Bundamba by-election: Candidate for Labor
Job: Public servant
Do you live in the electorate? If yes, how long have you lived in it for? If no, would you move to it if elected?
I have called southeast Queensland home for 45 years and live in the electorate.
Have you run in any elections before?
I ran as Labor’s candidate for the state seat of Lockyer in 1995.
Sum up your vision for the electorate:
I have spent my life fighting for working people and against LNP cuts and asset sales, like our own Swanbank power station. I’m fighting for a Bundamba where our community can access secure, local jobs, the very best education and training, healthcare and public transport. That means delivering the services and infrastructure our growing community deserves. I want a Bundamba that isn’t filled with waste from down south, where the community feels safe and where assets belong to us, not multinationals. I’m fighting for more local projects like Rheinmetall and the Defence Industry Hub to create hundreds of jobs.
What are the key issues facing Bundamba right now and how do you intend to deal with them?
Everyone in our community deserves a secure local job, and a large part of that comes down to skills and training. We know one in five local businesses are in construction, and that’s why Labor last week announced a $2 million upgrade to the Bundamba TAFE’s metal trades training facility. With more than 260 students already accessing Labor’s free TAFE and apprenticeships program in Ipswich, we will have a pipeline of skilled, young workers ready to take on emerging opportunities with the likes of Rheinmetall.
Do you think the State Government should call-in all dump applications?
We don’t want a dump for our backyard and I have a plan to deal with it. I will fight, at every level, to oppose new dump extensions and applications. Council has mismanaged this issue for years, made only worse when the LNP scrapped the waste levy. It was Labor who stepped in with local emergency orders establishing new buffer zones, assessment criteria and other safeguards for locals. I have urged the Planning Minister to beef-up and extend these emergency orders to hold Council to account.
The LNP and One Nation want to make it worse - they want to scrap the levy Labor put on the waste industry. The levy is the only thing that stops semi-trailer loads of rubbish coming here from NSW and beyond. March 28 is an opportunity to send a message that our community won’t cop it.
What do you believe are the key pieces of infrastructure needed in Ipswich? What commitments can you make to help make them happen?
Labor opened eight new state schools this year, with two in the Ripley Valley alone. Children deserve a world-class education and as our community grows, I will be fighting for the upgrades and investment needed for our local schools. Thanks to Labor’s $97 million investment, Ipswich Hospital will boast a new MRI machine and 50-bed mental health facility. I’d like to see the existing site expanded. I’ll also fight for further upgrades on our main roads and motorways, on top of $238 million already invested in upgrades for the Ipswich Motorway, supporting 470 jobs.
Many residents have concerns about development and its impact on the environment. Do you think the State Government has got it right when it comes to planning and development legislation?
The reality of any growing city is that more infrastructure and services will be needed. We all need to share the benefits. It is the responsibility of all levels of government to ensure that developments big or small have as minimal impact on the environment as possible. We live in a spectacular part of the world and a balance must be struck to preserve nature for future generations to enjoy. Once Ipswich City Council is re-established, if elected I will work with Council and the relevant Ministers to make sure future planning preserves it’s beauty. I’m proud that Labor has stamped out developer donations in politics, something the LNP challenged in the High Court. It ensures development applications are judged on their merits alone.
Your predecessor Jo-Ann Miller spoke out about corruption at Ipswich City Council and residents’ concerns about how the waste industry operated in Ipswich. Speaking out left her unpopular in her party. How will you deal with residents’ concerns if they don’t fit in with the party line?
Jo-Ann was a fierce advocate for this community for twenty years and leaves some pretty big shoes to fill. I hope to continue her legacy of delivering for Bundamba and fighting tooth and nail for a fair go. At the end of the day, if I’m elected, I will work with my community and it would be my job to fight on their behalf, in Parliament. I would be Bundamba’s representative in Brisbane, and not the other way around. I’ve got a proud history of standing up to governments and corporations on behalf of working people and I won’t stop if elected.
Labor took swift action against council corruption with our new local government anti-corruption laws – laws that the LNP and One Nation voted against.
What do you think you can achieve for Bundamba between now and the State Government election later this year?
I’m already fighting for a fair go on the campaign trail. I had commuters raise some issues with me about platform levelling and digital timetable screens, so I had the Transport Minister out at Redbank Station a few days later and secured upgrades for not only Redbank, but Dinmore and Goodna stations too. I also joined the Skills and Training Minister to announce the $2 million Bundamba TAFE upgrade to the metal trades training facility. I’m pushing for tougher planning regulations around the dump and will keep up the pressure on Ipswich City Council to not mess this up again. I’m looking forward to working with the Palaszczuk Government to secure even more investment and infrastructure for Bundamba.