Watt’s the answer

Advertising Feature 28 September 2012 246
watts

My name is Matt Watts and I am a Liberal Candidate for Ginninderra in the October 20 Assembly election.

Regular readers would know me as the first candidate to donate Lego and participate in the RiotACT’s Candidate Lego Challenge (link). You may also have seen me at a shopping centre or at your front door, spreading the word that I’d be an effective local MLA.

I asked the RiotACT team to leave the comments functionality switched on so that we can have an open dialogue. The RiotACT team advised me that they’ll have to moderate anything that’s off-topic, yet I’m happy to answer general questions about my beliefs, background, policies, etc.

If you want the official Canberra Liberals policies, head here. Now – about me:

I was born in Sydney. My mum’s a teacher and my dad was trained as an electrical engineer, starting his career at the Sydney County Council before a couple of moves to now work for Boral. One grandfather was a plumber, and the other grandfather was a manager at Sunbeam back when they made quality products in Australia. I mention this background to enforce that, whilst I am an established public servant, and proud of the service I have performed for the community through my work, I wasn’t spawned within the APS bio-dome.
I joined the Department of Immigration as an APS 1 in 1999, straight after completing my HSC, with a view to supporting my studies via the APS. I commenced a Bachelor of Arts at Sydney Uni in 2000, with which I was mightily unimpressed (and it me, probably), so I soon got over that distraction and stayed with Immigration. I moved to Canberra in 2003.

I was involved in Immigration’s response to the Palmer and Comrie reports and, with my interest in administrative matters piqued, I resumed study and obtained my Master’s in Public Policy (specialising in social policy) from the ANU.

Work has taken me on deployments to remote areas; most recently I spent six months as a director on Christmas Island. I haven’t travelled much, but I enjoy experiencing new environments. My first overseas trip took me to Canberra’s Friendship City, Dili, and I was amazed at certain correlations between our two cities!

I am a Hash House Harrier, both locally and whenever I travel. It keeps me relatively fit and I’ve met people of really diverse backgrounds. I also enjoy reading widely including history, magazines on current affairs and comics, supporting live local music, whisky tasting, walking (which is handy because I’ve never had a driver’s license), reading and TV shows like Doctor Who.

At various levels over the years I’ve been a member of the Belconnen Community Council, the Australian Privacy Foundation, Neighbourhood Watch, the Australian Institute of Administrative Law, the Institute of Public Administration Australia, ACT Light Rail, Music ACT, Friends of the (Australian War) Memorial and Electronic Frontiers Australia. I was even involved in the CPSU at one stage. I’m also a Justice of the Peace. Being involved in my community is important to me.

I’ve been a member of the Liberal Party since I was sixteen because I’ve never liked the nanny state. I ran as a candidate for Ginninderra in 2008 and as Senator Humphries’ running mate in 2010 (I am likely to have been a Senator if I didn’t save Gaz from the path of a speeding van as we were crossing Northbourne Ave!).

I am especially interested in improved local service delivery, planning and infrastructure, liquor licensing, higher quality community consultation and strengthening the quality of public administration within the ACT Government, particularly with regards to unintended consequences. For example, the feel-good plastic bag “ban” has led to more non-biodegradable bag use in landfill and increased litter in our streets; government intervention is rarely a panacea. Government should serve the Canberra community more than it tries to socially engineer it.

If you want to meet me in person, I will be at the October Hall Markets in the afternoon, and I am at the Jamison “Trash and Treasure” every Sunday morning until the election.

Over to you…!

[authorised by stephen doyle – liberal party canberra]


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246 Responses to Watt’s the answer
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Duffbowl Duffbowl 10:57 am 23 Oct 12

Matt_Watts said :

Duffbowl said :

Matt_Watts said :

I’m sure they have some rules… Do you have ready access them? Cheers.

Answered like a true politician: don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

Solutions focussed, mate. Happy to look at it.

Effluent of a similar ilk, conveyed in an open-top container that differs from the previous one.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 9:48 am 23 Oct 12

poetix said :

I thought you were quite brave, Matt, going first with the Lego. But remember in future: Disney Princesses are your friends.

Thanks Poetix, but I’ll leave the Disney princesses to my niece!

It was interesting doing the Lego reatively early in the campaign, prior to many of our policy announcements having been made public, but I wanted to get in early. I couldn’t even point out the existence of a green bin in Hall 🙂 but it was all part of a great experience.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 9:19 am 23 Oct 12

Matt_Watts said :

Duffbowl said :

Matt_Watts said :

Postalgeek said :

Matt, a further transport question, do you support allowing motorbikes/scooters to park legally on pavements as long as they do not obstruct general passage, as is the case in the Melbourne CDB?

