Below is a list of policies, ideas and/or principles l would stand for in Canberra should l be successful at the election. I do remind potential critics out there that l am not in the position of Labor or Liberal/National Party politicians who have many staff and departments who can research and scrutinize various policies and ideas prior to announcing them. I will also state that as a candidate for the federal election l would never claim to be right 100% of the time, nor would l ever become inflexible on various topics or ignorant to the arguments of those who may oppose a position l hold.
I believe a good politician should have his or her views but be willing to listen to the electorate and the public in general. If it turned out that my position was in contrast to the majority of the public l would most certainly be open to reassessing my position on any given matter. A Politician should not be in Canberra to implement what is in his or her best interest, politicians are elected to represent the people and that means listening to the people and working for them.
You can download a copy here.
Health/Medicare - Every single Australian has as much right as the next person to seek and receive world class medical service's, irrespective of one's financial position. Medicare is something to be proud of and must be maintained to ensure all Australians can access the health care services when and where needed.
G.P Co-Payments - Over my dead body! It doesn't matter how small or targeted the co-payment may be.... It simply just ain't an option. Lets keep things free & simple by NOT EVER introducing a GP Co-Payment. (Revenue can be raised elsewhere)
Education - We must invest more into education and ensure every child has the same opportunities as the next child. Why should one child be provided with a better education just because he or she has wealthy parents? My position is that Federal Government must invest more into Government schools and help attract and retain the best teachers available.
Mental Health - This is Australia's silent killer and as such it requires a higher level of funding to support, assist and/or treat those who may be suffering with a mental health illness. We need to invest in greater public awareness campaigns to convey the message that Mental Illness is not a weakness (as many men still believe). We must encourage those who might be suffering to speak up and seek out the help that they may require. Government needs to invest further, into providing more local service's which will enable more sufferers to access various Mental Health service's, irrespective of where they might live. Mental health doesn't just cost lives, it also costs the economy with a massive amount of lost opportunity and lost productivity, so every dollar put into Mental Health is an investment which will provide a greater long term return overall.
I also believe strongly that Government must also look at itself. It is time to remember that Governing "For" the people is what's required. Where possible Government must refrain from unnecessary actions which have the potential to cause a higher level of stress and worry.
For some quick stats on mental illness,
I welcome you to download this PDF.
Homelessness - The statistics show that 1 in every 200 Australian's are homeless, that equates to 105,237 and rising. For Government to assist with resettling refugees from all over the world it must first take care of business back home. We must work with the State and territory governments and greater assist those who are currently providing front line services for our homeless. More funding is required and ultimately more housing must be provided in order to meet the demands of a growing population.
Additional Curriculum - It is great that our schools teach young people Maths, Science, Physics, Biology, Etc Etc, It is also fantastic that Computer Coding will soon be common place in schools across the country. We must also invest and encourage schools to teach our children about "life". We need more early education on various society issues including, Drugs, Bullying, Alcohol, Violence and so on. We must ensure that every child has a proper understanding of the risks, effects and potential consequences of the actions and/or choices that one might make.
War On Drugs - Drugs are a massive problem. Lives are being lost and/or ruined due to drugs. We must take a zero tolerance and zero compassion stance towards all who manufacture, import and/or supply drugs. Those who are in the "Business" of illegal drugs must face much harder penalties. I would lobby for all states/territories to harden their drug related laws to ensure that penalties are much higher, with the drug bosses and major players never being released from prison once convicted. Also we do need Government to offer more service's to assist those who may be addicted to drugs and seeking help to become clean.
With regards to the above, l am talking about drugs such as "Ice" and "Heroin".... The above does not apply to marijuana!
