Wesley Folitarik | Sustainable Australia

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1. What do you love most about Bennelong?

I love the cultural diversity of the area and the availability of various high quality international cuisines and eateries.

 

2. Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself that we might not know. (Let’s make it fun & light-hearted!)

  • I have a three year old son and we are expecting our second son early in the new year. If the first one is anything to go by, then two will ensure our hands are very full!
  • I play for the local West Epping cricket club, as a recognised batsman, and equally recognised for failing to trouble the scorers!
  • I drive on Sydney’s very congested roads to and from work for nearly three hours per day, which gives me a fantastic opportunity to listen to many audio books!

 

3. Which single issue affecting Bennelong is your highest priority to address? And how would you fix it?

Planning.

I am a professional urban planner and a passionate advocate for my community in Bennelong having a greater say on their future to ensure better, not bigger development.

We need better planning that empowers local communities to be more involved in planning decisions through local citizen juries that determine reasonable development levels. Further policy details here:

www.sustainableaustralia.org.au/planning_development

 

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.

These are both our short term and long-term goals:

Established from the political centre, Sustainable Australia have a positive plan to secure an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia.

To meet our aims, we have developed a comprehensive policy platform, detailed below. This includes four major policy priorities:

  1. Secure jobs in a more diverse economy
  2. Affordable housing for first home buyers and renters
  3. Better planning to save our cities, suburbs and towns from overdevelopment
  4. Sustainable environment and population

Further details here:

www.sustainableaustralia.org.au/policies

 

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 & implementations been reactive versus proactive?

Our approach is to give local communities a greater say on local planning so that they can ensure infrastructure is delivered before more housing, as per the abovementioned policies around planning and population.

 

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?

See answers above around planning and population.

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?

We believe that Australia and Bennelong should greatly slow population growth, and are calling for a national population plebiscite to return to a more sustainable level of immigration (from over 200,000 pa back to the long term average of 70,000).

 

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 and time-consuming?

We would like to see greater investment in public transport, along with much slower population growth.

 

9. 50.2% of Bennelong residents voted No to marriage equality. How would you have voted in the parliament?

Sustainable Australia recognises that this is an important moral issue. We also support the democratic process that was undertaken and I believe that we should support the majority decision of the Australian people. The will of the Australian people should be legislated. Given the very even split in Bennelong, the broader will of the Australian people should be supported.

 

10. There were 27,000 complaints to the telecommunications industry ombudsman in 2016-17 about the NBN. How would you go about fixing it?

NBN has been used as a political football by the two major parties. Sustainable Australia believes that we must avoid further wastage of public money and explore opportunities for emerging broadband technology such as 5G wireless technology to deliver reliable, fast and cost-effective broadband access for Bennelong and all Australians.

 

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 plans for renewable energy if elected?

  • Reserve Australian natural gas for domestic use
  • Invest in renewable energy
  • End Australia’s rapid population (local demand) growth

 

12. What is your position on disability and aged care services and Medicare?

We support equality of services and opportunities for all Australians.

 

CONTACT WESLEY: hq@sustainableaustralia.org.au