Green Party candidate
The most prominent and immediate to me are water quality and the prolific use of meth and other pernicious drugs.
We are not able to swim in our rivers without having a one-in-20 chance of being sick. In everything the Green Party does, we look at the source of the problem. We need to stop subsidising intensive farming with a $450 million dollar irrigation scheme and use that money to make rivers swimmable. We will look at herd numbers – nutrients from cows seeping through the ground into rivers and aquifers. We will work with farmers to make this economically viable. The reason we have chlorine now is poor infrastructure. We will place a levy on water bottled exports of 10c per litre and half of that revenue will be ringfenced for water infrastructure maintenance.
As for drugs – legalise cannabis. Those who peddle high-risk drugs are normally gangs. Where do people go to buy cannabis? These same environments. I would estimate a decent share of meth-dealers money also comes from cannabis. And if large amounts of people are going to partake anyway, we should have regulated access to a low-risk drug rather than propping up gangs and getting who-knowswhat in their product. It’s not a silver bullet by any means, but it’s a start.