Support increased wages for frontline health workers, teachers, childcare and aged care workers
- Support more affordable early childhood education