1. What do you love most about Bennelong?
The proximity to bushland, the density of public transport, and the food. I’ve got so many favourite food places I think I’ve rendered the word ‘favourite’ meaningless. If you’re up for a challenge, try Korean chilli-cheese chicken. 😊
2. Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself that we might not know. (Let’s make it fun & light-hearted!)
- INTERESTS: I ride a motorcycle, I make electronic music, and I love karaoke.
- WHY I CAME HERE: I decided to live in Bennelong while browsing Google Earth from Hanoi, where I previously lived.
- WHERE I COME FROM: I grew up on a farm, without electricity, but with a pet kangaroo.
3. Which single issue affecting Bennelong is your highest priority to address? And how would you fix it?
Work to protect Bennelong from climate change – every community will be affected, and every community has a part to play in helping to stop it, and every community can take practical steps to reduce its impact on the health and well-being of residents.
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.
- Freeing us from corruption by working to establish a national anti-corruption body and investigate dodgy bank practices.
- Guaranteeing high-quality public education for all – including by increasing funding for early childhood education and care, restoring funding to English-as-a-second-language education, and making higher education (including TAFE) more affordable. Education is vital to a strong economy.
- Taking a human-rights approach to the issues of housing unaffordability and refugees. Australia’s leaders need to be fair and compassionate.
- Protecting our bushland and environment from overdevelopment and pollution by targeting plastic waste and Federally funding a rescue of the Lane Cove River catchment area.
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 & rollouts for more primary than high schools and both will face increased demand. Why have plans & implementations been reactive versus proactive?
- Education planning has been reactive because in Bennelong under the present government, housing supply for investment comes first, and everything else plays catch-up. I will intervene at to ensure education planning is streamlined through all levels of planning in the Bennelong area.
- I strongly support and have previously campaigned for the re-opening of the Peter Board high school site and Small Road school site. I will campaign strongly for an increase in public education funding in Bennelong, particularly for English-as-a-second language classes for recent migrants, and will also investigate the potential for resource-sharing between schools and TAFE, Council facilities, and other government property, to provide emergency improvements to local education capacity.
- I support the “full Gonski” needs-based levels of school funding. I think that education is a human right and should be free.
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?
- The reason for this is because Local Government planning is being overridden by the overdevelopment agenda of State Government (including via UrbanGrowth NSW and the Greater Sydney Commission). The reason State Government’s are able to do this is because Local Government does not exist in the Australian Constitution – they are the creation of the States, and thus they answer to the States. The Greens want to empower local communities to stand up to overdevelopment. That’s why we want to hold a Referendum to establish Local Government in the Australian Constitution.
- Aside from this overriding issue, I’ll be a strong and effective voice opposing overdevelopment and promoting better services and infrastructure in Epping. I’ve got qualifications in politics, development planning, and public policy – so I know what I’m up against!
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?
- The current high levels of population growth in Bennelong and greater Sydney is tied closely with the Government’s (growth-based) economic policy. Neither is sustainable, and neither will improve the lives of local residents. If you want to know who is approving the high-rise buildings, look no further than UrbanGrowth NSW (which answers to Anthony Roberts and Victor Dominello) and the Greater Sydney Planning Commission (which is run by Lucy Turnbull, our PM’s wife!)
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?
- The key to relieving our struggling roads is to give people a safe, convenient and affordable alternative to driving – not spending billions on privately-owned toll roads, or on ripping up existing services like our Epping-Chatswood rail line.
- My transport priorities for Bennelong include:
- A rail connection between Parramatta and Macquarie Park
- Better bus services, including continuous bus lanes and increased services for suburbs, right across Bennelong
- Safer cycleways, footpaths, and bridge-based road crossings, prioritising school routes.
9. 50.2% of Bennelong residents voted No to marriage equality. How would you have voted in the parliament?
- I’d vote yes. The Greens have and will always support marriage equality. For me, it is a simple matter of human rights – love is love, and if you don’t like same-sex marriage, then don’t get married to someone who is the same sex as you.
10. There were 27,000 complaints to the telecommunications industry ombudsman in 2016-17 about the NBN. How would you go about fixing it?
- Malcolm Turnbull has ruined the NBN. It will be expensive to fix, but it isn’t unfixable – we need to return to the basis that the Greens originally negotiated with Labor: based on Fibre-to-the-Premises technology, and structured as a non-profit government service.
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?
- Electricity prices are increasing for three reasons:
- Because the Government has privatised the generation, retail and distribution aspects of electricity – meaning customers face three separate mark-ups for profit.
- Because the Government has spent enormous amounts of time and money propping up the failing coal industry and suppressing the renewable energy industry.
- Because the Government has banked everything on gas being the key to our energy future, despite its environmental impact – but allowed it all to be sold offshore rather than kept for domestic use.
- The Greens want Australia to become a renewable energy superpower:
- To aim for 90% renewables by 2030. Homes and businesses will have a huge part to play in this, and will be fairly paid for the energy they produce and feed into the grid.
- To double energy efficiency over the next decade.
- To oppose privatisation and profiteering in the energy sector, and re-regulate energy prices.
11. What is your position on disability and aged care services and Medicare?
- DISABILITY: The Greens want a fully-funded NDIS, and access to a Disability Support Pension for all those who need it. We will invest in community mental health and specialist services for people living with a mental disability who are not eligible for NDIS, train more mental health nursing specialists, and adopt national suicide prevention targets.
- AGED CARE: Ensure in-house registered nurses 24/7. Crackdown on dodgy aged care providers. Promote planning for the aged. Increased funding for dementia research.
- HEALTH & MEDICARE: Commitment to universal public healthcare, and understanding that a good health system is one in which people get sick less often. Oppose Coalition’s $50 billion cuts to hospitals over the next decade, as well as the privation of healthcare. Integrate dental and allied health services into Medicare. Restrictions on junk-food advertising to children
CONTACT JUSTIN: firstname.lastname@example.org