WE ASK THE CANDIDATES: WHAT ARE YOU OFFERING THE PARKES ELECTORATE?
WE ASK THE CANDIDATES
Six candidates will contest the seat of Parkes on Saturday, May 18, including the sitting member, Mark Coulton. Dubbo Photo News asked each candidate to explain what they offer the people of the Parkes Electorate. They appear here in the same order they are listed on the ballot paper. Daniel Jones, Liberal Democrats
I offer my networking skills. (As a taxi driver) I have been selling Dubbo for a long time to tourists and visitors from around our nation and the world – telling them that Dubbo is a great place to live, raise a family and start a business.
Recently, I met a gentleman in the taxi from the Premier’s Department. His role was to find funding for regional and remote areas. (This type of role should be translated to the whole electorate at a federal level. I can achieve this with) my communication, listening and feedback skills.
I understand that the Parkes electorate is very orientated around primary producers and the farming community. If it was not for our farmers, we would all be farmers or living a hunter-gather lifestyle.
Ultimately, it would be better if we could encourage people, especially young people, to gain the necessary skills and provide support for them to start a business. However, juggling the demands of life adds many demands – from paying for a home whilst the goalposts are moving due to house prices, to raising a family and educating children.
Small business can receive grants like the farming community. Although they are not hardship grants, moreso grants that are taxed. Small businesses can take advantage of grants from business.gov.au and check with the Australian Taxation Office which currently provides Small Business Tax Concessions for businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million, and the Small Business Income Tax Offset with a $5 million turnover threshold. Capital gains concessions have also been increased to $10 million.
Mark Coulton, The Nationals
I’ve delivered on my promises for the past 11 years as Member for Parkes, and I have a vision for a strong and secure future for this electorate.
It has been a great privilege to be your local MP, and as I travel throughout Western NSW, it is heartening to see the positive impacts we have made to people’s lives. There is always more to do, and given the opportunity, I will work tirelessly on the issues that matter most to you.
I think voters know that come May 18, they have a very important choice to make between me and the alternative, which would have a devastating impact on rural and regional communities – we simply can’t afford to take such a risk. Projects like the Inland Rail are game-changing for this region, and I intend to be here to see these transformative projects through.
This region is full of opportunity for those who are willing to have a go, and those people will be rewarded by a Coalition Government. We’ll continue to make this a wonderful place to live by investing in critical infrastructure and services such as the Western Cancer Centre. I fought hard to secure a $25 million Federal Government commitment to make this dream a reality.
I have also been working to drive down unemployment, maximise rural and regional connectivity through improved mobile coverage, and ensure our farming communities have the support they need to prosper. I am as excited and optimistic as ever about what lies ahead for Western NSW. •••
David Paull, The Greens
My message to voters is that it is time now for a change in the accountability of our political representatives. They are our servants. We have to take the agenda back to the citizen and not the multi-national companies. We have to take better care of our people, land and water because future generations deserve no less.
I am running to show the electorate that the Greens have a positive vision for the future and will be working in the next parliament to address the most pressing issues facing the electorate, which are water security, declining land quality, services for towns, welfare, gas and mining, renewable transition, and sovereignty for Indigenous people.
A just transition to a job-secure, 100 per cent renewable energy future. No more coal and gas approvals as they not only damage our climate future, but damage our water security, agricultural viability and land values.
The Murray Darling Basin Authority and Plan needs to be revised.
The Australian Greens will create a Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and develop a climate smart plan for our agricultural sector.
The Uluru Statement was shamefully ignored last year by the LNP. Sovereignty of First Nation People needs to be acknowledged so Australia can move forward as a healed nation.
(Other priorities include) investment in young people and their careers, working to increase TAFE funding, increasing levels of welfare payments by 50 per cent, investment in careers in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, investment in universal childcare, and to increase funding for public schools.
Jack Ayoub, Labor
I want to see the regions get their fair share. Whether it is an extra $34 million for the schools across the electorate or rebuilding TAFE and ending the abuse of 457 visas. Protecting our water resources from mining and mismanagement. Together we can achieve so much for our communities.
My priority is the betterment of the lives of those who live in the Parkes electorate. Politics is the means by which we achieve change, not the goal within itself. Your hope will be my hope, your fears my fears. Together we can achieve so much.
The most common issues and comments heard from locals across the electorate is absolutely the protection of the Murray Darling tied in with climate change.
I want to see that we make sure the MDBP works for communities, the environment and industry, and that we protect the Menindee Lakes.
How galling is it that the Nationals have announced the construction of a fish hatchery in Menindee, the sight of the most important natural fish hatchery in the country, the lakes, which they destroyed.
I am firmly of the view that we need a Royal Commission into the MDBP. There exist serious legal and ethical questions about the conduct of those in the National and Liberal party when it comes to the management of the plan. If elected I will marshal all my power to see that we get to the bottom of this and safeguard the river system for the future.
My vision is to do all we can to ensure that our regions are maintained and grow. This means ensuring we have top quality schools and hospitals and that we protect and properly manage our water resources to keep agriculture alive.
Will Landers, Independent
Our current member won’t face up to the tough issues. For years, voters of the Parkes electorate haven’t been listened to and have been treated with contempt.
The ongoing inaction, ignorance and arrogance of the National Party is now threatening the businesses and livelihoods of our communities.
The Nationals’ loss of state electorates shows how strongly voters feel about wanting a change. The concept of a ‘protest vote’ is real and powerful.
Voters want another option. I’m standing to provide that alternative.
I want the Nats to know that they cannot continue to ignore the sentiment of the electorate without being challenged.
The Liberal/nationals’ assumption that regional people are either not interested or not understanding of national issues that impact them is clear from the representation we’ve seen for years. It’s time to demand proper representation.
Our Indigenous communities need proper representation at a Federal level. The challenges our Indigenous communities face aren’t going to improve unless efforts are led by these communities themselves.
I want to make the seat of Parkes as marginal as possible so that politicians can see that they need to work harder for us.
Transparency in decision-making is a long-standing issue. Nats and government generally aren’t answering reasonable questions and providing explanations into decisions that are impacting us.
We need someone with the courage and sensibility to stand up for what’s going to look after us and our families for the long term. Our towns could grow if decisions aren’t made on an election cycle timeframe.
Petrus Van Der Steen, United Australia Party
My key promise is that I will look at common sense solutions, implementation of those solutions and to put the interests of all Australians first.
That means that I will fight tooth and nail for our local communities and make sure that any decision or idea will be looked at, to determine how it benefits our people first. Nothing’s off the table.
As none of the current parties seem to care, I got fed up and put up my hand up to bring back true representation.
I’m not an idealist, but a realist with a common sense approach, something the other parties have lost a long time ago. I do not follow an ideology but want what’s good for ALL Australians, not just the select few.
When I travel around the electorate, all these issues are being highlighted by our constituents with the comment that they’re not being heard by our government, which has added desperation and frustration with them.
The United Australia Party is just as fed up and demands action instead of endless gas bagging.
My message to our voters is simple: Without your vote we cannot achieve what we propose.
The only way to achieve all of this is to vote massively for the United Australia Party, so we can give these mugs a thong slap and send them on their way!
We put Australia first in everything we do! A landslide will do. I would like to bring back true representation for the people of Parkes, something that has been AWOL for years. The forgotten people are no more forgotten and will be heard!