Firstly, here are the 12 policy points that were raised when we launched this campaign on May 7:
1. Ongoing commitment to live in the electorate, unlike the incumbent
2. Commitment to ban poker machines outside of major casinos
3. Commitment to sweeping campaign finance reform, including early disclosure of political donations
4. Respect for the views of women, including support for more diversity in the corridors of power
5. No climate change scepticism with real support for reducing emissions whilst not smashing the economy
6. Support for increasingly mainstream social views such as marriage equality and euthanasia
7. Support for meaningful industrial relations changes, rather than meekly conceding reform is "dead buried and cremated".
8. Federal backing for a long-overdue program of Manningham council infrastructure investment, particularly in sporting facilities and long neglected roads. See 3000 word Manningham budget submission.
9. Pledge of loyalty to Malcolm Turnbull as PM after the election, particularly in a hung parliament
10. Package of reforms to improve treatment of retail shareholders
11. Commitment to Doncaster Rail after Metro Rail has been delivered and in conjunction with East West link project as Lend Lease proposed to both Liberal and Labor in 2014.
12. Commitment to finish the Western Ring Road in line with RACV's priority alignment between Greensborough and Ringwood.
Over the course of the campaign, we've been asked to explain a position on many policy areas on social media, by email, at candidate forums and telephone calls. Here is a summary of the positions we've taken:
Nominal freeze to doctor payments for Medicare treatments
Query from a local Doctor:
We need clarification on your stance on the Medicare freeze (we see the impact on patients and know how hard it is to run a medical practice. You're pretty much running a charity on existing bulk billing rates). Whilst Manningham is largely an affluent area, there are a lot of people doing it tough. People that you wouldn't necessarily expect.
I'm happy to commit to CPI as a base case for increases in GP payments, starting on July 1. Haven't deep dived on the issue but nominal freezes on anything are very hard to justify.
Ending marriage discrimination
Dear Stephen Mayne,
As a candidate in our electorate at the forthcoming Federal Election, we are writing to ask you to confirm your personal position on same-sex ‘marriage'.
We are deeply opposed to any change to The Marriage Act and disappointed with both major parties' position on this issue. Bill Shorten's promise to introduce legislation for same-sex ‘marriage' within a hundred days is disgraceful, but at least Labor MPs will still have a conscience vote. Malcolm Turnbull's promise to hold a plebiscite is better, but it is very disappointing that he does not personally support marriage.
We believe that same-sex ‘marriage' is one of the most important long-term issues facing Australia. If we attempt to tamper with the family unit, constituted in the way God intends, we risk severely damaging the next generation and the basis of our society. Furthermore, such a change would trigger a new wave of ‘anti-discrimination' legislation which would lead to the persecution of Christians and others who wish to remain true to their consciences.
Please tell us your personal, not your party's views on this subject. And, more specifically, would you tell us whether you would support a bill to legalise same-sex ‘marriage' if it was put to the next parliament?
We look forward to hearing from you before election day.
Yours sincerely, Geoff and Lindy
Thanks for your email. It's an important issue, which lots of people have strong positions on. Mine is that I oppose marriage discrimination and believe that if two people love each other, it should be their human right to make a solemn commitment to each other through the institution of marriage.
This may not be to your liking, but if elected I would strongly support an immediate move to a conscience vote, in which I would vote to amend The Marriage Act to allow two consenting adults, regardless of their gender, to be married.
In terms of the English speaking western world, only Northern Ireland retains more discriminatory laws on equal marriage.
This embarrassing situation needs to be urgently addressed by Federal Parliamentarians and not through the costly and divisive process of a national plebiscite.
I was brought up in the Uniting Church and some members of my family are all still practicing Christians.
I don't practice but have a strong respect for the teachings of the churches and the great work they do in the community.
Best wishes, Stephen Mayne
Supporting a royal commission into the banks
What is your position/stance on a Royal Commission on banks post election?
I have a client who are fighting to save their home against a bank due to fraudulent conduct by a financial adviser and a franchisee.
My client's have been in contact with Kelly O'Dwyer who has been supportive and ASIC is involved.
I was just curious about your position (if in fact you do have one).
Kind Regards, The Footy Coach
I have a long history taking on the banks.
Ran against Peter Costello in Higgins in 2007 on a “get tough on banks” platform.
I'm a director of Australian Shareholders Association which has called for royal commission into CBA, so I'm certainly on board with that position.
Have also run for several big bank boards over the years.
