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farrer-candidates

Farrer Candidates

Farrer Candidates

A basic guide to the candidates for Farrer

SUSSAN LEY - LIBERAL

Key policies and promises
A re-elected Scott Morrison government will:
- keep your taxes lower;
- support small business;
- stand behind our farmers; and,
- bring jobs, particularly for young people, to our region.
"We created 100,000 jobs last year for young people alone," Ms Ley said.
"It's never happened before, and that's the sort of achievements that we'll be aiming for in the future."
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"I know Farrer, I know everyone inch of this fabulous part of Western New South Wales, and I'm determined to keep delivering."
During the last term of government, we've been able to provide $1-billion of infrastructure and funding into the electorate.
In the local Swan Hill area I've been committed to the Swan Hill Bridge ($60-million), the Newell Highway ($40-million), and just making sure that our communities impacted by drought in that area, Balralnald Shire in particular, get the support they deserve with our Drought Communities Program and our rural financial counsellors.
Ms Ley said water is the most important thing for many communities, and the Murray Darling Basin Plan is flawed and needs to be made more flexible.
"I've got a strong record of being able to assist when it comes to tweaking that plan so that it works for us, and doesn't work too well for those who would like to see irrigated agriculture shut down."
Thoughts on water policy
Ms Ley said water policy is vital for the electorate of Farrer, as it is the home of irrigated agriculture.
She said the area has seen lots go wrong because of the water allocation system in the NSW Murray.
"A lot of that relates to a plan that has State Governments at the table so the Commonwealth is not able to fix everything, but what we can do is work with the States to make sensible changes."
As we move into the water season, Ms Ley believes the most important thing is for farmers to get an allocation.
"We know that the allocation of losses in the conveyancing in the system is not strictly fair," she said.
"We know that if we allocated those losses differently, we would have more general security water in the electorate of Farrer, and that would actually make sense."
She said beyond this, it is about flexibility inside the Basin Plan.
"It's about recognising that the environment actually should be providing water, even if it's just alone, for farmers so that they can finish winter crops and actually have a safety net."
Thoughts on health policy
State governments are responsible for the provision of health services at hospital.
Ms Ley said they are helping General Practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals through a $550-million dollar rural health strategy.
"It will bring 3,000 nurses and 3,000 doctors to the bush, to our area," she said.
"It will encourage them to work within the NSW Hospital system so that they can have the training, the supervision, and basically build their whole career in regional Australia."
She said she is excited for the introduction of the strategy.
"I know that when we match it with new infrastructure ... we're going to have the right professionals, and the right equipment."
Why should people vote for you?
"I will fight for you, for your community, for your water, for your health, for your young people every single day," Ms Ley said.
"I've got a proven track record and I'm determined and passionate to keep going - even more determined than I have been previously."

ROSS HAMILTON - SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIA

Key policies and promises
Sustainable Australia has four key plans for the election:
- a sustainable environment and population
- real economic growth
- a secure future
- focus on rural health
Mr Hamilton said he would also like to focus on trucking.
"There are certain things that have been ignored by the major parties, when trucking is such a crucial area of our economy," he said.
He also said he is focusing on the future of water in the region.
"I’m the only candidate that is opposing the tripling of Albury–Wodonga’s population, which is going to have a significant impact on water downstream."
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"I think we need fresh thinking in the seat of Farrer. We’ve had for too long a complacent MP," Mr Hamilton said.
He said water management needs to be changed, which is not being done by major parties.
"I would like to seek a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan and its failures, and be able to fix this fiasco."
He said changes to the truckng industry are essential.
"Truck drivers don’t have enough rest areas currently. I’d like to improve the one’s we’ve got, and deliver a lot more," he said.
"I’d also like to create a national framework for the trucking industry in-state, including a minimum cab size for truck drivers.
"Lastly, I’d like to be able to create three big, super truck stops in Buronga, Hay and Albury, where truck drivers can have access to showers, a GP, physiotherapist, healthy food and gym."
Thoughts on water policy
Mr Hamilton said he views this as a failure of economic policy.
"There is one major issue with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan that can be fixed very, very quickly, and that is to tie water back to land," he said.
"Unfortunately, the water trading market has left farmers in Southern Riverina and Murrumbidgee irrigation area absolutely short-changed."
Mr Hamilton said it is not fair the Southern Riverina has to pick up for the failures elsewhere in the system.
Thoughts on health policy
Working in health, Mr Hamilton said he sees the problems with the system from the inside.
"While some of those come down to funding, they mostly come down to people," he said.
"We have a bit of a problem in rural health, that we can’t attract and then retain health professionals.
"That’s not just doctors, that’s people like nurses and radiologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists."
He said one of the major issues with rural health is not enough people from the country go to university.
"We don’t have as many people come back and stay in the country, so we have a constant revolving door and too many gaps within our health system."
A proposed scholarship set could change how regional health works.
"People and students from the ncountry can go and study courses like medicine, either in the country or the big cities, and then move back to have their whole career in regional centres, or in rural and remote areas."
Why should people vote for you?
"Because I’m the only candidate on the ballot that’s looking after truck drivers and looking after key interests."