Happy to look at it. I actually don’t know much about that Melbourne situation. How do they administer it? I mean, what if one bike or scooter is parked, and it isn’t obstructing… then a whole heap of bikes come up and crowd it, meaning the footpath is blocked by all of them – what happens then?

I’m sure they have some rules… Do you have ready access them? Cheers.

Answered like a true politician: don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

Solutions focussed, mate. Happy to look at it.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ParkingTransportandRoads/Parking/WhereToPark/Pages/Motorcycleparking.aspx

poetix poetix 9:12 am 23 Oct 12

I thought you were quite brave, Matt, going first with the Lego. But remember in future: Disney Princesses are your friends.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 8:55 am 23 Oct 12

Duffbowl said :

Matt_Watts said :

Postalgeek said :

Matt, a further transport question, do you support allowing motorbikes/scooters to park legally on pavements as long as they do not obstruct general passage, as is the case in the Melbourne CDB?

Happy to look at it. I actually don’t know much about that Melbourne situation. How do they administer it? I mean, what if one bike or scooter is parked, and it isn’t obstructing… then a whole heap of bikes come up and crowd it, meaning the footpath is blocked by all of them – what happens then?

I’m sure they have some rules… Do you have ready access them? Cheers.

Answered like a true politician: don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

Solutions focussed, mate. Happy to look at it.

Masquara Masquara 8:31 am 23 Oct 12

Matt_Watts said :

Well, as everyone would now know I wasn’t successful in my attempt to win a seat in Ginninderra. I’m not overly upset with the result, given my budget, and it was certainly a better result than last time.

I’m in the process of thanking my volunteers.

I’d also like to thank the RiotACT for the opportunity to engage with the readers – it was a lot of fun!

Thanks all!

Keep your name out there, and good luck for next time!

Duffbowl Duffbowl 8:28 am 23 Oct 12

Matt_Watts said :

Postalgeek said :

Matt, a further transport question, do you support allowing motorbikes/scooters to park legally on pavements as long as they do not obstruct general passage, as is the case in the Melbourne CDB?

Happy to look at it. I actually don’t know much about that Melbourne situation. How do they administer it? I mean, what if one bike or scooter is parked, and it isn’t obstructing… then a whole heap of bikes come up and crowd it, meaning the footpath is blocked by all of them – what happens then?

I’m sure they have some rules… Do you have ready access them? Cheers.

Answered like a true politician: don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 7:56 am 23 Oct 12

Well, as everyone would now know I wasn’t successful in my attempt to win a seat in Ginninderra. I’m not overly upset with the result, given my budget, and it was certainly a better result than last time.

I’m in the process of thanking my volunteers.

I’d also like to thank the RiotACT for the opportunity to engage with the readers – it was a lot of fun!

Thanks all!

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 11:56 am 18 Oct 12

Postalgeek said :

Matt, a further transport question, do you support allowing motorbikes/scooters to park legally on pavements as long as they do not obstruct general passage, as is the case in the Melbourne CDB?

Happy to look at it. I actually don’t know much about that Melbourne situation. How do they administer it? I mean, what if one bike or scooter is parked, and it isn’t obstructing… then a whole heap of bikes come up and crowd it, meaning the footpath is blocked by all of them – what happens then?

I’m sure they have some rules… Do you have ready access them? Cheers.

steele_blade steele_blade 11:46 am 18 Oct 12

chewy14 said :

simsim said :

Matt, the argument that Marriage should be removed from the realm of law seems like a compromise … except that in that case, the 66.9% of marriages performed by civil celebrants in this country would then become invalid. Is that really what you’re arguing in favour of?

I’m pretty sure the government would be able to pass one of those law thingys to transfer already married people over to a civil union or simply grandfather current marriages.

Not content with denying gays the right to marry, you now want to prevent heterosexual couples the right to marry except in a religious ceremony? That’s the net effect of Matt’s proposal.

T_S T_S 11:15 am 18 Oct 12

Thanks for the clarification Matt. Thought if I want to get another word in, I’d better chime in again before someone brings up Dogman or Mr Gillespie asks you about your position on tripling our rates 🙂

I’m actually not unsympathetic to the “what difference will our 40% make to climate change” argument, if you frame it as narrowly as some have here. The thing is, there’s way more to it than that, when we start talking about the co-benefits:

– Reduce emissions through energy efficiency – we save on energy bills, can better afford to keep our homes comfortable in summer/winter.
– Reduce emissions through improving public transport – Canberra is an easier place to get around, we can save money by leaving the car at home.
– Reduce emissions by using more renewable energy – electricity prices actually go down (as we’ve recently seen with wind in South Australia) and fewer of our fellow humans get screwed over by e.g. coal mine dust or coal seam gas messing up their land and water.

