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]


What's Your Opinion?


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246 Responses to Watt’s the answer
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Jungle Jim Jungle Jim 2:08 pm 28 Sep 12

The objectives of the Hash House Harriers as recorded on the club registration card dated 1950:

To promote physical fitness among our members
To get rid of weekend hangovers
To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

Now this is something I can get behind!

Good on you, Matt. A nicely formed piece and it’s good to see some real transparency.

Best of luck on the 20th.

geoffappleby geoffappleby 2:29 pm 28 Sep 12

I think you got it in one, Jungle Jim.

I didn’t need an excuse, but you just gave me one. I can’t think of a single reason NOT to vote liberal now.

If it didn’t require exercise I’d be a Hasher myself, me thinks.

Deref Deref 2:35 pm 28 Sep 12

Say hi to Mr Pocock from us all here at RiotACT.

ps0104 ps0104 2:51 pm 28 Sep 12

Hi Matt, thanks for a really good outline of who you are and what has led you to be a candidate in the election. I hope some of the other candidates follow your lead.

I do have a question. In a previous thread, there was some discussion about the fact that the Canberra Liberals have been pushing the ‘Labor will triple your rates’ line in a far too sensationalist and ‘cheap politics’ way. In my post on that thread, I outlined that I am normally a Liberal voter, but the behaviour of the Canberra Liberals on this issue has absoloutely disgusted me to the point where I am now having a serious look at the other parties.

The question is- Do you think it’s about time the Canberra Liberals picked themselves up from the gutter politics and treated the ACT electorate with at least a little bit of intelligence rather than just screaming “But Labor will triple your rates!!!!!!” at every opportunity?

I’m not for a minute suggesting that the whole debate about rates is not an important one to have, but I would be interested to hear your views on the behaviour of your party on this because, judging by the other thread on this issue, I am not alone in my opinion.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 2:53 pm 28 Sep 12

Deref said :

Say hi to Mr Pocock from us all here at RiotACT.

Yeah… not sure I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting him. I’m sure he’d appreciate it if you contacted him directly.

poetix poetix 2:57 pm 28 Sep 12

OK, Matt, what is your favourite whisky?

(He’ll go not too dear, you’ll see…There’s a reason for the in-sip-id question.)

Also, who is your favourite Doctor Who, and why?

JennD JennD 3:14 pm 28 Sep 12

ps0104

ps0104 said :

Hi Matt, thanks for a really good outline of who you are and what has led you to be a candidate in the election. I hope some of the other candidates follow your lead.

I do have a question. In a previous thread, there was some discussion about the fact that the Canberra Liberals have been pushing the ‘Labor will triple your rates’ line in a far too sensationalist and ‘cheap politics’ way. In my post on that thread, I outlined that I am normally a Liberal voter, but the behaviour of the Canberra Liberals on this issue has absoloutely disgusted me to the point where I am now having a serious look at the other parties.

The question is- Do you think it’s about time the Canberra Liberals picked themselves up from the gutter politics and treated the ACT electorate with at least a little bit of intelligence rather than just screaming “But Labor will triple your rates!!!!!!” at every opportunity?

I’m not for a minute suggesting that the whole debate about rates is not an important one to have, but I would be interested to hear your views on the behaviour of your party on this because, judging by the other thread on this issue, I am not alone in my opinion.

+1

From the OP: “Government should serve the Canberra community more than it tries to socially engineer it.” How is making people fear the future serving us in anyway at all? All I can see is it serves your Party, not the rest of the population. Way to manipulate people..

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 3:18 pm 28 Sep 12

ps0104 said :

Hi Matt, thanks for a really good outline of who you are and what has led you to be a candidate in the election. I hope some of the other candidates follow your lead.

I do have a question. In a previous thread, there was some discussion about the fact that the Canberra Liberals have been pushing the ‘Labor will triple your rates’ line in a far too sensationalist and ‘cheap politics’ way. In my post on that thread, I outlined that I am normally a Liberal voter, but the behaviour of the Canberra Liberals on this issue has absoloutely disgusted me to the point where I am now having a serious look at the other parties.

The question is- Do you think it’s about time the Canberra Liberals picked themselves up from the gutter politics and treated the ACT electorate with at least a little bit of intelligence rather than just screaming “But Labor will triple your rates!!!!!!” at every opportunity?

I’m not for a minute suggesting that the whole debate about rates is not an important one to have, but I would be interested to hear your views on the behaviour of your party on this because, judging by the other thread on this issue, I am not alone in my opinion.

Thanks for the question. I hope my own approach, including being accessible via the RiotACT, indicates my respect for the Canberra voter. People can ask me anything in this forum.

The fact is the legislation to increase rates has been passed; many ratepayers are starting to notice it. The expected result, on average, is that rates will triple.

As a public servant, I understand the approach the government is taking; I don’t agree with it, though, because it’s unfair to those people who have already paid their stamp duty and it’s unfair to those on fixed incomes, such as pensioners, who may be forced out of their family home. The government’s so-called reforms are regressive.