KIERAN DRABSCH - LABOR

Key policies and promises
Labor want to deliver a fairer community by investing in our:
- health;
- education; and,
- infrastructure.
They also aim to 'better manage' our water, and 'restore transparency' to the way it is being managed.
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"This electorate alone is going to receive an additional $24.8-million in funding for public schools," he said.
Mr Drabsch said Albury will benefit from a 24/7 unit, as well as a specialist cancer nurse.
"All patients who have cancer are going to be receiving no out-of-pocket expenses under a Labor Government," he said.
"We know in rural and regional areas there's a massive challenge with GP's, and I'm going to be prioritising what we can do to help manage that challenge within our community"
Thoughts on water policy
Mr Drabsch said Labor's policy is to continue with the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
"I understand that there are significant challenges with that for our community.
"However, we can't just pause the Plan and if we abolish the Plan, what are we going to replace it with?"
Mr Drabsch said proper metering needs to be installed across the system.
"[This will] ensure that the dodgy Barnaby Joyce deals don't continue."
He said he is working to get a water research centre in the Farrer electorate.
"[That way] we can invest in things like hydro-atmospheric capturing, so we can actually put water back into the system."
Mr Drabsch said Farrer communities are being forced to make up the shortfall of water following the abuse of the Darling River.
"I understand that as a community some of these environmental flows can be quite stressul, especially when we're seeing water go past our farms," he said.
"What we need to do is we need to find ways to better manage that Darling River, and we also need to find ways to invest in engineering and technology that's actually going to put water back into the system."
Labor are looking at an anti-corruption body and a judicial inquiry into the water buy-backs.
"I very much suspect as a result of the make-up of the Senate, whoever forms Government will be pushed into a position where there could be a Royal Commission.
"I have no doubt that could generate some positive outcomes, but in some ways a Royal Commission will most likely uncover what we already know.
"It hasn't been managed properly in the last six years, there have been dodgy water deals, and we need to restore integrity and trust between the Murray Darling Basin Authority, communities, and Governments and communities."
Thoughts on health policy
Mr Drabsch said he welcomes the Royal Commission into aged care, as he sees a number of challenges.
"The for-profit aged care industry has been exploiting people who are retiring, who are elderly."
"For us, we want to get investment back into aged care, we want to listen to the Royal Commission findings," he said.
"As a party we are absolutely committed to making sure that if you're an older person and you need access to aged care, not only can you afford [it], but you will be treated with dignity and respect."
Why should people vote for you?
"I would love the support of the community, because I believe that I have a clear vision for what we need to do to get better services into our community," he said.
"I believe we need to invest in our next generation, we need to invest in our TAFE/schools/hospitals, and we need to work with each other to ensure that we get the best possible outcomes when it comes to water management."

