Federal Election Email Interview – Michael Denborough, ACT Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party

Jazz 5 November 2007 20

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 -  NDP candidate for the ACT Senate

Michael Denborough’s responses, in full and unedited, can be found below:

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?

Michael Denborough
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
the mortality.
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
site: www.nucleardisarmament.org

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.

What's Your Opinion?

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20 Responses to Federal Election Email Interview – Michael Denborough, ACT Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party
Fluges Fluges 1:40 pm 08 Nov 07

Keep up the good work Michael. You’re an inspiration to a lot of us.

caf caf 12:09 pm 07 Nov 07

It’s interesting that the one thing that seems to unite all the minor party candidates (so far) is universal free higher education.

lizd lizd 11:07 am 07 Nov 07

Thanks sepi! Good to see some sanity prevailing on the blog!! But it does disturb me to see the level of denial around. I think I’m lucky to be surrounded by people who can actually think about what life will be like for future generations if we continue to put for example, money made from BHP Billiton shares, ahead of the health of future generations. It’s important stuff but does take an ability to think outside oneself. Good on you sepi!!

sepi sepi 9:20 am 07 Nov 07

Wow – there’s a whole fantasy all about lizd!

Is your point that everything is bad for us, so just do whatever? The logical conclusion of that philosophy is to sleep on the highway.

If lizd apires to a healthier lifestyle why not leave her be?

sallyann60 sallyann60 12:32 am 07 Nov 07

For fcuks sake lizd if you are so worried about contracting cancer why are you using a computer full of heavy metals in the electronics and plastics full of PCBs spewing toxic fumes (and you are probably sitting in front of an old CRT getting a good dose of x-ray radiation). Why do you choose to live in a city where cars and general industry spew out all sort of air-borne particles which can potentially cause cancer. You choose to live in a city that adds fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals to the water which again can cause cancer. You probably even eat generic so called organic foods fertilised with animal poo that will cause you cancer (and remember that too much dandelion or camomile tea can kill you too). And you probably choose to use a mobile phone which you hold passionately to your head whilst rallying all your other looney friends self inflicting a brain cancer on yourself.

Get a grip on reality if you are an NDP supporter you can now kindly go crawl back in your cave.

lizd lizd 12:39 am 06 Nov 07

I’ve just been looking at the NDP website and they are obviuosly not a single issue party but are just highlighting the issues that may make others redundant. Have you seen the new David Bradbury clip about the expansion of Roxby uranium mine? I don’t think people are aware that the enormous amount of cancer and birth defect producing radiactive dust that will be produced, if the expansion goes ahead, will be blown to capital cities and all the way to new Zealand! We will be looking at an unprecendented rise in cancer rate in the next 10 – 50 years! I just don’t think people know about this – we don’t get the information. We need more political parties highlighting this kind of thing not fewer!

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 11:15 pm 05 Nov 07

Of course he has, there’s an election in a few weeks.

sepi sepi 10:37 pm 05 Nov 07

Indonesia is looking to build some reactors on earthquake prone ground. If they have a disaster we’ll be pretty close to the fallout.

I think it is too risky and there are other ways.
Even john howard has shut up about nuclear for now.

bd84 bd84 8:41 pm 05 Nov 07

another person who will get about 2 votes. no point standing if you stand for one thing.

While not saying nuclear is the best solution, I think it would be better to look at all options rather than dismiss options on a whim because the word nuclear is scary and is associated with a disaster in a decaying russian country 20 years ago.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 8:39 pm 05 Nov 07

Bring on the nuclear power plants.

Build one near the airport.

sepi sepi 7:46 pm 05 Nov 07

I support non-nuclear solutions, and I think standing for parliament is a great way to get some coverage for issues that people are passionate about.
Best of luck.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 7:17 pm 05 Nov 07

Thanks for your honest reply Michael.

Now, take off your blinkers and examine everything else that’s happening in Australia and let us know what you think of it.

Nuclear power is a sensible way forward.

Pandy Pandy 3:32 pm 05 Nov 07

His detailed plans are included in the box called “Diplomacy”.

poptop poptop 2:34 pm 05 Nov 07

We-ell you have to admire someone who thinks that a vote at the UN will make a blind bit of difference to The Shrub deciding whether to press the button.

I’m still scanning the NDP site looking for the “detailed plans” to avert WWIII referred to in Dr Denborough’s response to question 9.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 1:07 pm 05 Nov 07

He has an awesome smile though.

From their website “Dr Denborough founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1984 when the Hawke Labor government sold out on its anti-nuclear policies, and it became clear that the only way to influence the politicians in the Hawke-led ALP was to take votes away from them.”

They’re not in it to win it. Good on them for taking a stand.

tap tap 11:59 am 05 Nov 07

Especially considering that lefties/environmentalists will all be voting for the Greens this election, I agree, this man doesn’t have much of a chance.

I still agree with his policies though.

Pandy Pandy 10:43 am 05 Nov 07

He will be blown away at the election.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 10:21 am 05 Nov 07

With responses like this it becomes easy to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to candidates.

Spectra Spectra 9:55 am 05 Nov 07

I’m afraid I agree, poptop. While this party no doubt have the best intentions in the world, we’re voting on people to govern us across all areas (or at least, all areas specified in the constitution).
Steering every question (even the one which explicitly excludes non-local issues) back to the answer “nukes bad, George Bush bad” does not speak well of their ability to carry out such a role (not counting their education policy which appears, in its entirety, to be “spend more on it”).

poptop poptop 9:12 am 05 Nov 07

This is pretty good evidence of why nobody should vote for a single issue candidate. What is Michael going to do with the 99.99999999999999% of Senate time that isn’t dealing with the impending nuclear holocaust?

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