In our continuing series of Email Interviews with local candidates in the coming Federal Election we bring you Michael Denborough – the lead ACT Senate candidate for and founder of the Nuclear Disarmament Party.
Michael Denborough’s responses, in full and unedited, can be found below:
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Q1. Provide a short (no greater than 200 word) employment application style Resume (CV), including what work have you done apart from being a politician or political staffer or party/union/lobby employee and what experience or qualifications you have with regards to economic management?
Married to Erica. Four children.
Worked as a Physician and Medical Scientist since 1960.
Reader in Medicine, University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, Royal
Melbourne Hospital 1960-74.
Professor, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National
University 1974-94. Now Emeritus Professor and Visiting Fellow.
Discovered a condition called Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) in 1960, which is
now recognised to be the commonest cause of anaesthetic induced death.
Devised diagnostic test and treatment for MH which has dramatically reduced
Awarded AM in 1999 for services to Medicine.
Founded Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) in 1984 when Hawke reversed the
anti-nuclear policies of the ALP. The NDP had a Senator elected to the
Federal Parliament for W.A. in 1984, and for NSW in 1987.
As far as economic policy is concerned I consider that much less money
should be spent on weapons of destruction, and that this should be spent
instead on the rapidly deteriorating Health and Education services in our
Q2. What would you like to see as the first piece of legislative change brought about by your Government? What are your personal goals for your first year representing the ACT?
I would like the Government to vote at the U.N. to take the world’s 27,000
nuclear weapons off hair trigger alert. Only this week the Howard Government
was one of the few governments in the world to vote to maintain the weapons
on hair trigger alert. This means that we could all be destroyed at any time
by accident, by the act of a madman or by a computer error, as has nearly
happened many times in the past.
During my first year in office I would like the need for a Nuclear Free
Australia to be impressed on the Parliament and on the minds of all
Q3. What private opinions do you hold which are different to those of your party?
On which issues do you disagree with your Party’s stated position?
Q4. Are you in favour of fixed election terms? Why or why not and if so what length of term are you in favour of and why?
I think that the present system is the best available.
Q5. Do you think that it is important for the Prime Minister and their family to live in Canberra? Why or why not?
Yes, because Canberra is the National Capital.
Q6. Do you consider that making observations about the structure and makeup of the other major political party as beneficial to your own party’s role in the election?
I think that it is important to make observations on the policies of other
Q7. What are you thoughts on the permanent trading of water entitlements, as per The National Water Initiative (http://www.dpmc.gov.au/water_reform/nwi.cfm), and do you believe that giving water a tradable, economic value is really the best method to ensure that this scare Australian resource will be utilized sensibly in the future?
I think that it is scandalous that the uranium mine at Roxby Downs uses 35 million litres of water per day, and that it plans to increase this to 120 million litres.
Water is our most precious resource, and yet the Coalition plans to build 25 nuclear power plants on the East coast. Each power plant would use 35 million litres of water per day.
Q8. Canberra has a large student population and Govt funding per capita for public education facilities seems to be on the slide with there being an apparent shift towards encouraging more people to enter the private education sector. What are your thoughts on this?
What initiatives would you pursue in regard to HECS fees, full fee paying uni courses, increasing/decreasing Austudy payments, funding for education/ R&D/communications infrastructure and assistance or encouragement to private sector research and technology companies?
What measures will you take to ensure the best possible education is available to all Australians?
As I mentioned above I think that spending on education should be dramatically increased. The goal should be to provide free tertiary education for all Australian students who are qualified for it.
Q9. What’s the single most pressing issue in your electorate (local electorate issue – not a broader issue that has an impact on your electorate) and how do you plan on addressing it?
I think that the most pressing issue for all electorates is the support
which the Coalition is giving to George Bush in his plans for World War 3,
and we have detailed plans to address this which can be seen on our web
Q10. Suppose that you and I are stuck in an elevator for 5 minutes. You know nothing about me other than I’m enrolled to vote in your electorate. What do you say to convince me to vote for you.
I would explain that with George Bush planning to bomb Iran we are living in
the most dangerous time in history, and how vital it is for us to stop this.
I would explain the detailed plans which the NDP has to make Australia
Nuclear Free, and what a profound effect that this would have, not only for
Australia, but for the rest of the world.