Name: Daniel Jones
Political party: Liberal Democrats
Where do you live? Dubbo
What do you do for a living? Taxi driver
How long have you lived in the electorate? Since 1988
What is the best part of living in the electorate?
The people are very forthright, that's what I like about Aussies - they're not afraid to speak their mind. Pre-2000 driving a cab in West Dubbo had issues but now it's grown a lot and I just like the open spaces, and the people are all friendly.
Why are you running for the federal seat of Parkes?
I've always had an interest in politics and driving a taxi always talking to people and listening to their opinions on everything you can possibly imagine I enjoy. What motivated me was I'm not getting any younger, it's about time I got over my own apprehension.
Take Wyatt Roy, for example - if a guy who's only 19 with no life experience talking to people can get elected to politics, and add to the political discourse, there's no reason why I can't do it as well. It takes a long time to grow in your political philosophy and I like the Liberal Democrats, I believe in the individual after meeting people from all walks of life.
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?
Environment first, domestic second, animals third, crops i.e cotton fourth. Bradfield Project.
* supporting agribusiness to further drought-proof towns?
* continued funding and support for road upgrades such as Rangari Road?
Based on updated information, i.e. the Boggabri coal mine, I support the funding for the road if it is built to a standard that in 12 months people are not complaining about potholes due to heavy vehicles, and the funding is sourced from the appropriate sources and not coming out of funds that were allocated to the community for projects like a skatepark, cycleways, maintenance of historical buildings etc.
* investment in young people and their careers?
Being young these days is not easy. And trying to find your calling or what you naturally gravitate towards for a livelihood is even harder. Not everyone comes from a stable background. It is hard enough dealing with distractions or unstable people at school. Let alone your home life if it is unstable or at the whims of the economic tide. We have been very lucky so far as we have not experienced an economic slump since the early 90's.
You need to be flexible. When I was younger my father wanted me to be a solicitor and I did work experience at legal aid. It was boring as watching paint dry. I wanted to be a pilot and ended up becoming a Taxi driver.
Prime Minister John Howard privatized the C.E.S or Commonwealth Employment Service. Which created a more efficient job matching system via employment agencies. Young people should take advantage of work experience opportunities in their given field through the employment agencies where they can find them. And with TAFE where possible.
Take advantage of apps such a Linkedin. Starting up a business can be difficult. It would be better for our economy and society if more young people could start a business and employ people. Look up the skills shortage list that the government releases for immigration. Most importantly, live within your means and stay focused on your goals. Especially when you are young and just starting out.
OTHER POLICY POSITIONS
In your opinion, what are the most pressing issues facing the electorate?
First. At the moment I believe property rights and the native vegetation legislation that the Greens forced onto the farming community is a burning issue. The National Party did not fight the Greens hard enough on behalf of farmers. As they cannot use their land based on their operational needs to ply their trade.
Second. Menindee fish kills and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and the Drought. This is a complex issue and I have read an ABC article on it. And I have talked to Mr Rob McBride who is shown in the video who wants a Royal Commission into the issue. I understand there was a Royal Commission held in South Australia.
There is a statement in the article "What killed the fish? A variety of factors were at play at Menindee. Water levels were very low, the system had stopped flowing, and temperatures were high after a long spell of hot weather. This created ideal conditions for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) to grow, and it bloomed out of control. But it wasn't the algae that killed the fish. A cold front hit the region, which dropped the water temperature in the river, killing the algal bloom. The bacteria that feeds on dying algae then exploded out of control, and sucked all the oxygen from the water. When the oxygen levels dropped too low, the fish drowned."
Based on that statement, I am surprised that no-one has mentioned the installation of monitoring equipment which would be installed at key locations to check for these environmental factors. That would trigger an alarm back to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority who would be expected to have a line of communication to all stakeholders and tell them that the release of water is hands off and are priority environmental flows that fines or penalties apply for failure to comply.
What would you say are the most pressing issues facing the Gunnedah area specifically?
I can imagine the issues that affect Gunnedah are similar to the issues affecting Dubbo. Law and order, unemployment and opportunities for young people, and population.
What are your key election promises?
Mostly my election promises or commitments that I have made so far are focused on the two pressing issues facing the electorate.
What is your message to the voters?
I have been driving a taxi and listening to people's concerns for a long time, most of my working career. My grandparents were farmers around the Grenfell or Bimbi area. Part of the description of this position is not just representing people's concerns. But also weighing up arguments and being an arbitrator or judge.
I can tell so far there are some white elephant issues that have become political and some people do not know when to drop them. As they want to be seen to be representing the concerns of their community. Our society faces many issues. Not just environmental mismanagement, but also technological that are doing people out of a livelihood.