NSW goes to the polls on Saturday March 25 to elect our State representatives. We asked the Northern Beaches Living community what questions they would like to ask their candidates. Every candidate running in our local electorate of Pittwater received the same questions and the same opportunity to respond.

But first, a bit about voting in the NSW State Election…

Do I have to vote? Yes, enrolling and voting is compulsory for Australian citizens aged 18 years and over.

Who am I voting for? Voters will elect one person to represent their district in the Legislative Assembly. Voters will also elect 21 of the 42 members of the Legislative Council.

Where can I vote? You can vote at any polling place in your electorate on election day. Polling places are open from 8am to 6pm. To find your nearest polling place, enter your address here for more information: https://elections.nsw.gov.au/voters/where-do-i-vote

How can I vote early in person? If you would like to vote in person, but you are unable to get to a voting centre or polling place on election day, you may be eligible to vote early or pre-poll. For more information visit https://elections.nsw.gov.au/voters/voting-options/early-voting-and-pre-polling-in-person

How can I vote early by post? If your circumstances make it difficult for you to go to a voting centre on election day, you may be eligible to apply for a postal vote. For more information visit https://elections.nsw.gov.au/voters/voting-options/postal-voting

Below are the Pittwater candidate’s responses (in alphabetical order by candidate surname).
Any candidate who has not yet responded may do so at any time and will be added in – contact northernbeaches@thelivingcollective.com.au

Rory Amon, Liberal Party (yet to respond)

 

Hilary Green, The Greens

Tell us about your connection to the Pittwater area?
I was born in Manly, and lived in Pittwater for 23 years.  I have been an teacher, a researcher and a lecturer; recently I’ve been a volunteer and a Granny.

Why are you running as a candidate in this election and why should locals vote for you?
I am running in this election so that voters who want to support the Greens will have the opportunity to do so.  The Greens demand grassroots democracy and a transparent, accountable and ethical government and always fight for the greater good of people and the planet.  It is also important that all voters are aware of the option to select our committed and talented candidates for the Legislative Council.  This “House of Review” has the important role of scrutinising Government legislation, and holding the Government to account.

Locals should vote for me because of my key issues which are to

  • Restore emergency and acute services to Mona Vale hospital
  • Protect Pittwater’s environment from overdevelopment
  • Make public transport free and reverse bus privatisation
  • Return local planning powers and demerge our council
  • Help Traditional owners stop the Lizard Rock development
  • Upgrade Wakehurst Parkway without trashing the bush.

Northern Beaches Living members have told us that rising costs for households is a key election concern for them. How will you advocate on their behalf for policies on this issue?
As a Green I will be following the Greens plan to scrap the public sector wages cap and invest to ensure lower energy prices and build affordable housing.

  • The Greens are committed to easing cost of living pressures by making public transport cheaper and ensuring public schools are genuinely free.
  • The Greens will help households get off gas with grants and zero-interest loans for replacing old polluting gas heating and hot water appliances with energy-efficient electric heat pumps and induction cooktops.
  • The Greens will provide support for people to install solar panels on their homes and businesses. And they will introduce requirements to ensure low-income earners and renters can access energy efficiency measures in their homes.
  • To help renters the Greens will immediately introduce a rent freeze to get rents back under control, and end unfair no grounds evictions.

Transport is another major concern for locals. How will you seek to improve transport conditions in the area?
Free, frequent and reliable public transport would take pressure off families, cut congestion and transform how we move around. The Greens are committed to easing cost of living pressures by making public transport cheaper and locally, indeed, statewide putting our transport service back in public hands. In Pittwater, we need more public transport, and expanded routes.  Primarily we need more bus drivers, drivers who can be assured of job security and decent pay. The Greens will also abolish the public sector wage cap and deliver real wage increases, as well as increased resourcing for frontline community, health and transport workers

The last Federal election showed that Independent candidates are a strong force on the Northern Beaches. If you are an independent candidate, how will you work with the major parties if elected? And if you are from a political party, how will you work with independents if elected?
As a Green, I will try to work collaboratively with all colleagues, listen to all sides of the argument, and ultimately work with the Greens to arrive at our best strategy.

