Published on January 27th, 2015 | by Eva Cripps
THE 2015 QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Queensland 2015 election and the Independent candidates
With the Queensland election just days away, politicians of all persuasions are rallying for votes. The major parties are promising to create jobs, lower the cost of living and improve the economy. Social media is awash with memes disputing so-called facts and statistics. The issues facing Queenslanders are numerous and varied and the political responses are carefully tailored to smear the opposition or maximise the chance of a win.
In his short term as Premier, Campbell Newman has successfully enraged a broad cross-section of the population. The backlash from motorcyclists against the LNP’s absurd ‘war on bikies’ was relentless, as was the retaliation from doctors, fire-fighters, nurses, teachers, tradies, the legal profession and many others angered by Newman’s arrogant comments, ill-advised policy stances and legislative amendments. Granting of mining licences has been met with allegations of corruption. There are accusations that consultation over major developments has by-passed communities in favour of LNP donors. The real issues affecting most Queenslanders are brushed under the carpet in Newman’s attempts to be the strongest of the strong for a strong Queensland.
Despite the cheer-leading from the Government’s favourite rag, it appears that a fair percentage of Queenslanders are keen to see Newman ousted. While some polls show a chance of the LNP being re-elected, Newman himself is so unpopular it is possible he will lose his seat after just one term.
The time has come for Queenslanders to participate in democracy.
It is time to vote.
Every registered person must dig out their ID and go to a polling booth.
Voters must think carefully about who they will number first and what numbers they will allocate to the remaining candidates on the list, with their least preferred numbered last or not at all, as is the way with Queensland’s Optional Preferential Voting system,
In addition to the candidates from seven political parties (LNP, Labor, Greens, Family First, Palmer United, One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party), 65 independents have registered across 89 electorates. Voters may recognise some names in the list: teaming together to demand the repeal of the VLAD laws are Jamie Evans of ‘why are you wearing a vest’ fame and motorcyclists, Trevor Palmer and Peter Jeremijenko. Former Outcasts member and outspoken critic of the laws, Russell Wattie, is also standing as independent. Others may recognise Bill Sherwood from his active participation in the social media backlash against Newman and Bleijie.
While many Queenslanders are keen to see Newman and Bleijie’s outrageous suite of laws targeting one percent clubs repealed (known collectively as VLAD), the election will be decided on a wide range of issues. BikeMe! requested information from all independent candidates, and received responses from twenty-nine, who provided brief policy stances on a few topical areas.
In good news for motorcyclists, no candidate who responded believes that Bliejie’s controversial and draconian VLAD laws should be retained in full. Over half of the candidates who responded stated the laws must be repealed. The remaining respondents generally believe the laws go too far and should be amended or at the very least, reviewed independently and then action taken.
Candidates who have categorically stated the laws must be repealed are Kevin Forshaw (Algester), Peter Jeremijenko (Ashgrove), Kai Jones (Brisbane Central), Richard Freudenberg (Bundaberg), Steve Ensby (Callide), Jannean Dean (Hervey Bay), Ben Freney (Indooroopilly), Jamie Evans (Lytton), Tamera Michel (Lytton), Russell Wattie (Maryborough), Steve Beck (Morayfield), Bill Sherwood (Mudgeeraba), Hamish Gray (Sandgate), Jeffrey Hodges (Waterford), and Trevor Palmer (Woodridge).
Almost all the independents who responded are opposed to asset sales or leasing, and the majority are supportive of legalising medicinal marijuana with some conditions. The candidates provided mixed responses on how to deal with crime and unemployment, however there was a strong theme of support for education and providing better opportunities to address the issues. The granting of mining leases, major developments and how to deal with drought affected areas also received a range of responses, with some candidates wanting more control and regulation, others supportive of mining and development provided the community was properly consulted, while others were concerned about the impact on the environment. Most candidates believe more support should be provided by the government to those affected by drought and almost all candidates were against coal seam gas mining based on the impact on waterways.
Below, in order of electorate, are brief summaries of each independent candidate who responded. BikeMe! does not endorse any particular candidate and encourages all voters to seek information from their prospective representative. A full list of candidates can be found here.
