THE Australian Greens Party will have a representative vying for position of Member for Port Stephens in the quickly approaching Saturday, March 23 election.
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Ms Maureen Magee has been nominated by her party to stand for election.
News Of The Area asked Ms Magee what she saw as the three main areas of concern for Port Stephens and what she will do, if elected, to address these issues.
Ms Magee see protecting the environment as a number one priority, saying, “Protection of the amazing natural environment, including habitat for threatened flora and fauna such as koalas, which is under threat.”
“The Greens support a RAMSAR listing for the Mambo wetlands, retaining the site of Tomaree Lodge in public hands for community use, and seeing off the proposal for housing at the heritage Boomerang Park in Raymond Terrace.”
For those unaware, a RAMSAR listing would preserve the Mambo wetlands as a site of international significance.
The second priority is to prevent what Ms Magee sees as overdevelopment, saying “The State government and Port Stephens Council have long favoured developers over local communities; planning should be for people not for profit and the planning system must be overhauled.”
Ms Magee raised the PFAS contamination as her third priority, telling News Of The Area, “Justice is needed for the 600+ families whose lives have been ruined by PFAS contamination from Willliamtown airport.”
On her motivation to run as a candidate, Ms Magee said, “I want to use my experience and education to help make a better world for all of us.”
“The Greens’ four principles, social justice, sustainability, peace and non-violence, and grassroots democracy are solid values I strongly believe in and try to live.”
Ms Magee agrees a high school should be built in Medowie, saying “The Greens are strong supporters of free public education.”
“School capacity should be increased ahead of, not lag behind, population growth which will be significant in Medowie and Raymond Terrace.”
Ms Magee sees the traffic problems in and around Nelson Bay and Port Stephens to be of concern, telling News Of The Area, “One of the major traffic problems in Port Stephens is the growth of sand-mining, which could see up to 1500 heavy trucks a day on single carriageway roads in the next few years.”
“While promotion of public transport may relieve some pressure, the tourist industry and commuters will require good roads well into the future.”
“Completion of a dual carriageway Nelson Bay Road is a higher priority than a hugely costly new Fingal Bay Link Road, an alternative route to Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay can and should be found that is less costly and does not wreck the Tomaree National Park.”
Ms Magee takes a strong stance on political donations, saying “All levels of government need to be more transparent and consultative, and must take seriously input received from the community, instead of just ‘ticking the box’ on consultation.”
“A key underlying problem is the corrupting effect of political donations, to which both major parties are addicted.”
“The Greens have long argued for donations reform and a level playing field.”
When asked what her favourite places are to spend time in Port Stephens, Ms Magee said, “I love all the bushland areas and the amazing marine environment of Port Stephens, but also the friendly local towns the character of which must be protected.”
By Heather SHARP