What will you advocate for on the below, which are either key local issues or important to the local community?:
I am extremely proud to support the Greens policies on each of the following important issues

Teacher shortages: The Greens will develop a workforce plan in consultation with teachers, Universities, and the NSW Teachers Federation to recruit and retain 12,000 new teachers over the next 10 years

Climate action: The Greens demand that we must transition away from fossil fuels, in order to escape the worsening threat of the impacts of climate change.  The Greens also have plans to help affected workers and their communities during this transition.  The Greens will put a stop to native forest logging, and maintain them so that the carbon they store protects us from climate change.

Ensuring integrity in politics: The Greens will:
– End the special relationship between government and business by banning all corporate political donations, fixing political lobbying and closing the revolving door between Parliament and the big end of town.
– Tackle corruption every day with independent funding for the ICAC and new criminal offences for corrupt conduct.
– Restore confidence in our democracy by putting a stop to pork-barrelling, bringing truth to political advertising, and rebuilding our public services.

Mental Health: It’s thanks to the Greens work in the federal parliament that children can now access dental care under Medicare. In the NSW parliament we will continue this work to ensure there is more funding for public mental and dental health services, including increased resources for early-intervention programs for mental health issues.

Gambling Issues: The Greens will stand up to the powerful gambling industry with a plan to pull the pin on pokies in NSW.  They will

  • Make pubs and clubs pay for the harm they’ve caused with a pokies ‘super tax’ and reparation fund for affected communities.
  • Phase out poker machines from pubs in 5 years and clubs in 10 years
  • Introduce a mandatory cashless gambling card
  • End the grip of the gambling industry on our democracy by prohibiting gambling donations

Koala endangerment: The Greens will

  • end logging our public native forests immediately
  • protect this vital habitat for threatened wildlife
  • Protect Koala habitat on private land
  • End native forest logging
  • Create a Great Koala National Park
  • Protect Sydney’s koalas
  • Fund wildlife hospitals and rescue organisations
  • maintain native forests so that the carbon they store protects us from climate change.

 Affordable Housing on the Beaches: The Greens have a plan to make housing affordable, safe and secure for everyone.  We will cut rents, end unfair no grounds evictions and build enough public and affordable housing so no one is homeless.  The Greens advocate for 30% of new dwellings built on the Northern Beaches be affordable.

A Northern Beaches public hospital or better health system: The Greens have consistently campaigned with the community for the re-establishment of Public Emergency and acute care, including surgery and maternity at our Mona Vale hospital site. The Greens also plan for the Northern Beaches hospital to be brought into public hands.

Fixing the Wakehurst Parkway: The Greens recommend a solution for the parkway that will stand up to climate change induced flooding, and preserve the landscape.  This could involve prefabricated bridges, and sections of raised road. We need to stop investing in half measures and quick fixes!

Gas exploration off our coast: It is unconscionable that Greens would allow the PEP11 project to progress.  The Greens are opposed to all new fossil fuels.

Lizard Rock: The Greens, along with many others, believe the Lizard Rock development should be stopped and a mutually satisfactory agreement be made with the MLCA.  The ultimate decision making around Lizard Rock should not be in the hands of inexperienced arbiters with no expertise.

Are there any other main issues you see as important for this election, and how will you advocate for them? This election there are so many critical issues facing us all.  However, I believe that we must vote for the benefit of the next generations.  All of us deserve to feel safe and have equal opportunities in life, no matter our background, ability, gender or sexuality.  Young people need to be hopeful of a future where they have prospects to thrive amidst a healthy, natural environment.  It is imperative that we remove the loopholes which enable unfair distribution of wealth and promote inequality.

If elected, how will you stay in touch with the community and their concerns? I would listen to resident’s concerns, and address them in light of the Greens policies.  I would provide regular newsletters which are effective in keeping the electorate informed of progress.  Town hall meetings would also provide an outlet for the community to have their say.

How can locals stay up to date with your campaign in the leadup to the election?
The Greens full policy platform for the 2023 State Election is at  https://greens.org.au/nsw/policyplatform2023.

My Social Media pages:

Email:  greenforpittwater@gmail.com

Craig Law, Sustainable Australia

Tell us about your connection to the area? I am a born and bred Northern Beaches boy. I have family in the area too that I love to see.

Why are you running as a candidate in this election and why should locals vote for you? I am running to de-corrupt politics in NSW and implement sustainable solutions for our future. I am hoping to raise awareness about the ramifications of continued growth such as overdevelopment, overcrowding, choked roads, ecosystem degradation and destruction and, of course, climate change. The fact is that with all of the problems confronting Australia none of them will be alleviated by increasing our population and resource consumption. With two young children of my own the stakes are high and I am determined to ensure the country I grew up in continues to be the Lucky Country.