(There’s a cartoon that’s done the rounds online: a honcho at the ‘Climate Summit’ is standing in front of a slide with a big list of stuff (liveable cities, energy independence, healthy children, green jobs, etc etc). Someone at the back sticks up their hand and asks, “What if it’s all a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?” )

Then there’s the ‘co-benefit’ of showing the rest of Australia (I’d say the world, but there are plenty of places well ahead of us) that reducing our emissions in line with the science is not only possible but good for us too.

So, if you’re not tired of fielding all these questions, could you please elaborate on why you don’t support the 40% target? (I didn’t realise it was a ‘movement’…)

HenryBG HenryBG 10:38 am 18 Oct 12

Mr Gillespie said :

There is still no proof that climate change is real, ….

You’re clearly a crank.

Matt_Watts said :

Climate Change is certainly real. It has always existed as a result of all manner of influences.

I believe mankind has become an increased influence since the industrial revolution.

It’s a shame you think weaselly understatement is necessary in order to placate those of your supporters who fall into the crank camp.

CO2 ppm in the atmosphere has increased from 280 to just about 400 now, in the space of not much more than 100 years. It hasn’t been at this level since many hundreds of thousands of years ago, well before our species evolved.
In other words, humans have caused a change in the atmosphere’s composition that is very significant.

Basic physics says that this increased concentration will result in the Earth accumulating heat due to the imbalance in incoming versus outgoing radiation until equilibrium.

The current state of science says that equilibrium will be reached with a 3-degree increase in average temperature,
That temperature increase is also unprecedented in our species’ existence on this planet.

AND, we haven’t stopped emitting CO2, meaning the equilibrium temperature will continue to increase as CO2 concentrations continue to increase.

In the history of this planet, these kinds of climate changes coincided with mass extinction events. It seems very unlikely that this episode of climate change, a man-made one this time, will be any different on that score.

So if you think we shouldn’t care about being the instigators of this planet’s 8th mass extinction event in 3 billion years, then by all means, carry on appeasing the cranks by playing down the issue and our responsibility in it.

As far as I am concerned, your prevarication has done your chances of getting my vote.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:05 am 18 Oct 12

poetix said :

chewy14 said :

I’m pretty sure the government would be able to pass one of those law thingys to transfer already married people over to a civil union or simply grandfather current marriages.

I’m not marrying my grandfather. Particularly as he’s dead.

Bigot

poetix poetix 10:00 am 18 Oct 12

chewy14 said :

I’m pretty sure the government would be able to pass one of those law thingys to transfer already married people over to a civil union or simply grandfather current marriages.

I’m not marrying my grandfather. Particularly as he’s dead.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 9:56 am 18 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

T_S said :

One of the questions was, “Do you believe in man-made climate change?”

All other candidates (Labor, Green and Liberal): “Yes.”
Matt Watts: “This question doesn’t do justice to the topic”

What’s the story? !

I’d like to echo that.

What’s the @$%^#en story? You’re not a denier are you, Matt? It’s a simple enough question, and the answer has been known to science for about 180 years, so what’s your story?

Keep it nice – Matt has been good enough to answer questions on this forum, you can at least be polite.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 9:54 am 18 Oct 12

Matt, a further transport question, do you support allowing motorbikes/scooters to park legally on pavements as long as they do not obstruct general passage, as is the case in the Melbourne CDB?

chewy14 chewy14 9:42 am 18 Oct 12

simsim said :

Matt, the argument that Marriage should be removed from the realm of law seems like a compromise … except that in that case, the 66.9% of marriages performed by civil celebrants in this country would then become invalid. Is that really what you’re arguing in favour of?

I’m pretty sure the government would be able to pass one of those law thingys to transfer already married people over to a civil union or simply grandfather current marriages.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:20 am 18 Oct 12

Mr Gillespie said :

There is still no proof that climate change is real,

Just like there’s no proof that World War 2 actually happened.

Masquara Masquara 7:52 am 18 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

What’s the @$%^#en story? You’re not a denier are you, Matt? It’s a simple enough question, and the answer has been known to science for about 180 years, so what’s your story?

Anyone who uses the term “climate change denier” is no supporter of science.

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