Kevin Forshaw (Algester)
Mr Forshaw states that he offers a realistic representation for Algester, recognising that employment, education, non-privatisation, government transparency and community are key issues for voters. Mr Forshaw would like to see the VLAD laws, which have resulted in harassment and wrongful arrest, repealed as he believes existing laws were sufficient to deal with criminals. The Algester independent candidate is also opposed to asset sales and leasing, and believes the government should buy locally to help address unemployment. Mining licences should only be approved for Australian companies with money returning to the State, and coal seam gas mining should only be approved after full consultation with landowners. Mr Forshaw opposes the cruise ship terminal and casino on the Gold Coast as he does not want to see the natural beauty of the Broadwater destroyed. Medicinal marijuana should be legalised but with strict controls on supply and distribution.
Connie Cicchini (Ashgrove)
Ms Cicchini is passionate about improving consumer protection, including the introduction of motor vehicle lemon laws, and creating an economy which will sustain employment for Queenslanders. She believes that jobs should be kept in Australia and that greater consumer protection and on-shore jobs will create an environment which fosters employment and consumer spending, thus boosting the economy. Ms Cicchini is opposed to asset sales and leases, and believes a strategy should be implemented to get back government services that have been privatised. Ms Cicchini, who is competing for Newman’s seat, believes that the VLAD laws go too far and remove innocent Queenslanders’ freedoms. However she stops short of calling for a full repeal of the laws. The independent candidate believes education is the key to reducing crime. Drought may be addressed by building more dams, and mining licences should only be granted after environmental factors are considered and with the permission of the landowner. Coal seam gas mining should not be approved if it has the potential to contaminate nearby water resources.
Peter Jeremijenko (Ashgrove)
Mr Jeremijenko also provides an alternative to Campbell Newman in Ashgrove. Top of his list of priorities is removing the anti-association and VLAD laws and ensuring the freedom of Queenslanders is not compromised again by pushing for the introduction of a Bill of Rights. The independent candidate believes cost of living is a major issue for Queenslanders. In his electorate of Ashgrove, road infrastructure in particular needs to be improved as people do not use public transport due to it being too expensive. Mr Jeremijenko is opposed to asset sales and leasing. He believes a more open process is required for mining lease approvals, and that the evidence is stacking up against coal seam gas mining. Mr Jeremijenko states that ‘the guts has been ripped out of training in Queensland’ and addressing this is the first step in reducing unemployment. He is supportive of legalising medicinal marijuana.
Kai Jones (Brisbane Central)
Mr Jones believes Queenslanders are keen to see a government which listens to the voters. One of Mr Jones first priorities is to repeal legislation which adversely affects the community, including the VLAD laws. He is opposed to asset sales or leasing without a referendum. Mr Jones is community focused and is committed to asking the people what is important to them rather than telling them what they want. He believes that mining leases, major developments like the cruise ship terminal and Casino on the Gold Coast should only be approved if the community, minus lobbyists and powerbrokers support it; however there must be legal mechanisms in place to deal with abuse of process. He believes unemployment and crime can be addressed through engagement and understanding of the community. Mr Jones does not support coal seam gas mining and believes the government should take a genuine interest in a long term, sustainable environment to address drought. He believes medicinal marijuana should be legalised. Public transport and road infrastructure is of equal importance, but road and parking should be toll free.
Richard Fruedenberg (Bundaberg)
Mr Fruedenberg is standing against the current Minister for Police, Jack Dempsey, in Bundaberg. He believes the key issues for Queenslanders are jobs, cost of living, asset sales, fairness and equality, and future opportunities. Mr Fruedenberg would like to see the VLAD laws repealed on the first day of parliament. Unlike the current Police Minister, he believes punishment should fit the crime and is supportive of a mediation system being introduced to deal with matters before they reach court. He sees many positives to legalising medicinal marijuana. Mr Fruedenberg believes that rebuilding state assets will boost jobs, and reducing the cost of housing will positively impact on other industries. He does not have any issues with mining but believes multi-national companies should not be taking Queensland’s natural resources. He would like to see a moratorium on coal seam gas mining until a consensus has been reached on safety. He states that investing in roads is key for regional Queensland.
