1) whitelaughter asked: Would you support abolishing self-government in the ACT? Please include a “yes” or “no” in your answer.
No. The Australian Democrats worked hard as advocates of self-government in the old House of Assembly. The system of government we now have in the ACT works quite well and gives democratic representation and delivery of services at the local level. We can continue to work on improving the Committee system and the way public consultation is undertaken.
2) neanderthalsis asked: Do you support the proposed internet mandatory ISP filter and Data Recording Directive that record the browsing history of all internet connections?
No. I believe that mandatory filtering is the first step towards totalitarianism. The idea of imposing this form of censorship is abhorrent to anyone who believes in basic freedoms.
The same goes for the Data Recording Directive, which raises serious privacy concerns.
It is totally inappropriate for “Big Brother” governments to attempt to control information. It is the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable.
My previous media on these matters can be found here:
3) 54-11 asked: Comsuper and DFRDB pensions are indexed by the CPI rather than by a wage-based index. The former Government, with the full support of the then Labor Opposition, stopped using the CPI to index the Age Pension more than a decade ago because it was considered an unsuitable and unfair way to adjust pensions. As a politician, your super is indexed to the increase in Parliamentary salaries and allowances, which is far more generous than for anyone else. Do you support, and will you actually do something about, fair and equitable indexation of all pensions?
Veterans’ pensions and compensatory payments should be indexed to whichever is higher of Male Average Weekly Earnings or the CPI. This is Australian Democrats policy. We have long argued that all pensions should be indexed quarterly.
4) Thumper asked: What do you consider to be the maximum sustainable population for Australia and how do you intend to ensure that that this maximum is not breached whilst continuing to encourage immigrants as well as accepting genuine refugees?
There are very good arguments for suggesting that Australia’s maximum sustainable population would be around 23-25 million. We have a serious problem with the scarcity of water in this country. It is probably our biggest natural problem. Increasing population will not solve it. We need to address how we reduce overall immigration numbers. Probably in the long-term that would mean reducing skilled migration and putting some money into training our own people.
By doing this we would be in a much better position to meet our humanitarian obligations for what is really a small number of asylum seekers.
5) Primal asked: Why were you deemed the best candidate for your party in the seat you’re contesting?
I had to meet certain conditions in relation to membership status, residential and age requirements, policy knowledge, acceptable philosophy, and public presentation skills. I was then assessed by a committee and secretly balloted by the members. My preselection ballot apparently drew the largest voter turnout in some years.
6) Jivrashia asked: If a man says something, and the wife isn’t there to hear him, is he still wrong?
I think a person should focus on saying what is right, rather than whether his partner will find it wrong.
Having said that, I am happily single.
7) colourful sydney racing identity asked: Did you prepare this response to RiotACT questions yourself or was it done by your party office?
That depends on which hat I’m wearing at the time.
8 ) p1 asked: Do you think that the Commonwealth Government should be able to overturn laws passed by the ACT?
No. Self-government means self-government. I do not support the Commonwealth overturning the laws passed by our democratically elected Assembly. If the laws are constitutionally valid and meet the requirements of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004, the Commonwealth should not overturn them.
9) bd84 asked: What are the top priorities or projects for Canberra that you will be lobbying the new Government for?
The proper funding and provision of mental health services at all levels is a priority. Along with that is proper support for mental health workers.
I will also give support for the construction of a Very Fast Train system to link Canberra to Sydney and Melbourne; support for low-carbon energy sources to give us a clean reliable sustainable energy future, and support for increased investment in high-tech export products from the ANU, the CSIRO and local manufacturers, to help give Australia an alternative to agriculture and mining exports.
10) Pommy bastard asked: Witches on Mt Ainslie, should their freedom of expression be protected from interference by fundy nutsacks?
Yes. Provided their right to freedom of expression does not unfairly impinge of the rights of others to enjoy their own freedom of expression.
The Eleventh Question
#9 Thumper asked: do you drink VB? If so, why?
Yes, I have. But there are lots of other drinks to enjoy (responsibly), so I can’t say VB is my drink of first choice. I am quite partial to Coopers – it’s a Democrat thing…
#25 Thumper asked If elected would you and your party support (and fund) the building of a 50 foot tall statue of Jim Morrison that straddles the Federal Highway neat the old Canberry fair site?
It’s not actually balloted policy. But, tempting,…very tempting…..