Five of the seven candidates standing in the 2022 Federal election contesting the seat of Gilmore attended a Meet the Candidates Forum, hosted by the Tuross Head progress Association at Kyla Hall, Tuross Head on May 2nd 2022.
The facilitator for the evening was Karyn Starmer who presented the candidates with a selection of questions suggested by voters in the township and wider electorate.
VIDEO: Meet the Candidates Forum @ Kyla Hall, Tuross Head, NSW. May 2nd 2022
QUESTIONS THPA CANDIDATES’ FORUM
1. Housing affordability – Gilmour, like many other regional electorates, is suffering from of a lack of affordable housing, indeed housing at almost any price, leaving first home buyers, those on low incomes and workers looking to move to the region with little to choose from.
This shortage is widely acknowledged as due to a mix of factors. From the loss of almost 700 homes in the bushfires and migration out of the cities to federal government tax policies favouring real estate as an investment.
Simply releasing more land to increase supply is not the only solution to this problem, what other policies levers can you bring to the electorate to ensure a viable stock of housing for the citizens of Gilmore to own or rent?
2. Measures to address cost of living pressures – This electorate is one of the poorest and oldest in the country making cost of living a significant issue for this election. These increasing costs were confirmed by the recent inflation figure of 5.1%.
Against this, even with unemployment at 4%, there is still no sign of any meaningful wage growth, while corporates profits continue upwards.
What can you or your party do to support: wage growth for those struggling and, for the recipients of welfare payments?
3. Climate Action - What opportunities do you see for regional areas like ours in pursuing climate action, and what measures or policies would you use to leverage these opportunities?
4. Disaster resilience – The federal government is currently sitting on close to five billion dollars in an emergency response fund while people who lost their homes in the bushfires are still living in caravans and, and there is little evidence of meaningful preparation for when the next natural disaster comes, leaving our communities exposed to a repeat of the horrors of the evacuation centres in our major towns.
What plans do you have to coordinate services and agencies to better plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters in our region?
5. Telecommunication issues – This electorate has a long history of underfunding of telecommunication infrastructure. In 2022 we still cannot travel the length of the electorate or across to the ACT without encountering the same blackspots in mobile coverage. Homes and business still suffer from unreliable data speeds for internet access. And, more than two years on from the bushfires, telecommunication equipment on Mt Wandera has still not been secured, despite pleas from Eurobodalla Shire Council.
What will you do to ensure Gilmour’s technology issues are addressed?
6. Aged Care – The implementation of the recommendations from the royal commission in the aged care sector relies heavily on increasing the quality and number of staff. What will you or your party do to support increasing wage rates, training, and professional development for aged care staff?
7. Problems with the NDIS -The NDIS is a nightmare for many people, with appeals against it to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal surging by 400 per cent between July 2021 and January 2022, with the Federal Government spending some $28 million on its legal defence. From your discussions with Gilmour residents, what areas of NDIS administration need to be improved; and do you consider an independent review is needed to address the major issues?
8. Federal ICAC - Given the revelations of the last few years including questionable government decision making, and in grants programs, will you support establishing a powerful, transparent and independent Federal Anti-Corruption Commission with the ability to receive complaints and conduct its own investigations, the power to conduct public hearings in some circumstances and the capacity to be retrospective within limitations so that conduct would be assessed against the laws, practices and standards that applied at the time of the conduct?