Your age and experience in politics?
“I founded Sustainable Australia in 2010 and successfully built it into a federally registered party with around 2000 members across Australia, now including Dick Smith!
“Our NSW State party will be registered by Christmas in order to also contest the upcoming State election including local seats in New England.”
What is your heritage and citizenship status?
“Australian-born, like all of my parents and grandparents.”
Why are you running?
“I am running to increase awareness of our independent, centrist party in New England and to build a strong relationship between Sustainable Australia and regional NSW. We are asking both for people’s vote and their voice, on important local and national issues.”
What are the top three issues the electorate is facing?
“New England needs: Secure jobs in a more diverse economy, by adding value to manufacturing and agricultural production, and investing in small business entrepreneurship; A sustainable environment with no CSG/fracking or coal mines; Stop the Barnaby Joyce-endorsed sale of New England agricultural land and assets to foreign buyers.”
New England needs: Secure jobs in a more diverse economy, by adding value to manufacturing and agricultural production, and investing in small business entrepreneurship; A sustainable environment with no CSG/fracking or coal mines; Stop the Barnaby Joyce-endorsed sale of New England agricultural land and assets to foreign buyers.William Bourke on what New England needs
Why should people vote for you?
“Australians are sick of politicians (from the professional, political class) stuffing up and selling off our country. Sustainable Australia is an independent, centrist party that can work with either side of politics to deliver secure jobs, affordable housing, better planning (including infrastructure), and a sustainable environment and population. If Dick Smith joined, you know he’s onto a good thing!”
Our survey has found renewable energy to be a big concern in the region, what are policies around renewable energy?
“We need to take three simple steps to secure affordable energy for all Australians:
“1. Reserve our natural gas for domestic use;
“2. Stabilise energy demand by also ending Australia’s rapid population growth, which is mainly driven by extreme levels of immigration (this should be lowered from over 200,000pa back to the long term average of 70,000pa);
“3. Invest in more renewable energy and transition over a sensible timeframe that ensures we maintain reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability.”
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How do you propose to bring more jobs to the electorate?
“As noted above, New England needs secure jobs in a more diverse economy, by adding value to manufacturing and agricultural production, and investing in small business entrepreneurship. At the moment, our national economy is too reliant on big city property construction and speculation, and our national economic capital is encouraged into that unsustainable segment by bad government tax concessions (negative gearing, capital gains tax discounts), foreign buyers and rapid population growth (very high immigration). All of this needs to be reformed so that our economic capital is re-allocated away from property speculation and back into our factories, farms and small businesses. Regional Australia would be the big beneficiary of this macro-economic reform.”
What is your view of the NBN?
“The NBN is critical to achieving economic development and prosperity in New England. A quality product must be delivered efficiently and cost-effectively. As we campaign around New England in our mobile office ‘Voter Van’, we rely on wireless broadband to do our business. We understand the need for quality internet and telecommunications in regional Australia.”
Where do you stand on the balance between the region's mining and agriculture industries?
“Agriculture provides sustainable jobs and must be the priority over mining, which although important, should not be dominating our national or regional economy as it is inherently unsustainable.”