Can­di­dates’ Q&A

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Q1 What is your plan to im­prove pub­lic trans­port in the Strathbogie Shire Re­gion?

Q2 We are of­ten asked “How do we at­tract young peo­ple to our re­gion”? Our re­gion has much to of­fer, but em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties are lim­ited. How will you gen­er­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties that en­able small ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties to thrive eco­nom­i­cally, so­cially and sus­tain­ably?

Q3 What will you do to re­lieve in­creas­ing en­ergy costs for house­hold­ers/ busi­nesses, tackle cli­mate change and re­duce green­house gases?

Q4 What poli­cies do you have that will help our youth, and how so?

Q5 List the three big­gest is­sues you see in the Euroa elec­torate and ex­plain how you would ad­dress them?

STEPH RYAN THE NA­TION­ALS

A1 If elected to gov­ern­ment we will pur­chase new V/Loc­ity style trains to re­place our old and faulty rolling stock. That means fewer break­downs, more seats and a ser­vice that peo­ple can rely on. The trains will be or­dered next year and will be de­liv­ered within our first term of gov­ern­ment. Un­der our $19 bil­lion plan for re­gional rail, over the next decade we will up­grade the track to 160km/hr to cut travel times to and from Mel­bourne.

A2 The Na­tion­als’ de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion agenda will en­sure that more jobs are avail­able in the Strathbogie Shire. We will create a $1 bil­lion de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion fund to in­vest in the ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties need to grow jobs. The fund in­cludes a $100 mil­lion grants pro­gram that will be ac­ces­si­ble to small com­mu­ni­ties look­ing to ad­vance their lo­cal pri­or­i­ties. We also plan to es­tab­lish a $15 mil­lion Goul­burn Cor­ri­dor Au­thor­ity in Sey­mour to help at­tract new busi­nesses to the re­gion and will lower re­gional pay­roll tax to one per cent to make coun­try Vic­to­ria an at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion to do busi­ness.

A3 The Na­tion­als will re­duce liv­ing costs for house­holds. Low in­come house­holds with in­ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ances will be el­i­gi­ble for a 40 per cent dis­count on fridges and a 50 per cent dis­count on TVs to up­grade to en­ergy ef­fi­cient mod­els. A sim­i­lar scheme in NSW has saved house­holds an av­er­age of $325 a year. We will also bulk buy the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s en­ergy to bring an­other 500 megawatts of gen­er­a­tion onto the mar­ket, in­creas­ing sup­ply to drive down prices and of­fer so­lar pan­els to all pub­lic schools. In ad­di­tion to re­duc­ing en­ergy bills, we will help Vic­to­ri­ans strug­gling with liv­ing costs by re­duc­ing wa­ter bills by up to $100 a year.

A4 The Na­tion­als are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties and fund­ing for our youth to help im­prove their ed­u­ca­tion, health and well­be­ing. We will im­ple­ment the Free School Books for Stu­dents pro­gram which will pro­vide fund­ing to gov­ern­ment schools to pur­chase school text­books for stu­dents. This is ex­pected to save fam­i­lies an av­er­age of $476 per year off sec­ondary school fees. Youth across the re­gion will fur­ther ben­e­fit from a $295 dis­count for red P-Platers on their car reg­is­tra­tion. We will also ex­pand men­tal health ser­vices by pro­vid­ing $1.14 mil­lion in grants over four years.

A5 The Euroa elec­torate de­serve a train ser­vice they can de­pend on. No mat­ter which part of the elec­torate I’m vis­it­ing, I al­ways have peo­ple ap­proach­ing me with a train hor­ror story to share. Peo­ple are fed up with La­bor’s end­less list of ex­cuses re­gard­ing the North East line. The Na­tion­als’ will or­der new trains for the North East lines within our first term of gov­ern­ment. The Na­tion­als are fur­ther com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that peo­ple across the elec­torate have more af­ford­able ac­cess to health­care. Our $2.4 mil­lion com­mit­ment for pub­lic beds at Euroa Health will ben­e­fit thou­sands of Strathbogie res­i­dents. Our $16 mil­lion pledge to re­store the Coun­try Roads and Bridges Pro­gram will pro­vide $4 mil­lion to each coun­cil across the Euroa elec­torate – in­clud­ing $ 4 mil­lion for Strathbogie Shire Coun­cil – and help re­store our crum­bling roads.

FIONNA DEP­PELER-MOR­TON AUS­TRALIAN LA­BOR PARTY

A1 The La­bor Gov­ern­ment won the fight against the Lib­eral Na­tional Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to up­grade the North East line, and the La­bor Gov­ern­ment is build­ing the new trains for the North East. I’ll also ad­vo­cate to Trans­port Vic­to­ria for bet­ter bus con­nec­tions to get peo­ple where they need to go.

