TBS Partners

Meet your local Liberal candidates

With the Federal election this Saturday, The Big Smoke spoke to six Liberal candidates to discuss their hopes and plans for their respective electorates.

 

 

During election time it is easy to become overwhelmed with headlines, slogans and jarring ads – but what about just straight responses from some of the candidates? We spoke to Liberal candidates to understand what they want to do for their community, and what prompted them to enter politics.

 

Melissa McIntosh – Candidate for the seat of Lindsay

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

I’m running in Lindsay because I want to ease congestion on our local roads, support local jobs and support our 13,000 small businesses through tax relief. I want families to get ahead by keeping taxes low and finding proactive solutions to cut the cost of electricity and household bills. Access to affordable and reliable childcare is also important for me. We need to protect property value and keep rents low, and we need to back our retirees.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

I am passionate about projects such as the Western Sydney Airport, North-South Rail Link and small business tax cuts to encourage more local jobs so people don’t have to commute out of the area for work.

I am fighting for projects such as the Western Sydney University Corporate Centre and Inspiring the Future program. I have secured funding for Dunheved Road, Mulgoa Road and Emu Plains, Kingswood and St Marys Stations to upgrade commuter car parking.

I believe in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle and I was proud to recently announce funding for the renewal and upgrade for existing amenities at the Parkes Avenue Sporting Precinct, funding for the renewal and upgrade for existing amenities at Roper Road Reserve, funding to upgrade the turf at Kingswood Sports Club, funding to install behind goal safety fencing at Cook Park, and the funding to construct shade shelters and amenities for the Penrith District Netball Association.

 

TBSWhy is it an exciting time to be a politician?

Locally, I want to deliver projects such as the Nepean River upgrade, studies for connected pedestrian and cycle ways, extended mental health and health programs for young people in our region, the Nepean Education First Youth Foyer, a breakfast and support program for Cranebrook,  Panthers on the Prowl and One Point Health active kids program, supporting the Margot Lewers Scholarship, the Luke Priddis Foundation Digital Upgrade, the Leep pilot on digital inclusion for seniors, supporting the Ratha’s Place food truck and the Christ Mission Possible Truck, promoting the amazing work Mama Lana’s do in our local community. The night time economy is important here in Lindsay, and I would like to encourage more emphasis on the importance of the night time economy for families in Lindsay and for businesses.

  •       Support for local small businesses and new job opportunities so people can work where they live and enjoy our community’s lifestyle.
  •       Investment in local infrastructure, roads and rail so you spend less time commuting and more time at home with family.
  •       Record funding for local schools and education, so that our children are given the best opportunity in life.
  •       Lowering your cost of living through tax relief, affordable and reliable energy and guaranteed essential services for health and hospitals.
  •       Protecting our local quality of life while growing our region and providing new educational and job opportunities for future generations.
  •       Keeping our borders strong and secure.

These are some of the local priorities that I have been fighting for. There is more to do and I have been working closely with organisations such as the Penrith Women’s Centre and Mama Lana’s to promote the work they do in and around our local community.

Small business and tax relief is important to nearly 15,000 small businesses in Lindsay. Tax relief is also important to nearly 77,000 will benefit from our government’s tax relief measures.

 

Dave Sharma, Candidate for the seat of Wentworth

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

I’m running for Wentworth because I want to protect our unique environment and quality of life, provide strong economic management, improve local infrastructure, take responsible action on climate change, and prepare for the challenges of the future.

Open and green spaces in Steyne Park and fighting to protect South Head are the local issues that I am passionate about in Wentworth.

Overdevelopment is a big issue in Wentworth, but fighting for a second high school in the Eastern Suburbs is high on the list. I will fight for more school placements in our local area.

Local transport and congestion is also an issue in Wentworth. I will work closely with the State Government to find practical solutions for on-demand bus services and new transport infrastructure.

I want to continue working with community organisations such as the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, and the Sydney Swans to expand the new Football Club HQ and Community Centre that paves the way for female sport in NSW. Our community also worked together and recently, I announced that we will invest $143,000 in enhanced CCTV at Bondi Beach to fight back against a recent spate of racist graffiti along the promenade.

These are some of the local priorities that I have been fighting for. There is more to do, and I have been working closely with organisations such as the Tara Clinic and Wayside Chapel to promote the work they do in and around our local community.

