Pierre Masse – Greens for Lane Cove

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1. Tell us your name, electorate & political party.

Pierre Masse, Lane Cove, The Greens

2. Tell us a bit about yourself and what other “hats” you wear in your life. 

My original qualification was as a Pastry Chef. I have since become a TAFE teacher in pastry cooking, bread making, and confectionery. I am also an activist for Public Education and the rebuilding of TAFE which has nearly been killed off by both Labor and Liberal Governments, both at state and federal government level. I acknowledge Labor has now a stated policy to allocate a minimum of 70% Vocational Education and Training funds to TAFE. I am also a member of two environmental groups in Lane Cove (Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group, and Lane Cove Bushland Conservation Society).

3. Why are you running in this election and why should we vote for you?

I would like to represent my community in parliament, not developer driven agendas, and in the case of Sydney’s North, this means returning planning powers to councils. I would ensure that protecting our natural environment is front and centre of all my decision-making process, seriously tackle climate change by phasing out coal fired power stations and establishing PowerNSW (PowerNSW will build a 100% renewable energy supply for NSW by 2030 by commissioning one gigawatt of low cost, public renewable energy every year). I also want public schools to be the best they can be so parents don’t have to choose between their local underfunded, overcrowded, public school and private schools. I want to stop the mad building of outrageously expensive toll roads and, instead invest in public transport which could cost less than one toll road and achieve so much more for transport.

The NSW Greens have a suite of well developed policies available for all to see here https://greens.org.au/nsw/policies When a Green member gets elected to parliament, they are bound by these policies. With The Greens you know what you get. Beware the ’Independent’ candidates.

I also believe Parliaments should be filled with people from all walks of life, people like you and me. Not political staffers, career politicians, or apparatchiks.

4. What is your favourite spot in the area and why?

As I have lived in Lane Cove for a long time and in Sydney’s north for around 30 years, I will nominate a spot in Lane Cove (I am not familiar with the nice spots in Ryde). Lane Cove Plaza is my favourite. It is a rare (in Australia) example of a true European public square where people just hang out. For coffee, shopping, with their children on the play area next to the Lloyd Rees bandstand, without cars getting in the way. You also see democracy in action on the plaza; before election you can meet candidates, chat, and generally get engaged in the political process.

5. What do you believe are the 3 main issues affecting our area and why?

Surely, the huge growth in population without the services which are required in a well-functioning society.

Public transport is a concern all over Sydney, but Ryde and Putney are particularly poorly served by buses. I worked in Ryde for 27 years and it was always a struggle to commute to work.

And on public services, education.

6. If elected how would you address each of those 3 issues (both short term and long term)? 

The Greens are calling for a Royal Commission into planning in NSW, and should we be in a position to implement that after the election, we will do so without delay.

This taken from the Greens policy on transport: The Greens NSW believe in integrated, accessible, and efficient transport systems will lead to sustainability. State transport infrastructure and major services should be publicly owned and administered, and not run for profit. Maintaining and improving existing public transport infrastructure and services is vital for New South Wales. People have the right to inexpensive, efficient, accessible and safe public transport.

Should we be in a position to do so following the election, we will work on the above. We have also announced a plan to reduce Opal fares to $1.00.

The Greens NSW will work to make available to all the highest quality Early Childhood Education (ECE), ensure that government support for ECE prioritises affordability, quality and equity of access, and provide two years of free public pre-school for all children. Marsden High School must remain in its present location but refurbished so it can achieve its goal of the best education for all students. Meadowbank TAFE must not be turned into an education precinct. TAFE must be revived after 15 years of attacks and allowed to thrive again. Should another high school be required, and land is available (say, where the carparks are at Meadowbank TAFE – and there is a perfectly good train station next door), then this should be considered.

7. What are the 3 key things you plan to achieve if elected?

The establishment of a planning Royal Commission, establishing a world first public transport system, and achieving a 100% renewable energy NSW.

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?

The Greens will appropriately regulate outside school hours care services in NSW and the implementation of national standards for these services. In short, we believe after school care should be an essential service and be available to all.

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?

Stop the atrocious waste of money the LNP keeps spending on toll roads that fill up a few months after they open, and provide more buses and different routes, not just the old hub and spoke ones.

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?

Establish the planning Royal Commission. The Opal tower fiasco is a fine example of the dangers of privatisation. This is what you get when a government outsources almost all functions of government. Building certifiers should never be the builder’s cousin or brother-in-law. I friend once told me: Don’t get rid of red tape, red tape is all the regulations that prevents your neighbour’s building from falling over onto your house.

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?

The preservation of tree canopies, transitioning from coal to 100% renewable energy by 2030, saving and adding to existing green spaces. I recommend your members take the time to have a look at the NSW Greens policies as my answers here and above do not do justice to the extensive suite of policies.

And please remember, with The Greens what you see is what you get. Greens candidates who get elected are bound by the policies of the NSW Greens. With independents, you never know what you’re getting, or if they’re truly independent.