Questions and Answers about my motivations, the campaign, policies, and plan for the Central Coast.
- When you say that you have a plan for the Central Coast … what do you mean?
I mean a plan that includes all major components of a quality life on the Central Coast:
For everyone – I mean a real, full-fibre NBN with genuinely high speed Gigabit Internet using predominantly Fibre to the Premises NBN … this alone would assist thousands of at home workers, or those that work for local venues(smart hubs), and those who want to start-up a new business … and immediately expand the options and markets for other larger, well-established but bandwidth-starved businesses – this equates to more local jobs, less commuting, less traffic and higher family income.
For our Youth – I mean encouraging new, high-tech industries with well paid jobs, underpinned by a strong local TAFE , and a strong Central Coast University. Growing a generation of skilled and motivated young people can defend and improve our Central Coast lifestyle.
For our Pensioners – I mean pressing, pushing, insisting of the Federal Government that our 30% of Central Coasters who suffer the indignity of living 10% below the Poverty Line while big corporations and many of the wealthy dodge, duck, and weave away from paying tens of $billions, should be progressively, year-by-year, moved to 30% above the Poverty Line. We can do more for pensioners too … respect, companionship etc … we need to talk to pensioners and gather their best ideas.
For our workers – I mean that we should ensure workers are getting paid legal wages, working legal hours, improved security of tenure, penalty rates must be re-instated for vulnerable workers. I mean tradespeople and contractors being paid in full and on time. We must all recognise that impoverished, vulnerable working people can not support our local businesses and therefore hurt our local economy.
For our families – I mean improved Medicare to include basic dental and a reduced ‘gap’ for specialists … I mean available GPs … I mean meaningful income increases to enable locals to spend in our local community. I mean a high quality environment and public spaces where families can gather over coffee for leisure and play.
For new industries – I mean we put the task on a new Central Coast University and Central Coast TAFE not to be an “Ivory Towers” but to be Central Coast specific and Central Coast practical … for our University to study our environment, both physical and social, and identify -tech smart industries that are future-focused… and for a locally based Central Coast TAFE to adjust its organisation and curriculum to meet the needs of our local young workers to boost these future industries in: tourism; culture; heritage; environment; alternative energies; environmental repair; small business; start-ups; music/dance/literature/theatre; sport; leisure; and so on.
For our environment – I mean … well, we Australians don’t want our unique wildlife extinguished, our sea-life beached and dead, our beaches oily and unusable, our water contaminated with poisonous toxins from waste and mining , our birds extinct, our fishing grounds ruined. We don’t want our Central Coast environment rubbished by uncontrolled Sydney-based over-population spill-over and under-planned, under-funded trains, roads, parking, and coastal protection.
I mean – we need a Koala & marsupial sanctuary which spans National Parks and Council, private bushlands and Crown Lands areas … we need to regenerate bush vegetation … we need to plant trees appropriately … we need to protect our aboriginal and non Aboriginal heritage … and we need to accept the Science = Coal and Oil and Gas are sunset industries. The future is with low cost renewable energies.
I mean: No Wallarah 2 coal mine under our water catchment! No Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP11) off our Central Coast beaches !! No new giant coal mines like Adani or Shenhua that threaten our water and air quality, our unique agricultural, fishing and tourism industries as well as lock in production of billions of tonnes of volatile climate change gases.
2. What if something comes up that is not in the plan?
There will not be a lot that is not in the Plan after we work further on it with the resources I will have as a Member of Parliament. I will not be spending my Parliamentary allowance on self-seeking and hugely expensive advertising campaigns and make-me-look-good Publicity Officers.
I plan to convert my Media and Policy support positions into Research and Planning Advocates for important policies within the Plan. For example, in my first year I plan to appoint [a] a Planner and Researcher [b] a Pensioners Advocate [c] a Youth Policy Researcher and Advocate.
However, the question is a good one. How would I act?
Let’s take an example. Let’s say the issue of Marriage Equality arose as it did in the last Parliament. I would not refer to my Party policy, nor my Party leader, nor my Party faction, nor my personal religious beliefs … my default position would be to become thoroughly acquainted with all sides of the debate, then almost certainly, support the position adopted by the overwhelming majority of Central Coast citizens. In this case pro-marriage equality. Another example of a policy overwhelmingly supported by Australians = voluntary assisted dying. I would then engage local citizens to guide me in drafting legislative reforms (not backroom lobbyists or party factions). I propose to do this by using new, people friendly democratic methods like citizen juries and direct democracy.
3. How will the Plan affect your voting in the Federal Parliament?
The plan for the Central Coast will be my first priority.
As an Independent, I have no requirement to ask permission of my Party, my Party leader, my Party faction boss.
I will not be wasting time in the Party room plotting with factional ‘heavies’, or horse-trading over policies, positions, quangoes, corruption, and personal aggrandisement. I have no need to consider who I may offend or whose religious views I may be running counter … I have, as my blueprint to follow, our Central Coast plan.
