Working Hard To Redefine Community's Strategic Needs

AS a former RAAF Group Captain, I was driven to enter politics in pursuit of fairness for both fellow veterans and the nation in which I had the honour of serving.

In response to Coalition government attempts to undo key systems which make this nation great, Labor has preselected me to lead the charge for the seat of North Sydney.

AS a former RAAF Group Captain, I was driven to enter politics in pursuit of fairness for both fellow veterans and the nation in which I had the honour of serving.

In response to Coalition government attempts to undo key systems which make this nation great, Labor has preselected me to lead the charge for the seat of North Sydney.

I welcome the challenge and will champion more fiercely than ever fairness for all our constituents and leave no one behind.

We are so lucky to be living in North Sydney.

Families are drawn to live here for its high performing schools and our world class health facilities.

Our area is not exempt from Coalition threats and they have not advanced our community’s strengths in any material way.

There are so many more people who work in this magnificent space but are unable to live here.

Overdevelopment or poorly conceived development results in congestion in its worst forms.

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IN what was pitched as ‘the most fundamental reform to the federation in generations’, we witnessed the Turnbull government’s recent attempt to shift responsibility for funding public schools and hospitals to the States and Territories by allowing them to set their own income tax rates.

Fortunately, that unfair plan was shut down within forty-eight hours.

Our children must benefit from the Gonski reforms regardless of whether they attend a public or private school.

Labor’s on-going battle to preserve TAFE and Medicare from the Coalition’s threat to dismantle these vital public assets is widely acknowledged.

Less well understood perhaps is the consequence of their loss. Witness the debacle that has followed the privatisation of TAFE. Price regulation of medical services would be lost once the government privatised Medicare.

Labor will do whatever it takes to rescue both and move vigorously to strengthen them in their vital national roles.

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ON the local front, I will stand with our doctors and medical professionals to strongly oppose selling off portions of vacant land space surrounding the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Given the unashamed and unfair record of this government, such space will likely be put into the hands of property developers, rather than be used for essential future accommodation and facilities for patient families, carers and hospital staff.

Preparing our nation and our community for the future begins with good health and good education.

Our electorate is changing; it’s cultural and social roots are very different to what prevailed only a decade ago. Our community presently now contains the fifth highest concentration of units in the country.

Many of these units are homes to young cosmopolitan families.

Our coastlines and waterways will also change with global warming.

Overcrowding in our schools has become a major problem. The few local initiatives have not resolved overcrowding. We need Gonski reforms more than ever so that funding of our schools is based on need – and class sizes for instance, keep abreast of such changes. And we also need a quality curriculum delivered by quality teachers that are focused on the needs of future generations and the ever-changing nature of work.

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ON a separate note, I will advocate passionately for the preservation of heritage sites throughout our electorate, particularly in Hunters Hill – which is essentially a living museum as a consequence of our electorate’s rich colonial history.

I will ensure that these sites are provided with all due protection at the Federal level so that they continue to survive.

Our community deserves better, far better.

And the people who come to work and visit North Sydney also deserve better.

With my Labor colleagues and with my profound military experience as a strategic planner, we will work to redefine our community’s strategic needs locally and nationally.

We will do this by extending the planning horizon beyond the typical three year electoral cycle or four year budget cycle and even the so-called ten year planning lead times.

Labor’s policy focus is conceived with a horizon out to 25 years.

We will develop strategic policy which will grow and revitalise our economy – create more jobs, better cities and better transport solutions.

Trust in the Turnbull Government across the country is diminishing and rightfully so. I urge the people of North Sydney to join me in my pursuit of fairness and vote Labor this upcoming election.

The above was published in The Weekly Times on 3rd May 2016.

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