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KEVIN MACK - INDEPENDENT

Key policies and promises
Mr Mack said there is a distinct need for better services in the Farrer electorate, that are otherwise provided for those in cities.
"Health is a major issue for even Albury-Wodonga .. we are being shortchanged," he said.
"Particularly out further, when you get out to Deniliquin and Griffith ... there is a shortage of GP's, their hospitals are in crisis, the services they can provide are limited."
Mr Mack said he has become known as the 'Water Member'.
"We need water for our communities, we need water for our agriculture," he said.
"Forty percent of our food is produced in Australia from our Southern Basin food bowl all the way to Griffith, and without allocation, without proper water, we can't provide that food."
Mr Mack said mobile and internet black spot funding is key to the electorate, as it benefits businesses, education and farmers.
He also said there needs to be an increase in access to public transport, to ensure those in need are being looked after.
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"This issues with this country at the moment is, we're too focused on three-year terms of government."
Mr Mack said he is committed to delivering results for the people of Farrer.
"I'm an independent voice for the people of Farrer, as Cathy McGowan has been in Indi for six years, and I think Cathy's record stands for itself."
Thoughts on water policy
"We need to see a Royal Commission into the water fiasco
"We need to see a Royal Commission into where the Plan is, and what [sic] the Plan is delivering.
"Speaking to all levels government and all levels of the community ... the social and economic issues associated with this plan are not being met.
"It's been running for eight years, $8-billion of taxpayers money wasted on something people are very unhappy with."
Thoughts on health policy
Mr Mack said while he believes the NDIS will work, the NDIA need to be properly funded.
"NDIS are not servicing or resourcing the product very well, you've got people in Farrer that are struggling, and their our most vulnerable," he said.
"They are not getting their packages met, they're not getting their services, they're not getting that level of care that they need."
Mr Mack said care packages are vital, with 120,000 packages yet to be assessed.
"We talk about wanting our ageing population to live in independent care where they should," he said.
"They should be able to live at home, well provide them with the service to be able to do that."
Why should people vote for you?
"As a voice on the crossbench for Farrer, I am determined," he said.
"I can deliver outcomes that will provide evidence, and will provide services and infrastructure for my electorate.
"I believe in my electorate, I believe in my city, and I believe in what I do, and you need someone doing that."

PHILIP LANGFIELD - CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Key policies and promises
Mr Langfield said he will continue to maintain Christian standards and values, particularly at a time he feels free speech is under attack.
One of his main concerns is water policy.
"I just believe that rural Australia has been very badly neglected by both the major political parties and they haven’t been using any vision to look to the future of Australia," he said.
"[Australia] is a very large country, [and] a very dry country, but it has enormous and huge potential in agriculture with more water.
"The very fact that the Darling River has run dry and the massive loss of fish up there is just a national disgrace and an indictment, poor management and lack of vision."
Mr Langfield said to solve the problem, we need to go back to the basics.
"It’s been building up for the last two or three decades and it’s just this drought that’s highlighted and brought it to a head, where we’ve seen these disasters," he said.
"We should never have allowed it to happen."
Benefits of the candidate and their party
Mr Langfield said he is determined to stand up for rural and regional areas.
He said with such a large irrigation area, there is a need to help out the drier regions.
"They just need more water and that means they’ve got to look at the big picture, and listen to the people of Farrer and along the Darling River," he said.
"They’ve been thinking that they’re going to get along with the water that’s there, but they’ve got to build more dams and make greater provisions."
Mr Langfield said the abundance of water in Lake Eyre needs to be put into the Darling system.
"There’s plenty of water, it’s just a matter of harnessing it, and God told us to rule over and organise and run the country," he said.
"We’re too focused on our cities. Ccities have got too much power and control and they’re neglecting rural Australia."
Thoughts on water policy
Mr Langfield said the Murray Darling Basin Authority has failed the system because they have only been administrating it.
"They’ve got to use vision and look to the future and just get more water in the system, because otherwise, we’re just going to keep repeating the problems that we’ve already got - the Darling running dry."
"Farrer, as the largest irrigation electorate in the nation, we just need to be standing up and getting stuck into our politicians and saying 'we’ve got to change this, we’ve got to rectify this, we’ve got to look towards the future and build it.'
"The other thing is, that we bring in all of these immigrants, but most of them stay in the major cities and if we don’t build infrastructure and improve the water system out here in the bush, we’ll never get them out here."
Thoughts on health policy
"I think that the Governments has been doing a pretty good job on health, but it’s just one that we need to continue building on and all of the major cities like Griffith," Mr Langfield said.
"They need better facilities so that people that have serious illnesses can go to the major cities to get the treatment that they need. We just need to continue to build on what we’ve got."
Why should people vote for you?
"I come from a longstanding rural family, that came out to Australia in 1853, I understand the needs of rural Australia," Mr Langfield said.
"I’m a semi-retired farmer, and I love people and I care about and I am a very strong, fierce Australian that believes in the most wonderful and beautiful country on the face of the Earth.
"The number one thing is to look after people, particularly in rural Australia, which I believe to be badly neglected.”

