Candidate: Richard Stretton

Filed in Recent News by November 29, 2017 has sent each of the 17 candidates in the upcoming by-election for the seat of New England a series of questions and we will publish their responses so you can compare each candidate. As each candidate responds we will publish their answers. You can click on 2017 New England By-Election to read more about each candidate.


20171129RichardStretton1. What do you think are the priorities for the people of the Upper Hunter area?

I believe that the primary issues for the upper hunter are Mining (protection of agricultural land), Coal Seam Gas (protection of the land owners right to deny access) and the completion of the hunter expressway from Branxton to the Murrurundi Pass ASAP.

Broader national issues include de-centralization (bring the population back to regional Australia) and foreign ownership of Australian land (this land was bought with the blood of our forefathers and cannot be sold for cash).


2. What are you major policies?

De-centralization. I would only support government spending in regional areas (particularly in this electorate). Put the money where you want the people to go and they will follow.

Protection of aged care, particularly the pension (for Australian citizens only). Put the politicians on the same pension package as the rest of the population and you will find the average Australian will have a much better outcome.

Power generation. We are on the verge of a power crisis with insufficient supply and increasing prices. We must encourage private power generation to the grid by managing the power sell/buy price.


3. Where do you live?

I have lived in Singleton for the last 22 years where I have raised my family of 1 wife and 2 kids (now adults). My daughter completed a degree in Zoology at the University of New England and my son is currently completing Civil Engineering at Newcastle University.

I do realise that Singleton is JUST south of the electorate border but should I have the privilege of representing the people of New England I would be happy to move further north into the electorate.


4. Would you support funding for an in town rail overpass in Scone?

I would support (enforce if possible) the completion of the hunter expressway through to Murrurundi ASAP and whatever is best suited to that plan in the by-pass of Scone. I believe it would be a great waste of funds if a rail overpass was completed without it integrating with the expressway. Of course if this electorate remains a safe seat the expressway extension is decades away.


5. Would you change section 44? Why/Why not?

No I would not support a change to section 44 of the constitution. I believe that any leader of this nation should be 100% Australian and that the section 44 was placed there for good reason. I do believe that the Australian Electoral Commission should be held at least partly accountable for the position that we are now in. It is the AEC that provides the paperwork for a candidate’s application on which this condition is stated and it should be part of their role to check the candidate’s qualification, particularly if that candidate is successful.


6. Would you support a bill for voluntary euthanasia?

No I would not support voluntary euthanasia in its current form. I believe that the deliberate taking of a life from conception to natural death is murder (a few exceptions such as war). This does not mean that I oppose the availability of SELF ADMINISTERED doses of morphine or equivalent. This must not be coerced or encouraged. Life is precious, life is a gift to be cherished, even through the pain.


7. Do you support coal seam gas development?

I do not support CSG in its current form due to technical issues. One of these issues is the long term integrity of bore casing which could be overcome with the use of stainless steel, I do not support the use of fracking with toxic chemicals but this may also be overcome with other options. If we can access gas without endangering the water table we should do so. In all cases I DO support the land owners right to deny access to private property. I also believe that mining and gas should only be available to Australian companies.


8. Would you reopen/establish more federal government services in the Upper Hunter area such as the Medicare office?

As mentioned earlier, I would encourage or enforce the location of any new government offices be placed in regional areas. Put the money, jobs and services where you want the people to go, not necessarily where they are. This is the exact opposite of what both parties of government have been applying for many years. This is precisely why the population of regional Australia is dropping and must be reversed. Private industries should be encouraged into regional areas by government policy such as tax incentives.


9. Would you support mining in the Upper Hunter area?

CDP is not opposed to mining in general but we are opposed to the mining of agricultural land. Mining provides high short term returns but leaves land that is unviable for the long term. Agriculture on the other hand provides a lower short term return but can do it indefinitely. It is true that we can’t eat coal. Marginal land must be evaluated on a case by case basis. Most of the Liverpool Plains is prime agricultural land.


10. What would you do to create jobs and growth in the Upper Hunter area?

The provision of local jobs has been covered in question 8. To force government jobs into the area and to encourage private sector industries into the area. Please don’t give your primary number 1 vote to either major party as both have proven over a long time to be working in the opposite direction. Don’t listen to what they say look at what they have done.


11. Will you support the gay marriage bill?

I do not support the SSM bill but since the results are in I will work to protect the rights of all to free speech and for any private service provider to deny service to anyone they choose. I doubt that the pro SSM movement would have been as obliging if the NO vote had the majority. God’s laws are not flexible according to the public opinion of the day.


12. Will you support religious protections?

Yes I do support an internal renewable energy target (not necessarily the ones on the table at the moment). I do not support any carbon trading scheme through which Australian carbon funds are used outside of Australia. I believe that with the right incentives and power pricing structures, private Australians can pull us out of this energy crisis with clean energy to the benefit of all involved.


13. Do you think there should be a renewable energy target? Why/why not?

I think that tax overhaul is required across many levels. The majority of the tax burden is carried by working class Australians while big business pays by percentage of income very little tax. That is a short answer to very complex problem. Small business (less than 10M income) should be encouraged with lower tax rates while larger businesses should be discouraged from becoming too big by an incrementally increasing tax rate.


14. Do you think the company tax rate should be lowered? Why/why not?

There are three different issues that tend to be bundled under the term refugee. The different issues are:


15. What do you propose should be done with refugees?

CDP supports.    LEGAL IMMIGRANTION   at a level to be determined by the Australian people, of people who have proven to be of good character and willing to fit with Australian culture.

CDP does not support.   ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION as this group have chosen to avoid the readily available option of legal immigration, proving bad character.

CDP supports genuine REFUGEES as temporary haven and this should be provide as close as possible to their homeland to which they will return.


16. The majority of federal road funding goes to Sydney, what do you proposed to do to get more funding for the New England and where would you spend it?

This is covered in question 8. Put the good jobs, the good services, the good roads etc where you want the people to go. Federal funding is for federal highways of which this electorate has many. The cities have relative few federal highways per capita and the federal government should not be supporting good infrastructure in areas where we do not want to increase the population further (the cities). If the local city governments cannot afford good infrastructure in the cities let it determinate and the people will leave (and move to the country).


17. What would you do to make housing more affordable?

This issue has many areas to be addressed but one major one is foreign ownership. Only Australian citizens to own Australian land (this should be a no-brainer). This issue alone would have a substantial impact on house prices. Tax structures to provide negative gearing limits also need to be addressed but that is complicated as it also needs to apply to general businesses without excessive consequences. Plus move to the country, it’s cheaper.