A2 La­bor’s Re­gional Jobs and In­fra­struc­ture Fund has made sure that we’re fund­ing the projects that com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses need to create jobs and drive growth, like the Kin­ross farm in Euroa and the Euroa Sa­le­yards up­grade. We’ll con­tinue to in­vest heav­ily in Euroa, back­ing new jobs and giv­ing the sup­port our hos­pi­tals, schools and TAFEs, and busi­nesses need. This stands in stark con­trast to the Na­tion­als and Lib­er­als, who cut and shut the ser­vices that so many coun­try Vic­to­ri­ans de­pend upon.

A3 La­bor has worked to cut bills for coun­try Vic­to­ri­ans over the last four years, from the $50 Power Sav­ing Bonus, sub­si­dis­ing so­lar pan­els and in­stalling bat­ter­ies or hot wa­ter sys­tems on 720,000 houses through the So­lar Homes pro­gram – driv­ing down en­ergy prices and green­house gas emis­sions. La­bor will in­crease Vic­to­ria’s Re­new­able En­ergy Tar­get (VRET) to 50 per cent by 2030, cre­at­ing thou­sands of jobs across coun­try Vic­to­ria, putting more en­ergy into the grid, and driv­ing down en­ergy prices. We’ll also ex­pand the half-price so­lar panel roll­out by in­vest­ing $82 mil­lion over 10 years, pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional 50,000 re­bates on so­lar pan­els for renters.

A4 We promised to save TAFE, af­ter the sav­age cuts from the Na­tion­als and Lib­er­als, La­bor is mak­ing TAFE bet­ter than ever; in­clud­ing by mak­ing pri­or­ity TAFE cour­ses and pre-ap­pren­tice­ship cour­ses free. Not only are we in­vest­ing in the projects and re­forms our state needs, we’re in­vest­ing in the young peo­ple we need to de­liver them. Our young peo­ple will get the sup­port they need with the An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment ex­pand­ing health and well­be­ing sup­port in to all gov­ern­ment sec­ondary schools and will put men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als in schools.

A5 Only La­bor has de­liv­ered per­ma­nent pub­lic beds for Euroa Health. La­bor has com­pletely re­built the Murchi­son Am­bu­lance Sta­tion, so paramedics have the modern fa­cil­i­ties they de­serve, and have de­liv­ered Nagam­bie’s first ever per­ma­nent 24-hour am­bu­lance ser­vice. Tatura is also set to get its own sta­tion with con­struc­tion on track to be com­pleted by mid-2019. Kil­more, Sey­mour, Euroa, Nagam­bie, Heath­cote, Broad­ford and Be­nalla health ser­vices have and are un­der­go­ing up­grades thanks to record in­vest­ment in health by the An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment. We have funded nearly $1mil­lion in up­grades to Euroa Sec­ondary Col­lege. A re-elected An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment will fund 3 year old kinder and Strathbogie will be one of the first to ben­e­fit from this Kinder­garten fund­ing.

DON FIRTH IN­DE­PEN­DENT

A1 My plan to im­prove pub­lic trans­port in the Strathbogie Shire Re­gion is the same plan I have for all re­gions in ru­ral and re­gional Vic­to­ria and that is to lobby for a new plan to achieve far greater in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity. Trans­porta­tion has been treated as an af­ter­thought for too long in the coun­try, it is im­per­a­tive that we get trans­porta­tion right so those who live and work here now and those that are com­ing can utilise the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture we have in our towns and re­gional ci­ties. V/LINE, Vic Roads, PTV and bus com­pa­nies all have to be in­volved.

A2 The an­swer to this ques­tion is very much re­lated and re­liant on im­proved trans­porta­tion, that is why I make rad­i­cal im­prove­ments in trans­port my num­ber one pri­or­ity in this elec­tion. We don’t have to at­tract young peo­ple to our re­gions we have to make it pos­si­ble for the ones who are here to stay here, and with the abil­ity to ac­cess the ed­u­ca­tion, work op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­ter­tain­ment that is ex­ist­ing they then have the op­tion, one I think many will se­ri­ously con­sider.

A3 I don’t be­lieve there is any short term fix to this, I know the elec­tri­cal in­dus­try pretty well hav­ing been an elec­tri­cal con­trac­tor in Be­nalla for over 30 years, any real con­trol over price was lost when the SEC was split up and sold. How­ever, I be­lieve what we can do to help all these points is to look at us­ing the cen­tre of Aus­tralia as the site for so­lar farms and state gov­ern­ments build the in­fra­struc­ture needed to con­nect to the na­tional grid. We need vi­sion­ary projects like this.