MARK ELLIS - LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Key policies and promises
- Small Governments
- Lower taxes
- Less government restrictions in people's lives
- Cut bureaucratic red tape
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"If they were to send me to Canberra as their representative, I'm not tied to one of the major parties where you have to just follow the party line and be a team player," Mr Ellis said.
"If there was minority government and I was part of that balance of power, that would give a disproportional amount of power to that minority group," he said.
"That would be far more effective for the people of Farrer than just having a backbencher sitting there playing the party game."
He said he will look after the interests of the electorate, particularly around water issues, as well as:
- reducing red tape;
- reducing the cost of housing;
- fighting for the removal of the excise cost on petrol; and,
- fighting against the junk science on climate change.
Thoughts on water policy
Mr Ellis said the Senate review into the Murray Darling Basin Plan was 'independently and scientifically validated'.
"It looks at the amount of water being sent down the river to fill two lakes in South Australia that would naturally be salt water lakes," he said.
"We would like to see the barrages removed from the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia, to allow salt water inflows, the removal of the man-made Bird Island ... and a contractual weir at Wellington so that Adelaide can get fresh water from the Murray River.
"Having done that, there are 12,000 gigalitres of water that's being sent down the Murray for the vast majority of it to simply be evaporated in those lakes, which we see as a total waste of water."
Mr Ellis said they'd like to see that water redistributed to the irrigation areas for agricultural use.
Thoughts on health policy
Mr Ellis said for every front line doctor in a hospital there is 13 bureaucrats at the state and federal level.
"For me, savings can be made in the bureaucracy and there should be a much greater level of privatisation.
"We don't believe in community health ratings for health insurance, so insurance companies should be able to charge the way they charge for say, motor vehicle insurance, looking at your driving record and looking at other risk factors.
Mr Ellis said they believe the same principle should be applied to health insurance.
"People who are healthy, who have looked after themselves, can be advantaged by that with low health insurance rates," he said.
"People who have been not so careful about looking after themselves have to pay the red costs of that."
In addition to this concept, Mr Ellis said they'd like to remove the taxes on cigarettes.
"What people are paying on cigarettes would be less, but the health insurance costs would be higher," he said.
The health system is under pressure trying to move people in regional areas, according to Mr Ellis.
"I must say making promises of putting one extra doctor here, or one extra doctor there are fairly shallow.
"It's not something a minor party is able to accomplish, we can merely lobby within the government for those relatively small changes," Mr Ellis said.
Why should people vote for you?
"For smaller government, lower taxes, less government intrusion in your life. Things like internet cencorship, marijuana legalisation ... will make Australia a better place, with a higher standard of living and a lower total cost of living."

