1. What do you love most about Bennelong?
My partner’s parents live in Carlingford, and we’re always eating out in the area. Great restaurants!
2. Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself that we might not know. (Let’s make it fun & light-hearted!)
- I did a PhD in mathematical modelling of HIV
- I am a former high school maths and science teacher
- I can’t really eat tomatoes
3. Which single issue affecting Bennelong is your highest priority to address? And how would you fix it?
The issues that I can solve in Bennelong by becoming its representative are national issues. Housing price pressure is incredibly important, but also increasingly a problem for people in the area if they want their kids to continue to live in Bennelong. I also believe that public education is incredibly important to the people of Bennelong, and I will work to ensure that schools get the support they need.
4. What other key objectives do you have for Bennelong? Please provide short-term (under 12 months) and long-term (up to 3/4 years). Please keep to a max of 4.
In the short-term:
Immediately push forward proposals for a National Independent Commission Against Corruption. I will also oppose cuts to our national scientific institutions.
In the long-term:
Work towards doubling funding for science and technology, and increasing the public share of national funding for schools. Large-scale reform of the taxation system to make it fairer and simpler, and hence better for business. Carbon emissions trading scheme to prevent climate change.
5. There is so much demand on schools in our area – both primary and high schools. What do you plan to do in this vital area? Please answer for both primary and high schools as there are talks and rollouts for more primary than high schools and both will face increased demand. Why have plans and implementations been reactive versus proactive?
Plans are reactive if they are not based on data. The Science Party make its policy based on evidence. We will look forward towards trends in population data and act early as a result. There is also a reluctance to embrace broad urban planning initiatives. I am keen for governments to adopt broad-region urban planning.
6. Every corner of a main road seems to have new high rise apartments being built with no concern for the already struggling roads & demand on local services. What is your opinion on this and how do you plan to tackle it if you are elected?
Contrary to popular belief, apartments decrease, not increase, the amount of traffic on the road. I am very much in favour of increasing development of apartments, particularly around railway stations, as people who can take a quick walk to the train are likely to not use the roads at all. Issues related to increased population can be solved through better investment in public transport, schools, hospitals and other services.
7. Following on from the high rise apartments that are being built everywhere, what is your projection for population growth, what impact do you foresee this has on the economy and how can you reassure the people of Bennelong that there will be appropriate transport, health and education support for this population growth? The reason we ask this question is because someone is approving all these high rise buildings, what is the benefit to the residents who already live here?
I predict increases in population, and the result will be a better economy for the Sydney region and Bennelong. As regions like Bennelong age, more people require services, such as aged care, and without new, young workers (including the children of residents) it becomes more expensive and harder to provide necessary services to residents. In the coming 20 years, the number of retired people is going to roughly double. We need these new residents, or we risk societal failure. I commit to ensuring strong investment in public infrastructure to complement the increases in population.
8. What ideas do you have to push the federal government to improve the already struggling roads in our area which make peak time commuting so difficult & time-consuming?
We need to stop focusing on roads and focus on public transport instead.
9. 50.2% of Bennelong residents voted No to marriage equality. How would you have voted in the parliament?
Absolutely ‘Yes’. My party has supported gay marriage since its inception. Just because 50% of the population doesn’t like something, doesn’t mean it should be banned, and the consequences for people who are denied the right to marry are massive in comparison to the impacts on people who simply do not want it.
10. There were 27,000 complaints to the telecommunications industry ombudsman in 2016-17 about the NBN. How would you go about fixing it?
The Science Party supports Fibre to the Home. We’ll work with whoever is in government to make this a reality.
11. Electricity prices seem to continually be increasing. What are you going to do about the rising costs of electricity? What are your thoughts on renewable energy and do you have plans for renewable energy if elected?
The Science Party supports the creation of ‘superabundant’ energy. We believe that we should be implementing renewal energy solutions, as well as doing research into new, clean energy solutions such as nuclear fusion for future energy requirements.
12. What is your position on disability and aged care services and Medicare?
I support fully funded Medicare and a fair and sustainable disability support system that looks after people in need. I oppose measures such as the copayment system that complicate the doctor patient relationship.
CONTACT JAMES HERE: scienceparty.org.au