While a federal election has not been called as yet, noise so far is showing that this election will be based on the theme of national security.
The question then becomes, why?
Within the Australian context, the options for manoeuvre are quite limited. It makes little difference who is in power.
Why would one political party position themselves as different to another on the grounds of national security when turning over leaders does not necessarily mean a turning over of policies?
As a voter, the noise the Coalition is making does not fool me. In fact, I would rather politicians simply stop making Australia a target to foreign actors and focus on domestic issues.
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Thank you Brian Pomeroy for raising the important issue of my preferences should I be elected the independent MP for Riverina ("Full disclosure important", The Daily Advertiser, February 17).
I don't have a crystal ball to foretell the election outcome and, the possibility of a hung parliament is very real.
My stance is always to represent the people of Riverina first and their wishes are my rationale. Voting issue-by-issue so the Riverina is foremost is my commitment.
There are 14 local government areas in the electorate of Riverina and restoring their hearts and souls is a priority. Having lived in and near small country towns most of my life, I've seen how the demise of them is limiting the potential of people of all ages.
'Jobs' in the country are usually temporary, often reliant on 'funding' and usually not providing any future options.
Country towns need thriving economic activity based on careers, not just jobs. When careers are created, the financial dynamics change markedly so there is a definite future visible.
In turn, this encourages investment and security with children at local schools, independent businesses with a reliable flow of customers and opportunities for everyone. The more diversity in the town the more possibilities become available.
At present, only 0.5 percent of gross domestic product is spent into local government areas across Australia. To put into some perspective, the budgeted GDP percentage for defence is 2.2 per cent.
What if the spend into LGAs increased to 2.2 per cent as genuine financial investment into the areas which create so much wealth for the rest of Australia? Once elected, this is an issue I will initiate and support.
Globalisation and 'free' trade agreements have resulted in the demise of manufacturing, food production, rural populations and the increase of structural poverty for millions of Australians. As a nation, we are no longer self-sufficient even for basic needs as was brutally exposed during the onset of COVID. At least the gaps are now obvious however, is there a national strategy to rectify this parlous situation?
Rural communities are talented, innovative, ingenious and resilient; these are the characteristics which need to be enabled and nurtured so there is less, or no, reliance on cheap imports. This is one of my commitments to the people of Riverina and I will negotiate and collaborate with whomever I need to achieve this result.
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