Candidate statements #1

AS a proud Gippslander, I love our region and am focused on supporting jobs, growth and providing the services we need for the future.

I have a proven track record of delivering results for Gippsland, but take nothing for granted. There is much more to be done.

The Nationals, as part of the Coalition government, have a strong economic plan to support small business in Gippsland.

As a senior minister, it is my responsibility to ensure we get our fair share of resources, including the health, education, aged care, child care and telecommunications services that are essential for our community.

Since being elected, I have worked to help deliver $392 million in upgrades at East Sale RAAF Base; $260 million for the Princes Highway duplication from Traralgon-Sale; doubling of roads to recovery funding; $4.5 million for the Port of Sale Cultural Hub; and Green Army and Landcare environmental projects.

Throughout this election campaign, I have secured commitments for record funding for highways and local road upgrades, including $25 million for the Princes Highway East, additional mobile phone towers, extra funding for ice drug treatment services, and $20 million for the Macalister Irrigation District.

As a parent of four children who have been educated in local state schools, I support choice in the education system and believe governments have an important role to play in partnership with families to deliver high quality teaching and trade training.

My long-running campaign to improve the Youth Allowance system is making it fairer for Gippsland students, but I am seeking further government support for hard-working regional families.

By working with the community, I successfully fought against the closure of Latrobe Valley power stations and I have been an advocate for tourism and small business through my ‘Putting Locals First’ and #lovegippsland promotions.

The Coalition has a proven record on issues of national security and defence, and although we face many challenges, I remain relentlessly positive and optimistic about our region’s future.

I’m confident that I can keep delivering for Gippsland.

THE Liberal Democratic Party is based on the principals of free markets and limited bureaucratic government.

We suggest that people should make their own choices and accept responsibility.

Government should only do for the people what they cannot do for themselves.

Workers pay too much disincentive rates and taxes.

The GST consumer tax should never be more than 10 per cent because it affects poorer people much more than richer ones.

I will press for the repeal of the tax exempt states of privileged religious organizations, particularly those operating commercially, as they should pay local government rate tax the same as the rest of us.

Constitutional recognition of local government is urgently needed, to avoid situations like the recently introduced code of conduct – we councillors are expected to keep secrets from the people who elected us and the seats of those who don’t sign will be declared vacant.

If we didn’t have a climate cycle we would still have dinosaurs.

We will adjust okay.

If it gets warmer and wetter in winter we will be able to grow more crops.

The right to vote is one of the most important rights we have and should not be degraded to a statutory requirement were a citizen is expected to express an opinion under threat of prosecution, reintroducing a voluntary vote would encourage many of the 1.3 million entitled voters to enrol.

We are the only English speaking democracy that has this compulsory system.

We need more flood mitigation reservoirs, hydro irrigation and renewable energy schemes.

Get the economy right and there will be jobs in local manufacturing and agricultural industries.

The Liberal Democrats stand for a safe and secure nation with freedom within a reasonable law.

Vote 1 Ben Buckley.

For many years I’ve been an active supporter of renewable energy, with a small wind-generator powering my house from 1982 with battery storage and solar panels and hot water from 1986.

I have known about climate change for some time but became concerned about it in 2008, with the shocking northern summer retreat of Arctic ice.

Since then, I have been campaigning regularly for action on climate change and pushing renewable energy as part of the solution.

There are many observable effects of global warming, including the recent coral bleaching episode on the Great Barrier reef and, closer to home, the Black Marlin and other semi-tropical species now found in Gippsland waters.

It is most likely that the big bushfires this century have been heavily influenced by climate change.

Global warming is caused by humanity burning fossil fuels – especially coal – and has been happening gradually all our lifetime.

But the warming has picked up in recent years, with 2014 being the earth’s hottest recorded year, succeeded by 2015 and almost certain to be beaten by 2016.

Nations agree that action needs to be taken but those in Australia have been negligible.

Before he became Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull described Direct Action as ‘fig-leaf ’ to cover ‘no action’.

Other government policies have either directly harmed or discouraged renewable energy.

The Renewable Energy Party is the only climate party in Australia, and one of its policies aims for the complete replacement of coal-fired power stations by renewable energy by 2030.

The Valley power stations, which are the greatest greenhouse gas polluters, must be closed down within 10 years, and replaced with solar, wind, batteries, pumped hydro and solar thermal.

If you are concerned about the ravages of extreme weather and our warming land and oceans, or are just a fan of renewable energy, please consider giving the Renewable Energy Party your number one vote.

The Gippsland Times publishes these candidate profiles as a service to the electorate of Gippsland.

Candidates for the seat of Gippsland were invited to submit about 300 words outlining their main policies and what they offered the voters.