BJ Davison (Burdekin)
Mr Davison is locally focused and has a list of key issues that directly relate to Burdekin. Of importance are growth and prosperity, industry, infrastructure, jobs and supporting business. He opposes any further cuts to regional services, or the closure of schools or hospitals. Mr Davison also supports abolishing Payroll Tax and Stamp Duty. At a local level, Mr Davison would like to see improved cane prices for local cane growers, who he states produce the best sugar cane in the country. He is fully supportive of the Abbot Point Expansion, stating that it will not damage the reef. Mr Davison is committed to developments and projects that will provide jobs and resources for the community, including coal projects in the Galilee Basin and northern Bowen Basin, the Urannah Dam, power station at Collinsville, Elliot Main Channel, raising the Burdekin Falls Dam wall, a second bridge over the Burdekin River and a new sports stadium in Townsville. He would also like to see projects in the State Development Area including a multi-cargo facility, a cannery, meat processing facility and other businesses to support export. Mr Davison would like more support for commercial fishing and more resources allocated to recreational fishing. He believes the community will benefit from a de-amalgamation of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
Steve Ensby (Callide)
Mr Ensby’s main aim as an independent candidate is to ‘bring back a voice for the forgotten people of Callide’. His top priorities are to improve telecommunications across his electorate, improve opportunities for the young and unemployed and improve aged care services. Mr Ensby would like to see the VLAD laws repealed as the definitions are too broad and enable victimisation. Mr Ensby is opposed to asset sales or leasing and believes that unemployment could be addressed with an ‘at cost’ local supply policy for gas and electricity to support local business, and enhancing export opportunities. The government should also pursue a ‘Queensland made’ policy for purchases. Mr Ensby also believes that the protection of the community and prime agricultural land is a priority over mining. Any licence approvals must be fully transparent and accountable. He supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana.
Shane White (Condamine)
Mr White is determined to represent the constituents of the Condamine free from party politics. He states that the top issues for his electorate are the Shire, the coal mine expansion at Acland, which the community is opposed to, widening of the ring road at Dalby and the changes to the ethanol plant, which is a big employer in the area. Mr White believes that the VLAD laws need to be reviewed as people in his electorate do not fully understand them. He believes that more information is required before making a decision on whether to support asset sales or leasing. Mr White also states that mining licences should be considered on a case by case basis and only approved if the community is supportive. He does not support coal seam gas mining on prime agricultural land. Mr White supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana.
Di Gittins (Ferny Grove)
Ms Gittins believes that the ‘cornerstone of any civilisation is education, health services and creative arts’. She would like to see the VLAD laws reformed, stating they are an affront to civil liberties and discriminatory in the current form. She recognises the pros and cons of asset sales and believes a referendum should be held to decide. Ms Gittins is concerned that the LNP TAFE cuts will significantly reduce training opportunities which will impact on unemployment. Ms Gittins believes that support should be increased for drought-affected families, and the land should be worked in the most productive and environmentally appropriate ways. Mining licences should be considered on a case by case basis and only granted with consideration of traditional landowners, the current land use and the environmental impacts. Any decision to legalise medicinal marijuana, which she believes is a potentially life changing natural product, should be done in consultation with the patients who will benefit.
Jannean Dean (Hervey Bay)
Independent candidate for Hervey Bay, Ms Dean is locally focussed with key priorities of addressing employment, drugs and crime, and supporting small business. Ms Dean is committed to discussing and working with groups to form sensible policy that is in the best interests of her electorate. She believes the VLAD laws should be repealed as they go too far. She does not support coal seam gas mining, but does support legalising medicinal marijuana. Ms Dean believes the key issues for Queenslanders are law and order, employment, quality of life, education and winning back the Origin trophy.
Ben Freney (Indooroopilly)
Mr Freney stands for job creation, job security, and social and economic freedoms. As such, he supports the repeal of the VLAD laws, legalisation of marijuana for all purposes and also decriminalisation and regulation of all schedule 1 and 2 drugs. He believes the money spent on enforcing such laws should be put back into health care to deal with addiction. Mr Freney supports asset sales provided no jobs are lost and believes unemployment can be addressed with privatisation of government business, provided staff are retained. He believes that public transport should be privatised with a user pays system for road use. Costs to the user would be offset by an overall reduction in tax. Mr Freney believes that mining and farming can co-exist, with mine operation occurring during droughts and farming during the rainy season, with farmers financially compensated for the use of their land. A condition of the licence would include keeping pollution low and the land suitable to use for farming. Mining licences should not be granted for protected areas, eg, the Great Barrier Reef. Mr Freney also supports coal seam gas mining as it provides employment but believes there should be harsh penalties for pollution. He supports the cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast provided it is viable.
