Many of the following policies platforms are interconnected. I believe in a holistic approach to society and the economy and there will be some overlay and therefore, some repetition and cross-referencing here and there. Each area cannot and should not be considered in isolation. We must combine areas and work together for the betterment of all.

Here is an overview of some areas that are of great significance to me:

Firstly, I support and encourage POSITIVE ACTION that considers ALL people and their needs, as well bringing the budget back to surplus so that we can provide for our population now and into the future, without further borrowings. A balanced approach!

“Fiscal responsibility with a social conscience”

Secondly, I am particularly concerned about and support the following areas.

  • The Aged, Baby Boomers and Retirees – including, helping them into employment, start-ups as well as in their move towards retirement and during retirement. Many Baby Boomers are NOT asset or cash rich, contrary to what many would have us believe. They struggle to make ends meet, can lose confidence and feel abandoned, as well as victims, of a perceived unfair tax and social security system. They need our help now, more than ever! This includes fair changes to Superannuation that does not disadvantage those dependent on the pension to live and who have few assets. Those pensioners with major assets, who can afford to, should be prepared to support themselves in retirement.
  • Culture and the Arts – A supportive, respectful and nurturing culture in all aspects of the economy is essential to a balanced society. The Arts help to provide such a culture and relates to all aspects of our society and economy in one form or another. Arts and Culture enterprises would help with Arts employment and self-sufficiency. The Arts also record our culture, stories and history for those to yet come.
  • Small Business and Start-ups – Medium to large businesses and enterprises start out as individuals and small business, including in the Arts. By supporting the “little guy”, we are supporting growth and prosperity for the whole economy and society in a “practical” sense and not just as part of a political catch-phrase. (Plus, see “Taxation” below)
  • Disability inclusion and Enterprises – We must provide benefits and support for those who cannot look after themselves, such as financial, physical, mental and emotional support, as well as activities. This is where the NDIS is such a welcome initiative. We also need to encourage and support those willing to give back to society through enterprises and projects that will grow our culture and employ people, especially those with a disability.
  • Education and Training – Far too often we churn out people with qualifications but little learning. We must tighten up education training, increase the levels of the 3 R’s and include Arts skills as part of the basic school curriculum. This will encourage creativity and entrepreneurship. School students must also learn life skills that they can take into the real world. Very young school students should play more and use technology less.
  • Employment, Youth and Entrepreneurship – We all want to see young entrepreneurs growing and blossoming as future leaders, business people and caretakers of our society and culture. They may be intelligent and innovative, but they are not experienced. We must encourage, nurture and mentor them through this process and not simply leave them to make “decisions on the run”.  If well-managed and guided, they will grow their enterprises and employ other young (and older) workers who can contribute to their journey and success.
  • Taxation and Fairness – Our taxation system must be progressive, supportive and fair. The GST taxes everyone and this broad-based, indirect tax is a fair tax if the vulnerable are compensated. As for Income tax, the more you earn, the more you pay. When lower-income earners receive a tax cut, the high income earners should receive a tax rise so that they remain at the same tax level as before. New small businesses (individuals only) should pay NO TAX on their first year of trading and a lower tax rate on their second year of trading.
  • Corporate Taxation. Corporate tax levels must be reduced to help make Australia more competitive internationally. This should also help to reduce profits from being transferred offshore to countries of lower corporate tax rates. We must stop thinking with an ill-informed “employee” or “poor me” mentality and realise that corporations employ workers and grow our economy. It is in their interest to continue to do this. Sure, checks and balances need to be in place to ensure that they act legally and in Australia’s interests, but if we continue to tax them heavily, relative to other countries, we will lose more industries and investment overseas. More brands will be sold off to overseas interests. Haven’t we lost enough Aussie brands already?
  • Gold Health Card for Veterans. It is unimaginable the blood, sweat, tears and heartache that our diggers serving overseas go through to keep us safe here at home. As an ex-Army Reserve Officer and friend of several veterans, I have had a small insight into their lives and sacrifice. The horrors of war scar you for life and we can’t possibly understand what they’ve been through. The fact that they can’t talk about their experiences speaks volumes. Veterans who go on active duty and put their lives at risk, must receive full health and welfare support for the rest of their days, as well as full pensions…and not just those with obvious physical issues.
