I am running as an Independent in the ACT Legislative Assembly election. I believe a locally focussed Independent can bring attention to local issues that have are neglected by the major parties, while adding scrutiny to Canberra-wide issues.
As an Independent, I believe my strongest value will be in influencing how policies are made, regardless of what that policy is. I value evidence-based policy and strong community engagement.
Nonetheless, it is still helpful to understand what type of person I am. These are my policies and platforms, which speak to my values. However, as an Independent representative I also believe it is my duty to listen, understand and most importantly represent your point of view. I stand by my beliefs publically and am willing to discuss them with anyone, though I am always open to alternate points of view. I will admit if I didn’t have all the evidence to back up a particular position, and change my mind when presented with new evidence.
To truly speak with and for the people is core to being a member of the Legislative Assembly.
I believe every suburb should have the chance to develop a community focal point around local shops. Throsby’s small window of opportunity was recently spent on townhouses. Not all suburbs can sustain local shops, but the opportunity is vital.
Giralang shops – or at least the construction site that will one day be shops again – needs an anchor tenant. I will trial using the community co-operative model to bring something different and viable to Giralang.
The Labor-Greens coalition have used the Gungahlin Planning Refresh to remove the employment focus of the Gungahlin region, in direct opposition to both their own community consultation, and that of the Gungahlin Community Council. Gungahlin does not want to become a dormitory region for the other town centres. We want local employment opportunities for all demographics.
I will be calling for a comprehensive Gungahlin Roads and Traffic review. The review will identify problem intersections, traffic flow, wait times, congestion, and safety. Once identified, the review will also provide recommendations to address the entire town centre.
Public Transport is an important part of Canberra. For it to grow, it needs to be frequent, reliable, safe, and quick. Children should grow up knowing that using public transport is a normal part of life.
Mental health support in schools
The wait time for a student in public school to see the school psychologist is around 20 weeks. That is a whole semester waiting for an initial session. That is absolutely not good enough. The ratio of students to psychologists is over 500:1. That is absolutely not good enough.
Some young people struggle to fit into a mainstream school. There are many reasons, but when those reason push someone to criminal action, PCYC Canberra have an excellent track record of helping young people get back on track. I propose we relocate and expand the PCYC facility from Fyshwick to Gungahlin.
Police, crime, and safety
Adequate resourcing for police is important, but so is reducing crime through social programs. PCYC Canberra have an excellent track record of helping young people get back on track. I propose we relocate and expand the PCYC facility from Fyshwick to Gungahlin.
We all have the right to feel safe in our homes and communities. Gungahlin has experienced so much growth and has more to come, and we need to ensure our police are adequately resourced.
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.
Canberra should be an affordable place to live for everybody. Rates in Canberra have risen sharply since 2012, putting enormous pressure on ACT families.
If I am elected I will fight to lower rates by targeting wasteful spending, and demanding our fair share of revenue raised on NCA land.
Sports and Recreation
An Indoor Sports Facility was the most requested recreational infrastructure in a recent survey conducted by the Gungahlin Community Council. I propose a state-of-the-art Indoor Sports Centre is built in Casey, across from the Casey Market Town.
Many Gungahlin sports fields are not fit for purpose. The new Taylor fields were delivered with a visible mound in the middle. The Nicholls ovals are dangerously worn. Neither have women’s change facilities, and Taylor has no proper facilities at all! The Hall Bushrangers share both of these ovals because the Hall oval also has no facilities, including lights.
I will be introducing the ACT Active Kids program. School-enrolled children will be eligible to receive a $150 voucher towards club registration/membership for community sport.
Transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption measures for our ACT government
In this next term of government, I want to see better engagement from the Yerrabi MLAs. I know firsthand what support the GCC would benefit from, and am willing to provide it.
Politicians who block constituents on social media are not being accountable or transparent. They create an echo chamber and cannot properly represent the people they are meant to. I will stop Canberra politicians from unfairly blocking people on official channels.
An Independent Commission Against Corruption was a core part of my 2016 campaign. The Labor/Greens coalition has established an under-resourced Integrity Commission, and we must strengthen this.
Political donations are a problem. Donations might be buying influence and can easily encourage corruption. Not even playing by the rules guarantees transparency.
Gungahlin population projections indicate we need more school capacity at all year levels. The government is still not addressing college capacity. Gungahlin College runs classes until 8pm on Wednesdays to cope with enrolment levels.
In addition, schools in Kaleen and Giralang are needing attention, particularly with the development of Lawson.
Public education plays a vital role in Canberra’s prosperity. An informed and educated population is critical.
Gungahlin has grown to the point where we need additional health care resources. With the construction of a new hospital in Belconnen, Gungahlin is unlikely to get funding for one soon.
Active Travel is when you make the physical effort to get from from A to B, for example by cycling or walking. This can be your whole journey, or part of it. I am asking for your thoughts on active travel, particularly what stops you from choosing it more often.
Coping with COVID
We have all sacrificed so much in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will have an opportunity to emerge from this crisis with a new outlook on many aspects of life, but need to make sure we take the opportunities.
Certain liberties were taken from us along the way, such as being able to have friends visit, or the right to a trial by a jury of our peers. We must ensure to correct oversight for these measures that would be called overreaching in any other situation.