Peter Ervik (Logan)
Mr Ervik catchphrase is ‘Free Fuel for Life’; he is a strong supporter of renewable and sustainable solutions and wishes to see Hydrogen on Demand System made legal in Queensland. If elected, he will push for the Bradfield Scheme Solar solution to be implement which he states will give prosperity to inland Queensland. He is opposed to selling off businesses and supports investment in new opportunities for Queenslanders which will lead to income, jobs and prosperity.
Jamie Evans (Lytton)
Mr Evans is committed to engaging with the local community to ensure voters are properly represented. Having been personally impacted by the Newman government’s vendetta against motorcyclists wearing patched vests (detained 26 times with no infringements issued), he has been vocal against the VLAD laws since inception. Mr Evans believes that crime should be addressed by having better trained police and visible policing. The police should also investigate actual criminal activity, not tie up resources with the VLAD laws and ‘chasing shadows’. Mr Evans has seen first-hand the detriment of asset sales and is opposed to asset sales or leasing, which he believes will increase unemployment and the cost of living. He states that the high unemployment rate can be addressed with school based training and enhanced support for small businesses. The Government should also offer grants to businesses to encourage trade apprenticeships and invest further in TAFE colleges. He believes investing in roads infrastructure will also boost employment, and interest-free loans and government grants should be made available to farmers to help with drought relief. Mr Evans states there should be an independent review of mining licences, with environmental factors and community concerns properly considered. He supports the idea of the cruise ship terminal and casino, but not the location. Mr Evans believes medicinal marijuana should be legalised provided studies support the medicinal value.
Tamera Michel (Lytton)
Ms Michel stands for hard working families, who she says have been ignored by the major parties. She believes that unemployment, healthcare, education, the environment and asset sales are important issues for Queenslanders, and if elected, her priorities will be upgrading the Lindum railway level crossing, improving child healthcare and tackling petty crime and vandalism. Ms Michel supports the repeal of the VLAD laws which she labels as ‘outrageous’. While she agrees with being tough on crime, she believes prior laws were adequate and the judicial process must be followed. She believes crime is better addressed with more police and education programs which highlight the consequences of bad decisions on a person’s future. She believes that unemployment can also be addressed with education and training, with more guidance and advice provided in schools on career prospects and the government investing in job opportunities. Employers should also be offered incentives to take on and keep apprentices for the full apprenticeship. Ms Michel does not support asset sales or leasing. Drought affected farmers could be better supported with low interest loans or a freeze on interest. Ms Michel acknowledges that the mining industry is important for employment in Queensland, but believes that strict regulations are necessary to protect resources and the environment. Ms Michel is supportive of medicinal marijuana being legalised.
Jarrod Wirth (Mansfield)
Mr Wirth lists a number of core goals he would like to achieve on his website, including addressing political advertising, political expenditure, remuneration for MPs, political integrity, and party politics. Mr Wirth does not state where he stands in regards to the VLAD laws but believes that crime will be reduced if the death penalty is reintroduced. He does not support asset sales, nor the cruise ship terminal and casino planned for Wavebreak Island. He would like to see medicinal marijuana legalised. Mr Wirth states that he would prefer to see existing debt paid off than any further investments which may result in debt.
Russell Wattie (Maryborough)
Mr Wattie believes that jobs, roads, government and public service integrity, just laws for all Queenslanders and the environment are the key issues for voters. If elected, Mr Wattie will encourage jobs and industry in Maryborough and more apprentices to address the skills shortage, and push for a truly independent Crime and Corruption Commission. He believes that working with industry and workforces to improve productivity, and discouraging off-shore jobs, will help address unemployment. A former member of the Outcasts motorcycle club, now arbitrarily declared a criminal organisation in Queensland, Mr Wattie has spoken loudly against the VLAD laws and will push to have them repealed as he believes the laws violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He believes that crime can be better addressed through properly funding and resourcing the Queensland Police Service. Mr Wattie does not support asset sales or leasing, and believes that mining licences should only be approved after due process with a full EPA report and a bond for rehabilitation. He does not support coal seam gas mining or the cruise ship terminal for the Gold Coast. Mr Wattie believes that farmers should not have to be at the point of no return financially before they are eligible for drought relief. Mr Wattie supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana.
