After becoming more familiar with the eight candidates for New England, The Northern Daily Leader has found out where they all stand on key issues.
Here are Christian Democrat Party candidate Julie Collins' responses.
Do you think climate change is an urgent issue and what is your policy response to this issue?
The Christian Democratic Party Policy supports sound research, coal mining with the aim to transition towards renewable energy. Sound research may support that climate change is an urgent issue, however climate change is not reliant exclusively to Australia's response. I agree that we as a nation could have and can do more in regard to emissions. I believe that we need to be carrying out research, utilising our universities and making international alliances so we can be at the forefront of how to understand the detail of the data to survive climate change.
Despite all rhetoric, energy prices continue to rise, how do you plan to reduces prices?
Renewable energy is the way of the future. Legislative changes have come about in this nation as a direct result of CDP lobbying. The CDP has, through Fred Nile and his tenacity, an incredible legacy of influence and change over major party policy. CDP supports legislative changes to alleviate the burden on the economically marginalised through this process.
Renewable energy must be a part of the future through comparative examinations of all methods of electricity generation to discover the most environmental friendly and cost effective mix of generation of electricity so as to support a strong base load capacity that is capable of increasing that capacity as new technologies come on line that will increase he demands of electricity.
How are you going to achieve water security for our electorate in the short and long term?
The CDP is committed to ensuring our planet is looked after as is required by God in Genesis. We need to be addressing the possible need for an independent water commission advisory panel and increase transparency (the makeup of this panel is most important). We must make choices over the use of this valuable resource of water and it may mean some current water consuming industries may need to be relocated to a more reliable water supply. Long term research centres specific to the region need to be established so that our region can become a leader globally and we want to embrace much of the water saving practices that other nations at the forefront have established and build upon it with technological advancement developed here.
What is your plan to bring new jobs to the region?
We need to be reassessing the existing immigration laws to ensure that professionals are committed to rural Australia for the long-term whilst creating opportunities by innovation involving strategic partnerships, promoting our regions diverse attributes. We need to support rural communities by supported decentralisation programs of both government and businesses via high speed transport links and other resources necessary for the community to be involved and at the forefront within the business and technology sphere of our nation. Communication and technology are key.
We're in the middle of an ongoing drought, how do you plan to support farmers and businesses?
Care of our people is always the first priority of the CDP ensuring the immediate welfare of the real face of the drought and those suffering it's effects is paramount.
The CDP Policy proposes support of our local farmers through:
a) the introduction of 100% tax deductibility in the year of expenditure for primary producers investing in assets and infrastructure to enhance drought preparedness and;
b) the availability of other means-tested incentives (such as supported low interest loans for the term of the loan, investment rebates and grants) to encourage farmers to implement drought preparedness strategies. CDP supports the consideration of desalination infrastructure to be made available to farmers. CDP also supports further building of off river dams in NSW so that the river flow will remain as healthy as possible. The CDP supports indigenous and local input and all sound research the CDP has always and will continue as in the past to adopt policy stances in accordance. The use of water by large businesses that may not be deemed as urgent as food production and processing may have to be reduced until the drought breaks and recovery from this drought is under way - we will take expert advice on that direction, but will put it in the mix of possible directions for real solutions.
I will continue to consult widely with experts and the CDP on our local needs and issues, to strengthen all as much as possible the people in the New England Electorate, so as promote economic growth encourage research and work with existing local organisations to protect the vulnerable including women and children in our community.