DURING A RECENT Herald Sun internet forum Indi’s National candidate, Liz fisher said, “climate change is not an emergency – net zero 2050 is over 25 years away, it’s over a quarter of a century away”.
There were only three candidates invited to the Herald Sun forum hosted by Joe Hildebrand: Liberal Ross Lyman, Fisher and Independent Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines.
Hildebrand to Dr Haines: It’s a hung Parliament, you have both parties on their knees saying ‘we’ll give you anything you want if you support us’, what’s the most import thing for Indi you think needs doing?
The most important thing should that scenario occur, is to have a strong independent member who will look at every piece of legislation and every policy on its merits and make the best decisions for the people of Indi.Dr Helen Haines
Hildebrand to Lyman: Did the Liberal Party take Indi for granted?
Look, my strong focus is looking to the future and looking to build a stronger future through a stronger economy.Ross Lyman
And certainly my background in the military and business is well placed for the people of Indi … … the people of Indi need a seat in government and need a seat at the table to be able to see the projects delivered to the region.
At the 2016 campaign the former Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, told shocked voters at a Sky debate money promised for Wangaratta Hospital during the 2013 election wasn’t delivered by the Abbott government because Cathy McGowan won the seat.
Hildebrand to Lyman: Is pork barrelling corruption?
Lyman spoke about the last budget and the cost of living. He didn’t answer the question.
Hildebrand to Fisher: Scott Morrison promised a federal integrity commission, he’s had three years and did not do that, why not and do you support an integrity commission?
Clearly the Liberals and Nationals in government do support an establishment of the integrity commission because they did take the bill to Parliament. And what’s interesting is consultation and having an appropriate bill and not a kangaroo court. And you know what? Helen Haines does highlight she did bring her bill to Parliament also, and I note that because she did not have the team behind her that didn’t get up also. It really highlights when a hung Parliament how dysfunctional it is when minor parties and independents, just you know, blocking decision making. And I know personally the way to get things done is by making decisions.Liz Fisher
For the record
- The Coalition was re-elected in 2019 with 77 seats – majority government.
- The Coalition did not put an integrity commission bill to Parliament – they wrote an exposure draft.
- Dr Haines presented the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill 2020 to Parliament with broad support inside and outside of Parliament. It’s genesis was The Beechworth Principles.
- The Coalition used their numbers on the floor of the House of Representatives to block debate on Dr Haines’ bill.
- When Dr Haines reintroduced her bill Liberal MP, Bridget Archer crossed the floor in support.
- The Morrison government lost the vote, but were still able to block debate because standing orders call for an absolute majority.
When the Morrison government blocked debate on her bill a second time, Dr Haines said:
Today in the House of Representatives 66 members of integrity, of conviction, voted in favour of debating my bill for the Australian Federal Integrity Commission.
That is more than voted against it.
It is only because of a technicality in the standing orders that calls for an absolute majority that it was lost. This section of the standing orders is undemocratic during the pandemic and should be changed.
We have waited too long for a federal integrity commission.Dr Helen Haines
Hildebrand to Fisher and Lyman: What is your “red line”, on what issue would you cross the floor if it conflicted with Indi’s interests?
Lyman said “we’re stronger as a team” and he’d represent Indi in the party room.
If there was something of particular concern to the people of Indi then absolutely, I would represent that and take that into the party room, not just toe whatever issue is being debated at the time.Ross Lyman
Liz Fisher told Hildebrand if elected she ‘expects her views reflect the views of the electorate’ and invited people to join the Nationals.
Dr Haines said the cost of living is an “enormous” issue.
Right now the cost of housing, the cost of fuel and the cost of power, energy, is a great impost on the family budget and a great impost on our productivity.
I haven’t heard anyone talk about climate change here tonight [HS forum], but one of the greatest challenges and greatest opportunities we face here in Indi is the transition to renewable energy.Dr Helen Haines
I have a plan for a stronger future and that is achieved through a stronger economy.
We’ve got to get the economy firing.Ross Lyman
We have invested heavily in the bushfire relief fund.Liz Fischer
NBN is a disaster in many parts of this electorate.Dr Helen Haines
Hildebrand gave the three candidates 30 seconds to deliver a final pitch.
Fisher told Hildebrand she was concerned that the policies of Labor and the Greens “were very well much reflected by the independent”.
Lyman again told Hildebrand his background was in the military and business.
A lot of business people in Indi felt they were being left behind and abandoned and they said, ‘you need to stand up and actually try and drive the economy and get the economy firing again in the North East’.Ross Lyman
While Dr Haines was delivering her final pitch, Fisher began to snigger.
And I note Liz [Fisher] that it was a petition tabled by me and an application made with me and Telstra for the Regional Connectivity Fund, that saw a tower delivered to Tarrawingee.Dr Helen Haines
INDI incumbent Independent MP Helen Haines has congratulated the Tarrawingee community on their petitioning to achieve funding for a communications tower to improve connectivity in the area.Wangaratta Chronicle
At a previous forum in Benalla candidates were asked: How will you or your party work to minimise the effects of climate change and transition to renewable energy sources?
Fisher told voters, “in the most recent budget the Nationals and Liberals in government announced record funding, over $1m to help manage that transition”.
We need reliable baseload power.Liz Fisher
Dr Haines told Benalla voters she’d worked with communities in Indi and across regional Australia on a policy called the Local Power Plan, so with investment, communities can set up local power hubs to produce energy to share and benefit from in their local communities.
Every year in Benalla $35m is spent on electricity and fuel. Imagine if we were generating that energy here and charging our vehicles with that electricity – the money that could be circulating in our economy.Dr Helen Haines
Lyman focussed on the economy.
The Coalition has a plan, it’s technology not taxes. It’s working with the private sector to deliver that baseload power. It’s working with the latest technology, even solar and wind a mature technology. How do we subsidise, how do we get the private sector consumption, getting our exports up and imports down and being able to deliver a sustainable solution?
Sustainable in terms of economic. If we grow the economy we can deliver the essential services we need.Ross Lyman
Dr Julian Fidge said his Liberal Democratic Party wanted to address climate change with nuclear energy.
The safest, cleanest and cheapest available in AustraliaDr Julian Fidge
In Indi, the Liberals and Nationals how to vote cards preference Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party above Labor candidate Nadia David, the Greens Benjamin Gilbert and Dr Haines.
Clive Palmer’s UAP candidate Stephen Williams conceded his party has no climate change policy.
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party seems to have no climate policy on it’s website.
Like Susan Benedyka, who’s running as an independent for the Victorian Senate, David told voters in Benalla she decided to run for Parliament during the 2019/2020 “Black Summer fires”.
Susan Benedyka attended the Benalla forum but was not allowed to join the debate because Liberal Senator, Greg Mirabella, did not turn up.
David said Labor planned to “rewire the nation” and she wanted a more ambitious 2030 emission target than the party was taking to this election.
The Labor candidate started campaigning early against the closure of the Benalla Centrelink office – the global corporate services provider, APM is now located at the former Centrelink site.
Dr Haines is four on David’s how to vote card, below the Greens and the Animal Justice Party. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is last.
Gilbert said he was running so he could look his children in the eyes. He told the Benalla community the Greens have fully costed policies and “Australians should be the richest people on the planet”.
We need to value add on resourcesBenjamin Gilbert
Dr Haines is two on Gilbert’s how to vote card and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is last.
On Thursday night, ABC QandA announced former Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan will be a guest on the program next week.