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 Labor candidate Yvonne Langenberg's responses.
Do you think climate change is an urgent issue and what is your policy response to this issue?
1. Making Australia a renewable energy superpower by ensuring that 50 per cent of the nation's electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030, and empowering households and businesses to take advantage of cheap, clean renewable energy and storage.
2. Supporting the transition to cleaner and cheaper power by implementing Labor's National Energy Plan and ensuring an orderly transition for industries, communities and workers.
3. Boosting clean transport and infrastructure through Australia's first National Electric Vehicle Policy and implementing vehicle emission standards.
4. Kickstarting Australia's hydrogen economy with a $1 billion plan to create new jobs, support new businesses and supercharge Australia's renewable energy industry.
5. Cutting pollution by extending the safeguard mechanism to bring down pollution from Australia's biggest polluters, in line with our international obligations, while supporting jobs and competitiveness.
6. Reducing pollution on the land by reinvigorating the Carbon Farming Initiative to supply carbon offsets and reduce pollution on the land.
7. Increasing energy efficiency by implementing a comprehensive Energy Productivity and Efficiency Review and through measures like our Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Accelerator program, harmonising state energy efficiency schemes and allowing ARENA to invest in energy efficiency projects.
8. Restoring Australia's climate change institutions by restoring and reforming the Climate Change Authority and implementing triennial Climate Change Assessments.
Despite all rhetoric, energy prices continue to rise, how do you plan to reduces prices?
Privatisation without any rules did not work. Prices have gone up by 15 per cent.
1. Labor will introduce a new regulated capped offer to the market - protecting families and small business from price gouging - and will force energy retailers to introduce simple, honest and transparent pricing so consumers can find the best deal.
The default price will be set independently in each jurisdiction, and the Australian Energy Regulator will be tasked with working with the states, the ACCC, agencies, industry and unions to deliver these reforms which will apply in non-price regulated National Electricity Market (NEM) jurisdictions. This will directly benefit 1.2 million households with their annual electricity bill from $165 upwards. A small business will save up to $1500 according the ACCC.
2. Encourage the uptake of household solar and battery systems by setting a target of one million household battery systems by 2025 and providing a $2,000 rebate for 100,000 households on incomes of less than $180,000 per year to purchase and install battery systems, as well as low-cost loans for households.
Establish a Neighbourhood Renewables Program to ensure renters and social housing residents can benefit from cheaper and cleaner renewable energy.
How are you going to achieve water security for our electorate in the short and long term?
No water, no viable activity-commercial or private, no economy in this region.
The [former] federal minister for water Niall Blair doesn't think there is an issue for our region. There have been some vague promises made by Barnaby Joyce for Chaffey dam in 2016 with no results. I intend to revisit the existing plans and access the promised funds.
Return to effective and transparent water buy back when necessary. The government is not to encourage the multi-billion-dollar water trading industry by facilitating private enterprises selling water with no regard to the value of the water and its purpose.
Plan for water recycling and assist in as efficient irrigation practices as possible. There are already commercial water recycling enterprises in other parts of the world. We need to learn from that.
What is your plan to bring new jobs to the region?
The Government local procurement plan:
The Federal Government spends $50 billion every year on goods and services and Labor wants to see that investment spent on local businesses and local jobs
Restoring local services, improving hospital services. Funding schools appropriately according to need.
Removing the employment cap for NDIS and spending the $1.6 billion underspent by the Liberal National government causing serious backlogs.
Boosting and supporting TAFE to assist with skill shortages and making it mandatory that 70% of vocational training that have government support is delivered by TAFE
The extensive renewables platform will create high demand or workers and skills training,
We're in the middle of an ongoing drought, how do you plan to support farmers and businesses?
After six years of policy failure, the Morrison Government rushed the Future Drought Fund legislation through the Parliament in one Parliamentary sitting week, despite the fact the fund will not fund any projects until 2020/21.
Labor will not wait until 20/21 to take decisions on spending measures.
1. We will establish a Panel of Guardians for the Program, to advise government on policy design and implementation strategies within the first 60 days office and put it immediately to work.
The Panel of Guardians will include:
A representative of a national farm leadership group.
A leading soils and environmental science expert.
A water projects and water efficiency expert.
A leading economist.
The Soils Advocate.
The Chair or CEO of the Council of RDCs.
The Secretary of the relevant CoAG Committee.
The Panel will report to the Minister for Agriculture and will be asked to provide a detailed plan within 12 months.
2. Restore the CoAG process for drought reform and dispatch Australia's agriculture-based Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to help farmers build defences against the impacts of an increasingly variable climate.
Barnaby Joyce abolished the COAG process for drought reform with now more than five years of policy development being wasted.