A4 I’m an in­de­pen­dent so I’m happy to say I don’t have poli­cies to help our youth or how I will do it, what I will do is lis­ten to our youth and their par­ents and their teach­ers and then work out how to tackle in­di­vid­ual is­sues that they have. I will deal with this is­sue the same as I ap­proach all is­sues, find out the real is­sues find the right peo­ple that have the ca­pac­ity to solve them and then put the 3 of us to­gether to solve the is­sue.

A5 Num­ber 1 is­sue is bet­ter pub­lic trans­port and I have cov­ered this in Q1. Num­ber 2 is­sue is one I think all lo­cal gov­ern­ments have on their pri­or­ity list, waste man­age­ment and the cost of it, we need a re­gional land­fill and far greater man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment of re­cy­cling sys­tems that in­cludes re­search and de­vel­op­ment of new and in­no­va­tive ways to deal with it. Num­ber 3 is hard to split from so many is­sues, but to me men­tal health has to be tack­led se­ri­ously and we have to get bet­ter out­comes for all our sakes.

KEPPEL CAS­SIDY AUS­TRALIAN GREENS

A1 The Greens have a fully costed and funded plan to put com­mu­ni­ties first, and create a trans­port net­work that all Vic­to­ri­ans can rely on, no mat­ter where you live. The avail­abil­ity of fund­ing for the North East train line and im­proved bus ser­vices is a mat­ter of pol­icy pri­or­ity. The Greens will re­verse decades of dam­ag­ing pri­vati­sa­tion by bring­ing our trans­port sys­tem back into pub­lic hands and create a Trans­port Su­per Agency for bet­ter plan­ning and co­or­di­na­tion, while en­sur­ing gen­uine lo­cal con­sul­ta­tion. This will shift the pri­or­ity from pri­vately op­er­ated toll roads in Mel­bourne to Vic­to­rian wide pub­lic trans­port in­vest­ment.

A2 The Greens have fully costed and funded poli­cies that will gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in re­gional Vic­to­ria. We have com­mit­ted to re­build­ing TAFE. TAFEs are best placed to pro­vide qual­ity ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences for stu­dents and we will guar­an­tee a min­i­mum of 70 per cent of gov­ern­ment vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing fund­ing for TAFE in­sti­tu­tions. This will at­tract pro­fes­sion­als to re­gional com­mu­ni­ties. We will re­store com­mu­nity men­tal health ser­vices (costed at $200 mil­lion over four years) so that men­tal health clin­i­cal ser­vices are de­liv­ered where peo­ple live.

A3 The Greens have a fully costed and funded plan to tran­si­tion Vic­to­ria to 100 per cent re­new­able en­ergy by 2030, and start to bring our en­ergy sys­tem back into pub­lic hands, where it be­longs. This will in­volve up­grad­ing the Vic­to­rian en­ergy trans­mis­sion net­work, which will un­lock a wind and so­lar rev­o­lu­tion across re­gional Vic­to­ria. We will phase out all coal plants in Vic­to­ria by 2030, with a com­pre­hen­sive plan to create new in­dus­tries. Our pub­licly owned elec­tric­ity re­tailer, Power Vic­to­ria, will op­er­ate for peo­ple, not profit, and bring elec­tric­ity prices down. Our costed So­lar for Ev­ery­one plan will put so­lar on all pub­lic schools and pub­lic hous­ing.

A4 The Greens will en­sure that there is a fu­ture for all of us by ad­dress­ing the cli­mate emer­gency. The Greens will in­vest $12 mil­lion to con­struct a new youth ded­i­cated clin­i­cal pre­ven­tion and re­cov­ery care fa­cil­ity and pro­vide $48 mil­lion over four years for ded­i­cated youth clin­i­cal men­tal health ser­vices. Youth home­less­ness is an is­sue through­out re­gional Vic­to­ria. We will also build 80,000 new pub­lic hous­ing homes over 12 years; again fully costed and funded. We will en­sure that 70 per cent of gov­ern­ment vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing fund­ing is given to TAFE in­sti­tu­tions who are best placed to pro­vide a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

A5 The Strathbogie re­gion has suf­fered from ter­ri­ble pub­lic trans­port ser­vices for too long. The Greens will create a fast, re­li­able and ef­fi­cient trans­port net­work that works for all Vic­to­ri­ans. Keep­ing young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity: the Greens will in­vest in ser­vices such as TAFE and men­tal health that young peo­ple need, and sup­port com­mu­ni­ties to de­velop lo­cal in­dus­tries to em­ploy more young peo­ple. The Strathbogie For­est is a place of spec­tac­u­lar bio­di­ver­sity, a home to many threat­ened species and a ma­jor tourist draw­card. The Greens are the only party com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the Strathbogie For­est from log­ging.

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