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SSC Newspaper : February 2013
Strathfield Scene 11 www.ourstrathfield.com.au THE BIG ISSUE A er the Federal election was announced, the Scene asked si ing Labor member John Murphy, 62, and Liberal candidate Craig Laundy, 41, what they have to o er the marginal electorate of Reid. ese are their edited replies. Read their answers in full at ourstrath eld.com.au THE BATTLE FOR REID JOHN MURPHY LABOR CRAIG LAUNDY LIBERAL I am an experienced local member with a proven record. I will continue to work hard for our community. Education. Implementing the recommendations of the Gonski review is the single most important action to secure our children's education and future by providing better funding for local schools. I will continue to fight the Liberals' $1.7 billion cuts to education in NSW. There has been a huge increase in the number of children using childcare since Labor increased childcare assistance to families. In the last year alone there has been a 9 per cent increase of children in long day care. Labor wants more children to have to access to childcare. We want the states to support childcare growth, identify and release more land where it is needed, and remove barriers to support the development of new services. We're doing our bit by supporting families through the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate, which we increased to 50 per cent of out-of-pocket costs; up to $7,500 per child per year. And we've uncapped the number of Child Care Benefit (and rebate) approved out-of-school hours care services that can be established. I was proud to fight for and secure the MRI licence for Concord Hospital, the establishment of the Bernie Banton Centre, and significant investment in Concord and Auburn Hospitals. I strongly oppose the $3 billion in cuts to the health budget in NSW by the Liberals as it will endanger lives. The Household Assistance Package saw nine out of 10 households compensated for the effects of the carbon price through the trebling of the tax-free threshold, tax cuts, increased payments to families and the aged. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has confirmed treasury modelling that shows an increase in household costs of just 0.7 per cent. The proposal being put forward by the NSW Government needs a lot more work. In its current form, it does little to improve access to the CBD, western Sydney and Port Botany. That's why the Federal Government has committed $25 million to assist the NSW Government with detailed planning on the project as well as to develop a business case and identify a process for bringing it to market. Completion of this work will give both governments the information they need to make informed funding decisions. It is disappointing that the NSW Liberal Government has not been clear on this issue. Decisions such as this should be left in the hands of local residents. Learning the family business from the ground up and being involved in its success has taught me a great deal about business and more importantly about people. You wouldn't think pulling beers and cleaning tables would be enlightening and humbling, but it is. I have degrees in economics and accounting, and worked in the family business for some 23 years. It is this life experience that I bring from the real world that I think we need in Canberra. People are telling me they are doing it tough. By the time they pay for electricity, gas, groceries and school fees, there is very little left over. We have a plan to immediately reduce the pain and that is to abolish the carbon tax and allow household and business budgets to stretch that little bit further. Under Labor, student outcomes have flatlined or fallen over the past five years and we've seen billions of dollars in education funds squandered. Our plan translates to buildings, teachers, equipment and better outcomes for our kids. We will do a better job managing our education budget, to the benefit of the children of Reid. Also the coalition plans to extend the education tax rebate, which will make life a little easier for parents, too. I want to see childcare funding become more flexible and more affordable for parents. These days both parents often need to work and they need to be supported while they're doing the hard yards. With less bureaucrats and more doctors and nurses. Tony Abbott has plans for the health system that will benefit people in Reid. Our policies will ensure more money goes towards more hospital beds, more GP funding and programs to encourage nurses back into the health system. The Prime Minister lied to Australia in the lead-up to the last election and introduced the carbon tax. Tony Abbott has promised to abolish the carbon tax immediately and this will lower prices for not only businesses and individuals in Reid, but throughout Australia. I strongly support it and am pleased we have Tony Abbott's commitment of $1.5 billion to help deliver the WestConnex project. WestConnex was a welcome announcement by the State Government as it will provide the essential road infrastructure we need to clear the daily bottleneck on the M4, particularly where it currently terminates at Parramatta Road. More importantly, it will stop rat running through our local streets as cars try to avoid Parramatta Road and this will make our local streets safer for our kids. Many councils across NSW, according to media reports, are facing financial difficulty and carrying significant debt. I believe the State Government is looking at ways to remedy this and, in some cases, amalgamation may be an option. Strathfield Council is not in that boat. It is well resourced, well managed and financially secure. Therefore, given that criteria and by Premier O'Farrell's own definition, Strathfield will not be forced to amalgamate. What makes you the better candidate? What is the single most important federal issue for Reid? EDUCATION How will your education plans benefit local schools? CHILDCARE Where do you stand on childcare funding? HEALTH How would you like to see our local hospitals improve? CARBON PRICING Strathfield businesses have raised concerns about rises in costs due to the Carbon Tax. How can the Federal Government help? INFRASTRUCTURE What do you think about the State Government's plan for the WestConnex? Would you press for the Federal Government to help fund this project? What is your view on council amalagamations?
December 2012 SS