MIKE ROSE - UNITED AUSTRALIA PARTY

Key policies and promises
- To scrap the Murray Darling Basin Plan under a legal mandate
"We believe that is the quickest and most effective way to get a new plan that's going to be fair for farmers, businesses and the communities alike," Mr Rose said.
"If we try to pause the plan, it's not going to achieve any real results, it just leaves it open for corruption."
- Increasing the age pension by $150 per week
"That should bring it up to around $500 per week, to where the age pension should have been a long time ago," Mr Rose said.
- Making provisional tax to be paid annually in the rear, rather than quarterly in advance
"That way it will take the financial burden off the business holders," Mr Rose said.
Benefits of the candidate and their party
"Because of the way we are structured, we're non-dependent on any political donations, so we can actually work on the policies that we have in hand," Mr Rose said.
"We are positioned and structured to be the alternative party, and we can actually govern in our own right."
Thoughts on Water Policy
Mr Rose believes the Murray Darling Basin Plan should not have been put into effect in the first place.
"Our farmers are suffering, our food bowl is suffering," he said.
"If we lose that food production then we're going to be buying products from overseas, and we don't know what kind of quality control they've got, if any."
He said it is high on his priority list, and a major local issue.
"Our first priority, if elected, would be to legally scrap the Murray Darling Basin Plan .. and then create a new water plan," Mr Rose said.
Thoughts on health policy
"Health is hand-in-hand. If we fix our water situation up, we'll also fix up a lot of our health issues, especially mental health," Mr Rose said.
He said while there is no set policy on health infrastructure, the party will adopt one as they get into government.
"We will be looking at increasing medical assistance in the regions, and we'll be doing that as one of our policies, being that of the zonal taxation that will attract a lot of people to our region," he said.
Why should people vote for you?
"Because I'm not actually a politician, I've actually come out of retirement," he said.
"I've got children and grandchildren and I'm very concerned about their future, which is not looking too flash at the present.
"At the present we have over $800-billion in debt, they don't show that in the budget, but if we don't do something now then we're actually going to be in serious trouble."

DEAN MOSS - THE GREENS

Key policies and promises
Mr Moss said there have been a number of things they have identified that they'd like to speak out on.
"We really want to see a federal anti-corruption commission being established," he said.
"With my background as a school teacher as well, education has been something I've been very vocal about, all the way from early childhood, through public school, into TAFE and University.
"We've put some great health policies together as well, including dental under Medicare."
Benefits of the candidate and their party
Mr Moss said the Greens are the only real party with a vision to deal with climate change and looking to technologies of the future.
"We know that this is really significant across Farrer, because it's in these regional and rural areas we're really going to see the impacts," he said.
"In fact we already are with longer and more severe droughts, we're going to have more floods.
"We really do need a plan that actually takes all this into account when we're managing the environment, and that's probably one of the main things that I've been trying to get through."
Thoughts on water policy
Mr Ellis believes when it comes to water, the spotlight has been shone on the Murray Darling Basin Authority, as well as the actions of government.
"The problem is, is that it's going to be so difficult to work out who's done what, when they did it, and why they did it," he said.
Last year, the Greens put out the call to have a Royal Commission into the management of the Murray Darling Basin.
"We really don't think we can come up with any solutions until we actually understand the full breadth of the problems that are going on in that system," he said.
"We want to stop spending money on so-called 'short term fixes' and actually, let's get to the bottom of what's gone wrong in the Basin so that we know how to better plan for it in the future."
Thoughts on health policy
With a General Practitioner as their party leader, Mr Ellis said the Greens take health 'very seriously'.
"Our policies this week have had endorsements from both the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners," he said.
"They know that our plans for addressing health needs in regional areas, with our focus on preventative health and better managing chronic illness, is actually the right way forward for this part of our community."
The Greens also plan to introduce dental care under the Medicare system.
Mr Ellis said the party are looking to see nursing ratios are legislated for aged care homes.
"When they actually get into these homes, as we're seeing through the Royal Commission which we supported, we need to make sure that the right levels of care are being provided," he said.
"That will vary between different facilities, but at a minimum, people should be entitled to at least 4 hours and 18 minutes of care."
Why should people vote for you?
"I believe that the Greens are the only party with a real and achievable vision for Australia that's going to ensure the health of the environment and people," he said.
"We're determined to create a future for all of us."


Independent Candidate Brian Mills was contacted by Ace Radio for comment.

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