THERE are eight candidates running for the marginal, bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro in the 2013 Federal Election, and as you go to the polls this Saturday, we thought we would bring you a short profile on each them.
These few words from each of the hopefuls were supplied to one of our sister papers in the region at the beginning of the campaign…
Warren Catton – Christian Democrat
As a resident of Nimmitabel over the past five years and having lived in this region on and off since 1987, I can express my full commitment to this community, to see it prosper and develop, making it a great area for every resident.
I am not only the current chairman of Nimmitabel Commons and a member of the Nimmitabel Advancement Group but am also a volunteer radio announcer at our community radio station 2MNO.org.
I believe our community radio speaks to the issues of our local community far more than a syndicated city radio station would.
As a committed Christian, I'm proud to stand as local candidate for the
Christian Democratic Party as our policies seek to relieve heavy tax burdens on farmer and the community.
We absolutely oppose the Carbon Tax proposed by the current government.
On a local level, we oppose heavy foreign ownership of Australian land. Councils and communities must receive all the benefits of our country's land wealth.
Above all, we also support the sanctity of marriage and human life and will always stick our necks out to uphold the moral values that have made Australia such a great nation.
Costas Goumas – Citizens Electoral Council
Costas Goumas is a motel owner at Eden, and for many years previous was a successful restaurateur at Merimbula.
He has been a Citizens Electoral Council activist for many years and decided to run as a candidate because he felt that the current standard of politics stinks.
"But the ideas of the CEC and Lyndon LaRouche absolutely inspired me!" he said.
Policy-wise Costas says, "The important thing is Australia urgently needs a separation of banks, of commercial banks and investment banks; isolate them completely.
“Australia is vulnerable because the banking is concentrated into just four banks and they hold majority of deposits. This puts at serious risk the deposits of people."
Peter Hendy – Liberal
My wife Bronwyn and I are proud to call Queanbeyan home. Thirteen years ago, we recognised it as the perfect environment in which to raise our two children, Caroline and Patrick.
A professional economist, I started my career as a cadet with the Federal Treasury after achieving a first-class honours degree. Since then I have worked as an economic consultant across many industries in both the private and public sectors, and for various Cabinet Ministers.
I have also worked overseas in an advising role and have run my own successful small business. I also studied part-time to earn a PhD in Government.
For six years I was the Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and received a Centenary Medal by the Governor General for services to the businesses community.
I am a passionate supporter of local agriculture and small business. I am a former Director of the Australia Made, Australian Grown Campaign, which advocates the purchase of Australian agricultural products by Australian consumers.
I am a strong believer in free enterprise and the important role played by families in our communities. I also believe very strongly that hard work should be rewarded.
It is vital that the Australian Government fosters a strong economy – one that will allow small businesses to grow and create jobs in Eden-Monaro.
Mike Kelly – ALP
I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved in the Eurobodalla Shire since 2007.
Our Government has delivered unprecedented funding for health services, which were so neglected under the Howard Government.
We have invested more than $330million in health across Eden-Monaro, including $47million right here in the Eurobodalla. When I surveyed the community, I received an overwhelming response that health was the number one issue and that has guided my work over the past six years.
We have made major improvements in primary health care facilities, such as Queen St practice in Moruya, new community health service at Tuross Head, dental services at Dalmeny and the mobile dental service for Indigenous families.
Of course, it was a great thrill to turn the first sod on our $11.8million, Federally-funded sub-acute ward at Moruya last week, and to see the first stage of contracts signed on the $10million doctors and nurses training hub in Moruya. It will be so exciting to see these projects come to fruition over the next two years.
It has also been extremely pleasing be part of the huge improvements in schools right across the region through our Building the Education Revolution.
$28million of this $126million education investment came directly to the Eurobodalla Shire, and we recently announced that a $1million Trade Training Centre focusing on hospitality and cooking will be built at Moruya High if our Government is returned.
Dean Lynch – Palmer United Party
I’m Monaro born and breed and have been farming on the Monaro for over 20 years.
