[If you think it reasonable for candidates to answer questions from the public then please email the recalcitrants]
1) whitelaughter asked: Would you support abolishing self-government in the ACT? Please include a “yes” or “no” in your answer.
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— No. I would not support abolishing self-government in the ACT.
— Canberrans need a government that delivers on the ground services such as health, education, municipal services – among many others.
— We need a government that is drawn from the ACT and that cares about the ACT.
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?
— I do not support Refused Classification content being available on the internet.
— The internet offers fantastic opportunities. However, I believe governments have a responsibility to put in place measures to ensure Australians, in particular children, have a safe experience online
— Labor’s $125.8 million Cyber-Safety Plan consists of a range of measures that encompass education, law enforcement, research and mandatory Internet Service Provider filtering of RC content.
— Federal Labor’s plan will bring the treatment of overseas hosted content into line by requiring ISPs to block overseas content that has been identified as being RC rated.
— We are also seeking a review of the RC category before any obligation on ISPs is implemented for mandatory blocking of RC content, to ensure that this classification continues to reflect current community standards.
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?
— Your ACT Federal Labor candidates’ support for your campaign for fairer indexation for Commonwealth superannuants has a long history.
— During the 11 years of the Howard Government, Senator Lundy pressed for the findings of the relevant Senate committees to be implemented, and for the release of Department of Finance figures on the cost of indexation changes.
— On coming to Government in 2007, Labor commissioned Mr Trevor Matthews to review indexation arrangements for Australian Government civilian and military superannuation schemes.
— I understand many people were disappointed with the conclusions of the Matthews Review, and the Government’s acceptance of this report.
— Together with Mike Kelly, Bob McMullan and Annette Ellis, Senator Lundy wrote publicly to the Minister for Finance expressing concerns with the report, and urging action on indexation consistent with Recommendation 4 of the report. They have gained the support of many MPs and Senators in other electorates.
— Following their intervention, the Government has tasked the Department of Finance and Deregulation and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to examine the feasibility of developing a new index that specifically reflects the price inflation experience of Commonwealth civilian and military superannuants.
— Finance and the ABS have had initial discussions and will scope the cost and statistical methodology requirements to develop a robust new index for Government consideration. The preliminary advice from ABS is that production of a measure to more accurately target sub groups of households would require a larger Household Expenditure Survey as well as additional collection and processing costs.
— If elected, I will continue to actively push for fairer indexation for Commonwealth superannuants.
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?
— Federal Labor believes in a sustainable Australia, not a ‘big Australia’.
— Prime Minister Julia Gillard has indicated her vision for a sustainable population – one that supports our environment and our renewable resources and that is in turn supported by proper resources and infrastructure.
— I agree with the Prime Minister when she says we need to be smart about how we plan for the future to make sure we have the resources to support a fairer, stronger, smarter Australia.
— We need to make sure our population grows in areas where demand for work is increasing so hard working Australians can benefit from our strong and growing economy.
— But we also want to avoid overcrowding in the cities and in parts of our country where there aren’t sufficient jobs or services.
— To ensure that immigration levels are appropriate, the development of a long-term sustainable migration planning framework is underway. This framework will provide policy guidelines for setting our future immigration levels in Australia’s best interests.
— I can only encourage your readers to follow this debate and engage. These are big issues that require lots of discussion.
5) Primal asked: Why were you deemed the best candidate for your party in the seat you’re contesting?
— Experience – I have worked in the public and private sectors, served on boards, and have volunteered with community organisations to deliver better services for Canberrans.
— Business acumen – For some members, the fact that I have run my own small business for 10 years was a big plus. Running a business provides you with a range of skills that should be useful if I am elected. I understand risk, balance sheets, superannuation, BAS, taxation. I think Canberra small businesses will find me a strong advocate for business in the Federal Labor caucus.
— Strong voice for Canberra – My friends in the party know that I have don’t have a problem standing up for people who can’t stand up for themselves, and for standing up for what I believe in. They know that I will fight for Canberra in the Federal Parliament and in the Labor caucus.
6) Jivrashia asked: If a man says something, and the wife isn’t there to hear him, is he still wrong?
— What a great question. In all the surveys I have received during this campaign this is a first.
— My husband may have a different view, but I think that good communication means you have to speak, listen and hear.
7) colourful sydney racing identity asked: Did you prepare this response to RiotACT questions yourself or was it done by your party office?
— This is also an excellent question and what I have written here I prepared myself and they are my views.
— Did I show it to my team? Yes I did!
— I think you would expect, if I am lucky enough to be elected, that I will check things beforehand.
8 ) p1 asked: Do you think that the Commonwealth Government should be able to overturn laws passed by the ACT?
— The Commonwealth Government gave us self government and should allow the ACT Government to govern.
9) bd84 asked: What are the top priorities or projects for Canberra that you will be lobbying the new Government for?
If I am elected, my number one priority will be to listen to my constituents. Other priorities are:
1. Measures to ensure we keep our local economy strong – and good national economic policy. I am very concerned about the Liberal Party’s plans to cut the public service if it is elected. 12,000 job losses will threaten our local economy.
2. Continued investment in health and education services. The Federal Government will increase health spending by over $2 billion in Canberra over the next five years and this type of investment needs to continue.
3. I will lobby for better access to GP services – especially in Tuggeranong. I was very pleased with Federal Labor’s announcement that a GP Super Clinic will be established in Canberra.
4. Maintaining our national capital. We need continued investment in infrastructure in the ACT. We are the national capital and we should have infrastructure and services to meet the needs of a national capital. I am really pleased Julia Gillard will live at the Lodge, that if elected.
10) Pommy bastard asked: Witches on Mt Ainslie, should their freedom of expression be protected from interference by fundy nutsacks?
— This is something I had to do a bit of research on and I confess it isn’t something I was aware of.
— I do believe in freedom of expression but I don’t believe in defacing public property.