Serious Crime - Murderers, Rapists and Pedophiles. To be convicted of these types of crimes it is fair to say that the convicted persons have either "Ended/Taken a life" or at the very least "Ruined/Devastated a life" (not to mention the effects on family/friends of the victims) I believe those found guilty of serious crimes ought NEVER experience freedom again. I would lobby the states/territories to increase penalties and encourage the courts to administer penalties on behalf of the victim and not in sympathy of the convicted
New Federal Offense - As most laws are enforced by the states and territories, l would propose that the federal government implement a new and additional law. It should be aimed at giving victims and supporters of victims an option of applying to federal authorities for consideration where an accused person has either, escaped prosecution/penalty for a serious offense and/or when a convicted person receives a penalty deemed to be insufficient. The law may be titled "Participating in a serious action against an Australian citizen" (or something similar) The law would be broad but only apply to serious crimes and could only be considered if/when a victim or his/her family, friends or supporters make direct application to the federal authorities for consideration.
Child Care - There are two main concerns with child care, one being "Availability" and the other being "Affordability" The governments position has always been to "Throw Money" at the problem, but there is never enough money put into childcare to fix the problems. Also by throwing money at something and not making fundamental changes we end up in a cycle that requires more and more money to be invested every few years. It is time to take a look at other options. My position is that the Federal Government should build new child care centres within the grounds of various government schools across the country. Each of these child care centres would be fully funded by Government with parents paying a reduced rate to place their children in these child care centres. The child care centres would be staffed by a combination of suitably qualified people along with parents and students of each school who wish to be involved. Students should be given the opportunity of gaining valuable experience working with children and may gain certificates and accreditation subject to satisfactorily completely a set number of hours in the child care facility and also by passing and end of year exam.
Illegal immigrants - I am sorry to upset a portion of our population, but we simply can NOT have a situation where people can board a boat and attempt to arrive in Australia illegally. We must do all that we can to ensure we deter and prevent people from coming to Australia illegally. During the Rudd/Gillard years we saw a massive rise in boat arrivals and as a "DIRECT" consequence we saw too many lives being lost at sea. Being tough on illegal immigrants is "Also" about protecting illegal immigrants from potential disaster at sea. A tough stance (Which some may call a harsh or even a cruel stance) is about removing the incentive of making such a dangerous voyage. Apart from the above, we also need to enforce Australian law, we can not excuse people from laws just because they might be a refugee.... There are processes in place for refugees wanting to come to Australia, therefore those who try to jump the queue or circumnavigate the process must not be rewarded.
Refugee/Humanitarian Intake - This is a particularly difficult matter, on one hand we should try to help those less fortunate than ourselves and we should do what we can to protect people from persecution.... BUT we also need to remember that we have many issues within our own backyard that ought to be given the highest of priorities. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics our population is increasing at a rate of one person every 91 seconds. The net gain in our population includes a new birth every 104 seconds and international migration of one person every 159 seconds. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that we can not continue to to grow in size "UNTIL & UNLESS" we as a society and as a government start to take better care of those who are here now. Any refugee/humanitarian migration must be subject to a proper process which takes into account all of the known risk factors associated with the people that may be applying for immigration. For example, there is well founded concern associated with those of Islamic faith. While it is true that there are many good people who happen to be Muslim, There is also many good people who are not Muslim. My position is that any refugee/humanitarian migration to Australia must exclude Muslims. To those who may be critical of my position l simply say this.... Let us not argue about the minor details, our intake is about 14,000 per year, which means we can not take everyone. Please be happy that we will help 14,000 people (who just happen to not be Muslim)
*Please Note the figure mentioned above do not include the 12,000 Syrian Refugees being resettled in Australia
G.S.T. - The easy answer would be to simply say "Do Not Raise It" But l must admit l can see "Potential" benefits from raising the GST, so long as other taxes are abolished and/or reduced. It is difficult for me to quote numbers and figures do to the fact that l do not have access to Treasury or other staff to crunch some numbers for me. l do believe there are too many different taxes within our economy and many of those taxes are taxes which have a negative effect on growth/expansion and also effect those who can least afford it. I would support a raise in the GST if it meant that income tax free threshold was raised.... maybe to $65,000 (Fluid Figures) and also the states must commit to abolishing various state taxes such as Payroll Tax (A tax that hurts business & prevents expansion of business) also Stamp Duties need to be abolished (Such a impost on future home owners) There would also need to be adequate compensation for those on pensions and other forms of low income.
