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After COVID-19: do we want to go back to “normal”?
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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Meet your federal election candidates

01 Aug 2010

Cath Bowtell - Australian Labor Party

Cath Bowtell has lived in the electorate for the past 22 years with her husband Peter and has been involved in the community through the North Melbourne Legal Service and other organisations.
A former ACTU senior industrial officer, Ms Bowtell was instrumental in abolishing WorkChoices and then led negotiations in the development of the Fair Work Act.

Refugees
I am committed to pursuing a compassionate approach to people fleeing war and terror. Labor’s approach to this complex issue is to engage our regional partners and international organisations like the UNHCR to develop a co-ordinated regional response. Inner city Melbourne is home to a diverse cultural community and this has contributed greatly to making Melbourne the fabulous place it is today.

Environment
Climate change is the most pressing issue facing our planet. I believe in climate change and in putting a price on carbon. My number one priority will be to push for this reform as a matter of urgency. Disappointingly, Labor’s plan for a price on carbon was blocked by both the Liberals and the Greens in the Senate. The Prime Minister has announced a way forward with the establishment of a people’s assembly to build consensus to progress these important reforms.

Mining tax
Australia’s natural resources are owned by all Australians and Labor’s minerals resource rent tax ensures a fair return to the community. This initiative will fund an increase in superannuation from nine to 12 per cent, allowing cuts in company tax to assist business growth. Tony Abbott wants to ditch the tax entirely and increase company tax which is a step backwards economically. I support the mining tax and the benefits it will bring to the wider community.

Education
My two children attended local government schools in the Melbourne electorate and I am a passionate supporter of high quality education for all Australian children no matter where they live or how much their parents earn. I support Labor’s trade cadetship program for students who want to pursue a career in the trades so that we don’t experience skills shortages in the future.

Health
I am proud to be a member of the party that invests in our nation’s health. Labor will train 3000 new nurses and 1300 GPs over the next three years. I am particularly passionate about mental health and while the Government has already made significant investments in this important area I acknowledge that there is more to do in this space.

Employment
My involvement as the ACTU’s lead negotiator in the Your Rights at Work campaign – which ultimately led to the abolition of WorkChoices – is something I am very proud of. Australians deserve decent working conditions and wages. Only a Labor government will protect workers rights. A strong and growing economy is the key to ensuring those Australians out of work can find employment and Labor’s cuts to company tax will help business.

Gay marriage
I am on the record as a supporter of gay marriage and I will advocate as hard and as strong as I can within Labor Party forums to encourage change on this issue. Importantly, a range of reforms have been made during Labor’s first term of government, including changing 80 pieces of legislation to remove Commonwealth discrimination against same-sex couples.

Rising cost of living
For many Australians financial pressure is something they face everyday. That’s why I support fair wages and working conditions so Australians can enjoy a decent standard of living. I also support increases to the pension, childcare rebates and the Education Tax Refund to take some of the pressure off.

PLUS 3 ISSUES OF INTEREST TO THE DOCKLANDS COMMUNITY

Childcare
This is a critical issue in every community, and Docklands is no different. Whether you are a worker doing the daily commute or a resident, the demand for affordable, quality childcare spaces is high. As a working mother I understand parents’ concerns and that is why I support the Government’s early childhood reforms to improve affordability and secure better staff/child ratios.

Sustainability
Sustainable growth has to be part of the future of our great city – including Docklands. I believe in growth that is planned and done responsibly and sustainably. We want to retain those qualities that drew us to inner city Melbourne in the first place.

National Broadband Network
Docklands is a truly state-of-the-art community in technology terms for business and residents. Digital Harbour is the best example of this cutting-edge style of living and working. To support its growth and to improve access to high speed broadband services for all Australians the National Broadband Network (NBN) must go ahead.

Adam Bandt – Greens

Residing and working in Melbourne, Adam Bandt finished second in the 2007 election for the seat of Melbourne and also finished second the 2008 Melbourne lord mayoral election.

Mr Bandt, a barrister, has worked as an industrial and public interest lawyer campaigning for workplace rights, fighting the exploitation of sweatshop labour and increasing the wages of our lowest paid workers. He has also been a partner at law firm, Slater and Gordon.

Refugees
The Greens have a long-term, practical and humanitarian approach to refugees and asylum seekers. We’d end mandatory detention, process claims quickly and end remote, offshore processing. We want an approach based on facts and law, not hysteria and fear.

Environment
Only the Greens have a strong record on defending the environment. We are the only ones with a plan for tackling climate change, a carbon levy originally proposed by Prof Ross Garnaut which would put a price on carbon until a fully-fledged emissions trading scheme is in place. And we need a green, urban environment too.

Mining tax
We support a mining tax and propose that the proceeds from it should go into an independently managed sovereign fund, used for building the nation’s infrastructure.

