As a resident of North Balgowlah who has travelled into the city for work on a daily basis I understand the issue of traffic congestion. The B-Line has been a great success at reducing congestion and we can build on this with the Beaches Link tunnel.
However, people want the tunnel done right. This means provisions for clean public transport through the tunnel. It also means ensuring the state government thoroughly mitigates the environmental, social and health impacts.
I am committed to ensuring the outcome is the best possible long-term solution for Warringah.
Northern Beaches Hospital
Northern Beaches Hospital caters for over 256,000 people who were previously serviced by Mona Vale and Manly Hospitals. The hospital’s significance to the community cannot be understated.
When it opened in October 2018, there were numerous issues highlighted by staff and patients - understaffing, medical supply and equipment shortages, a lack of outpatient services formerly available at Mona Vale and Manly Hospitals, and unreasonable waiting times. Improvements must continue to be made.
As the independent MP for Warringah I will hold the State Government to account to ensure the Northern Beaches community has accessible, high quality public healthcare and that effective service contract agreements are in place.
I have asked the Federal Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer to review the recent Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the takeover proposal of Northern Beaches Hospital provider Healthscope by Brookfield, a foreign company operated out of the Cayman Islands. This takeover has been approved without adequate transparency, consultation or assurances to the community and should be prohibited.
A First Nations Voice enshrined in The Constitution
All is still not equal. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience widespread socioeconomic disadvantage and health inequality. They have a shorter life expectancy than non-indigenous Australians and indigenous young people are 24 times as likely than non-indigenous young people to be in detention. This has to change.
Establishing a First Nations Voice in The Constitution is the next step in building a more unified and reconciled nation, giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the ability to have direct input into the development of policy and legislation that affects them and improve socioeconomic outcomes while retaining cultural legitimacy in their communities.
Australia would follow in the footsteps of Canada, South Africa, Finland and Germany, who have instituted indigenous representative bodies to give their First Nations peoples the ability to have self-determination and the notion of ‘free, prior and informed consent’ as laid out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
I believe this would mark a new era of understanding and stability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and I am committed to seeing this happen.
The ABC plays an essential role in public debate and democracy in Australia, and has done so throughout its history. It is much loved and respected by Australians as a high quality, trusted and independent source of news and current affairs, entertainment and information.
Polls show that more than 80% of Australians agree that the ABC provides a valuable service to the community. The ABC tells Australian stories and produces quality Australian content that reflects both community diversity and community needs. Australians - both young and old - rely on ABC online, radio and television to inform, entertain and educate without political and commercial influence.
Despite the importance of the ABC to our community and culture, funding cuts have resulted in hundreds of job losses, axing of programs such as Lateline, Catalyst and statewide 7.30 Reports, a reduction in Australian TV drama production and closure of ABC local radio newsrooms. This cannot continue.
Funding must be restored to the ABC to ensure it remains independent and continues to play a role in public debate and community support in Australia and our region.
Education is an essential component in preparing our children for the future workforce and enabling a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. As such, it must remain a priority.
Our schools should be continually assessed to ensure they have the resources and facilities to provide a quality education. We need to focus on our learning outcomes in conjunction with education funding levels. Our learning outcomes are falling behind our international peers. We must explore the best ways to educate the next generation and prepare them for workplaces of the future.
Live Sheep Exports
The science on heat stress and associated issues in the live sheep trade is clear, showing the devastating impact on these animals. I believe it is our moral and ethical responsibility to bring an end to live sheep exports.
As an athlete I am anti-drugs, but as a parent, I believe no one can underestimate the impact of peer pressure, and we need safety measures to save lives. The majority of medical professionals and the Australian Medical Association back a trial of pill testing to save lives and I support this view.
The recent Groovin’ The Moo pill testing pilot in the ACT initiated by the Safety Testing Advisory Service At Festivals and Events Consortium (Harm Reduction Australia, Australian Drug Observatory at ANU, Noffs Foundation, DanceWize Harm Reduction Victoria and Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia) was deemed a success and demonstrated that such an intervention is possible and that people are willing to use this service.
The added greenhouse gases released from the burning of coal attributed to the Adani mine would risk thousands of direct and indirect jobs (64,000+) provided by the Great Barrier Reef. Whilst only providing 3920 ongoing jobs at most.
I do not support the Adani Mine and believe the process that led to the Coalition Government approving the project’s groundwater management plans has been inadequate. I support a review of the approval process and a rejection of the proposal.
Proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight
I believe our future lies in clean energy and technology, so I oppose new gas and oil extraction projects, including offshore and in the Great Australian Bight. They are too risky for our environment, locally and globally.
Equinor's proposal poses a huge risk of a drilling accident occurring, which would devastate the local marine environment and have flow on effects to the local community, tourism and fisheries. This proposal should not be allowed to go ahead.
Seismic testing for gas off Newcastle
NSW’s beaches and coastal areas should be protected to ensure their long-term conservation. The proposal for Asset Energy to conduct 3D seismic testing for gas exploration poses a threat to marine life, commercial and recreational fishing, and eco-tourism and should not be approved. It does not have community support.
The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees defines a refugee as a person who is outside their country of nationality or habitual residence, has a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.
I believe we must treat our refugees humanely and fairly, and can foster a future that maintains strong border protection whilst developing more cooperation with our regional neighbours where refugees are afforded better protections, are treated with compassion and have clearer resettlement options. People should not have to risk their lives making dangerous journeys across seas or sit for 5+ years in detention.
We need a greater focus on asylum seekers arriving by air. The number of asylum seekers arriving by plane grew to more than 27,000 in 2017-18, compared to the 18,365 asylum seekers who arrived by boat at the peak of the refugee crisis in 2012-2013. Since 2013-14, more than 64,000 people have come to Australia by plane and applied for a protection visa.
Immigration needs to be done in an orderly and measured way to ensure population levels can be sustainably supported, in step with infrastructure and investment. With population growth, more pressure is put on our natural environment due to urbanisation, pollution and biodiversity loss. Population increases must be aligned with monitoring and long-term sustainability of our natural environment.
Aid programs help reduce poverty and transform people’s lives by providing access to education, healthcare, clean water and food.
Warringah-based charity Australian Doctors International (ADI) is a true example of what an Australian charity, which receives a portion of its funding through our foreign aid program, can do. This funding enables ADI to deploy volunteer doctors and health coordinators to improve healthcare in Papua New Guinea.
I would commit to reversing the downward trend in our aid budget, with an emphasis on targeted aid in the Pacific and Asia so as to maintain our moral authority and presence in the region to serve Australia’s security and national interests.
People nearing the end of their natural lives should be treated with respect and dignity and be able to make their own choices. If we are going to change our laws, we need this to be surrounded by a framework with safeguards and strict processes that ensure the safe functioning of such a scheme.
Redevelopment of Manly Life Saving Club
Independent candidate for Warringah Zali Steggall OAM has promised to make the redevelopment of Manly Life Saving Club a priority if elected to federal parliament.
More details here