During this time I have also been a small retail business owner and understand the pressures that small businesses face in today’s climate.
During the past five years I have been involved in local Government and I have been Mayor of Cooma-Monaro for the past four years.
It is this experience that is driving me to want to represent the Eden-Monaro electorate on a federal level; I am not doing this for my ego, I’m doing this for my family, I’m doing this for the people and families of Eden-Monaro.
I've had a gut full of the lies, broken promises and banter that we have all accepted as normal behaviour from our 'politicians'.
I’m sick of the internal Liberal and Labor party wars that waste the hard earned cash of Australian tax payers.
The current standard of federal politician is a disgrace, their egos, short sightedness and lack of passion are hurting Australia and destroying regional Australia.
There is nothing funny about regional towns and centres closing up shop, I’m here to help our once busy and bustling regional towns and centres regain their former glory.
Catherine Moore - Greens
Catherine Moore is an artist and carer who has lived in Eden-Monaro since 1981.
She has built a solar-efficient, solar-powered earth house, was a Palerang councillor from 2004 to 2012 and has been a member of The Greens since 1993.
Catherine is enthusiastic about the possibilities for regional self-reliance in Eden-Monaro and about the Greens policy initiatives which have been put forward as part of the election campaign to help that happen.
“Because The Greens have developed policies based on four clear principles – social and economic justice; ecological sustainability; grassroots democracy; peace, nonviolence and disarmament – over a long period of time and in consultation with people with knowledge and experience in their given fields, I feel very empowered to be part of a party that has such a solid base,” she says.
“You know where you are with The Greens and we are not afraid to stand up for what matters, including asking the richest in the country to pay a fairer share of their profits to fund the services and facilities that are often so lacking, especially in rural and regional areas.
“There is great potential for employment in Eden-Monaro with an expansion of health, aged care and education facilities, and of course, renewable energy.”
Andrew Thaler, Independent
I live in Nimmitabel and Canberra, and for the past 20 years have run a scrapyard in Cooma with my wife Alisa.
Our business ties also see me travel right across the electorate through Bega, Bermagui, Eden and Queanbeyan, Jindabyne and as far afield as Port Pirie in SA and Brisbane.
I have a lot of reasons to run for Parliament. I have a family and am looking to the future of my kids. I couldn’t in any good conscience vote for any of the candidates in Eden-Monaro, so decided to run myself.
The voters have been calling out for real people to stand up. I will bring a vastly different experience into Parliament. I wear steel caps, not shiny shoes. I don’t even own a suit – yet.
Among the many issues affecting voters in Eden-Monaro, the big ticket items included phone coverage and data networks, the rising cost of electricity, and the divide between industry reliance on road networks and the decrease in road maintenance.
I would also like to highlight my renewable energy credentials. Our 36kW solar array is probably one of the largest on the Monaro and we have plans to link it with a further 30kW system with an integrated high capacity battery bank. The cost of electricity in Eden-Monaro is a real problem.
My wife and I are also finalising arrangements to purchase two partially abandoned solar farms, totalling 477kW of solar PV.
Martin Tye – Stable Population Party
Mr Tye holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, lives in Broulee and has long had a keen interest in the population issue.
Mr Tye says that over the last 30 years he has witnessed successive governments pursue massive population growth policies without thought to the long-term consequences.
“This has seen our infrastructure, including roads, schools, hospitals and public transport placed under enormous pressure. Housing has become less affordable, energy and water bills have skyrocketed, and our environment has been degraded.
“We cannot begin to tackle these issues until we stabilise our population,” he said.
“The ‘big’ parties will try to discredit and trivialise our ideas but an economy fuelled by massive population growth and propped up by an unprecedented and unrepeatable resources boom is destined to fail.
“It is our children who will bear the cost of these irresponsible policies.
“8 of the top 10 per capita wealth countries have small and stable populations. Surveys have shown that over 70 per cent of Australians do not want a ‘Big Australia’.
“We are offering the voters a chance to send a message on the future of this country. “Better not Bigger” is our theme.”