Name: Adam Blakester
Political party: Independent
Residence: Invergowrie, Uralla
What do you do for a living?
Sustainability specialist and CEO.
How long have you lived in the New England electorate?
I moved back 13 years ago after spending a lot of my childhood in Werris Creek and Gunnedah. All of my parents and grandparents, except one, were born in the region.
What is the best part of living in the New England electorate?
I spent five years researching where to live and chose to come back here because of the incredible diversity of our region. From the high country to the slopes and plains, from the cities to the farmland and forests, we have such a range of culture, livelihoods, farmland and nature.
I also love that we have our own distinct place and culture. We are far enough from the major cities to not be a satellite in their orbit. I know this has its challenges too, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Why are you running for the federal seat of New England?
I've been studying politics and government for nearly 40 years and have always intended to enter politics as the final stage of my working career.
The dysfunction of our parliament in the last decade has led me to put my hand up now. I'm appalled that the best interests of the country and our electorate are being lost in a battle-zone of egos, self-interest, leadership challenges and clear conflicts-of-interest dominated by big money, mining and business.
This is why we need an anti-corruption and integrity body to keep politicians honest.
Why are you qualified to be the elected member for New England?
I have a very broad career. I have worked in finance, business, environmental, social and community areas over the last 30 years, from local through to international roles. I have worked in dozens of governance and strategy roles with boards and committees.
Since moving back to the region thirteen years ago I have had a leading role in nearly $1/2Bn worth of projects coming to the region. These projects span business development, infrastructure, mental health, education, housing, rehabilitation, renewable energy, regenerative farming, reconciliation and environmental restoration.
In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues facing the New England electorate?
As an independent, my commitment is to work for the electorate. My team and I are researching the most pressing issues. These are outlined in the New England Policy Platform on my website.
Financially, we need to keep developing our economy and addressing cost of living issues. There are opportunities in tourism, regionalisation, energy, farming and education.
We need services to keep up and meet health, education, housing and transport needs. So too does our infrastructure (water, roads, rail, air, mobile, internet).
Our environment is also key, particularly for farming and our health. Addressing water security, climate and mining threats are key.
What is your message to the voters?
This is a really important election. I'm asking voters to take a bit of time to check out all the candidates before they vote. A huge amount has happened since the by-election, particularly the long list of failures and scandals which have become public about the incumbent member.
The New England needs a respectful, trustworthy and effective political representative and leader.
I invite voters to come along to one of the candidate forums and compare our performance.
I also invite voters to check out the policies and my background on my website.