Education
Public education is a priority and funding for it should be increased so that we can have a world-class system for our kids. There should be two years funded kindergarten and an expansion of community childcare in city areas.

Health
Medicare should be expanded to include “Denticare”, a publicly-funded primary dental care scheme. Mental and preventative health also need a significant injection of funds.

Employment
I’ve spent my working life as an employment lawyer, protecting peoples’ rights at work. I strongly believe we need a fair industrial relations system and that Labor has kept too many elements of WorkChoices.

Gay marriage
I and my party support same-sex marriage. People should not be denied the right to marry on the grounds of sexuality. While other candidates will profess support, only I can promise to vote in Parliament in favour of same-sex marriage. On this issue, the parties should be judged on their record. I am a proud advocate for full equality.

Rising cost of living
The Greens’ policies would cut the cost of living. We would ban $2 ATM fees, cut power bills through energy efficiency measures, make dental care affordable through “Denticare” and create more affordable housing.

Docklands
I’ve lived in Melbourne for 15 years. Docklands residents have told me that their biggest local issues are the lack of amenities like schools, childcare centres and green open spaces as well as the absence of any overarching vision and responsibility for the precinct. With plans for a road tunnel exit near the precinct, traffic concerns are also likely to increase. I strongly believe that the Federal Government must take a greater interest in planning our cities. There is no point in encouraging people to move into the inner city if there is no plan for making the surrounding areas liveable. I will be a strong voice for a green, liveable Docklands and CBD.

My priorities
My top three priorities are: (1) Tackling climate change, by transforming Australia’s economy into a clean energy powerhouse and embarking on nation-building projects, like a high speed rail link from Melbourne to Sydney; (2) Standing up for full equality for all members of our community; and (3) Making Melbourne Australia’s most sustainable city, powered by renewable energy and an even better place to live.


Simon Olsen – Liberal Party

A small business owner, Simon Olsen graduated university in 1996 with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), majoring in Economics.

Mr Olsen began his career in the events management industry where he took up positions in Sydney, Chicago and New York.

While in the USA, Mr Olsen was involved in the 2000 US Republican Presidential Campaign.

Since returning to Australia Mr Olsen worked in a number of sales management roles within FedEx and is currently a principal consultant with Huthwaite.

Mr Olsen was contacted numerous times by Docklands News but declined to participate in this story.

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Comments

  • EBear at 10:19pm on 04/08/10

    Good on you Cath. I'll be glad to have someone like you representing us in the Labor Party (and hopefully a Labor government). The Greens guy might promise his vote on the issues, but I'd prefer to have a candidate who can help decide what the vote will be on.
  • Peter Wallace at 10:33pm on 04/08/10

    I would like to say that I'm really heartened by Cath Bowtell's comments. Her views on climate change, gay marriage and refugees are really refreshing. It makes more sense in my head to vote for her than for Adam Bandt because she'll be inside the Labor party (which, god save us from tony, will be the government). She's in a better position to actually get something done.
  • Lisa at 3:25pm on 05/08/10

    Cath Bowtell's not another back room ALP hack, but an accomplished person with wide life experience offering us a really progressive voice for the seat of Melbourne.The Greens candidate is running again for a party which voted with the Liberals to stop the ets. I just don't think we can risk the Greens for Melbourne, not now.
  • Andrew at 10:32pm on 06/08/10

    Melbourne needs change, and I believe Greens Adam Bandt can only bring Melbourne real change. For to long Melbourne voters have been taken for Granted by the ALP.
    If Tanner really believed in Equal rights for same sex couples, then why did he not stand up for them in Parliament? He never crossed the floor on Refugees, Climate Change etc .How can we trust that The ALP candidate won't do the same?
  • Stephen O'Rourke at 3:19pm on 10/08/10

    Cath sounds great on paper. My only problem with voting for Cath is that she represents the labor party, and I'm finding it really difficult to see the difference between the libs and labor.
    So Adam B will be getting my vote.
  • Anthony at 7:32am on 11/08/10

    In 2007 (Melbourne) primary vote:
    • The Australian Labor Party in 2007 of 43,363 (49.51%)
    • The Greens 19,967 (22.8%)
    • The Liberal Party polled 20,577 (23.49%)

    After distibution of Preferences the Greens secured 21,996 (25.11%) and the Liberal Party 21,405 (24.44%)

    There has been an influx of 5000 voters in the City many are expected to increase the Liberal Party vote.
  • Simon Olsen at 6:51pm on 17/08/10

    Simon Olsen "declined to participate in this story." because his minders know he is a liability. He doesn't live in his electorate, works all weeks at Sentientvision.com (a defense company that helps forces target moving things (ie people) so they can be blown up. He also rarely works at(sales force) a rip off of salesforce.com - this info is all on his linkedin account.

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