Income Tax - As per the above paragraph, l think there needs to be an overhaul of the tax system. We need to better target where the government finds it's tax dollars. Under the GST everyone is paying tax when they spend money and for those on low incomes it means they are paying GST on 100% of their income as they usually spend it all in order to survive. Whereas those at the other end of the income scale are probably paying more in GST but as a percentage of their incomes they are likely paying much less than the average Australian. I believe the current tax brackets need to be overhauled. We need to lift the tax free threshold for the battlers and we must create a new set of tax brackets for those who earn far more than the figure of $180,001.... I.E. Why should a Bank/Corporate CEO who earns $4Million to $13Million (or more) be on the same rate as someone earning $180,001 ??? My proposal would see additional brackets created to better accommodate those who are earning Millions of dollars each year. To those who may be earning millions of dollars and have an issue with this policy.... I simply say if you want your mega sized income that is fine, but by the same token the tax office wants a mega sized tax receipt.... Further if you wish to pay little/zero tax, perhaps walk away from your current position and go get a job at McDonald's
Aussie Farmers - This is a no brain-er... We MUST help our struggling farmers and we must do it fast! There are too many farmers experiencing extreme financial hardship due to drought conditions. Livestock is being lost every day due to starvation and lack of water. Some farmers are committing suicide because of the pain & stress they are under. These tragic events could be greatly reduced and potentially avoided if Government stood up for and backed our farmers.
Australia needs our farmers, we should not and can not rely on overseas imports to feed our growing population. Every time we lose a farm
and/or farmer, we are losing the ability to feed ourselves. This places us in a vulnerable position whereby we will be at the mercy of other countries to firstly supply us with food, but also we will add to the demand of imports and thus drive prices up.
I am no expert on how best to drought proof Australian farms, but if elected l would be very interested in talking to farmers and hearing their thoughts and ideas and once armed with the knowledge l would stand in strong support of helping our farmers in their immediate time of need. I would push for more funding to assist farmers with their immediate needs, additionally l would stand for long term strategies and infrastructure to reduce the risks into the future.
As l have said l am no expert in this area, but some ideas that l do have in mind are building new dams, building pipelines from Australia's tropical areas known to receive monsoon rains. If we can provide Australian farmers with greater access to water, we can turn farming losses into farming profits which would be great for the farmers and the Australian economy
Farmers are Australia's backbone and we must do much more to support, sustain and grow farming across Australia. By supporting farmers we can create jobs and give people a reason to stay in regional/remote areas as well as attract others to move to regional areas across the country.
Small Business - This is another subject l am passionate about. Small business is another part of Australia's back bone and more must be done to support existing small businesses and also to encourage new businesses. There are many areas that could be looked at and improved upon,some are State/Territory matters which (if elected) I would strongly lobby for changes and improvements. While the current federal government think the answer is cutting Sunday rates for hospitality workers... the real answer lays within the government departments, organisations and corporations who have been holding small business back for many years.
Why should a small business pay "MORE" for his/her electricity usage because they are running a small business?
Why does a small business pay higher fees on his/her bank account because they are operating a small business?
The list of corporations/organisations charging a customer more just because they are a small business is a long list. The way things are at the moment, The electricity company, phone company, gas company, insurance company, the banks.... and others, all have "SHARES" in every small business across Australia. Ok they do not have "Actual" shares, but they may as well... Because the before mentioned corporations are taking a bit of cream from customers who just so happen to be a small businesses.
More also needs to be done to help bring down the cost of insurance and work cover/work safe type insurance policies etc.
Housing Affordability - This is a major problem for too many Australian's. Currently we see people either "Renting" and thus helping to boost the bank accounts of those who are all ready doing quite well..... or we see people "Buying" a home at an inflated price and therefore borrowing a massive amount of money which then sees these home owners boosting the net profits of banks who are charging interest. My position on this matter is that Government must take a multi tier approach,
ONE: Launch new programs which see new developments in areas outside of the growth zones. Federal Government should fund and oversee new developments across the country, building modest/affordable homes and units which can then be sold to the public
TWO: Government should offer low rate home loans to Australians who meet criteria (To be established) which enable those who can afford home loan repayments but due to lank of deposit or some other unfortunate factor can not qualify for a traditional bank loan. Such loans should be reserved for people/families who are looking to buy their first home in an area that is outside of the major cities and not within urban growth zones. Government should make the loans available at 0.5% above the cost of government borrowings, thus providing some Australian's a reduced interest rate, but at the same time enabling the government to run such a program at a profit.