Steve Beck (Morayfield)
Mr Beck is focussed on personal freedoms and the protection of Queensland jobs, particularly the creative industries and innovation. He states that in the next ten years there will be ‘new jobs in new industries as yet unimagined’. Mr Beck supports the repeal of the VLAD laws, which he believes were enacted as a political stunt and police should have been given proper resources to deal with any crime. Mr Beck is committed to a number of local issues, including the prioritisation, completion and reinstatement of a number of major development and infrastructure projects which will provide jobs in the electorate. Mr Beck opposes asset sales, labelling it as a short term ‘sugar hit’ which will cost jobs in the long term. He supports further research into medicinal marijuana with a view to it being legalised.
Bill Sherwood (Mudgeeraba)
Mr Sherwood states that he stands for honesty, credibility, people and the environment. He would like to see the government held accountable, which he states is not the case at the moment. His top priorities if elected are to repeal the VLAD laws, stop asset sales and stop the planned quarry at Reedy Creek. He believes that crime can be addressed by creating more jobs, decriminalising marijuana, including for medicinal purposes, and by having more police on the streets. He does not support asset sales or leasing, quoting Tim Nicholls MP (LNP): ‘a lease is as good as a sale’. Mr Sherwood believes unemployment can be addressed by supporting small business. He would like to see water sources protected, which means no coal seam gas mining as he states there is comprehensive evidence that it contaminates the water table. He believes this will help deal with droughts, as would examining the water rationing between mines and farms. Mr Sherwood would like to see an unbiased and independent review of cruise ship terminal and casino proposal, with the community properly consulted before approval.
Thor Prohaska (Pine Rivers)
At the core of Mr Prohaska’s campaign platform is the commitment to represent the majority view of the voters in his electorate. He believes that political parties cannot truly represent the people and as an independent, he will represent the majority consensus position on each policy, regardless of his own personal views. He believes the top issues for Queenslanders are housing, employment, health, education and law and order. While Mr Prohaska has provided personal views on topical areas, including opposition to asset sales, coal seam gas mining, the cruise ship terminal and casino for the Gold Coast, and support for the legalisation of medicinal marijuana, if elected he will vote in accordance with the people’s position. Mr Prohaska believes that the existing mining laws and regulations should be applied ‘without fear or favour’. He believes that crime can be reduced if all people who can work are employed, all have a place to live and a role in the community. Unemployment can be addressed by implementing the Australian Job Guarantee.
Anne Margaret O’Connor (Rockhampton)
Ms O’Connor’s policies are based on the principle that ‘we are society with an economy not an economy with a society’. She believes it is important to re-engage citizens back into democracy and is a supporter of liberty, opportunity and equity. She would like to see more support for seniors who she says have been disparaged by both federal and state governments. Ms O’Connor would like to see the VLAD laws reviewed and likely repealed, as she believes all people charged or found guilty of a crime should be treated in a fair and just manner. Ms O’Connor does not believe it is reasonable that it is against the law to be a member of a bikie club. She believes that crime can be reduced through equity and opportunity, and states that in a free and fair society, crime is minimal. She believes selling assets is ‘ridiculous’. Ms O’Connor believes that education is key for addressing unemployment, but the focus should be on what skills and competencies people have to take to the market place, not just about what jobs are available. She believes that unemployed people should ‘do something’, and ‘be useful’ to maintain purpose which will lead to improved self-confidence and then to income. Ms O’Connor states that farmers should be encouraged to diversify to minimise impacts from drought. She is concerned by overseas ownership of mines and would contest mining licences in sensitive areas. She does not support coal seam gas mining. Ms O’Connor believes that medical marijuana should be legalised if the doctors agree.
Hamish Gray (Sandgate)
Mr Gray stands for individual freedom and small government and commits to listening to the community. His first priorities if elected are to cut taxes, regulation and red tape for all Queenslanders, which he believes will help with reducing unemployment, along with cutting vehicle registration costs. Mr Gray supports the repeal of the ‘morally abhorrent and draconian’ anti association and VLAD laws. He advocates for the legalisation of cannabis and believes that crime can be reduced with a return to community policing. Mr Gray believes that assets should only be sold after they have been opened up to competition to ensure ‘low prices for tax payers and a properly functioning market’. He states that where there is no competition, the asset should not be sold, eg, ports. Mr Gray believes that government land should also be sold at market rates and big businesses should not be given ‘tax payer handouts or favourable treatment’. Ground water should also be available for farmers for free to assist with drought, with less compliance regulations and fees to reduce production costs for farmers. Mr Gray believes the granting of mining licences should be made simpler as he states mines are a big contributor to Australia. He supports coal seam gas mining provided the landowner gives approval and the environment is not damaged. He is also supportive of the cruise ship terminal and casino on the Gold Coast, but does state that big businesses should not have a monopoly on gambling licenses.
