1. Tell us your name, electorate & political party.
District of Lane Cove
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch)
2. Tell us a bit about yourself and what other “hats” you wear in your life.
I am a husband to local primary school teacher Bronwyn, and the father of two very active toddlers, aged 2 and 3 years old. Fatherhood has hatted made me chief Paw Patrol story teller and ‘Mr. Fix-It’ to all broken toys.
Since 2006 I have called Lane Cove home. In 2017, I was elected to Lane Cove Council as a Councillor for West Ward – the first elected Labor representative in Lane Cove since 1944. Professionally I completed a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. My day job at present is a part-owner of a professional services firm based in the Sydney CBD where I work as a fee-for-service Financial Planner.
3. Why are you running in this election and why should we vote for you?
As a father and husband, I want to ensure we preserve a sense of community, access to public education and public healthcare, while protecting green space for our children. Our area offers close proximity to where I work in the city, while surrounded by the Lane Cove National Park and the river. For my wife, she specifically feels a familiar sense of community here that reminded her of growing up in a country town. Raising a family here means that for us and many others like us, ensuring that our children have access to the opportunities that I had growing up is worth fighting to preserve.
4. What is your favourite spot in the area and why?
As a rower with the Macquarie University Rowing Club, I love rowing on the Lane Cove River early in the morning – surprisingly even earlier than my children would normally wake me up. Watching the sun rise over the water is magical. There are some sections of the Lane Cove River where you are completely surrounded by bush and cannot see any houses – it is amazing to have that right in the middle of suburbia.
5. What do you believe are the 3 main issues affecting our area and why?
- Overdevelopment. Residents are worried that our local infrastructure has not caught up with the increase in housing density. Residents have also lost faith in our planning system given developers can work the system to overrule decisions of Council.
- Public Transport: Over the last three years our local public transport has struggled to keep up as our population has grown.
- Environment. Climate change is real. It’s time for use to get real and act to transition to a clean energy economy and society.
6. If elected how would you address each of those 3 issues (both short term and long term)?
- Labor will stop developers going to the State Government to change local planning rules after their application has been rejected by Council (Giving planning control back to your local Council). Labor will also scrap the Medium Density Housing Code. (The Liberal’s plan to allow terraces, townhouses and manor homes to be built without Council approval in low-density residential areas).
- Keeping Sydney Buses and Sydney Trains in public ownership means we can properly control and direct public transport that works in the public’s best interest, that is, not in the best interest of private companies that seek to make a profit. Labor will also make public transport FREE for children under 16 years of age.
- Labor has a great plan to generate 50% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. A big part of this is our plan to help 500,000 homes install solar panels on their roof.
7. What are the 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?
- Hold regular street stalls and community BBQ’s to keep regularly in contact and accessible to local residents (As I have been doing as a Councillor on Lane Cove Council).
- Conduct an audit of all future needs for local schools and public transport to ensure we are being proactive rather than reactionary when it comes to these important public services.
- Work with local community and sporting groups to obtain funding to improve local green spaces and sporting facilities.
8. AFTER SCHOOL CARE: There is an increasing demand for before and after school care at Primary Schools in the area. Do you have plans to improve this given many of the current options are full, turning families away and have wait lists in place?
As each school receives a major upgrade, I am committed to ensuring after school facilities are provided.
NSW Labor has also just announced additional funding to extend early childhood education to cover every three and four-year-old child.
9. BUS SERVICE – many Ryde Mums use the local bus service rather than trains however they are always full and overcrowded in peak times. What plans do you have for local bus services?
First and foremost, NSW Labor will retain Sydney Buses in public ownership. Unlike the Inner West bus service which the Liberals privatised. When we have an asset in public ownership we can control the service.
Should I be elected, I would fight for an audit of current capacity on bus routes, and what capacity exists once all the new homes under construction are completed.
I have also committed to introducing a new bus service from North Ryde Station via East Ryde connecting with Top Ryde Shops. Providing FREE public transport at all times for school aged children will also help families.
Everyday I use our local bus service to commute to the city for work. I have experienced first hand the frustration of not being able to get on a bus due to overcrowding. In April and September 2017, I hosted the NSW Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay in Lane Cove to place pressure on the current Government to act and provide more bus services. M
10. BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION SAFETY: With what has happened with the Opal Tower, are there are any guidelines, practices etc for all the new developments in the area to ensure these are built correctly and safe?
Labor will introduce an Engineers Registration system that will protect the community by ensuring only qualified, competent engineers do engineering work. Unbelievably, this registration system does not exist in NSW.
11. ENVIRONMENT: Climate change and the environment is a big concern for many families. What are your plans to help our environment in the local area?
It is our responsibility to be better custodians of our environment for our children. Labor and I accept human-induced climate change is real and we need to act to reduce emissions.
Locally, Labor’s plan to help install solar panels is a great way we can help local families reduce our emission footprint and reduce household bills.
Labor has a very comprehensive agenda for the environment:
💨💨 Deliver 100% renewable energy for all State Government agencies by 2025;
🌳🌳 Hold a Climate Change Summit in our first year in office;
🌏🌏 Develop the Climate Change Action Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050;
🍃🍃 Deliver the single biggest investment in renewable energy in NSW history, creating 13,000 regional jobs;
☀ Help an additional 500,000 homes install rooftop solar panels;
🚗🚗 Reduce greenhouse gas emission by 15 million tonnes – the equivalent of offsetting every car in NSW;
🔌🔌 Establish a state-owned power company to drive down power prices and deliver cheaper and cleaner power; and
✅ Enshrine the outcomes of the Summit into a Climate Change Act.