THREE: Offer home loans at a low interest rate to pensioners... WHY DO THAT YOU ASK, well currently Government pay Pensioners a payment known as "Rent Assistance" and this amount ranges from about $90 - $170 per fortnight. Considering that rent is paid to a landlord, it is fair to conclude that the government is currently paying property owners who are all ready doing ok. Instead of seeing Government payments land in the bank accounts of those who own multiple homes, why not launch a new program that enables pensioners to buy a modest home and repay the government at an affordable rate. For each person that is assisted into home ownership there will be one more vacant rental property... Policies such as this would help the battlers in more ways than one.
FOUR: Restrict or better still prevent, foreign buyers from purchasing existing Australian homes. Should a foreign investor wish to own a home or homes in Australia they ought to be forced to purchase vacant and undeveloped land where new developments could be undertaken.
Gay Marriage - Can l be very honest and say l "PERSONALLY" am not a fan of the concept. How ever l do believe that each and every Australian does have the right (or at least should have the right) to live the life that he or she might choose. Therefore l can NOT stand in the way of those wanting Gay Marriage to be legal and recognised in Australia. Just to clarify, if l was elected and a vote on Gay Marriage was called, l would vote for it on the basis that we must takes steps to help our fellow Australian to feel equal, accepted and ultimately as happy as can be. To those who are against Gay Marriage, please believe me when l say l understand your concerns.... Like l said at the start, l am not a fan of gay marriage... but even so, how can l or anyone else tell someone else how to live their life?
Carbon Emissions - In the interests of being honest and upfront, l personally do not believe that man is causing "Climate Change" previously called "Global Warming" (BUT PLEASE DO READ ON) I say this as the science community themselves are divided on the subject and there has been numerous movements away from previously stated positions from those who are arguing that man has caused and can therefore prevent/reduce "Climate Change"
I do fear that the words "Climate Change" are being used to frighten people into believing that the world will come to an end should we not act fast on a large reduction in Carbon Emissions. Some do say, "Where there is money there is often corruption" and there is hundreds of billions of dollars being spent by governments around the world on Climate Change research and alternate power sources, as such l ask that people take a few moments to fully consider my position and what l would like to propose and push for should l become elected.
Having said the above, I DO BELIEVE that man is causing pollution which at the very least is not in the interests of our planet or the species living on it. Hence l do believe we as a country must do much more to reduce our pollution in any ways possible. Be it a reduction in Carbon Emissions, be it less land fill, be it preserving our existing forests or be it something else. We must do more to reduce our pollution and we must encourage others to do the same.
I have been paying some attention to the debate going on in South Australia regarding the possibility of Nuclear Power and l note that the Royal Commission is due to come back with it's recommendations in May of 2016. I am very interested in the prospect of nuclear energy, but l am currently sitting on the fence and eagerly await the Royal Commissions recommendations.
I also believe the government must do much more to make solar power more accessible to all Australians, be they home owners or be they tenants. Solar power is continually being further advanced and currently provides a far cleaner and cheaper option for the production of electricity. I would like to lobby for more funding that enables the battlers to obtain the solar system and is able to use the ongoing savings to repay the costs of of the system. I note that there are currently companies who are offering this program to home owners at the moment, but if government was willing to do more it could help to make "Going Solar" even more attractive to more Australians.
I would also like to lobby government (Including states and territories) to fund and encourage schools to implement programs where children can grow plants from seeds and then plant them at home and/or within school grounds. Programs such as these would result in millions of new trees being planted and may also result in more children growing up with a love of plants/trees and gardening in general (All of which would be great)
Euthanasia - A topic that is very close to my heart. In March/April 2014 my dad was slowly withering away as a result of lung cancer. During a conversation l had with my dad in March 2014 he told me that he wished he had the money to go see Philip Nitschke. My dad made it quite clear to me that he would have opted for Euthanasia at his chosen time, rather than going through the pain, discomfort and undignified process of suffering along the path to die slowly.
