scone.com.au 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.
1.What do you think are the priorities for the people of the Upper Hunter area?
- Employment for the unemployed,
- Electricity prices,
- Good reliable, inexpensive internet connection (NBN),
- Education, training and skills,
- Balancing prime agricultural land with mining interests.
2. What are you major policies?
- Significant changes downwards to politicians’ remuneration, expenses and superannuation;
- Establishment of a Federal ICAC;
- Welfare to Work (employment for the unemployed);
- Seniors policies on Health, Aged Care, Retirement Income, and Housing
3. Where do you live?
Sydney. I would move to New England if I were elected to represent the people of New England.
4. Would you support funding for an in town rail overpass in Scone?
Yes. According to the RMS website relating to the Scone highway bypass, the proposed plan includes a road over rail bridge. The current railway crossing is an ongoing safety issue and an issue for emergency vehicle access to both sides of the line.
I understand the public was consulted, the plan took into account submissions made, and state and federal governments have allocated $120 million for the projects.
I would always work with local council and State MPs to understand fully community concerns, interests, and benefits of any project, and to have sufficient funding for priority New England projects.
5. Would you change section 44? Why/Why not?
I do not advocate changing section 44. It is right and proper that a member of parliament have allegiance to one country only, with that country being Australia.
These and other outstanding constitutional issues – eg indigenous recognition, the powers of federal and state parliaments, the accountability of politicians etc – should be referred to an elected constitutional convention of citizens – for recommendations – in the manner by which Australia became a federation.
Politicians were unable to reach agreement on the federation of Australia. It occurred because of a citizens’ convention at Cowra in 1893.
6. Would you support a bill for voluntary euthanasia?
Although this is a state issue for NSW, I do NOT support such a bill. I believe in appropriate palliative care and pain management. I also believe that while some people may make a rational decision to end their lives, such a bill would lead to family members or third parties making that decision when the person in question is unable to do so, or decision-making is beyond their capabilities.
7. Do you support coal seam gas development?
I support all mining where appropriate environmental safeguards are in place and mining is properly regulated. I also support CGS if it is approached and conducted with a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, full disclosure of facts, and with significant benefits to the community and to Australia.
8. Would you reopen/establish more federal government services in the Upper Hunter area such as the Medicare office?
I would certainly attempt to decentralise bureaucracy as much as possible, in order to bring the occupants of Canberra out of their bubble and into the real world.
I agree with the attempt to move the APVMA to Armidale, but the refusal of up to 50 scientists and researchers to move, demonstrated by their resignations, is evidence for, and symptomatic of the lack of consultation, poor government and bureaucratic decision-making, and abysmal failure of project planning and implementation that has occurred with many major and costly infrastructure projects over the past ten years.
9. Would you support mining in the Upper Hunter area?
Yes. But only after comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is carried out where prime agricultural land is valued against the short to medium-term value of the mine, after extensive community consultation, and after the clear demonstration of wide and long-term benefits to local communities and to Australia – and with realistic and enforceable environmental restoration plans.
10. What would you do to create jobs and growth in the Upper Hunter area?
All politics is local. However, no MPs, federal or state, work with businesses and with the unemployed in their electorates. My plan is to engage with the 19,727 businesses and the 4,425 unemployed (latest census) in New England, and with CentreLink, to marry up the unemployed with businesses on an ‘internship’ or ‘Welfare to Work’ programme – an initiative of Seniors United Party of Australia. There would be no cost to business and the unemployed would receive their unemployment benefits as ‘salary’. This would introduce many unemployed to the dignity, self-esteem, financial independence and community engagement that employment brings.
11. Will you support the gay marriage bill? Will you support religious protections? Why/why not?
I voted NO to gay marriage and I support religious freedoms and the right of clergy to refuse to marry gay couples.
12. Do you think there should be a renewable energy target? Why/why not?
No. Since 2007, government interference in energy markets via RETs and huge subsidies for renewable energy operators have distorted the market and contributed to the five-fold increase in electricity prices, disconnections for more than 100,000 households and businesses, financial stress for more than 250,000 households and businesses, base load unreliability, blackouts, and the threat of further blackouts. RET subsidies cost $3 billion a year, and are projected to cost $60 billion by 2030. This is an unsustainable injury (costs) inflicted on consumers and tax payers, with the added insult of power generation failure. This failure of government is criminal.
13. Do you think the company tax rate should be lowered? Why/why not?
Yes – lower company tax rates for small businesses with turnover up to $50 million, and cuts for large businesses, but not to the same extent for multi-national companies where tax cuts could be repatriated abroad. Large businesses accounted for more than two-thirds of the increase in private-sector employment over the five years to June 2015, are responsible for most of Australia’s investment, and are most vulnerable to global competition.
Tax cuts allow small businesses to employ more people and retain capital for profit and dividends (that are taxed), to invest further, and provide incentive and reward for entrepreneurial risk-taking.
14. What do you propose should be done with refugees?
Australia has one of the highest and most generous migrant and refugee intakes in the world. Whatever levels are agreed by government (current immigration levels are too high), immigration to this country must be according to Australia’s economic needs. Illegal immigrants should not be permitted to enter Australia and more should be done to stop the flow of illegals who come through our airports and overstay their visitors’ visas. Labor wilfully lost control of Australia’s borders, caused the deaths of 1,200 illegal immigrants and added more than $10 billion to Australia’s debt. This was an abject abdication of Australia’s sovereignty.
15. 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?
I strongly believe in more cooperation between Federal and State MPs and local government, and in this light want the three levels of government to collaborate to prioritise where funding for roads should go. The National Party, despite being a partner in coalition governments, has failed to use its leverage and its supposed support of rural Australia strongly enough with its larger partner, and has failed time and again to get more funding for local roads. I would prioritise spending without bias or favour, and would have it go first to where it is most needed.
16. What would you do to make housing more affordable?
Limiting immigration numbers would ease housing pressure in the major capitals (90% of migrants settle in Sydney or Melbourne), with a positive flow-on effect on housing prices in rural areas.
I would also investigate co-operative models of housing finance successfully used in the past such as ‘Starr-Bowkett societies’ where those wanting housing would pool their resources to assist members to build or buy a house, and continue until all members have done so.
I would also promote the re-establishment of land ballots for crown land releases so that competition through the current sales process does not artificially raise land prices.
For more information on Warwick Stacey visit:
- Facebook: Seniors United Party