On issue after issue, my first focus is to be “what does our Central Coast Plan say about this matter?” I will discuss the issue accordingly. I will lobby through the corridors of Parliament House, accordingly. I will negotiate with the cross-bench of Independents, and with the Government and opposition, accordingly. I will, at all times, seek to establish the effect, or funding requirement, that each issue, and each piece of legislation, has for the Central Coast.
Of course, I have more responsibility than simply sitting in the Federal Parliament. I will also need to make representations to the NSW Government to support elements of the Central Coast Plan. And, of course, I will need to work with the Central Coast Council to strengthen the Central Coast Plan … and for the Council to use its considerable political muscle to advance our common goals … in the Central Coast Plan.
4. If the Parliament is split, will you support a Labor or Liberal Government?
OUR country has had 11 years of tumultuous, conflicted, ego-driven, faction-controlled, 6 Prime Ministers, government. As a result, we have gone from a highly respected international citizen to self-seeking-empty-heads, from reasonable international development provider to a shameful provider, from a top educator nation to an average education nation … from a country with concern for others, to a country with no empathy for the refugees and les miserables. Australia is entirely unprepared for the future of a volatile climate. We have gone backwards in so many ways.
So … do we need a minority National/Liberal Government which has wrecked Australia’s role, reputation and influence and doubled the Labor deficit? No. Do we want a Labor minority Government with its currently warring factions capable of an internal flare-up at any moment? No. So, what is the alternative?
The alternative is played out, often when the nation faces an enemy and it is imperative that all Australian political forces should play together … not for ego, not for faction, not for Party … but for the Common Good of Australia.
Instead of a minority Labor, or Conservative, Government I would propose a Government of Common Cause, a Unity Government with an Independent for Prime Minister, a Deputy Prime Minister voted in by the House of Representatives in a free, conscience vote, an even number of Labor and Liberal Ministers but with the following Ministries headed by minor parties and Independents:
- Medicare, Health and Hospitals
- Water and Mining
- Future Industries, TAFE, Universities, and Youth Policy.
- Broadband, NBN and Internet
Should this situation not eventuate I will consistently select party or coalition that is most prepared to fund and implement the Community Plan Central Coast.
5. Are you a sour-grapes Independent, but really a ‘Labor’ man?
Like a very large part of our Central Coast community, I’m fed up with the major parties. What has their factional-driven parties given us? They have given us:
- Factions which strip the membership, the people, ordinary people, of their influence over who will represent them, who will be Prime Minister, who will lead parties.
- A lot of confusion! 6 Prime Ministers in 8 years … personal and faction ambitions played out in political blood-baths – Prime Ministers being axed at a whim.
- Factional Lords and Ladies insisting that policies the citizens overwhelmingly want, are not implemented: over-population; ; voluntary assisted dying; better and stronger Medicare, properly-funded public roads, schools and hospitals; an end to more-and-more expensive privatisation; support for Science and future industries.
- Corruption … on the NSW Labor side … the immorality of Dastayari’s on-the-take payments; the NSW Labor atrocity of faction-Obeid … the National Party obscenities involving on-the-job working women and arrogant attitudes.
- All major parties refusing to support, for many years, a national Independent Commission Against Corruption. Instead happy to manipulate party elections, pre-selection ballots which blot out rivals of the factions … even now the major parties support only a washed-out version of ICAC that permits corrupt lobbying and the continuation of party-factional control of the parties. Dysfunctional and Disgusting.
6. Your policies come overwhelmingly form the Community Plan Central Coast. The CPCC looks like it is made for council, not for the Federal Elections. Can you explain this?
The Community Plan Central Coast is NOT a Federal Government plan. Nor is it a NSW Plan or Council only Plan.
It is a Central Coast Plan made by the citizens living, working, living on the Central Coast.
It is a Central Coast Plan made by the Central Coast people who know what they want and what their environment will be happy to carry.
The Federal government does not have a Central Coast Plan … and never will have a Central Coast Plan.
The NSW Government does NOT have a comprehensive and integrated Central Coast plan … and never will have.
The NSW Government only has what they call a ‘land management’ plan … a plan to shove their poorly managed Sydney population over-spill onto the Central Coast without the essential planning needed. Everyone who catches a train, or tries to park their car, or find a GP, or an affordable specialist, or a working TAFE College, or a Central Coast University … we can go on-and-on!!!
The Central Coast Council has a Strategic Plan that covers roads, parks, Development and Environmental Controls and a myriad of good projects, put into the framework of the council’s operational planning. . It is not yet a comprehensive plan that has been politically endorsed by the people of the Central Coast. In other words it has no political mandate.
For example there is no integrated transport plan and this is why we had a stand off between Council and the NSW Government for 7 months for the dredging of the Ettalong Channel. For seven months locals suffered a ferry shut down, deeply hurting local businesses, commuting workers and students.
BUT!!! We, us Central Coast residents … we can have THE Central Coast Plan and THEN we need representatives that can push at each of the three levels for the necessary legislation and funds for all aspects of this local plan.
The idea of a Comprehensive Central Coast Plan is a powerful idea, whose time has come.