During this by-election season, I wanted to report on them for Our Newcastle. But ebola prevented that happening. I did get along to some of the election forums, and public talk-fests. They were moderately interesting, and some of them were even informative. But I came away thinking I should nominate next March when the state election comes around.
Even though a serious campaign would require about $50,000, just nominating ($500?) would be sufficient to get a seat at these public forums. And it would give me a chance to stand up and raise the issues I believe are important and need promoting.
What would they be though?
- A re-run of the 1967 referendum. Not the one everyone knows about, but the one held a few months earlier, to grant statehood to Newcastle and the northern portion of NSW
- The entire proceeds of the sale of the Newcastle port should stay in the Hunter, to benefit the communities who built the port and whose lives have been dictated to by the industries around the port. This money to be used for projects of significant benefit to the community, not to small sectional interests as is now the case
- The creation of a Hunter Transport Authority to determine what the region needs, and to see through the implementation of the resulting plan
- All political parties to have open books. In the past, they have argued that to reveal their income sources would be too administratively cumbersome. But anyone who runs a small business knows all that information is available just by running a report in MYOB, so the old arguments against transparency are a nonsense
In this town, that’s a populist recipe. And whatever the outcome, it’d be a fun race to run.
I really am tempted.