ELECTION 2019: Our candidates reveal their campaign drivers
WITH the Federal Election set for May 18, we're opening our campaign coverage by asking candidates to list the top five issues to take the Fraser Coast forward.
Keith Pitt, LNP
1. Jobs - "Jobs is my number one priority for the Hinkler electorate. While there has been a reduction in the unemployment rate - and in particular the youth unemployment rate - recently, there is still work to be done."
2. Jobs - "Projects which lead to job creation are key to improving the unemployment rate and the $172.9 million Hinkler Regional Deal is a considerable part of that. Projects fast-tracked by funding from the Regional Jobs and Investment Package and Building Better Regions Fund will mean more local jobs."
3. Jobs - "There have been numerous initiatives to help local job seekers, with the Youth PaTH program, Impact's Employment First Aid program, the Youth Wage Subsidy Trial (20 apprentices) and Transition to Work program making a real difference."
4. Cost of living - "Cost of living pressures continue locally with electricity prices affecting families, seniors, farmer and business - both big and small. We need reliable and affordable power right now."
5. Strong economy - "We can grow and strengthen the local economy by giving businesses the confidence to invest here. We can do this by funding upgrades to vital linking infrastructure like roads and airports, or our investment in a multi-use conveyer at the Port of Bundaberg."
Richard Pascoe, ALP
1. Fix our schools and hospitals. Labor is committed to investing an additional $20.8 million into our local public schools and restoring the $2.3million cut from the Hervey Bay Hospital.
2. Working to ease the pressure on family budgets. That is why Labor has vowed to end the Medicare rebate freeze within the first 50 days of being elected and ensure tax breaks flow through to the workers.
3. Stand up for workers. Labor has stated we will reverse the penalty rate cuts within the first 100 days of being elected. We will crack down on the abuse of 457 visas.
4. Build a strong economy that works for everyone. Labor will build local, buy local and employ local people for government projects to help deliver more jobs and opportunities in the Hinkler area.
5. Invest in cheaper, cleaner energy. Labor will better regulate power prices with a new regulated capped offer protecting families and small businesses from price gouging by big energy companies and work with farmers, to help them make money from reducing pollution.
Anne Jackson, GRN
1. My number one issue is to fight for the abolition of the cashless debit card, which is unfair and punitive to families and individuals in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.
2. I want to see a greater public investment in training and infrastructure to create jobs, particularly for the young and unemployed.
3. I would like to see our healthcare system become truly universal by including dental and mental health and more funding for hospitals.
4. Fairer funding for schools which includes free TAFE and university.
5. Lowering power bills through a greater investment in renewable energy and the creation of a non-for-profit energy retailer.
Damian Huxham, ONP
1. Employment and job opportunities.
2. Cost of electricity.
3. Cost of living.
4. Regional infrastructure.
5. Water security.
Input from locals gives us what I'm focussed on. Everyone has something to offer, I might not have all the answers but I'm willing to listen to as many people as possible to ensure Hinkler prospers. I don't have to tow the party line so I'm able to hold the major parties accountable.
Joseph Ellul, UAP
1. Pension and Entitlements (age of access to the pension and amounts, then why do politicians get different pensions)
2. Zonal taxation (20% less tax to give more money back to regional Australians so they can boost local economies)
3. minerals and processing (jobs and why are there no processing plants in OZ? we sell minerals for less than$100/tonne and buy back finished products for around $$$thousands of dollars)
4. Electricity prices (if we have the most resources in the world how are our electricity prices the most expensive?)
5. The Australia Fund (helping Australians in times of natural disaster and going all the way through to buying farms and having farmers pay back the government so that banks cant sell them overseas).
David Norman, IND
1. Honesty and integrity of our politicians. They themselves have all just become corporate, 'big business' entities that look after multinational corporations and big business donors. Their own success is placed above all else. Time and time again the major Parties have proven they can't be trusted to keep their word and keep getting caught with their own noses in the trough. Party politics creates a culture of fighting and political blaming that is toxic to good, collaborative governance of our great country. I will bring back some real honesty and integrity into parliament and will pursue all forms of government and corporate corruption.
