Why I am standing for Federal Parliament?

In simple terms:

I am standing as an Independent Candidate for Kooyong in the 2019 Federal Election because very important shared community values need to be much better represented, at both the local and national level. 

Campaign update

My Candidate Nomination has now been accepted by the Australian Electoral Commission. Thank you to all those supporters who signed the nomination form.

I am underwriting the costs of the campaign, but in the face of very large campaign expenditures by some candidates, I am relying on modest crowd funding to undertake media and other publicity. My suggestion is $50, but more, or less, is welcome, paid into a dedicated campaign account: Bendigo Community Bank BSB 633000  Account Number 165822156. Thank you to those supporters who have already contributed.

Some people have already offered to letterbox for me, or hand out how-to-vote cards at the pre-poll which begins Monday 29 April, and on election day Saturday 18 May. Any other suggestions of help would be welcome.

I have lived with my family and worked in Kooyong for more than four decades. Being active in the local community has provided clear insights into what Kooyong residents and voters value. They have a very clear top priority: the need for effective action on climate change and the global warming emergency. Foremost in their mind is the future we are creating for their children and grandchildren. This is what I am strongly advocating for.

Effective global warming action:

The evidence is very clear: we need to act now, for economic, social and environmental reasons. To delay action is to bequeath enormous costs on our future generations. It is not a question of the economy versus the environment. It is an issue of short term profits versus long term viability.

For more than a decade, the three main parties have failed to achieve either a credible policy or effective action on climate change which is a critical community concern. In this Kooyong election, support for well-informed Independents will go a long way into turning this irresponsible neglect into real action. While the parties indulge in their ideological battles and internal divisions (often lacking even the hint of civility)

Affordable and renewable electricity:

The very large price increases for electricity (and gas) over the past five years is nothing short of scandalous. The price hikes are the result of Federal Government policy which prioritises commercial exports over local residential and industrial consumers. One-off ‘gifts’ in the Coalition budget (our money anyway) are disingenuous and do little to relieve the cost burden which affects everyone.

Energy-efficient transport: sustainable cities and neighbourhoods:

Australia is way behind world standards in achieving efficient transport and sustainable cities. The recent Four Corners program (1 April, but not an April Fools Day joke) was a reality check about how we supposedly have an ocker culture that worships highly polluting cars and trucks. We can no longer put up with vehicle emission standards which are much more polluting than other countries accept for the same manufacturers.

My career has focussed on integrated land use/transport planning and urban design, the Order of Australia Medal awarded to me in 2014 was this contribution to Australian life. I am proud of what I have achieved, but very conscious of the fact that the gulf between the rhetoric and reality of sustainable cities is enormous. We are still building unsustainable transport systems to service unsustainable suburban sprawl which fail to relate population growth and the global warming emergency


Inclusive, compassionate communities: celebrating our diversity:

Inclusive, compassionate communities: celebrating our diversity: Effective reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples is a very necessary part of our shared future. This is as much about self interest as justice. European colonial dispossession and settlement 200 years ago did not bring with it understanding of the people who already lived here, or the land in which they lived. Belatedly, some farmers and businesses are now slowly realising that Indigenous relationships with country are relevant and helpful in dealing with fires, droughts, and flooding rains.

We are a modern nation, where common human rights and values are part and parcel of our shared humanity. Care for ourselves and each other, and respect for our shared environment underpins our civil society.  We sometimes take this for granted, but they are not clichés: often it is only when we see their absence that we realise how fortunate we are. We are a nation of immigrants who arrived in Australia to seek a better life. Some of us have forebears who arrived generations ago, some arrived only recently. We all benefit from the richness of our cultural diversity, be it food, arts, language, or spiritual understanding. This underpins our compassion for asylum seekers and others with special needs, which are part of desire to have a peaceful and satisfying way of life.

Domestic and institutional violence is not new. We have sometimes not been aware of it, or turned a blind eye to it.

Transparent governance: Banks, ABC, Asylum seekers, Murray-Darling Basin

Half-truths and lies have no place in democratic representative politics. Straight forward honesty needs to replace misinformation, political slogans and hidden political donations and influence. Community disillusionment is understandable.

The unethical, dishonest and criminal behaviour of banks is not new. The current Government has known about this behaviour for years, but fought tooth and nail to avoid a Royal Commission. What the Royal Commission exposed was worse than we imagined, but it is doubtful as to whether action taken will fully address the problems.

Political interference in the ABC is not new. Given the ABC is one of our most trusted institutions, the debacle that caused the resignation of both the Board Chairman and the CEO was nothing short of shocking. In the era of ‘fake new’ and spin, continual chipping away at the ABC budget (our money, our ABC), and calls for advertising and privatisation, undermines an institution that is values as vital for our democracy.

Australia’s immoral treatment of asylum seekers is noticed across the world. Labor set up detention camps, and has supported the Coalition’s inhumane treatment of those who arived by boat and were incarcerated. The rot really set in when John Howard and Peter Reith lied about the so-called ‘kids overboard’ in 2001 – and Kim Beasley aquiesed in the name of boarder security. The all pervasive Abbott/Morrison ‘stop the boats’ slogan masked the facts that illegal immigrants come by plane, and that most people in detention centres are assessed as genuine refugees.

Mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin water is nothing short of irresponsible. For decades, governments have failed to act on the clear evidence that of how commercialising water rights has let to inequity between irrigators and communities, as well as depriving the environment which is a major tourist attraction. Add to this the criminal behaviour of some water users, the lack of honesty by some politicians, and the abuse of this vital Australian resource – the result is scandalous and requires urgent and effective action.