Best wishes, Stephen M
Toughening gun laws
Email from voter Shane:
As a proud resident of Menzies and being a registered voter in your electorate, I am writing a quick note ahead of our upcoming federal election in order to advise on my unsure position on who/which party to vote for and ask for your assistance.
I am a happily married man and former regular enlisted soldier who just happens to be a licensed recreational sporting shooter. I also compete in this sport at a state and national level, with aspirations for taking my skills to an international level.
What is vitally important to me this election is where in fact you as an elected official will stand in relation to;
1. Any planned further restriction of the legal and responsible ownership of recreational firearms and the support of Law Abiding Firearms Owners of your electorate,
2. What you and your party intend to do in support either way, positive or negative, for the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) and any imposition of further restrictions/vilification of Law Abiding Firearms Owners,
3. What will you be doing as an elected member in support of my legal freedoms to pursue a justifiable recreational pastime that is of considerable and significant importance to me.
I appreciate that for many the topic of firearms and gun control is a sensitive and highly debatable one, however I do not seek a debate of any sort. I am simply wanting to clarify where to place my support so that it will in turn support me.
I seek a clear and concise response to these basic three points and cannot stress strongly enough how the importance of your answers will weight where my vote in the electorate of Menzies will be cast.
Thank you in anticipation of your response.
This is not an issue I've studied in detail and I am generally comfortable with the laws as they presently sit. However, I did see that recent Dylan Welch piece on 7.30 which suggested there were some loopholes that need to be closed.
All I can really say is that I would study any proposed changes but I'm certainly not an ideologue on these issues and support recreational access for fishing and shooting, plus shooting as a legitimate sport, including in the Olympics.
If elected, I'm happy to undertake to talk directly with you if these issues come up in Parliament but I can't give any absolute voting guarantees on how I'd vote on future legislative changes.
Feel free to provide further information if you like.
Banning live animal exports
Of course there should be strong regulation to prevent animal cruelty or mistreatment in foreign countries but I don't support a ban given the importance of the industry, particularly for northern Australia and the Gillard government's knee jerk response banning exports to Indonesia did a lot of damage.
Offshore processing at Manus Island and Naura
Labor's open boarders approach was a humanitarian disaster with 50,000 arrivals, more than 1200 deaths at sea and thousands of children in detention.
Turn backs have been a successful deterrent and should be maintained.
However, with the numbers in detention dramatically reducing, Australia should be moving to close down the Manus Island and Naura detention centres. Regional processing in more advanced countries makes sense and if countries like New Zealand wish to resettle some unauthorised arrivals then Australia should not stand in the way, provided it doesn't lead to a new surge in boat numbers.
Whilst the boats aren't coming, the annual refugee program should be lifted to 30,000.
A better deal for retail shareholders
Still support this 10 point plan out-lined by the Australian Shareholders' Association with the following additional points.
The ability to do selective share placements should be reduced for ASX300 companies in order to better protect the property rights of existing shareholders.
It ought to be illegal for directors or their associates to under-write capital raisings which are non-renounceable as was demonstrated by this Gerry Harvey rip-off at Harvey Norman in 2014.
The current proposed changes to the ASX listing rules reducing the ability for retail investors to participate in IPOs should be resisted. See ASA release on that issue.
People like Kevin Andrews have been ripped off by the latest superannuation changes and it is retrospective. If Kevin loses on July 2, he'll be entitled to an indexed pension for life starting at $275,000. Under the old system, this was tax free but now he'll be paying tax at the marginal rate for everything above $100,000. If he lives to 90, this will cost him more than $2 million.
Similarly, the $1.6 million maximum balance nominated by the government is too low, particularly given the current low returns environment. This should be lifted to $2 million and the maximum amount of top-up payments permitted should be limited from $500,000 to $900,000.
Victorian safe schools program
Shouldn't be run by a radical marxist but there should absolutely be education programs to minimise bullying and promote tolerance in schools. That said, it should be sensitively designed and not overtly encourage experimentation, especially in the younger years.
International trade and Brexit
Strongly support multi-lateral trade agreements and anything which encourages a global approach to business. Very disappointed to see the UK vote to leave Europe which is step back for those who believe in an internationalist approach.
Balancing the budget
Tax mix should be shifted to have a greater reliance on the GST with less exemptions and a 15% rate. Sadly this needs to have a net revenue gain to repair the structural budget deficit. Excessive pork barrelling of South Australia through $50 billion subs spend should also be wound back.
Other policy areas of interest
If there are any other policy positions you'd like clarified, please email email@example.com and I'll endeavour to add the topic to this list.
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