  • Lie detectors in court. Who else is sick and tired of dishonest people lying under oath and getting away with it. Lie detectors must be introduced to every situation where the “truth” is paramount and will determine guilt or innocence. Let’s stop protecting perpetrators and look after victims. More importantly, let’s look after justice. If you “swear” that you are telling the truth, you have nothing to fear from this initiative.
  • Negative gearing. This is not black and white. I believe, as a tax agent and accountant for many years, that negative gearing should be allowed as one means of supporting the creation of wealth for retirement and inheritance. BUT, only the first investment property should receive 100% tax deductions over and above the rent received. The deductions should then reduce with each further investment. A maximum of, say, three investment properties in total, owned either fully or jointly in person names only, should be allowed.  (For the record, I don’t own any negatively geared properties in any form).
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions. As with Negative Gearing above, concessions should be limited for investments. Currently sitting at 50% exempt, this should reduce for subsequent properties. The personal home must remain CGT free.
  • M1 expansion and light rail/trains to the Gold Coast airport. I live near the beginning of the M1 changing from three lanes to two heading south at Robina, Gold Coast. I know that this highway needs to become three lanes each way down to Elanora, as a matter of urgency and priority. Both ways are choked at various times of the day. I see it constantly. Enough talk, let’s get this done. Let’s also get wither the light rail or trains extended down to Coolangatta (Gold Coast) airport. This will relieve traffic to the area and help decongest the M1.
  • Cruise ship terminal for the Gold Coast. It is way past time when the Gold Coast should and must have a cruise ship terminal. Environment must be considered but locals must also be reasonable and not blindly say they don’t want one, at any cost. We have so much to offer to tourists and the money coming here will be increased immensely by such a move.
  • Independent Senators – The current major parties appear to want to get rid of all Independents. Well, that didn’t work at the 2016 double-dissolution election, now did it? Quite the opposite in fact. We need Independent Senators to scrutinise legislation and stand up for the people of their State or Territory. The Federal Government wants control of both Houses of Parliament (The House of Representatives and the Senate) so it can implement any legislation it chooses without Independent scrutiny and discussion. That was evidenced by their scare campaign about legislation being stalled by the Independents. In fact, that is not entirely true! Julia Gillard, for example, passed more legislation than any other parliament and yet had both a hung parliament in the Lower House and Independents with the balance of power in the Senate. Even during the recent period of the Coalition government, the Independent Senators have passed 75% of government introduced legislation. When they have resisted, they had what they considered to be good cause to do so, such as opposing the $7 co-payment for health services, which when multiplied for many visits, could have severely disadvantaged the most vulnerable.
  • No Senate in Queensland – Queensland is the only State without an Upper House (Senate) of its own.  This means that the government of the day is free to put in place its legislation and changes without having them subject to any official review.  This only emphasises the need for Queensland and the Gold Coast to have strong Senate representation at the Federal level. We also need a Senate for the Queensland Government.
  • Stronger Advocacy for local issues at the Federal Level There has not been a Federal Senator, living on the Gold Coast, since 1984 (34 years). The Gold Coast is the 6th largest Australian city, with a population of 585,000. Tasmania has a total population of 516,900 and it has 12 Federal Senators. The Gold Coast is a vibrant micro-economy and decisions made in Canberra affect all of us. It’s time that the Gold Coast was represented in the Federal Senate. We deserve it!!!

Finally, whilst I support in principle the right of government to legislate in accordance with its mandate, I worry that without scrutiny, dissection and amendment, the government of the day may abuse this position and use its so-called “mandate” to push through versions of legislation and additional legislation which it did not take to the people at the election.

A balanced, mature, logical and constructive review by independents in the Parliament or Independent Senators in the upper house is essential to the passage of fair and equitable laws.  

If you think that one vote can’t make a difference, think again. With your support we can move mountains in federal Parliament. Not just for McPherson or Queensland, for all Australians.

This is why I am running as either an Independent Candidate for McPherson or for the Federal Senate in Queensland.