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Last election night, the opposition leader claimed that his policies would be squarely aimed at the "forgotten Australians in the suburbs." In 2022, we saw a significant swing away from the major parties. The second safest seat in the country was no longer safe. Our community had been forgotten, and it was clear that voters didn't want to trust the solution with those who had caused the problem.

Safe seats receive three and a half times less funding than marginal seats for infrastructure - this was a statistic I repeated consistently in the lead-up to the last election. From the beginning, the centre of my campaign was to secure funds for the new and long-overdue Toowoomba hospital. Not long after the election, it was announced that funding had been secured. We may not have won the election, but change had occurred. This time, we're going all out.

As a longtime local in nursing, small business ownership and many important volunteer roles, I have a proven track record of positive community engagement and a reputation for a principled work approach. As a passionate advocate for this region, I have to self-fund my campaign with additional support from local community members. My policy platform is aimed at those fortunate to call this region home, those who have been forgotten. It's time for true local representation.

 


Community Focused, Community Platforms

A Housing Plan for Regional Australia

Housing is a human right and is the underlying key to solving most of our social issues. This issue is a high priority and will require a collaborative effort between all branches of government. As an active member of a homeless organisation, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that being homeless has on people’s ability to participate in our community meaningfully. It’s time to have courage and compassion to solve this issue.

In Europe, we've seen the success of a 'housing first' solution. Housing is the basis for lowering crime rates and drug usage. If we want to be serious about tackling these issues, then we need to start viewing housing as a remedy rather than a reward. Increased social housing is what allows our society's most vulnerable and disadvantaged to better their lives and contribute meaningfully to the community.

Many options are at our immediate disposal to improve housing access for our community. These include incentives for empty nesters or elderly to down-size, more widely accessible first homeowner grants and government-shared ownership plans. We also need increased federal funding to enable infrastructure - such as sewerage and drainage - to allow us to unlock more land for housing.

Our electorate is seeing some of the worst housing availability in the country. For rural and regional communities such as ours, our lack of housing supply is preventing us from meeting the workplace and professional needs of our region. As your representative, it would be my priority to ensure we get the funding needed to improve housing stock and fix the many social issues that intersect with housing security.

 


Cheaper Energy, Local Energy

Families are being hit with higher and higher energy bills. It's hard to spare an additional thought for the environment when hard-working families are trying their best to get by. We give fossil fuel companies (often overseas and paying little tax) billions in subsidies each year. Why aren't we investing in our local communities instead?

Investing towards locally owned renewable power solutions allows us to leverage new job opportunities for our region whilst giving households freedom of choice from the price gouging of energy companies. 

We export billions in iron-ore; however, there is a global push towards green steel. Forecasts expect iron-ore exports to decrease by $37 billion in 2022-23. Recent reports (Ernst & Young) have shown that investing in green steel could generate an additional $65 billion in annual export revenue and would create 25,000 manufacturing jobs in states like ours.

 Fossil fuel workers have spent the past few decades building an Australia that has allowed us to do many wonderful things, and to them, my message is 'no worker left behind'. For those in existing industries that are being phased out, it is imperative that workers are trained and redeployed into our workforce at similar pay rates instead of being abandoned.

 


Clean-Up Politics

The lack of integrity in modern politics has become a serious area of public concern. Our politicians live in a bubble where accountability is a foreign word. We elect representatives with the expectation that they represent us, “the people”, not interest groups, financial backers or political agendas.

Australia's political donation laws are broken. There are no limits on how much can be given, with parties only having to disclose donations above $14,000 years later. This is why I've decided to put my money where my mouth is and set some standards. My donation guidelines are 1) donations from individuals only and 2) no donations (single or several added up) exceeding $2000. I'm proud to be the only candidate for Groom who's set such strict standards. If elected, I would take these values with me to Canberra and call for similar or stricter legislation. 

Under Australian law, it is perfectly legal to lie in a political ad. Public trust in our political system is plummeting, and it can be clearly attributed to the low standards in political advertising. 87% of Australians are for truth in political advertising, and I agree with them. Like any other Australian, politicians should be held to the same standards in their advertising. 

 


Passenger Rail

Being the 2nd largest inland city after Canberra, Toowoomba desperately needs a fast passenger rail service that is fit for purpose and orientated towards regular commute. Mass transit, such as passenger rail, is vital to groups without vehicle access, such as the disabled community, the elderly, and parents with prams. As our region rapidly grows, the need for a regionally-focused fast rail has become increasingly apparent. We must address the growing needs of our community so we can create opportunities for the future. 

A regular train would help connect Brisbane to regional Australia and increase tourism and economic opportunities for our area. Smaller inland regions like Bendigo, Ballarat and the Blue Mountains all have passenger rail, but we still don’t have any plans for one, and won’t if we vote the same. The time is now: with inland rail and the upcoming opportunities that the Olympics will bring, we should be working passenger rail into those plans.

 


Water Security

As the population grows in the Darling Downs and the effects of climate change become more prevalent, water security is a key concern for our region. Current data by the CSIRO shows that our water supply is only guaranteed until 2049. We need proper action now. Being in an elevated region means that most traditional solutions are not available to us, so we need to think smarter. In conjunction with the Council’s new pipeline project, recycled water would create a positive impact across the entire electorate, not just Toowoomba. Our agriculture hub has relied upon and depended on this technology for years. Now it’s time to make it mainstream. 

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Contact

As a candidate for Groom, it’s important that my plans are shaped by the community for the community. Please let me know of your concerns which are most important to you and our region.

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