Bundamba by-election: Candidate for the Greens
Job: Union Organiser
Do you live in the electorate?
I live just outside the electorate of Bundamba, less than 4 km from the Bundamba electorate border. I have been living in the Ipswich region for about 5 years and I work in and around the electorate of Bundamba and surrounding Ipswich region. If I am successful in winning the Bundamba by-election, I would move into the Bundamba electorate.
Have you run in any elections before?
This is my first election.
Sum up your vision for the electorate:
I want our diverse community to be healthy and ensure that Bundamba residents don’t miss out on all the support and services they need to thrive including investing in schools, health services, aged care and public transport. I am absolutely against privatisation of public assets. Our community needs to be connected via new and affordable public transport options. Supporting our local shops and businesses to thrive. The Greens will also strengthen recycling and waste management initiatives to resolve super dump issues and oppose any waste to energy incinerator being built. Creating secure jobs for locals is key to driving our local economy. I will also ensure that the State Government continues to invest in local public infrastructure while protecting our natural heritage.
What are the key issues facing Bundamba right now and how do you intend to deal with them?
The impacts of COVID-19 in our local community is going to be a challenge for at least the next 6 months, in the lead up to the October State Election. We are heading into unprecedented and unfamiliar territory. All of us don’t know how the next 6 months will pan out for us. What I do know is that I will do whatever I can to support our community to get through it, including working with the State, Federal and local Governments to ensure that our community is not left behind. I am a huge believer in a hand up during difficult times. I am an extremely hard worker who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am honest. I care deeply and believe strongly in community and collectively working together in a consultative manner.
Do you think the State Government should call-in all dump applications?
Absolutely. Residents in the Bundamba electorate and more broadly, within the Ipswich region deserve to live within a healthy community. I want to ensure that families and residents do not suffer from health issues linked to the super dumps. For too long, State and local Governments have left the door wide open to the big waste companies to treat Ipswich like a dumping ground where profit was the primary focus. Bundamba electorate residents and the Ipswich region deserve better. I’d like to see proper regeneration of old mining sites which can then be enjoyed by the community, instead of the only vision on offer being turning these sites into super dumps.
What do you believe are the key pieces of infrastructure needed in Ipswich? What commitments can you make to help make them happen?
Public transport needs to link up better. There is a real disconnect in some areas of the electorate. Better linkages and improved options mean that more residents will use public transport that will then ease congestion on the roads. The Greens have a plan to make public transport cheaper for users. By 2041 the Ipswich region’s population would have more than doubled so we need to future proof public transport and roads. We need to look at the population projections and plan adequate education and health services so when 2041 arrives, we can cope. I would like to see a focus on renewable infrastructure projects for our region and these kinds of projects will generate local jobs too. We need to think about sustainability when planning and assessing projects.
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?
I think the local communities have lost control of their own neighbourhoods. I would like to see changes where local residents have a say in what their neighbourhood plans look like and they should be consulted, especially with any changes. I think local residents should have more powers to veto development that is not in line with their neighbourhood plans. Caring for the environment should be built into these plans including protecting wildlife corridors and nature reserves. Everything needs to be balanced.
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?
In my day to day job, I am a strong advocate for union members and delegates. This is in my DNA. My job is to represent my community and this will be my main focus. I do not shy away from difficult conversations and I always have a strong desire to do what’s right, even if that means that I have to take a more difficult pathway to get there. If the residents in the Bundamba electorate put their trust in me, I will not disappoint them.
What do you think you can achieve for Bundamba between now and the State Government election later this year? How will you do that?
Stability is going to be extremely important as the next 6 months will be difficult times for many. I am hearing about community members in casual or insecure work losing regular hours or being stood down due to COVID-19. This is going to hurt some community members and make it hard for them to meet cost of living pressures. Whoever wins the Bundamba by-election will have a big job ahead of them to unite our community to get through to the other side. I am committed to doing this. I believe I have the heart and the leadership qualities to do this in conjunction with community leaders and not for profit organisations. Our community has a beautiful heart and when we get through the rough waters, we will be stronger, more resilient and ready to embrace a bright future. I’d like to say to Bundamba electorate residents, make sure you are voting for the right vision and don’t be afraid to vote for change to get it.