Watching my dad slowly die was very hard to witness, it was made additional harder knowing that my dad would have preferred to have had the option that would have ended his suffering a little earlier. While l had always been a supporter of Euthanasia, my dads passing has helped bring this subject much higher in my mind.
l watched the doctors and nurses doing the best they could for my dad... Trying to ease the pain and discomfort. The reality is, there are times when doctors/nurses are unable to do any more, as such the patient must either wait to die or wait a period of time before more pain relief can be provided.
I strongly believe that in today's society we are adult enough to allow Euthanasia to be an option for those with incurable illness/disease and no quality of life. The laws surrounding Euthanasia would need to be carefully crafted (of course) as we would not want to enable people having a "Bad Day" to lob at a clinic and simply "check out" Euthanasia should be reserved for those under sufferance, with little or no chance of improvement. Also it should be a decision that the individual has made for him or herself.
Euthanasia would first and foremost provide an option for a less painful and more dignified closure to the life of those suffering. It may also help family and friends to move forward with their own lives sooner and with less flashbacks to what their friend/loved one had been going through. While the before mentioned benefits are the reasons for wanting to lobby for the legalisation of euthanasia, the other benefits (it must be said) is that euthanasia would reduce the pressures on the health system and save a considerable amount of money.
Our Government will order young, fit and healthy troops to go fight in various wars/conflicts from which some may not return... Yet the Government will not legislate and allow those who are terminally ill and suffering to close their eyes peacefully at a time of their choosing.
The Australian Government allow Australians to participate in dangerous sports and activities. When someone does have an accident and dies as a result, it will often be said "He/She died doing what they loved".... But at the same time our Government will not legalise euthanasia to allow those who are terminally ill and suffering to "Die peacefully at his/her chosen time"
Euthanasia is seen as being the humane way of dealing with animals who are sick, injured, old, unwanted or even over populated. How can it be seen in such a positive manner (By Government) when it comes to animals, yet Government continue to deny Euthanasia to humans who are terminally ill and suffering.
I could list many other arguments/points in support of euthanasia, but rather than listing more, l will end this topic (for now) by saying, to me it seems more and more people are passing away as a result of CANCER. It is such a horrible way to die and while we all say we want to help, the truth is, until there is a cure the only way we can help is by doing what we can to give the suffering, another option which ultimately ends the same way, but much sooner and with far less pain, discomfort, embarrassment and suffering.
Alcohol Taxes - When Ken Henry (former head of treasury) completed a review of alcohol tax arrangements in 2009 he described them as “contradictory” and “incoherent”. Peter Costello (former treasurer) had once referred to the alcohol tax system as “a dog’s breakfast”. So you see, even the experts (on tax) do agree that the alcohol tax system is a mess and needs an overhaul.
As it stands, the typical amount of tax per standard drink (12 millilitres of pure alcohol) is about,
97 cents on bottled spirits,
43 cents on full strength packaged beer,
30 cents on most bottled table wine.
(Figures are approximate only... who knows there may have been a rise while l was typing)
Ok so that is a bit of the official information out of the way, now l want to ask if you remember the good old days where you'd throw a few sausages, chops and hamburgers on the bbq and have a couple cold beers or a glass of wine or scotch with family and friends? People still do it these days, but it doesn't happen anywhere near as often....I wonder why?
My belief is that many people are so flat out working, that time for recreation/pleasure is a bit restrictive these days, but l also think the other significant factor is the "Cost" of having a casual bbq and drinks. The cost of meat is higher and will continue to rise, especially if the government continue to turn their backs on drought stricken farmers (But that's another story)
The rising cost of alcohol is what l want to talk about.... more specifically the taxes applied to alcohol
I know there are plenty of people and many lobby groups out there who have just flipped their lids... But hows about you take off your Mr or Miss "Do Gooder" cap for a moment and consider the fact that each and every person over the age of 18 living in Australia should have the final say on what he or she might choose to consume "ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS A LEGAL PRODUCT"
Despite what some may want, we are not quite a nanny state.... We are a free country with a few confused politicians and some ridiculous policies.