Small business and tax relief is important to over 32,000 small businesses in Wentworth. Tax relief is also important to the more than 80,000 who will benefit from our government’s tax relief measures.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

I enjoy hosting coffee visits in cafes around Wentworth. Recently I took part in the Ocean Lovers Festival in Bondi, supporting Take 3’s work to make a difference to ocean pollution, and thanked our local lifesavers for the incredible work they do. I regularly meet small business owners and I take part in community BBQs for local sporting groups. The markets in Wentworth, particularly the Bondi markets, are buzzing on a Saturday morning and they’re great to take the kids to.

 

TBS: Why is it an exciting time to be a politician? 

After a lifetime representing Australia as a diplomat on the world stage, I’m ready to represent our community in Canberra. I’m running for Wentworth because I want to protect our unique environment and quality of life, provide strong economic management, improve local infrastructure, take responsible action on climate change and prepare for the challenges of the future.

I was born in Canada to an Australian mother and an Indian father, who met in London in the 1960s. Our family, including my two twin sisters, moved to Sydney when I was very young. We lived a happy family life until we tragically lost my mum to breast cancer when I was 12. From then on, I was raised by my Dad. It wasn’t an easy time, but we got through it together. And the lessons I learnt – about the importance of family, the value of hard work, and self-reliance – I take with me to this day.

After completing my HSC at the local public high school, I was accepted into Cambridge University, graduating with a law degree. I returned to Australia and, after a brief stint studying medicine (and deciding it wasn’t for me), I joined Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, also known as DFAT.

DFAT sent me all over the world. I served as a peacekeeper in Papua New Guinea, co-ordinated strategic policy in Washington DC, and worked for a Foreign Minister for two years. That was also how I met my beautiful wife, Rachel – at the Annual DFAT Ball.

In 2013, I was appointed Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, and spent four years there, working to advance ties in important areas including innovation, technology, counter-terrorism and peace in the Middle East. I returned to Australia in 2017 and since then have joined the private sector, working with and advising a number of companies and businesses within the technology space.

Rachel and I live in Paddington with our three young daughters. With both of us working, we do our best to juggle family, work and school commitments.

I’m ready to be your full-time representative in Federal Parliament. I’ll fight for your values and provide the forward-thinking leadership that Wentworth deserves. I’ve spent my whole career advocating Australia’s interests abroad. Now, I’m ready to be Wentworth’s advocate in Canberra.

 

 

Sarah Richards – Candidate for the seat of Macquarie

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

A key priority for me is local infrastructure. Whether that be roads, transport solutions or sporting infrastructure.

I am so pleased that since being the candidate, I have been able to secure $200 million worth of funding for the Third Crossing of the Hawkesbury River. This was announced as part of this year’s Federal Budget.

I also view obtaining funding for new stables at the Hawkesbury Showground as a great achievement.

Should a Morrison Government be re-elected, we have also committed funds to Knapsack Park, the weeds in the Hawkesbury River, CCTV in Springwood and Katoomba, as well as a new Headspace in Katoomba, as youth mental health is an important priority across Australia.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

I would like voters to know that I am committed to the job. This means listening to their concerns and actually addressing them in a meaningful and responsive manner. People deserve an elected representative who can deliver on commitments and achieve outcomes.

 

TBSWhy is it an exciting time to be a politician?

Rather than an exciting time to be a politician, it is a crucial time. The two major parties are currently offering the nation two very different platforms. The Liberal Party is offering a proven track record of economic management and certainty moving ahead. The Labor Party is offering class warfare with their out of control taxes that will hit the hip pocket of aspirational Australians hard. I am taking this opportunity to be a sensible and credible voice for my community and in turn, promote a stable and reliable Government.

 

Fiona Martin, Candidate for the seat of Reid 

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

A strong budget surplus doesn’t happen by accident. The risk to our community of Labor’s $387 billion in higher taxes on workers, retirees, and small businesses is significant. That’s why I will work every day to secure our future, guarantee funding for the essential services that our community relies upon and ensure our economy is stronger, not weaker.

The key for workers is a strong economy. When people work hard, they deserve a fair go. That’s our mantra. If you have a go, you get a go. Our community is full of hard-working men and women who deserve to get the best chance possible in their lives to get ahead. Only the Coalition Government can deliver that – Labor will just tax you.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

Like many people who live in Reid, I went to school locally, firstly at Santa Sabina College and then to Rosebank College. So I know what our community needs locally.