Northern Beaches Living members have told us that rising costs for households is a key election concern for them. How will you advocate on their behalf for policies on this issue? I will advocate for them through targeting the root cause of the issue – government-engineered hyper-demand. To address this issue, we need to phase out negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for property investors, banning foreign ownership and stabilising Australia’s population size. We also need more investment in public housing in the short term.

Transport is another major concern for locals. How will you seek to improve transport conditions in the area? We seek to improve transport conditions through prioritising the most ecologically sustainable and congestion-free public and private transport systems. This means lowering the cost of public transport, expanding bus networks, building better and safer bicycle networks and pedestrian infrastructure.

The last Federal election showed that Independent candidates are a strong force on the Northern Beaches. If you are an independent candidate, how will you work with the major parties if elected? And if you are from a political party, how will you work with independents if elected? Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community movement that has a science and evidence-based policy platform. We are willing to work with anyone as long as their policy is sound.

What will you advocate for on the below, which are either key local issues or important to the local community?:

–  Teacher shortages I will where needed increase, funding for public schools with the aim to increase the salaries and improve the working conditions of teachers.

–  Climate action Recognise that a healthy natural environment is the foundation upon which all human wellbeing and prosperity is built. We should act on climate change and contribute to staying below 1.5 degrees global temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels. Australia should be a leader in this regard.

– Fixing the Wakehurst Parkway The Wakehurst Parkway has been a problem for many years. While we should invest more in maintenance of this road, Sustainable Australia Party’s Transport policy calls for better investment in public transport systems along with a call for government to stabilise Australia’s population size as soon as possible. In combination, these policies will take more cars off the road.

– Lizard Rock  It is important that we protect our environment and stop overdevelopment, no matter who proposes that overdevelopment. We should not be bulldozing our bushland. Fair compensation and/or land swap should be investigated.

–  Ensuring integrity in politics: I would like to enable Swiss-style binding citizen-initiated referenda and plebiscites upon the parliament or council receiving a petition containing the signatures of at least five per cent or more of the total of all electors.

–  Mental Health I will better resource mental health services, including hospital and community-based preventative care, assessment and support services.

–  Gambling Issues We need to better manage problem gambling and reduce per capita losses. To help achieve this, I would introduce a mandatory registered cashless gaming card system to address gambling harm and criminal gaming activity, including the fourteen-point plan of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and implement the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for $1 maximum poker machine bets per spin, limiting losses to around $120 per hour.

–  Koala endangerment I will support a stronger Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to properly protect Australia’s environment and biodiversity through many ways including properly funding enforcing a national biodiversity and native species program, Improved and better connected wildlife corridors and producing stronger legislation to prevent inappropriate land and tree-clearing.

– Affordable Housing on the Beaches We need to address the root cause of the issue – government-engineered hyper-demand. This means phasing out negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for property investors, banning foreign ownership and stabilising Australia population.

–  A Northern Beaches public hospital or better health system We support a Northern Beaches public hospital. Sustainable Australia Party also has a policy to better resource mental health services, including hospital and community-based preventative care, assessment and support services as well as mandate best-practice minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals.

– Gas exploration off our coast I will implement a ban on all new off shore gas exploration off our coasts.

–  Beaches Link Tunnel I do not believe the Beaches Link should go ahead as it will simply encourage more car use and fail to resolve local traffic issues. We need better public transport.

 Are there any other main issues you see as important for this election, and how will you advocate for them? The main focus for me is protecting our environment, stopping overdevelopment and stopping corruption. This includes protecting endangered species habitats, native forests and local tree canopies; reducing Australia’s waste production; acting on climate change; stopping inappropriate high-rise and sprawl; delivering new community infrastructure before more housing; stabilising Australia’s population size; transparent reporting of political donations and lobbying; and banning political donations from big business and unions.

If elected, how will you stay in touch with the community and their concerns? If elected, I will stay in touch with the community through local market and festival stalls, engaging in social media, as well as my office.

How can locals stay up to date with your campaign in the leadup to the election? The Sustainable Australia Party website has all of our candidates bios and policies for further reading as well as a eNewsletter for keeping up to date with party announcements.

Jeffrey Quinn, Labor Party (yet to respond)

 

Jacqui Scruby, Independent

Tell us about your connection to the Pittwater area? My husband, two wonderful girls and I love living in this incredible corner of the world. From the beaches to the bush, it is our home and I will do everything I can to protect it.