Karel Boele (South Brisbane)
Mr Boele is community focused and believes that the VLAD laws, Crime and Corruption Commission, doctors’ contracts, employment, and environment, planning and development decisions are the key issues for Queenslanders. If elected he would like to see more ‘vibrant local community organisation such as Timebanks’, which will also assist with the creation of local jobs and employment opportunities. Mr Boele believes crime can be addressed with policies around community inclusiveness, cohesion and stronger relationships. He says that offenders should confront the implications of their crimes and take action to reconcile what they have done. The legalisation of medicinal marijuana should be investigated. Mr Boele prefers leasing over asset sales. He believes that to deal with drought, it is necessary to look at the lifestyles that are impacting negatively on the environment and make changes, for example creating more foliage to replace cleared land. He believes that diversifying stock and crop production will help deal with times of drought. Mr Boele would like to see stricter conditions and public consultation for mining licences. He has not seen evidence that coal seam gas mining is safe for people or the environment. He would support a cruise ship terminal and casino for the Gold Coast if the local people supported it. Mr Boele supports investment in public transport over road infrastructure.
David Forde (Stretton)
If elected, Mr Forde will work with whichever party is in power, but always in the best interests of the electorate. Mr Forde states that the people in the Stretton electorate are opposed to the sale or lease of assets, are concerned by expensive public transport, urban development that lacks infrastructure or support, education, unemployment – which he believes can be addressed with training opportunities and limited tax incentives for businesses to employ persons, health and the cost of living. He believes that the community would like to see honesty in government and grassroots representation. Mr Forde is not fully across the VLAD laws, but states that he would like to see the legislation amended as he does not support people being criminalised by association, however he does support the police targeting those actually undertaking criminal activities. He believes crime can better be addressed by increasing frontline police and dealing with areas of social disadvantage. Mr Forde is concerned about the lack of revenue from mining and does not support the granting of licences where landowners rights are not considered. He is also concerned about the impact of coal seam gas mining on water and land-owners. He supports the legalisation of medical marijuana but only under strict medical supervision.
Ruth Golden (Warrego)
Ms Golden is keen to represent the people of Warrego with more consultation. Her top priority if elected will be to revitalise towns by building industry, agriculture, tourism and community opportunities. Ms Golden believes that organised crime is a problem in society and supports the repeal of some of the VLAD laws, but the retainment of others – she does not specify which. She is opposed to asset sales or leases and believes that unemployment can be addressed by supporting small business, including providing relief to small businesses affected by drought in addition to farmers and freight subsidies for agistment cattle and stockfeed transportation. Ms Golden believes that mineral exploration should be supported and that the coal seam gas industry provides employment possibilities in the Warrego region. However she states that groundwater management including monitoring, and transparent and honest reporting is necessary.
Jason Dickson (Waterford)
Mr Dickson promises to fight for all constituents, particularly the vulnerable and elderly. Mr Dickson would like to see improved access and availability of medical services and the promotion of new jobs and training in the sector. He strongly opposes the privatisation of education and public services, and asset sales or leasing. He supports the establishment of a state owned bank where the profits return to the state. Mr Dickson would like to introduce and implement publicly initiated referendums which will give the public a direct right to amend, repeal or introduce legislation. Mr Dickson opposes coal seam gas mining and promises to protect private and traditional land owners’ right to refuse mining on properties. He supports the appointment of a Minister for Ageing and Social Services.