2. Corporate tax avoidance. Billions It has been estimated the Australian people miss out on between 6 - 40 billion dollars in lost public revenue because of national and multinational corporations using tax avoidance schemes. As an example in the 2015-16 year Australian tax office says 36% of big firms and multinationals paid no tax. Imagine what could be done with that money in the way of health, education, public infrastructure, investment in Australian manufacturing and small businesses that generate jobs? The flow-on effects of preventing this massive revenue loss would be felt right across Australia when this public money was redirected to services that are now crying out for funding. Recouping this money is a matter of urgency and name and shame politicians that openly or covertly try to dodge doing it.
3. Cost of living. Developing fair and equitable legislation, that ensures no individuals or families live below a reasonable standard of living. By the time mortgage/rent, food, power, car, insurance, school etc. bills are paid there is very little left to even try to save any. It is a complex situation that is tied into ability to find full time work, as opposed to part-time and the actual wage that is earned. Government has a responsibility to ensure the average person is paid a decent living wage for the work they do, so that someone working fulltime should be able to pay their basic living expenses.
4. Regional employment. Working closely with existing regional business and industries to foster expansion of domestic and export markets, as with government departments to promote and invest in new business opportunities. Hinkler, like many regional electorates, has an ongoing battle with unemployment. In fact from the report I saw it has the highest unemployment stats in Queensland. There aren't enough permanent or casual jobs for the people looking for them. There is always the desire to attract new industries to the region and bolster existing ones. The steadfast horticulture/agriculture, sugar, manufacturing, building, fishing and tourism industries in the area are now being increasingly supplemented by health care and aged/disability care services.
5. Aged care and pensions. I will be relentless in my pursuit of real changes in the aged care sector, to make high quality care affordable to all elderly people. Also to ensure our aged pensioners are paid a proper living pension. There needs to be a greater emphasis on thorough academic and skills-based training for staff in aged care to cater for all the types of conditions and ailments that commonly occur in the elderly. Introducing safe staffing laws to aged care would bring it into line with other industries in Australia such as child care
Moe Turaga, IND
1. Energy prices and Renewable Energy establishments which will create ongoing work locally. How do we improve climate changes as leave a better future for our kids.
2. Health- Dental health subsidies for working individuals. Majorly a Level 5 Hospital for the Region. Mental Health support programs; legalising and simplifying the use of medicinal cannabis or cannabinoid oils for patients needing it. Supporting & Strengthening Families as well. Better support for Veterans/ First responders suffering from PTSD
3. Education- let's improve curriculum for non academic students and a interactive community educational systems. Better access to higher education for all Australian.
4. Aged Care & NDIS: Needs overhauling. From nursing home care to having the dignity to choose to live at home till they pass. Deinstitutionalisation of the program all together. Let our elderly have choice n control in their twilight years. NDIS Needs to be managed simpler.
5. Employment & Investment: We are one of the largest small crops providing area and we need to manage it with incentives to lure young people to local farms for employment but also supporting the farmers holistically. The Modern Slavery Act will have some impacts on our local producers and we need safeguard measures in place. New investments into the region nationally or internationally to be highly recommended providing communities are consulted properly and openly.
Llew O'Brien, LNP
1. Creating jobs and a strong economy to ensure a bright future for Wide Bay, with projects like Maryborough's Rheinmetall forging plant to create 178 jobs, and the 600 local jobs secured by the Coalition Government's commitment to Maryborough cane growers water storage project.
2. Saving lives by fixing the Bruce Highway, with projects including the $800 million Section D Cooroy to Curra.
3. Easing cost of living pressures, providing tax relief for low and middle-income families, and helping tackle the rising cost of electricity.
4. Maintaining strong Border Security to ensure our peaceful Australian way of life is protected.
5. Strong, effective representation that achieves results which help the people of Wide Bay, such as the banking industry Royal Commission, fairer returns for dairy farmers and the dairy industry code of conduct, the DFRDB inquiry, and the Commonwealth Integrity Commission.
Jason Scanes, ALP
1. Jobs. Attraction of industry to the region, support for small businesses and our manufacturing facilities. Fight to restore penalty rates for workers.
2. Health and education. Ensuring vital funding and resources that have been gouged from our health, aged care and education systems are restored.
3. Infrastructure. Ensuring Wide Bay receives its fair share of Federal funding to support vital infrastructure projects.
4. Primary Producers. Deliver solutions to issues facing our primary producers. That is finding real solutions for our dairy farmers, drought resistant initiatives and connecting farmers produce to market.