By running a small business in its thirteenth year of operation, I have seen first-hand the difference that a strong economy makes to the lives of everyone in our community.

I am passionate about ensuring that taxes stay low, so that people in Reid keep more of what they earn, backing local small businesses to create more jobs and building the infrastructure our community needs to get ahead.

 

TBSWhy is it an exciting time to be a politician?

I am a mum, psychologist and small businesswoman.

I’ve spent my life working to better the lives of people, supporting some of the most vulnerable children in our community. My work has helped to treat a wide range of learning, developmental and behavioural difficulties that children experience.

I’m running for Reid because I want to keep helping people in our community. This is an exciting time because there’s never been a clearer choice in an Australian election – a choice between Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, and a Bill Shorten-led Labor that would take our country backwards.

 

Fiona Kotvojs – Candidate for the seat of Eden-Monaro

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

For me, the key priority within my seat is strong, liveable communities. Most rural communities within Eden-Monaro are losing our life-blood as many young people move elsewhere for work because of the limited local options. This was the situation when I left Bega High School, and it remains. Closer to Canberra, the need is ensuring communities remain the liveable environments as they grow.

As a result of the experience I have analysing and implementing programs to successfully address constraints to communities, public sector agencies and development of countries across the Pacific and South-East Asia, I know how to address these priorities. We need to take a long-term perspective rather than just quick fixes, address the causes rather than just the symptoms. The Federal Member must facilitate a coordinated approach by Local, State and Federal Governments.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

I grew up in this electorate, holidaying across all its corners. It is my home, where my heart is; my past, my present and my future. This shapes how I go about identifying and addressing local needs. So I care, I listen, I act. Since being preselected six-months ago, I have spent six or seven days a week travelling across the electorate, meeting and listening to groups and individuals. Through this, I identified the local needs rather than assuming I knew what they were. In some cases, I have already been able to work with Local Councils and the State Government to facilitate a solution. There are others, for which I continue to fight.

 

TBSWhy is it an exciting time to be a politician?

There are two reasons why, for me, this is an exciting time to be a politician. At a personal level, I want to see our communities thrive. The opportunity to serve as the representative for Eden-Monaro in parliament enables me to drive needed initiatives that require a long-term perspective. More broadly, the result of this election will see extremely divergent outcomes – more divergent than for generations. A Bill Shorten led Labor Government will spend money on items for which that they said they don’t know the cost and has committed to increasing taxes for all Australians. This will have horrific results on everyone, young people saving for a home, families, retirees. Scott Morrison’s team will continue to increase job numbers and investment in services (including health and education), reduce taxes, and support small business – which is key for this electorate.

 

Jilly Pilon – Candidate for the seat of Dobell

TBS: What is a key priority for you?

Roads are the number one issue for Central Coast residents. The northern end of the Central Coast region is growing quickly, and as more people move to the area we need to ensure local roads meet those demand pressures. That is why we are delivering $70 million to fix some of the worst roads on the Central Coast, including fourteen in Dobell.

We have also taken the additional step of announcing which roads we are fixing to ensure accountability for how the funding is spent.

 

TBS: What do you want voters to know about your plans to address the needs in your community?

With our plan, the budget is ‘back in black’ and the Morrison Government will deliver the first budget surplus in over a decade.

Most importantly, we will deliver on our commitments without increasing taxes.

 

TBSWhy is it an exciting time to be a politician?

I never planned on entering politics. After losing Banjo, the Central Coast community rallied around our family in support of a skatepark in memory of Banjo and to give kids a safe place to skate. We worked with Lucy Wicks and the Federal Government for a $500,000 commitment to building Banjo’s Skatepark. I had always wanted to make a difference, but didn’t really know how. When we got the funding for Banjo’s Skatepark, I decided I wanted to do more. This led me to run for Council in 2017, and now Dobell. For me, politics is about people and that is why I am now looking to take my involvement with the community to the next level. In Council, I constantly hear about the “Forgotten North”. This area is currently held by Labor at all levels of Government.

To ensure the northern end of the coast is no longer forgotten, we need a change of representation. This is why I’m running as the Liberal Candidate for Dobell.

 

 

Related posts

Top