Jeffrey Hodges (Waterford)
Mr Hodges stands for ‘honesty, integrity and a return to genuine democracy in Queensland by distancing government from businesses. If elected, his top priorities will be abolishing tolls, stopping asset sales and cutting politicians salaries and perks. Mr Hodges believes the VLAD laws are undemocratic and unfair and should be repealed. He believes crime can be addressed with education and rehabilitation. Mr Hodges believes unemployment can also be reduced with education, re-skilling and retraining of the unemployed, reducing overseas workers and reducing immigration levels. He does not support government handouts for drought relief, but does support financial assistance for reforestation, building dams etc, for farmers to ‘drought proof’ properties. Mr Hodges does not support the approval of mining licences, including coal seam gas mining, or any other major development which negatively impacts on the environment or social welfare. He believes that the community should have the final say on decisions. He supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana. Mr Hodges would like to see more investment in public transport, which he believes should be free for those on a pension, students and low income earners. He would also like to see the re-forestation of Queensland and the control and reduction of foreign ownership of farms and residential property. Mr Hodges supports compulsory philosophy, religion and ethics education in all schools to encourage understanding of different religious views and to provide a moral compass. He would like to reduce motorcycle registration fees and improve safety for motorcyclists by having dedicated ‘motorcycle lanes’ on the motorways.
Dave Beard (Woodridge)
Mr Beard is committed to working hard for his electorate. He states that jobs, roads, infrastructure, the economy and health are key issues for Queenslanders. Mr Beard’s first priority is to invest in better and safer roads to ease congestion and reduce accidents. He would like to implement a new job creation strategy and reduce government financial waste. Mr Beard would like an independent study into the VLAD laws and then appropriate action taken – as a new motorcyclist he does not want to be targeted and treated unfairly which he believes is the experience of other riders. Mr Beard believes that crime can be reduced with better assistance for the Neighbourhood Watch Program. He believes that greater assistance should be provided to drought-affected farmers, particularly in light of the high suicide rate. Mr Beard would like to see closer consultation with residents for mining licence approvals and supports coal seam gas mining as it creates jobs; although he states better communication with landholders is needed. Mr Beard supports the cruise ship terminal for the Gold Coast, but not the casino. He would like more invested in road infrastructure. Mr Beard does not support the legalisation of medicinal marijuana. He believes in the preservation and protection of bushland, waterways and wildlife in his electorate.
Trevor Palmer (Woodridge)
If elected, Mr Palmer promises to listen to the people of Woodridge, act on their concerns and push for the same laws to apply to all Queenslanders. His priorities are health, education and public transport. Mr Palmer is committed to seeing the VLAD laws repealed and a Bill of Rights introduced. He believes crime can be addressed with visible policing and education. He does not support asset sales or leasing and believes unemployment can be addressed with more apprenticeships, skills training in schools and teaming up with large businesses for students to get work experience. Mr Palmer supports the supply of water tanks to all homes (to be paid off on rates) and more dams to help deal with times of drought. He believes greater transparency is required for mining licence approvals, and royalties should be paid to the State. He is opposed to coal seam gas mining due to the damage he has seen to water supplies. He is opposed to the cruise ship terminal and casino on the Gold Coast as he believes it will damage the environment. Mr Palmer supports the legalisation of medicinal marijuana.
Carl Judge (Yeerongpilly)
Mr Judge states he will honestly and effectively serve the people, and represent the best interests of the constituents in Yeerongpilly. He is committed to ensuring legislation is evidence based and introducing legislation to address short-comings. He believes the key issues for Queenslanders are employment opportunities and job security, cost of living, provision of affordable and accessible health services, the environment and integrity and honesty in politics. Mr Judge believes the VLAD laws should be amended to introduce safeguards that maintain the separation of powers, and requiring evidence for declarations of criminal organisations. He states that crime rates can be addressed with proper resourcing directed at crime prevention and detection using an evidence-based and intelligent approach. Mr Judge does not support Newman’s asset sales/leases plan. He believes unemployment can be addressed by working with industry, particularly the foundational industries and innovation, and recognising the potential of the ‘knowledge sector’. Mr Judge states that a holistic approach is required to address droughts, and the government should improve support for the agricultural sector, with a focus on ‘drought proofing’ and preserving prime agricultural ground. He supports sustainable mining with environmentally responsible outcomes, but believes Queensland should also look at alternative energy sources. Mr Judge states that the cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast offers significant opportunities for tourism but must be balanced with community amenity and environmental considerations. He supports medicinal marijuana subject to scientific validation and control measures. Mr Judge would like to see the introduction of a Minister for Seniors’ due to the aging population and to ensure policies take this demographic into account.