5. Veterans. Ensure that our veterans and their families always remain a priority for our government.
Daniel Bryar, GRN
1. Climate policy that has a clear path to carbon neutrality, at least meeting our Paris Agreement.
2. A Federal anti-corruption watchdog to keep politicians honest and accountable to the people.
3. Enough well designed, affordable homes so all Australians are guaranteed a place to live.
4. Properly funded public transport, health, education and social services.
5. Closing and defunding the privately run, inhumane and barbaric offshore detention centres.
Andrew Schebella, UAP
1. To stimulate economic growth in regional Queensland we will provide a zonal taxation incentive. A tax concession of 20 per cent for people living and doing business in rural and regional Queensland.
2. We will change the way tax is being paid by businesses giving a further incentive to grow. Instead of paying tax in advance, the tax will be paid at the end of the year based on actual figures not on an estimate. This measure would result in more than $70 billion dollars being release into the economy across the country. Every time that revenue is spend it generates 10% GST. That's an extra $7 billion to spend on schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
3. Owning your own home is something every Australian should be able to do. When in government we intend to make home loans tax deductable. This will boost the construction industry and again create employment opportunities.
4. We will encourage the use of Queensland minerals in downstream manufacturing. Rather than send our minerals overseas unprocessed, we will invest in more stages of the min-ing process to occur in this country. Instead of selling mineral ore for under $100 a tonne. Finished refined product can be sold offshore for around $10,000 a tonne or more. Maximising this return on our minerals will ensure our communities sea real benefit in the way of increased export revenue, creating jobs and a better standard of living.
5. Bringing down electricity prices. About 50 per cent of your electricity bill is attributed to 'network charges'. Electricity networks have spent $45 billion on infrastructure and is charging this back to you. Basically, you're paying off a $45 billion loan. These loans were taken out with high interest rates, if these loans we refinanced at today's rates you would see a significant saving on your electricity bill.
Tim Jerome, IND
1. I want to get our Australia back. The major political parties have sold the average Australian out. They have sold out the farmer. They have sold our land to foreign ownership. They have sold out our businesses. They have sold out our jobs and our children's jobs. For Australia to get back on track we need to get rid of the major political parties which include the LNP and the Labor and Greens parties.
2. A political change up. As an Independent I am not locked into the business of party politics. I have no hidden agendas. I am not pushing one particular agenda or platform as major parties and some minor parties will do. My aim will be to unite the minor parties and like-minded independents to form government. We need to get rid of the major parties who have sold us out.
3. A voice for the average forgotten Australian. I want to be a voice for the average forgotten Australian. This includes the farmer on the land or those who work long hours trying to earn an average wage. I have already signed a statutory declaration stating that I will not keep the $200,000 a year salary that MPs get which goes up to $538, 000 for our Prime Minister. Instead I will only keep the average medium income of the average Australian worker and give the rest to a local government project. I believe leadership is leading by example. I will be a voice to see politicians wages come back into line with the Australian average wage and to reverse the current system where we pay ex-Prime Ministers and MP's pensions for life or big payouts after they retire.
4. Faulty immigration system. The immigration system is useless and broke, we need to fix the immigration system. I spoke with Peter Dutton's office asking what processes the government had in place as far as integrating refugees and immigrants. I asked how long does a refugee/immigrant have to be in Australia before they can gain Australian citizenship? Dutton's office said they could not answer those questions and I needed to find out somewhere else. When the Office of Home Affairs and Immigration have no idea what is happening no wonder we are having problems with new immigrants and refugees not integrating into Australia and taking our customs and way of life. This is a problem that can be fixed when the major parties acknowledge there is a problem.
5. One Australia for all Australians. Australians need to know their identity. We need to have multiple discussions and a final referendum on what an Australian is, what are our values and customs are. Then we need to lock it in and make this our standard of accepting new immigrants and policing those who want to live in Australia. I am personally against all forms of racial discrimination based on a person's skin colour or former background or former country. I don't care whether a person got here first who were the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or the latest refugee or immigrant. We need to treat one another with respect and acceptance when people are willing to leave behind their old way of life and start anew. I believe in a one Australia where no one is given special hand-outs or treated differently based on ethnic background or race. This only fosters racial intolerance and racial hatred.