Why I'm Nominating
I suspect you've visited this site because you're concerned about the level of representative democracy we enjoy here in Rockingham. Perhaps you're worried about both major parties and their candidates supporting rezoning plans at Point Peron, or you're worried that the jobs growth figures being bandied about by Labor and the Libs won't have a real impact locally. Perhaps you're simply worried that no one is listening anymore. I think you're right to worry about those things, and more.
You probably didn't come to this site to read a long biographical sketch, so I will try to keep that short, while telling you what you need to know about me as we approach the March 2017 state election.
I'm a 44 year old academic and administrator, who emigrated from the UK more than a decade ago. I live and work locally - my wife is a primary school teacher right here in Rockingham, while I work at a local K-12 school in Wellard. Like most of you, we travel in to the city when we need to, but most weekends you will find us on the foreshore, swimming off our beautiful coastline, or enjoying a quiet beer with friends in The Pig or The Last Drop.
For many years, I was a member of the Liberal Party. I believe in small government, and the Liberals seemed to me best positioned to deliver that. I rose steadily through the party, serving as a branch president for a number of years, and secured nomination as the party's federal candidate for Brand at the 2016 election. What I discovered in that role disheartened me. No one is listening any more! The major parties are so hell bent on winning over each other that they are no longer willing or able to ask the people what they want. Instead they dictate, they lecture, and when we object they tell us we are wrong.
After the federal election, I sat back, and I took stock. There were a number of local issues on which I found myself at odds with the Liberal Party, not least its stance on the Mangles Bay Marina proposal, which I have long opposed. I watched Malcolm Turnbull amend and in some cases throw out proposals which I had objected to (superannuation changes, the backpackers tax, etc.), but had been instructed to promote on the doorsteps of Rockingham in spite of strong negative feedback. Canberra hadn't listened then, and it wasn't listening now. It was dancing to a tune we couldn't hear. And I looked at Perth, where I saw both major parties scoring tit-for-tat political points off one another at the expense of sensible policies which could benefit local voters.
In October, I watched in growing disbelief as the Liberals, long the party of law and order, failed to back a private members bill by one of their own members aimed at removing the statute of limitation on civil cases involving child sexual abuse. Worse, they gave some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities hope, indicating that they would back the amendment, and then stole that hope away. Why? Officially, because time ran out to debate the bill. Privately, because senior party members were worried that it might leave the State open to compensation claims going back years. Money, in a word. Meanwhile, Labor, who could have progressed the bill in their own parliamentary time, laughed from the sidelines, and made cheap political points at the government's expense. What good did that do victims?
So, towards the end of October, I saw down with my family, talked through my growing concerns, and came to a decision. I resigned from the Liberal Party, and announced that I would stand as an independent candidate here in Rockingham in March. I did this because I want to see changes for the better, and I honestly don't think that can happen if we continue to be represented by a local MLA whose primary focus is on Perth and the bigger state picture. Mark McGowan is rarely seen in his own electorate as it is, and has delivered very little in terms of concrete improvements for Rockingham since his election. How much worse can we expect that to be if he is Premier? What minuscule portion of his time can we expect to merit then?
This election may turn out to be about jobs, or the economy. It may even turn out to be about our local environment. But it shouldn't be. It should be about YOU, and what the State Government can do to make your life here in Rockingham better. It should be about listening to your concerns, and formulating policy to address those concerns, not telling you what you OUGHT to be concerned about, and then legislating regardless.
Over the coming weeks and months I will be working to build up a raft of policy proposals on a range of local issues. You will find details of those proposals here on my website, and I encourage you to re-visit the site on a regular basis, or to sign up for our regular bulletins.
You can contact me at any time - drop me an email at email@example.com, or call me on 0427931745. If you call, please bear in mind that I am not a full-time politician with an office staff to fall back on. I will be working a regular job 9-5 throughout this campaign, so if I don't pick up straight away, please leave me a message, and you have my word that I'll get back to you just as soon as I'm able.
You can also keep up with the campaign by 'liking' our Facebook page, or by following me on Twitter. The buttons at the top and bottom of these pages should allow you to do that with a single click.
I welcome your feedback, and I welcome information - if there is an issue you feel I need to be addressing, please raise it with me. Those of you who met me during the federal campaign will know that I'm not afraid to raise issues on your behalf, and I'm not afraid to roll my sleeves up in the name of Rockingham residents. Together, we can make what is already a great place to live even better. THAT is why I'm nominating, and with your help that is what I hope to achieve!