Labor’s Senate Candidate Kate Lundy has some answers for you Rioters.
Candidates, the readers of RiotACT are your voters and they have questions for you! If you’d like to answer those questions and prove you care what your voters think then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe people who are in severe pain and have no prospect of recovery should be able to seek professional medical help to die with dignity. With appropriate safeguards, people in severe pain and with worsening illnesses should not be kept alive against their will. That said, euthanasia is unlawful in Australia in all States and Territories. The States are generally responsible for laws on euthanasia and there is no impediment to the States enacting such laws. The Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 prohibits the Legislative Assemblies of the NT and ACT, and other self-governing territories, from making laws permitting euthanasia. When the matter of voluntary euthanasia has previously come before Parliament, it has been dealt with as a conscience vote and I supported the Territories right to legislate. I would consider specific legislation on its merits. A conscience vote for legislation relating to Euthanasia remains Labor Party policy, recognising that people of good will can have different positions on the issue.
2. Do you support a High Speed Rail Link between Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne?
Yes, Federal Labor has undertaken an extensive study into the viability of a high speed rail service down Australia’s east coast and will spend $52 million over the next four years to start the process of land-buying for a Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne line. A Rudd government would also introduce legislation to protect a corridor for fast trains between Australia’s two largest cities, and would establish a high-speed rail authority within six months to manage the project. The money would not be enough to buy the required land, but Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it would enable a start to building a line that could be operational within 17 years.
3. Are you comfortable with the distribution of wealth in modern day Australia?
I would like to see less inequality in Australia, and I’m worried that the Liberals, if they get in, will create more. The Liberals are currently promising to use taxpayer dollars to provide millionaire parents with an extra $75,000 per year to have a child. Federal Labor, throughout its existence, has promoted a society that does not benefit just a fortunate few, but gives everyone the opportunity to reach their potential through progressive programs. That is why we are investing in our kids through the Better Schools Plan. That is why we introduced DisabilityCare Australia – a historic reform that provides people with a disability, their families and carers more choice and control and a lifetime approach to a person’s support needs.
Only Labor can deal with future economic challenges while giving families, pensioners, carers and the most vulnerable, a helping hand when they need it most – through our historic pension reforms, record investments in mental health services, better before and after school care, Paid Parental Leave, the Schoolkids Bonus and the Child Care Rebate, a targeted family payments system and by delivering DisabilityCare Australia.
4. Recent polling (Auspoll) shows housing affordability to be a critical issue for a majority of Australians, with 84% of respondents saying it was important to them or their families, putting housing affordability ahead of issues such as education, border security, the NBN and NDIS.
The same poll also revealed that 84% of respondents also believe that Australia is not performing well on housing affordability.
Australian Governments are failing badly on this issue of critical importance to Australians.
What would you do to improve housing affordability?
Housing affordability will always be a major priority for the Federal Labor Government. We have a proud record of helping to deliver affordable housing for Australians and their families. Since 2008, the Federal Labor Government has invested $31 billion to make housing more affordable and assist people to move out of homelessness. This is the largest single investment in housing affordability in Australian history and through it, we have directly contributed to the construction of one in every 20 new homes since coming to office through programs such as our $6 billion investment in social housing, which is delivering more than 21,600 social housing homes across the nation; and the $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme which provides incentive payments to build 50,000 affordable rental homes.
Under Federal Labor, it has also become more affordable for Australians to buy a home. The average standard variable rate of 6.20 per cent offered by banks for home loans is now well below what it was when the Liberals left office (8.55% at December 2007). With the RBA board’s recent interest rate cut, this standard variable rate will fall further. This means more money in the pockets of Australian families — a family will be saving around $6,000 a year on a $300,000 home loan compared to November 2007. Our economic management kept unemployment low, helped to contain inflation and enabled the RBA to keep interest rates low.
5. To me the NBN seems like a great idea, can you tell me why you think it’s ace/a dumb idea.
The NBN is more than just a great idea – it’s a great piece of nation building infrastructure that will serve us for generations to come. And it’s happening right now. We are building the National Broadband Network to connect every home and business to the superfast, affordable and reliable broadband that we need. We are investing not only to meet immediate demands, but also to meet our needs for the decades to come. Under Labor, there is no charge for the initial connection to fibre. Under the Coalition, you will pay up to $5,000 to be connected to fibre. People in Canberra who have connected to the NBN are already experiencing super-fast speeds that open up of whole new world of education, opportunity and information to them and their families.
If you think a long-term solution to having fast, reliable and affordable broadband access is important, irrespective of where you live or whether you have thousands of dollars to pay just to get a connection, then Labor’s NBN is the only policy that ticks the box. How can the old copper possibly serve our future needs as the Liberals propose?
6. Do you think cyclists should be registered?!
No I don’t. The best advice available from expert groups like Pedal Power, relevant government authorities and overseas experience shows that education, rather than licensing or registration, is the best way to reduce cycling fatalities and injuries. In Canberra we are blessed with the best cycling facilities in Australia. Encouraging more people to cycle has immense health and transport benefits for the whole community. Most cyclists I know also own a car and pay registration and compulsory third party insurance on their motor vehicle. When they cycle to work they stay fit, free up a car space and still continue to make a financial contribution to our city’s infrastructure.
7. What is your position on gay marriage?
I support marriage equality. Labor policy is that the matter will be brought before the Parliament within 100 days of the re-election of a Rudd Labor Government. Labor recognises that there are a variety of strongly-held views in the community and within both major political parties on the issue. These different perspectives are respected within the Federal Labor Party, which is why Labor MPs and Senators will be permitted a free, conscience vote when the matter comes before the Parliament. I will be voting for Marriage Equality.
8. Would you be willing to cross the floor on matters of strong personal conscience or of significant concern for your electorate?
My personal values of fairness, equity, opportunity and social justice synchronise well within my party. Where they differ, I will continue to argue strongly within my caucus to promote progressive and equitable policy outcomes and abide by the majority view of my party. The exception to this is where my party allows for a conscience vote.
9. What are your views on the NSA collecting private information of Australian citizens and corporations, of the Australian government’s participation in similar programmes, and of the apparent silence of Australian politicians on the matter?
The examples that I am aware of relate to investigations of criminal or terrorist activity. Australia’s intelligence agencies operate under a strong legal framework to protect citizens. This includes dealing with information from outside Australia. Interception and access to telecommunications in Australia is undertaken strictly in accordance with the law.
10. We hear so much negativity about the opposition when election time rolls around– what three things do you consider to be positive about any of your opponents and why?
I think it’s important to see our opponents as real people, even when we disagree.
I don’t know Zed Seselja very well personally but I am sure he has positive attributes. I respect people who commit to public life.
Simon Sheikh is trying very hard to make a positive difference and I admire his tenacity. I want people to vote Labor as I don’t agree with a lot of Green Party policies but I think if Simon gets ahead of the Liberals in the ACT Senate race it will send a clear message to the Abbott Liberals that they can’t continue take community support in Canberra for granted.
Thirdly, regarding other candidates running for the ACT Senate I welcome their commitment to our democracy and Canberra in particular I have no doubt most do it because they want to make a real difference and improve life for others that they care about. Public life is not an easy choice to make and those that do it do make sacrifices.