I pay my respects to Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, their elders past, present and future. I extend my respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait people here tonight. The resilience and wisdom of your culture is our nation’s greatest treasure. I also wish to acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.
My vision is to be a strong voice for our community on issues that matter to people who live on the Mornington Peninsula.
I’ve just hit 60 – so clearly I’m not your run-of-the-mill career politician. I started out as a critical care nurse and then did a PhD in public health. I have worked mainly as community engagement qualitative researcher. I have never aspired to be Prime Minister.
I’ve been fighting for decades from the sidelines for justice in climate action, mental health, gender equality and most recently aged care.
The failure of the Coalition to tackle the aged crisis prompted me to put my hand up to be the Voices of Mornington Peninsula endorsed Independent Candidate and replace the Aged Care Minister in his seat of Flinders.
My long fight in aged care has revolved around accountability and transparency for the billions of dollars of taxpayer money handed out to providers. This theme is apparent in all aspects of government spending – sports rorts, car park rorts. This government uses our money on projects it thinks will get it re-elected, not on what is best for all of us.
Trust and confidence in government are at historic lows. Party politics, political donations and ego driven politicians have destroyed our trust in public institutions.
My focus on accountability and transparency is the key to restoring trust in government.
Policies should not be determined by vested interests – such as fossil fuel companies – and those who donate millions to political parties. We need politicians and public servants to act in the best interests of all Australians.
The first thing I can offer is to restore trust in your federal MP. You can trust that I will listen – and that I will do what I say I will do.
Unlike many politicians who make promises they break, I will focus on policy. And these will be decided collaboratively with our community at my ‘Policies in the Park’. The first kicks off this Sunday in Dromana Park where we will be discussing Climate Action policy.
Earlier this week, I received a newsletter from our Federal MP, Minister Hunt, outlining his plan for Flinders. He clearly has not been listening. His plan did not include climate action nor aged care.
I have facilitated many kitchen table conversations – where locals have told me what they love about the Peninsula and the issues that should be the focus of the federal government .
Climate action is always the number 1 issue. People want action NOW, not in 2050.
Other key issues raised with me are overdevelopment ruining what we love about the Peninsula. Our community wants the environment preserved particularly protection of the Green wedge.
Opportunities for young people are key. Many need to leave the peninsula for tertiary education. Young people also need jobs on the peninsula including apprenticeships.
Although the Peninsula is often associated with wealthy places like Mt Martha, many of us are concerned about areas of social disadvantage.
The pandemic has worsened social inequality. It has also put the spotlight on mental health, unemployment, family violence, women’s safety and the importance of social connectness.
I will conclude with an issue that affects most of us: telecommunications. Due to my unreliable NBN, and it being likely that my connection would drop out during this event, I am sitting in a friend’s dining room.
If we want businesses to thrive on the Peninsula, reliable telecommunications are vital and will be a key focus of my election campaign.