Your correspondent, Robert Hennessy-Hawks ("No place for party politics, November 24), makes some claims about politics in local government, and about Greens culpability for bushfires, that call for a response.
Firstly, The Greens policy supports hazard reduction under the direction of fire management authorities and states: "Hazard reduction activities including manual, mechanical and prescribed burning should be strategically planned to protect the community, vulnerable assets, encompass the welfare of people and wildlife, and protect ecosystem resilience" and "Hazard reduction should be used in conjunction with a range of regulated land management strategies including early detection and rapid response to unplanned fires".
Scientific analysis of the causes of the Australian bushfires of 2019/2020 found that higher than average temperatures combined with low soil moisture levels were the primary reason that the bushfires escalated so dramatically.
Mr Hennessy-Hawks might like to acquaint himself with the scientific evidence about the long-term effects of global warming, which were referenced in the calls from fire chiefs who tried to get the attention of the federal government before that disastrous fire season.
In regard to politics in local government, my preference is for openness and transparency.
Membership of a political party says a lot about a person's values, ethics, and intentions.
Declaring it up front also says a lot about a candidate, and indicates to voters what they can expect from a candidate if elected.
Just because a candidate calls themselves independent does not mean that they are independent, especially if they belong to a political party - as has historically been the case for so many councillors in Wagga.
As lead candidate for the Greens I am proud to say I belong to a party that is based in principles of grassroots democracy, ecological and social justice, environmental justice, and peace and non-violence.
Voters know what they can expect from me.
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At the recent Wagga Residents and Ratepayers Association's Meet the Candidates Forum, I was surprised at some of the new candidates' lack of knowledge of some local issues.
Some responses by the new candidates to questions was "as I am not a current candidate, I am not aware...".
Surely, these candidates would have read up on all of the issues that are concerning the voters for the upcoming election.
If the new candidate has a current councillor on their ticket, why didn't they ask their fellow candidate what were the current issues that they need to be aware of?
As a voter, I will not select a new candidate just because of the fact they are new, but will potentially vote for a new candidate for two reasons - firstly, what skills or knowledge do they bring to council, and secondly, do they understand all of the issues that council will be deciding in the near future.
I urge all candidates to read up on all local issues and I ask all voters to ask the candidates where the candidate sits on any issues that affects the voter.
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