I reject the claim that this is gutter politics. If Labor or the Greens hadn’t passed the legislation, you wouldn’t hear the Liberals informing the community about it. What do you expect us to do? Just let it slide? If you don’t agree with a policy, it’s your democratic right to fight it. Equally, if you agree with a policy, it’s your right to fight for it (not that we’ve been hearing much from Labor or the Greens on this rates/ stamp duty issue).

And, I should point out, we have plenty of positive policies out there. Just this morning I was at the Libs’ liquor licensing policy launch, which has been really well received. I’m quite proud of the policy because it reflects consultation with the community. Back in 2010 I in fact held some meetings with licensees and met with the Liberals and the Greens (Corbell wouldn’t meet me), and it’s nice to see us a step closer to the outcome we set out to achieve.

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 3:23 pm 28 Sep 12

poetix said :

OK, Matt, what is your favourite whisky?

(He’ll go not too dear, you’ll see…There’s a reason for the in-sip-id question.)

Also, who is your favourite Doctor Who, and why?

Haha… I’m heavily into Laphroaig, but don’t have a favourite.

At the moment the Matt Smith Doctor really appeals to me because of the Fez hat. Long story.

bundah bundah 3:23 pm 28 Sep 12

poetix said :

OK, Matt, what is your favourite whisky?

(He’ll go not too dear, you’ll see…There’s a reason for the in-sip-id question.)

Also, who is your favourite Doctor Who, and why?

Ah so what is his poison Jim,Jack or perhaps he prefers a Cougar?

Overheard Overheard 3:39 pm 28 Sep 12

Deref said :

Say hi to Mr Pocock from us all here at RiotACT.

Matt’s actually a very decent guy and the polar opposite of Mr Poocock on many levels.

Matt knows they’ll be handing out sweaters along the River Styx the day I vote Liberal — and I can say that now that I’m not contracting to the electoral commission anymore! — but Matt’s got a lot going for him.

Firstly, I can’t think of anyone apart from Wayne Berry who I’ve seen over the years get out amongst in the community. Standing outside in the freezing cold on weekends at Jammo and Kippax, throwing himself in with both boots to grass-roots community groups and issues.

Like I said, I’m not physically able to tick his square, but if your blood runs blue, you should consider Matt.

I’m a Hasher too and Matt’s commitment to attending and running events for this amazing worldwide group is amazing. He’ll come from a public event, change into is kilt and waa-hey, he’s a-whey. Or keeps the shiny suit on if the events are co-located.

Love your work, Matt, if not your politics! 😉

Matt_Watts Matt_Watts 3:40 pm 28 Sep 12

bundah said :

poetix said :

OK, Matt, what is your favourite whisky?

(He’ll go not too dear, you’ll see…There’s a reason for the in-sip-id question.)

Also, who is your favourite Doctor Who, and why?

Ah so what is his poison Jim,Jack or perhaps he prefers a Cougar?

That could be misconstrued!

But keep the questions coming in. I’ll answer some more tomorrow – running late for Chocky’s retirement drinks at Zierholz @ UC!

Overheard Overheard 3:41 pm 28 Sep 12

AND the fact that he put himself out there for the Lego and kept the comments on says a lot about who he is, so rather than fire your assumptions at him, hive mind (which nooone has so far — much props), suspend disbelief and ask him a burning question rather than troll bait.

Pssst! His hash name is ‘Pollywaffler’ which he accepts and embraces with aplomb.

dpm dpm 3:43 pm 28 Sep 12
dpm dpm 3:56 pm 28 Sep 12

Whoops! IT fail! 😛
#14 was in relation to this bit of #8 from Matt_Watts:
“The fact is the legislation to increase rates has been passed; many ratepayers are starting to notice it. The expected result, on average, is that rates will triple.”

Martlark Martlark 4:11 pm 28 Sep 12

.. Government should serve the Canberra community more than it tries to socially engineer it….

I presume that means you won’t support legislation that tells us what we are allowed to ingest, smoke or inject?

Rates: There needs to be sufficient income for operations. Otherwise we’ll end up like Spain, Greece, or Italy. Canberrans are wealthy people and should make a contribution to our cities operations and not expect money to float down from the skies.

Jethro Jethro 4:49 pm 28 Sep 12

You say you joined the Liberal Party because you are against the nanny state. Does this mean you would support proper drug reform in the ACT including the legalisation of cannabis, to be produced and supplied by licensed businesses?

schmeah schmeah 5:30 pm 28 Sep 12

“or at your front door” … yeah right! Libs door-knocking! How can they manage that with NO volunteers and NO members!

Deref Deref 6:40 pm 28 Sep 12

Matt_Watts said :

Deref said :

Say hi to Mr Pocock from us all here at RiotACT.

Yeah… not sure I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting him. I’m sure he’d appreciate it if you contacted him directly.

I doubt it, Matt. I probably would, though.

Masquara Masquara 6:52 pm 28 Sep 12

So good to know that the Liberal Party is committed to being what Canberra needs – basically a town council delivering services and keeping rates reasonable.

Note to ACT Labor: your current tv ads claim that the Liberals are using a “rejected” table of rates – but you aren’t specifying what you replaced the “rejected” table WITH. I’m up for believing the Liberals thanks.

Onyer Matt, Jeremy, Zed et al. Can’t wait to change my lifelong vote and turf Katie OUT.

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