7 August 2013
I met with the genial Wayne Driver on a wet and windy day at a cafe in Canning Vale. He was excited to be interviewed; as a minor party candidate in a safe seat he doesn’t get attention from mainstream media.
He came across as a genuine, down-to earth family man concerned with grassroots issues that affect people he comes across in as SNF Australia Accounts Manager.
He said he had notified his party about the interview, but if the answer had been no he would have done it anyway.
Who is Wayne Driver?
I am a sales rep by trade working for the mining industries, married since 1997 and a father of three, involved with the Canning Vale junior football club and other sporting groups in the area.
How long have you been in politics?
Just this year.
What drove you to enter politics?
Lack of support from both major parties for what is classified as a safe seat for the Liberal Party. I’m targeting people who are dissatisfied with the major parties.
Why did you decide the Palmer United Party was a good fit for you?
We get a choice of how we get to vote. We have the party line but we also have a conscience vote on things that we believe our electorates may have their own opinions on. Within the party we have a voice of our own, almost like independents under the umbrella of the same name. We were asked by Australian Christians what our policy is on same-sex marriage, and the general reply from all candidates will be a conscience vote, following our own beliefs.
What do you see as the main issues in this election?
Strong leadership, health and education funding and basically be able to represent the people. That’s the big one, because no one is representing the people any more – they are representing their own party’s interests only.
What are the main issues specifically for Tangney?
Funding for education projects and community groups such as Communicare and sporting groups to keep people engaged and healthy.
Asylum seekers, and the policy that Clive Palmer put out recently about onshore processing?
Good idea – it’s easier to identify who they are when they come in with their documents. There are opportunities to do it with processing centres overseas but you don’t want to risk people’s lives, you don’t want them coming on boats and risking their lives, especially women and children. It’s not fair, especially on kids, to be put in those sorts of conditions and risks. It’s just wrong.
What’s the point in running for a safe seat?
Is any seat really safe? That’s the big question, to get the focus back on to the community and make both major parties see that people need to be listened to. We are moving too much to the American system – it’s the party line.
Will you challenge Liberal MP Dennis Jensen directly? Will you actually challenge him on his well-known stand on climate change and will you let the electorate know about him being one of the six MPs who abstained from the Stolen Generations apology?
I’m quite happy to challenge him, because we know climate change is happening – we know there is a natural part of it but we have also sped it up by what we have been doing to the environment. So to say that it doesn’t happen denies the actual science. Stolen generation? I grew up in an area where there were a lot of indigenous people and a lot of their parents were from the stolen generation. We have to accept it happened, but we have to move on and say what we can do to rectify it and make sure it never happens again
Palmer Party policies?
One is to reduce costs to families, including removing the carbon tax as it is now and looking at other alternatives to reduce carbon emissions that doesn’t impact so much on families. We also want to review the whole tax system, because the average working bloke goes up a tax bracket after he goes up a certain amount of hours. How can you be productive when you get canned at the tax department? We should have one flat tax rate or smaller gaps between tax brackets.
Will you be using social media?
I have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/419539924828226/where I am hoping to engage with the local community. People are saying it’s great to have someone different, and I’m hoping that will extend out further.
Do you have a campaign plan?
Letterbox drops, door-knocking, getting involved at community group level, come out and meet people, talk to people. It’s all about taking the campaign back to the grass roots, back to the people.
Are there any advertising campaigns planned at party level?
We are looking at them. We do get a certain amount back from the electoral office after the election, but we’re trying to minimise those costs.
Do you have a budget?
Clive Palmer has provided a certain amount of money per candidate. As long as we don’t do anything illegal or immoral he is happy for us to promote ourselves with it, get out in front of people and say ‘here we are’, pay for letterbox drops and corflute signs. We’ve been looking at bus stop signs, but we are trying to keep all our costs down. Already ten people asked for corflute signs in their front yard, which is not bad considering we have only just been launched. It’s a good way as it shows just the average person supports us – not big business, not the unions. We are here for everyone.
More of a grassroots movement than a top-down party directed?
We are. Clive Palmer gives us the opportunity to go out and be us rather than what he wants you to be. Be who you are, as that is what people are voting for. You can see that from the cross-section of people running nationally.
Where is the party likely to be successful? Is there any seat you are directly targeting?
I believe we can get Durack. Des Hedland is heavily involved in the community up there – he is very active and I believe he will get through. Chamonix Terblanche in the Senate will have a very good chance.
Who will win?
Liberals, just, but hopefully a hung parliament with two or three of our members so we can get a say.