Name: Petrus Van Der Steen
Political Party: United Australia Party
Where do you live? Glen Innes NSW
What do you do for a living? I am a professional musician/entertainer
How long have you lived in your electorate? I do not live in Parkes but very close by & work & travel a lot in & through Parkes for my job & spend a lot of time there. Just came back from Broken Hill, driving through the electorate back to Glen Innes.
Why am I running for the seat of Parkes? As I work there & travel there a lot, I got to know the issues & hardships people are suffering in Parkes. This part of Australia is the icon of how Australia is known by many people overseas & it needs to be preserved & restored. As none of the current parties seem to care, I got fed up & put up my hand to bring back true representation. I'm not an idealist, but a realist with common sense approach, something the other parties have lost a long time ago. I do not follow an ideology but want what's good for ALL Australians, not just the select few.
NAMOI UNLIMITED PRIORITIES
Namoi Unlimited recently released its list of priorities for the next Parkes MP, including the below. If elected, what will you do towards:
Water security? Water security is one of our top priorities as our river systems & basins have been brutally mismanaged/sabotaged by design for two decades now. As the manual draining of Menindee Lakes is a good example of this mismanagement we are going to scrap the MDB plan completely & start from scratch with experts in the field, not politicians, to find long term solutions to stabilize our river flows & water tables. We'll also increase water storage facilities & change the insane law of not being able to use the water in your own dams, just another sign of the insanity that has been going on too long.
Supporting agribusiness to further drought-proof towns? What Australia grows, grows Australia ! So of course we will work together with agribusiness to achieve this goal, as 80%+ of our wealth is generated by our regional areas it should flow back into our regional areas to invest in our future. We will reduce tax with 20% in our Zonal Tax policy, which benefits all rural areas.
* continued funding and support for road upgrades such as Rangari Road?
Rangari Road is in dire need of a real upgrade, not just a band aid patchwork solution. As the road is essential to our locals for a vital flow of all sorts of traffic between Boggabri & Manilla we will speed up its upgrade. I will fight tooth & nail to get this done ASAP.
* investment in young people and their careers?
As we want to bring back meaningful jobs we have to look at re-establishing our manufacturing base, our own R & D capabilities & open up the inland for economic growth. In our region that means growth for agricultural businesses, land management, infrastructure development, mining sector & stable water provision. To establish that we need to renew & revitalize our knowledge base & establish more & better education for our young people in the country areas. With our policies we have planned to do exactly that. Long term solutions & development are our priority.
In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues facing the electorate?
Water security & the lack of essential services like healthcare, jobs for young Australians, bad telecommunications coverage & infrastructure upgrades are the main issues for the whole electorate.
What would you say are the most pressing issues facing the Gunnedah area specifically?
For Gunnedah it would be water security & infrastructure that are on the main agenda.
What are your key election promises?
My key promise is that I will look at common sense solutions, implementation of those solutions & to put the interests of all Australians first. That means that I will fight tooth & nail for our local communities & make sure that any decision or idea will be looked at how it benefits our people first. Nothing's off the table.
What is your message to the voters?
My message to our voters is simple: Without your vote we can not achieve what we propose. The only way to achieve all of this is to vote massively for the United Australia Party, so we can give these mugs a thong slap & send them on their way! We put Australia first in everything we do! A landslide will do.
I would like to bring back true representation for the people of Parkes, something that has been AWOL for years. The forgotten people are no more forgotten & will be heard!