Our natural environment in Pittwater is extraordinary – I appreciate it every day. Our people are amazing too, from sporting and surf life saving clubs (I’m involved with Avalon Surf Club and Newport Royal Motor Yacht Club) to community groups (I’m volunteering for MWP to keep older people independent for longer – you should too!) and all our small business owners. In recent years, through my own campaign and running Dr Sophie’s, I’ve been lucky to meet many wonderful people across the community as well as delivering my online course ‘6 Weeks to Plastic Free’ through Northern Beaches Council.

My parents and parents-in-law live in Pittwater and my grandfather, who was a real inspiration to me, was one of the first principals of Pittwater High. I’ve grown up and lived across the North Shore, including Pittwater and other areas of the Northern Beaches.

Why are you running as a candidate in this election and why should locals vote for you? I’ve been in policy most of my career and more recently have been in Federal politics as an advisor to Dr Sophie Scamps MP. I’ve been listening to the people of Pittwater over several years and believe they are seeking a representation on issues that matter to them – on climate, integrity, economy and also better services locally – from schools and healthcare to buses and infrastructure – and that I feel I’m able to represent those best.

 I’m running because it’s time to return to the sensible centre: that means protecting our environment, reducing power prices, supporting small businesses in a strong, clean economy, restoring trust and integrity in Parliament, and doing all this while practising a compassionate and kind politics.

This election we have an extraordinary opportunity in Pittwater. With the current sitting MP stepping down, we have a real shot at turning the seat independent. It would be a privilege to represent Pittwater and I’d bring all my experience and energy to work tirelessly for the benefit of our community and the whole state.

Northern Beaches Living members have told us that rising costs for households is a key election concern for them. How will you advocate on their behalf for policies on this issue? As a mum of school aged girls, I know the cost of living crisis is really hurting our families and our incredible local businesses. We need responsible economic management that lowers power prices without growing mortgages and worsening our state’s debt.

I support some short term relief, but am against pre-election cash splash promises that risk rising inflation and mortgages. With Pittwater resident’s mortgages being high – people of our electorate will feel the impact of such cash splashes on the economy. I also want to bring a longer term perspective to the cost of living. For example, providing interest-free loans for householders to install solar panels and batteries to permanently cut power bills.

We need to provide free kindergarten education to enable more people to get back to work, without it being cost prohibitive to do so. I know many mothers for whom it’s not cost effective to go back to work. That needs to be addressed, as we know the huge productivity benefits from free early childcare.

 Transport is another major concern for locals. How will you seek to improve transport conditions in the area? A big priority for me is fixing the Wakehurst Parkway. It’s unbelievable that this has still not been fixed. We can’t have a major road, which is the route to our hospital, flooding every time it rains heavily. We need the state government to fix the Wakehurst Parkway so it remains open and is future-proofed as the risk of flooding increases – I will fight for this.

After the current Liberal National government privatised buses on the Northern Beaches, scheduled services are being cancelled and there is a driver shortage. We need regular, frequent buses and a robust plan to make the bus fleet electric as soon as possible. It’s a disgrace buses are not showing up and adding 45 minutes to commute time, or that kids are left without a bus ride home and that our beloved PSSA, may for the first time in decades not be offered because of bus shortages.

I have serious concerns that the Beaches Link Tunnel, proposed by the current Liberal National government, will lead to more cars and more traffic congestion on our local roads. This is an integrity and transparency issue, as the government has refused to release the business case.

The last Federal election showed that Independent candidates are a strong force on the Northern Beaches. If you are an independent candidate, how will you work with the major parties if elected? And if you are from a political party, how will you work with independents if elected? Independents bring a different kind of politics, characterised by consultation, collaboration and working constructively across party lines to get things done. It’s about being true to your community and your values, rather than complying with party policy or coalition partners. Independent MPs are only answerable to their community.

This election is a historic one with the opportunity for an independent to hold the balance of power allowing Pittwater significant influence over NSW policies and local issues. The question is whether we want a backbencher with little power or an independent with a seat at the table.

In the current NSW government Greg Piper and Alex Greenwhich have balance of power which has lead to them having a huge impact – from driving reforms such as the decriminalisation of abortion (unbelievable this only happened in 2019 due to an independent) to greater transparency in government spending with the ‘follow the money’ reforms. Independents work across the political spectrum to bring focus to issues, lead reform and make good policy better.

