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SSC Newspaper : March 2013
Strathfield Scene 11 www.ourstrathfield.com.au the big issue In part two of our series on the upcoming Federal election, we asked sitting Labor member, Environment Minister Tony Burke, 43, and Liberal contender Ron Delezio, 59, where they stand on the major issues affecting the electorate of Watson. These are their edited replies. Read their answers in full at ourstrathfield.com .au the battle for watson tony bourke LABOr ron delezio LiBerAL We go to the next election with two sides of politics having categorically different views on whether we should be investing in better facilities in our schools and whether we should be rolling out high-speed broadband. I’m proud to stand in front of the residents of the suburb where I was educated on the side of investing in education and on the side of rolling out broadband. I know my Liberal opponent has the opposite view on these issues and I’m happy for it to be a focus of the campaign. I have lived locally all my life, I was educated as St Patrick’s at Strathfield and I am the father to three daughters. When the Federal Government decided to invest in new facilities for schools, plenty of people argued we should only do it for government schools. My view was that if we care about the future, government has an interest in every student getting the best quality facilities. When childcare services are run well it makes a massive difference for families and can provide long-term benefits for the child. I’m proud to be part of a government that is committed to improving choices for families by improving the availability of childcare. My life is now dedicated to helping our community live a better life than what they have. I realised I had a voice people wanted to listen to. I have a proven community involvement with more than eight years at the helm of my charity [The Day of Difference Foundation, formed after daughter Sophie was critically injured]. I have been involved with State Government departments helping make our roads safer for children, and am working with a company that supplies radar speed displays that raise awareness of the speed motorists are travelling at around schools. I believe the community deserves a member who honestly cares about them, not just about being re-elected. An Abbott Government will increase the funding level to schools around Australia. Education is one of the most important areas within government control. School principals will be given the autonomy to run their own school instead of the bureaucrats. Labor is delivering better GP, primary and aged-care services, and we’re reversing the damaging cuts of the Howard years. We’re reforming the aged-care system, which will lift the quality of care and allow more people to get care in their own homes. Our local area is one of the places that has seen direct jobs growth from the carbon price. Jobs that are guaranteed to be sustainable into the future. Nine out of 10 Australian households receive support to help cover costs where polluters pass on the carbon price through higher charges. The Federal Government’s Clean Technology Investment program has helped Focus Press, a South Strathfield manufacturer, to reduce its energy costs, improve efficiency and lower carbon pollution. I think we are all sick to death of how long it takes to drive from east or west if you are starting in Strathfield. The Federal Government has put forward $25 million to help bring the WestConnex project to life. I don’t see how anyone could call for Strathfield to be amalgamated with the neighbouring areas if they knew the first thing about Strathfield. This is a constant danger of people making policy when they don’t know an area properly. I’ve always been part of this community. If you know the area and understand Strathfield then you logically have to oppose the council being amalgamated. The coalition will ensure each of our states introduce local hospital boards. Who better to run the expenditure of our hospitals than the hospitals themselves? The coalition will also look into the level of bureaucracy and remove the duplication and waste. The increased cost of living is a major concern for families, pensioners and business. The government’s own estimates show the Carbon Tax will raise electricity prices by 10 per cent and gas prices by 9 per cent in the first year alone. The coalition will repeal the Carbon Tax after the next Federal election. We need to address the urban congestion in our three largest cities. The coalition is committed $1.5 billion to the M4 East in Sydney as a part of the WestConnex project. This is a local and State Government concern. However, I will listen to the constituents and have discussions with the relevant local and State Government agency. We will commission a comprehensive enquiry into Australia’s childcare industry so that better and more affordable pricing can be introduced. What is your view on council amalagamations? 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? carbon pricing Strathfield businesses have raised concerns about rises in costs due to the Carbon Tax. How can the Federal Government help? health How would you like to see our local hospitals improve? childcare Where do you stand on childcare funding? education How will your education plans benefit local schools? What makes you the better candidate?