For too long now, Government has raised revenue by claiming something bad is occurring and the best way to fix the problem is by slapping on a tax, or raising an existing one. The obvious and recent example that comes to mind is Kevin Rudd's Alcopop Tax, where he raised the tax on pre-mixed drinks by a massive 70%. Effectively causing pre-mixed drinks or "alcopops" to jump from $39.36 per litre of alcohol content to $66.67
So for all of those responsible adults out there who used to enjoy a pre-mixed drink, you all got "WHACKED" due to the youngsters getting a bit carried away and binge drinking. If the Government was serious about trying to prevent young adults from binge drinking they could have increased the minimum age for alcohol consumption... that would have worked, plus it would not have impacted on those responsible, older Australian's who enjoy a few social drinks.... Of course raising the legal age for alcohol consumption was probably not even considered, because the government was looking to find additional dollars and binge drinking was the excuse on this particular occasion
I believe hard working Australian's who wish to enjoy a drink after work or on weekends should be able to do so. One's income should not be the defining factor as to whether he or she can have a beer, wine or spirit.
For those who have high blood pressure having read my position, please understand that raising taxes on alcohol doesn't solve problems... it simply shifts the problem from one area to another. While it may be true that there is lesser incidence of binge drinking since the 70% alcopop increase. No doubt there are increases in other areas of concern as a direct consequence.
What about the parents who can NO LONGER AFFORD TO DRINK ALCOHOL & FEED THE KIDS... So now they JUST DRINK! (Think about it)
If l am elected
Politician Expenses - Well what a joke the current system is... There has been a number of examples hit the media... Bronwyn Bishop and the $5000 Helicopter ride between Melbourne and Geelong is a prime example. While this may have made headlines, l am certain that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why else would politicians not be in favor of stricter rules and tougher penalties for those who bend those rules?
I would like to stand for a new ethic to be instilled into parliamentarians that sees every member of parliament become accountable for his/her expenses and claims. I would propose that every member must publish to their personal website a list of all expenses they have passed on to the taxpayer. The list should contain the date, the venue/location, the description and the cost. These figures/entries should be required to be published to each individuals website within 3 x months of the transaction. This would enable members of the public to quickly and easily view the spending of their local member as well as other members across the country.
As l am a believer in the old saying "Don't ask someone to do something, you would not do yourself" I would also push for changes to politician pensions and rules around retirement as well as subsequent access to super. I believe politicians should be subjected to the same or very near to, the same rules as the general public.
Further to the above, l was disgusted to read the ongoing entitlements of former Prime Ministers. To think that these people have ongoing travel, car, office and so on funding for the balance of their lives.... just because they had been in politics at some stage in their lives. This practice must be STOPPED and l would push strongly for changes to be made retrospectively, in effect the gravy train would cease for all former Prime Ministers along with any other individuals who are seemingly getting too much from the system well after they were "SACKED" from their positions.
I do understand that if l was to be elected l am only "One" vote in a system which is currently controlled by people who would strongly oppose many of the things that l would stand up for. If l was elected l would do everything in my power to bring about change for the better. I would use any and every media appearance to bring attention to the issues as l see them. l would openly and honestly talk about the reception l may get from others (who do not want change) as a result those who resist change would run the risk of being exposed for their inability to act in accordance to the greater public opinion.
Those who wish to protect the current unfair and often abused system would be publicly exposed by myself. I would have zero tolerance for dodgy practices and no fear when it comes to shining the media light upon those who may be responsible.
The time for looking after yourself must be surpassed by the responsibility to act in the best interests of your fellow Australian.
Finally may l add "I am not standing for the federal election because l want to.... I am standing because l feel l need to"
If you have any suggestions on the topics l have listed above, or if you have something to say about a different topic please fell most welcome to contact me and pass on your thoughts and ideas.
Some further thoughts on TAX REFORM can be read by CLICKING HERE