What will you advocate for on the below, which are either key local issues or important to the local community?:

Teacher shortages

  • Give our teachers better pay and conditions, so we can attract and retain high quality teachers
  • Ensure schools get their allocated Student Resourcing Standard
  • Better fund local schools, including Narrabeen Sports High School so they are updated and great places to work and learn

Climate action

  • Robust legislated target to reduce NSW’s emissions by 75% by 2030.
  • Amend planning laws to include climate change as a consideration in approving new coal and gas mines in NSW and make Liverpool Plains, NSW’s food bowl an exclusion zone from coal fracking
  • Support a thriving clean economy in NSW, capitalising on our abundant renewable energy resources and making those more affordable and accessible to everyday Australians
  • Promote net zero buildings, including the Design and Place SEPPs originally introduced by Rob Stokes.

Ensuring integrity in politics

  • End ‘jobs for mates’ by legislating to ensure appointments to taxpayer-funded public service positions are free from political interference
  • Stop the waste of taxpayer funds on pork-barrelling schemes designed to serve a party’s interests, not the community’s interests
  • Demand greater transparency from the government, including the timely release of reports to the public – let’s start with the Beaches Link Tunnel business case and the KPMG report by which the government forced amalgamation!

Mental Health

  • Urge greater funding for mental health services, including eating disorders, in the community and improved mental health support in schools
  • Building out mental health services to Mona Vale Hospital

Gambling Issues

  • Evidence-based gambling reforms including not only the implementation of a compulsory cashless gaming card, but also accelerating the removal of pokies from the community, instating a $1 maximum bet per spin, regulating gambling advertising and stopping pubs and clubs from operating pokies between 4am and 10am.

Koala endangerment

  • End native forests logging, a key threat destroying koala habitat
  • Establish the Great Koala National Park capturing the best koala habitat in the state around Coffs Harbour
  • Update the biodiversity offset program to decrease developments in key koala habitats

Affordable Housing on the Beaches

  • I support the Northern Beaches Housing Strategy, which plans for more dedicated affordable housing as part of new developments e.g. Brookvale
  • Bring the community back into planning for our area to get innovative solutions to affordable housing that balance our need to protect beautiful Pittwater and keep ‘houses in the trees’ and stop traffic on our roads.

A Northern Beaches public hospital or better health system

  • Call for a solutions-focused Parliamentary inquiry or audit into Northern Beaches Hospital and the Mona Vale hospital site to deliver better health outcomes and transparency and implement the recommendations of the previous inquiry
  • Expand the health services and recreational facilities available at the former Mona Vale Hospital site
  • Legislate nurse to patient ratios and support increased wages for nurses and other care professions and recognise and better pay paramedics to ensure we all get better quality care
  • Better recreation facilities to support sports and leisure activities for everyone

Fixing the Wakehurst Parkway

  • Ensuring the Wakehurst Parkway is fixed is a major priority for me – that includes making sure there is the funding and appropriate scope of works to make sure Wakehurst in flood proof in the face of increasing extreme weather

Gas exploration off our coast

  • Legislate to stop oil and gas mining off our coastline – including the controversial PEP-11 project – once and for all – I already have a bill drafted to do just this.

Lizard Rock

  • Calling for no more land clearing in our electorate, especially making sure we listen to the community when it comes to the controversial Lizard Rock

Are there any other main issues you see as important for this election, and how will you advocate for them? As a former small business owner myself, I am passionate about supporting small businesses on the Northern Beaches. For example, I’m calling for a review into payroll tax, an inefficient tax that punishes businesses for hiring workers, and increased funding to Chambers of Commerce so they can grow, assist local businesses, and have an open line of communication into state government. We also need to focus and fund a strategic plan for the Northern Beaches.

I also will amend the Local Government Act as a first step to making it possible for the community to have a say on council arrangements.

If elected, how will you stay in touch with the community and their concerns? As a community independent, my priority will be listening to the voters of Pittwater. I want to understand the lived experience of people in Pittwater and draw on the expertise across the community. I’ll keep my finger on the pulse and be as accessible and responsive as possible. This will include regular community surveys, listening stations and mobile offices and as well as newsletters, and of course responding to enquiries and correspondence.

How can locals stay up to date with your campaign in the leadup to the election? Sign up on my website at jacquiscruby.com.au, or follow me on facebook, twitter @jacquipittwater or instagram @jacquiscrubyindependent.

 

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Print
Scroll to Top