Page Candidates Put Forward Election Policies

CANDIDATES for the seat of Page have been outlining their policy statements during the campaign.

The sitting member, Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan, officially launched his campaign last week alongside the Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, in Grafton.

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Mr Hogan said, “It is a great honour to be our community’s representative in Canberra.

“I have and always will have, our community’s interests front and centre.

“This is the most important election in recent history – it is about jobs, flood recovery and cost of living.”

He said local jobs must continue to grow and the cost of living is also a priority.

Mr Hogan said lowering taxes and cutting fuel excise will help.

Rebuilding lives after the floods and preventing it from happening again requires money, and Mr Hogan said that more than $200 million for flood mitigation works for the whole catchment has been announced

The Labor candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan, said a Labor Government will establish a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Lismore to improve access to medical assistance and take pressure off the Emergency Department at Lismore Base Hospital.

He said the clinic would bulk bill, ensuring that patients do not have out-of-pocket costs.

The Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will be based in existing GP clinics and community health centres and provide bulk billed services delivered by doctors and nurses.

Mr Deegan said, “This includes treating sprains and broken bones, stitches and glue for cuts, wound care, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems, and minor burns.

“They will be open during extended business hours – at least 8:00am to 10:00pm – seven days a week.

“No appointment will be needed.

“All patients will need is their Medicare card.”

Mr Deegan said a Labor Government would prioritise the construction of new social housing residences in Northern NSW.

He said, “Our region already had a huge shortage of affordable housing before the floods, but now the housing situation is a crisis.

The Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Jason Clare, has announced a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years.

Mr Deegan said, “Northern NSW will be the first region to benefit from this program.”

The Greens candidate for Page, Kashmir Miller, said, “It is no secret that the Greens policies are great for the environment and wildlife, but they have also been developed in the interests of social justice and putting regular people first.

“As a young person growing up in Page, it saddens me to see my friends move to the city for better employment opportunities.”

Ms Miller said the Greens plan to create a TAFE-to-Jobs Guarantee and skilled jobs program that will train workers for quality, sustainable and local jobs and provide incentives for employers will make a huge difference in the lives of struggling locals.

It is also not a secret that, based on an emerging circular economy, the Greens plan to phase out coal and gas in favour of renewable and green technology.

Ms Miller says this creates jobs and economic growth for everyday Australians.

She said the Manufacturing Australia fund will help local manufacturers recover from the pandemic and move away from fossil fuels into thriving new sectors, creating jobs in Page so that workers can stay with their families and friends while making a substantial living.

“Since we do not take donations from corporations, the Greens only answer to the communities we represent,” Ms Miller said.

“I am a born and bred Page local, therefore I know first-hand what our region needs from the Federal

“We want secure and sustainable work, and a plan from the Government for our flood and pandemic recovery.”

Hanabeth Luke, independent candidate for Page, said she would push to put local industries, farms and businesses on an equal footing with faster internet, safer roads and appropriate development.

Ms Luke has an extensive policy agenda to stimulate the regional economy, create a fairer future for all Australians by investing in housing and health, taking effective action on climate change and restoring integrity to Federal politics.

Local issues Ms Luke considers to be essential include safer roads, improved mobile phone and internet services, encouraging renewable and innovative local businesses and industry, affordable housing, crisis accommodation (especially for those fleeing domestic violence), skills education for young people and improving local health care.

Bigger picture issues include implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, privatisation of public assets, equality in education, improved outcomes for Indigenous Australians, climate-resistant infrastructure, legislation for Net Zero and an effective Federal Integrity Commission.

With many people still recovering from the floods, Ms Luke said, “I’m broken hearted and tired of hearing my community telling me they are still waiting on flood relief funding.

“I demand the National Emergency Response Fund be spent on our recovery needs now!”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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