DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY, PAUL HARROLD
For Paul Harrold politics runs in the family. His father Kevin Harrold, who died last year, was the only member of the party to be elected to NSW Parliament when he was the Gordon MP from 1973-76. Mr Harrold has been an electrician for over 27 yeas, and currently runs his own small business with his wife.
What issues do you think are important for people of Bradfield?
I do support the Liberals in their quest for getting the roads fixed, because they’re absolutely hopeless, that would be one of the major things. I’ve also noticed how little a lot of people know about the political system. It would be good to see more engagement from politicians with various community groups. People need to actually understand the way the political process works when it comes to elections.
As a small business owner yourself, what do you think should be done to assist small businesses in Bradfield?
The carbon tax has made it very difficult for small businesses in Bradfield. It shouldn’t have been bought in. It’s just another tax that’s really hurting civilians because there’s a domino effect. For example our business install air conditioning, and our air conditioning requests have gone done, because refrigerant costs have gone up. So people are putting things off. That’s one way of helping small businesses – abolishing the carbon tax.
GREENS, PIPPA MCINNES
Pippa McInnes is a Thornleigh resident and has previously served on the Blue Mountains City Council as a Greens councillor. She currently teaches English as a second language to adults.
What are the key issues affecting Bradfield in this election?
For Bradfield in particular, the issues are the cuts to tertiary education. There’s a huge proportion of people in Bradfield who are either tertiary educated or are attending tertiary education institutions. With the paucity of the Newstart allowance those students face a lot of difficulty in terms of being able to manage their finances and to be able to do the courses that they wish to do.
The other main issue in the area are the pockets of bushland that are vulnerable to development. There are some quite isolated areas of original forest and creek ways that need more protection than they’re getting.
Why is the Greens campaign in Bradfield important?
Bradfield is one of the safest Liberal seats but it’s not so much about winning; it’s about what you can say as a candidate when you’re in forums and out talking. You can raise the issues that you think other parties and candidates aren’t covering.
It’s important for the Greens to have lower house candidates as a way of bringing the Senate vote to the public. In NSW we’ve got a conservative government. So I think it’s vitally important to have a Green’s voice in the Senate, given that we’re moving further and further down the conservative path. So that for me is really the critical issue in terms of the actual election.
PALMER UNITED PARTY, BLAKE BUCHANAN
Blake Buchanan lived in Bradfield for first 30 years of his life. He has worked in the finance industry for the last ten years.
What changes would you like to see in the Bradfield electorate in particular?
Better facilities, better care for our elderly, I want interest fees to be reduced. Infrastructure in general is the big one for me. You look at the Pacific Highway for example – it hasn’t changed in the 30 years that I’ve been around; it’s terrible. It’s terrible for parking and our public service transports could be a lot better. I think we need a social hub, somewhere in the middle of Bradfield, along the Pacific Highway.
One of the other big issues we’ve identified in Bradfield is the cost of living; there are a lot of people sending their kids to private schools and into the public system as well, who are really struggling with their bills. So reducing their cost of living is one of the things that’s important to me as well.
How do you feel about standing in an electorate that is considered one of the safest Coalition seats?
It’s a really tough challenge, but I would be doing the wrong thing not standing up and representing the Palmer United Party in Bradfield. If people are happy with the current government then fine vote for one of the major parties. But all we’re really seeing is much of the same – cuts and more taxes. Palmer United is fundamentally a Liberal platform, but with vision, so we’ve got new ideas and new views on the economy.
LABOR PARTY, CHRIS HAVILAND
Chris Haviland grew up in Asquith and moved back to the area three years ago to care for his ageing grandparents. Mr Haviland is a former teacher, and now runs his own maths tutoring business.
What are the key issues affecting Bradfield in this election?
I’d like to see Bradfield students get a better deal in education, whether they go to state schools or private schools. I’d like see them have more opportunities at school, provided by funding, which will come if Labor is re-elected, with the Gonski report.
Obviously also I’d like to see our health system improved, and disability care implemented. Aged care is a pretty big issue in Bradfield, so we need to keep improving our aged care system.
How will roads and infrastructure be improved under a Labor government?
There is one important issue that will happen in Bradfield – the Labor government in the budget provided for just over $400 million, which has been matched by the state government, to build the tunnel under Pennant Hills Road. This will link the M2 with the M3, so that will basically be a bypass from Melbourne to Brisbane if you like. It’s an absolute traffic nightmare at the moment at Pennant Hills Road and hopefully when that missing link is built the situation will improve.
LIBERAL PARTY, PAUL FLETCHER
Paul Fletcher is the sitting member for the Liberal Party. He was elected to parliament in the 2009 election.
How have the current government’s policies affected people in Bradfield?
There are plenty of policy issues, which have a big impact in Bradfield. For example, the Labor party has significantly reduced the availability of tax rebates for private health insurance. It turns out Bradfield has one of the highest rates of people with private health insurance of any electorate in the country.
Another example is the cutback in funding for army cadets. It turned out when we looked into that Bradfield has three significant army cadet units – Normanhurst, Knox and Barker cadet units. Put all that into proportion n – 10,000 of the army cadets across Australia are located in Bradfield. These funding cuts to army cadets hit our area hard.
How do you think the Liberal party’s Real Solutions plans would improve the lives of people in Bradfield?
We’ve committed to a million jobs within five years, two million within ten, through sensible economic management and through getting the burden of red tape and compliance off of businesses.
Another thing that’s going to be very important to people in Bradfield is lightening the tax burden. So we’ve committed to removing the carbon tax but retaining the compensation and the pension increases that were introduced by the current government. We’ve also talked about reducing the mining tax and also getting the company tax rate down to 28.5 per cent by 2015. These are all important in terms of stimulating our economic activity, for businesses operating in Bradfield, and operated by people from Bradfield.
Thirdly, in the area of education, we’ve said that we’ll match the financial education funding, but we’ve also talked about some key principals, including supporting greater local decision making for schools and hospitals.
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY, JOHN ARCHER
John Archer is married with four young adult children. He works in manufacturing and deals with people of many backgrounds and levels of education.
What issues being debated in the current election have the biggest impact on Bradfield?
Directly on Bradfield, I think the long term impact would be if same sex marriage was legalised, I believe it would be detrimental to families and would affect education in schools. That would be number one for me.
What is your vision for Bradfield?
I desire Bradfied to gain without other electorates losing. I desire accountability and honesty in all areas of politics. I’d like to see Bradfield be an electorate that other electorates will encouraged by. That is, having an MP who is locally accountable, approachable, one who facilitates continuing security and plans for the future. Bradfield roads, amenities, development and education are high on my list of achievable goals.